Expert discusses trick Kevin de Bruyne used to secure huge Man City contract
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Kevin de Bruyne negotiated his own Manchester City contract in 2021, and the way he did so indicates where modern football is headed.
When people speak about football recruitment, transfers and contract renewals, people tend to conjure up images of scouts wearing massive coats watching matches in the rain, or agents demanding mega wages in plush offices.
Movies and stereotypes may be to blame for that, but there is no denying that football is still a little in the dark ages when it comes to conducting business.
Still, there are those who are using data and statistics to gain advantages at the elite level.
Premier League sides like Brighton and Brentford are leading the charge, using data analysis to identify undervalued players to sign.
Their Moneyball approach allows them to stay competitive despite having their top talents poached by richer clubs, as they can keep regenerating their playing squad.
Data is becoming the fashionable way to go about recruitment, but in terms of player contract negotiations, it isn't used as often.
Kevin de Bruyne swam against the current in 2021 though, when he signed a new contract with City.
The Belgian midfielder didn't just use his status to become the club's top earner on a reported £400,000 per week - he used data.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Fozvast, Ben Foster and guest Amr spoke about how De Bruyne used data to secure a wage he felt reflected his role at the club.
"Kevin de Bruyne hired a data analytics company to help him negotiate his contract," Amr said.
"He got a 30 percent increase because of the data about how impactful he is in that team.
"This is just one element. Every single element of football is going to be transformed by data."
Foster, who is considering whether to resume his retirement after a brief spell at Wrexham, then speculated that using data analysis could become the norm for players and agents.
"So not only can clubs use all this information and collate all this data on any given player they want, but you could have an agent with a list of players," the former Premier League goalkeeper said.
"He could be approaching clubs and saying, 'I've looked at your club, your stats and data, and I have a player who is tailor-made to you team'. We could get to that point couldn't we?"