Che Adams' old boss Kevin Wilson condemns 'DVD' scouts

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Che Adams (centre)
Che Adams (centre) celebrates his second goal in Sheffield United's 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Bramall Lane

The manager who discovered Sheffield United's Che Adams at non-league Ilkeston has criticised Football League clubs for "scouting by DVD".

Kevin Wilson spotted Adams, 18, at a trial in Leicester two years ago. He said managers should start searching the grass-roots for talent again.

"The aggressive scouting has gone out of the window now," he said.

Adams came off the bench to score twice in the League Cup semi-final with Tottenham at Bramall Lane.

It was only his fourth appearance for Sheffield United since Blades manager Nigel Clough gave him a two-year deal in November, after a £100,000-plus move from Ilkeston, who are pushing for promotion from the Evo-Stik League Premier Division.

Five current Premier League players with a non-league past
Charlie Austin (Current club: QPR. Career started: Kintbury Rangers)
Chris Smalling (Manchester United and Maidstone)
Ben Foster (West Brom and Racing Club Warwick)
Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace and Stansted)
Ashley Williams (Swansea and Hednesford)

"A lot of people look at DVDs instead of going out and having a look at the grass roots," said Wilson.

He added that "scouting by DVD takes the leg work out, but we are under 30% of players in the Premier League being English and we wonder why our game is deteriorating.

"There are still quite a few players out there now capable of coming through. They are just not getting their chance."

Adams is not the only player Wilson has found amongst the lower reaches of the game and then helped to cultivate their talent.

Kieran Wallace was a team-mate at Ilkeston before following Adams to Sheffield United and former Ilkeston winger Jake Mulraney left for Queens Park Rangers in December 2014.

Adams was discarded by Coventry before Wilson picked him up.

He then spent two years nurturing a player capable of operating at a much higher level than League One, where Sheffield United are currently.

"He can go all the way," said Wilson.

"I know he will be judged more when he is playing every game but the boy has got everything.

"He was always someone you could see could go on. He had the 'wow' factor.

"At one time I had 49 scouts and managers watching him. Sometimes they have to believe in their judgement.

"With Nigel helping him, I am sure Che can keep developing and in the end will prove to be a good buy."

Che Adams
Che Adams' former manager Kevin Wilson thinks the 18-year-old is going to the top.
Che Adams
On target: Che Adams scoring his first Sheffield United goal against Tottenham at Bramall Lane.
Che Adams (second right)
Che Adams (second right) celebrates his second goal in three minutes.
Che Adams
Che Adams applauds the Sheffield United supporters at the final whistle.