Liverpool simply would not be where they are today - still Premier League champions and not long ago European champions too - were it not for the work of their data department.

Data helps well beyond transfer deals and player recruitment, but ultimately, spending wisely and bringing the right signings to the club is crucial - not least for a team with less resources than their competitors like Man City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Fabinho are just three of the stars who have arrived at Liverpool in part down to the work of Michael Edwards, Ian Graham and the Reds' recruitment team, who convinced Jurgen Klopp they were the right players.

Now, though, as the rest of the world acknowledges that data and analytics are the future, Liverpool need to evolve - and indeed have already taken steps towards doing so using artificial intelligence - to remain as the market leaders.

"If you look at Liverpool's transfers over the last few years, there has hardly been a dud," said Guy Rogers, co-founder of analytics website Five Yards on a special Blood Red podcast exploring the transfer market.

"The key with the market is trying to find an edge. It is very interesting how Liverpool bought players from relegated teams and the whole structure and the leadership from Klopp is critical.

"On average, about 50 per cent of transfers work out and to get it to maybe 80 or 90 per cent for Liverpool over the last four years, it is more than just identifying players - it's about understanding how they fit into the style of play and the ethos.

"Gini Wijnaldum is a great example - you would not have thought he would end up playing as a number six and rarely scoring or assisting.

Listen to the full podcast with transfer and analytics experts Five Yards by clicking HERE

"Going forward, it is about understanding where the market underrates players and where it overrates them so you can take advantage.

"It is about keeping pushing the boundaries and looking for edges in the market.

"It seems at the moment that players are coming through earlier than before - players at 17 and 18 playing in the Champions League which it does not feel was happening as much three or four years ago.

"Maybe those players will become overvalued and then maybe you can start looking at 23-year-olds again.

"There is always a move towards certain areas of the market - Ligue 2 in France had a period of it after the Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante transfers where everyone thought that was then the place to look.

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"It is more about being smart and not overvaluing certain areas - you need to look where other people are not looking.

"You also need a price you are prepared to pay and then not go over it - when Nicolas Pepe went to Arsenal, there was a feeling among Liverpool fans of 'we want Pepe'.

"I don't know if Liverpool were ever in for him, but they would not deal at that price.

"There was frustration with Nabil Fekir as well but they would not take a chance on him."

As well as finding the area that other clubs are not looking at yet, Liverpool are excellent at only paying a certain fee that they feel is a player's value.

For the former element, Liverpool's move towards younger signings like Kaide Gordon and Sepp van den Berg is the perfect example, though that strategy something that could change if those players begin to become targeted by other clubs, therefore driving the price up.

Chelsea forward Timo Werner is the evidence that Liverpool will only pay a valuation that they believe is the right one at the right time, and nothing more.

Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp.jpg 

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And scouting and transfer expert Rogers believes that even after Klopp has moved on from Anfield, the Liverpool backroom structure is perfectly set up for the process to continue to evolve.

"It is hard to know exactly how much influence Klopp has on transfers but I think they have the structure to continue to pick the right players and find value in the market," Rogers added.

"People are trying to catch up - even Luton have hired someone on the data side in the last couple of weeks. But Liverpool have a big team and a big advantage already.

"Liverpool have an experienced team and it will take a while for other clubs to catch up. Manchester United don't have a big analytics team and these things take time.

"People talk about data but it is more about having the right people to understand it, and then give them the power to make decisions."