This is an interesting debate. Is it better to recruit high potential talent that you can invest in to make superstar employees OR should you open up your company's bank account and go straight for the end products now?
I am not sure if there is a right or a wrong answer. In professional footballing terms, we can compare the 2 differing strategies of Liverpool FC and Manchester United. For years, under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United were always a club that invested in its academy, taught young players "the Man Utd way" and brought them through into the first team. The class of 92 is an example of where their academy approach succeeded and provided a solid foundation for the club to dominate English football for so many years. Interestingly, since Ferguson's retirement, the club seem to keep changing their talent strategy depending on the manager's philosophy. I would say that they have tried to buy success in recent years if you consider the transfers of Pogba, Fred, Maguire and Sanchez and it really hasn't delivered any kind of success. OGS seems to have taken a blended approach, promoting youth from their academy with expensive additions such as Bruno Fernandes so let's see what happens.
On the other hand, Liverpool's owners FSG have been long term advocates of "money ball" where they invest in well qualified high potential players. The list is endless with the likes of Robertson, Gomez, Matip and then the relatively modest c.£30 million acquisitions of Salah, Mane and Oxlade-Chamberlain. This approach has already delivered the Champions' League, World Club Cup and soon the Premier League.
So, in your opinion, which is the better route to achieve your business objectives? Both have risks but perhaps the Liverpool route, whilst it has no guarantee of succeeding, is less risky and has more opportunity of accelerating the value of your team. Just like Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool have created a team that is now worth considerably more than the money they have invested in it. Whereas Manchester United's team are likely to be valued lower than the investment they have made and they have nothing to show for it.
I would say that most of our clients are currently taking the Liverpool approach, recruiting high potential employees and supporting them with robust training and development, a lot of career runway and it seems to work well. The key here is investing in a strategy to retain this talent pool. Attracting them is the easy part!
It is a little over two years since Jadon Sancho made his first league start for Borussia Dortmund but such is the club's commitment to youth, they are already talking about two even younger players to highlight their approach. In December, Sancho became the youngest player to reach 22 Bundesliga goals, having already become the youngest Dortmund player to score 10 league goals in a single campaign in 2018-19. His arrival from Manchester City for £10m in 2017 without playing a first-team game for the Blues is in line with Dortmund's recruitment policy. The German club stand to make a massive profit if, as expected, 19-year-old Sancho leaves in the summer for a fee likely to be in excess of £100m.