Geoffrey Moncada, who was the Chief Scout at Milan up until the summer, has opened up about the Rossoneri’s scouting process in a recent interview. Now working as the technical director, he is at the helm of it all.
Moncada first joined Milan in December of 2018 after Elliott Management headhunted him. He had been working as a video analyst and scouting coordinator for Monaco, helping them win Ligue 1 and reach the Champions League semi-finals.
In a long interview with MilanTV, Moncada spoke about all things Milan and his journey to the club. Among other things, he explained how the scouting process works and how the Rossoneri operated in the summer.
Scouting at Milan: “Most of the scouts are here in Italy. It’s important to have some foreign scouts because they have a different perspective, and we can’t travel everywhere. My role now is technical director. We have a lot of meetings and all of our reports are in a database.
“When we have done all of our work – scouting, watching live and collecting data – I speak directly to the staff and coach Pioli. Then we can say ‘we have an interesting right-back, left-back, what do you think?’. A report is a hand. This is how we did things in the summer.
“We worked with a certain profile in mind. We wanted physically strong, fast and powerful players. Then it also depends on the mercato, how much we can develop the squad, the available solutions, the budget etc. However, the most important to work with the staff and the coach.”
On the modus operandi: “You should understand that today, there is incredible competition. There are German, English, Spanish and Italian clubs that work well. We are all more or less after the same players. I think you need to watch a player live a minimum of four times: two matches at home and two away.
“We also need to look at important data, information on the injury history, the player’s mentality and family. We need to understand the entire package. When we have this information, I go to watch the player live. I can talk about tactical aspects and so on, but nowadays players want to understand what’s in it for them. I think we are a great club in a great city, so I try to sell them on the entire lifestyle.”
What you look for in a player: “The data helps you find players you don’t know. But at the end of the day, you must watch them live because you see a lot of things: their pace, how strong they are etc.
“We are looking for an excellent player profile, and we also focus a lot on the mentality. Perhaps they like talking about Milan, or about themselves. I want to understand this because this is a lad who might become part of a 25-man locker room. We need to create a group and a culture of unity. The club is bigger than anyone, we want a group.”
The ‘Moneyball’ term, which has been thrown around a lot since the summer, is thus not the best way to describe Milan’s process. Moncada and his scouting team obviously use data in their work but only as an enhancing tool, not as the deciding one.