During the transfer window, every football fan has had a view on who their club sign - but it is the scouts who spark every deal, from multi-million pound purchases to short-term loan deals.
So who are these mysterious people who scour the globe for the next star? The Art of Scouting - a three-part series - lifts the lid on an ordinarily hidden world.
"No one knows who they are but everyone thinks they know what they do," explains Mike Calvin, the author of The Nowhere Men, a book about the talent spotters. "They’re out there in all weathers at all times. It’s a lifestyle. It’s not a career."
In episode one - which you can watch by clicking on the video above - scout Mel Johnson, who discovered the likes of Gareth Bale and Raheem Sterling, discusses his role, while MK Dons boss Karl Robinson shares a manager’s-eye view of the scouting world.
"The more games they see, the better they become," Robinson says. "There’s no good scout that’s only watched 10 games, that knows what he’s doing. I can promise you that. The ones I’m talking about have got thousands and thousands of games, listened to hundreds of managers and spoken to thousands of coaches."
Click on the video above to watch The Art of Scouting - Episode One, An Introduction to Scouting
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