The first result of our methodology
How we helped Heracles Almelo to find Wout Weghorst when nobody had him on their radar.
Let’s look back at the summer of 2014. Weghorst made a free transfer to Eredivisie side Heracles Almelo after a season with second division club FC Emmen, where he was mainly limited to substitute appearances.
At the time we tipped Weghorst to the scouting team of Heracles Almelo, an early adopter of SciSports’ services, because of his remarkably good statistics. This was actually one of the first practical results of our methodology.
Dutch Eredivisie side Heracles Almelo were looking for a young striker with a hunger for goals who could play as a target man. They wanted someone who was efficient in the penalty box and, because they already had two centre forwards, one of the criteria was to search for loan or free transfer options.
At the time SciSports were already in good contact with Nico-Jan Hoogma, Technical Director at Heracles Almelo. So he handed out the challenge to one of SciSports’ Datascouts to come up with a Player Selection Report containing a list of potential signings based on their input criteria.
What Heracles Almelo have to say about SciSports
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Based on several key information points delivered to SciSports from Heracles Almelo, a player profile was created. As always it was key to understand the wishes and needs from the client’s side to be able to successfully produce an accurate Player Selection Report. Their input was the starting point to determine the filter criteria in the SciSports database, which is full of important metrics that help to objectively quantify the quality of players.
Based on multiple scientific models, Weghorst immediately caught the eye. He had great anticipation, meaning he was often in the right space at the right time, and was remarkably good in scoring important goals despite a lack of playing time. He was delivered on a list of players worth watching live. After further scouting, Heracles Almelo decided sign Weghorst.
Wout Weghorst became a Heracles player on a free transfer. After becoming a starter in his first season at Heracles Almelo, in his second season he was the club’s top scorer (with 15 goals) and made his debut for the Netherlands U21 team. This resulted in a reported 1.5 million Euros move to AZ Alkmaar before the start of the 2016/17 season.
At AZ Alkmaar, Weghorst continued to impress by finishing his first season as the club’s top scorer with 13 goals. One season later, in the 2017/18 campaign, he scored 18 goals in 31 Eredivisie matches and became the captain of AZ.
His exploits during the 2017/18 season resulted in a move to Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg in the summer of 2018, for a reported fee of €10.5million.
Dutch national team
Weghorst’s performances also resulted in a call up to the Dutch national team. He made his international debut on 24 March 2018 under coach Ronald Koeman.