Leeds United will look to emulate Leicester City’s Premier League rise by replicating their “Moneyball” approach in the transfer market.
That is according to finance expert and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Leeds’ 3-1 victory over Leicester on Sunday.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has been open about wanting to achieve European football by 2024 and says the best way to do that is to follow the Leicester model.
Quoted in The Athletic, the 46-year-old said: “I love what Leicester have done over the past 10 years and six seasons in the Premier League. That’s what I see as a model to follow.”
A large part of Leicester’s approach concerns data analytics, says Maguire, and Leeds will look to capitalise on new part-owner San Francisco 49ers’ expertise in the area.
“The Leicester model is using data analytics for talent identification,” he told Football Insider.
“If you look at Vardy and N’Golo Kante, they were both available for over a year. If you looked at Kante’s stats, he was one of the best in Europe in terms of balls won.
“But because he was playing for a relatively low-key club, he wasn’t a sexy signing. This is where I think Leicester have been fantastic: they’ve signed players from non-glamorous sources.
“They’ve paid modest fees but because they’ve gone for a money-ball approach, it’s worked for them.
“I think Leeds can really tie-in to their links with San Francisco 49ers here. They are big on the data stuff in the States.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people in data analytics and the noises that I get are that the three best clubs, the best nerds, are Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City. Leeds will follow in their footsteps.”
The Yorkshire club confirmed on 25 January that the 49ers had increased their stake in the club to 37 per cent, with Paraag Marathe also appointed as the club’s new vice-chairman.
The Whites are 11th in the Premier League table in their first top-flight campaign since 2004.