With transfer fees spiralling out of control, scouts have become even more crucial for football clubs.
They are often tasked to pluck relatively unknown players from obscurity in the hope they can go on to become a first-team player.
It’s a process that could earn the club a lot of money when they're sold or, better still, land them a quality player for a minimal fee.
Of course, this becomes a lot of harder for big clubs in the Premier League.
Signing a player good enough for a small fee can prove to be extremely difficult, indeed.
But who is the biggest bargain in the Premier League era?
Well, that’s the question the Mirror have been asking football fans.
They allowed fans to vote on 15 of the best bargains the Premier League has ever seen - and it created a rather interesting top 10.
TOP 10 PREMIER LEAGUE BARGAINS
So, here’s the Premier League’s top 10 biggest bargains as voted by fans:
1. James Milner: Manchester City to Liverpool - Free
2. Philippe Coutinho - Inter Milan to Liverpool: £8.5m
3. N’Golo Kante: Caen to Leicester - £5.6m
4. Xabi Alonso - Real Sociedad to Liverpool - £10.5m
5. Patrick Viera: AC Milan to Arsenal - £3.5m
6. Peter Schmeichel: Brondby to Manchester United: £505,000
7. Eric Cantona: Leeds to Manchester United - £1.2m
8. Robin Van Persie: Feyenoord to Arsenal - £2.75m
9. Vincent Kompany: Hamburg to Manchester City - £6m
10. Seamus Coleman: Sligo Rovers to Everton: £60,000
So, three of the top four biggest bargains have been signed by Liverpool. The less said about the likes of Steward Downing, Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli the better.
The five players just missing out on a top 10 slot were:
Frank Lampard: West Ham to Chelsea - £11m
Dele Alli: MK Dons to Tottenham - £5m
Cesar Azpilicueta: Marseille to Chelsea - £7m
Nemanja Vidic: Spartak Moscow to Manchester United - £7m
Ashley Cole: Arsenal to Chelsea - £5mNews Now - Sport News