It’s always been incredible that scouts hold little value in the eyes of football clubs, but there are so many examples of clubs who have thrived by investing in that department.
Clubs like Sevilla, Roma, Genk and RB Leipzig are famed for signing young talents and selling them on for a big profit, while even at a lower level in the UK teams like Peterborough and Motherwell have done well by finding unknown players and selling them on.
In the past the elite teams have been able to ignore that side of things by just waiting for smaller clubs to develop stars and then throwing a lot of money at them, but that might not be so simple in the next few years.
Barcelona are starting to look like a club who could go through a few lean years. Lionel Messi is nearing the end of his career, there’s no big stars coming through the academy and the first team squad has been patched up by veterans in recent years.
On top of that it looks like they don’t have a lot of money to spend, so you would think that unearthing a few gems might be pivotal just now.
That might still be the long term plan, but a report from Football Espana has indicated that they are cutting their scouting department by 50%, although they claim this was planned before the Coronavirus pandemic.
Time will tell if it’s a wise move, but they are going to need to recruit well in the next few years to allow themselves to compete at the top level.