I didn't want to talk about this in the other thread because I thought it would be disrespectful so I'll put it here.
Niasse is the most embarrassing transfer I've ever seen from Everton. Overpriced, lacking in ability, and if the assault allegations turn out to be true, a nasty character too (even if he's professional in training and gives his all on the pitch). Whoever pushed for this, and I assume it was the scouting team and the manager working together, should be ashamed. Maybe our transfer team saw major potential in him despite his flaws (a trend under Martinez, see: Besic, Funes Mori) but potential isn't enough to drive a transfer. The Besic deal was okay because we paid so little and he's shown flashes of excellence. Funes Mori was bad because we got poor value and he appears to have major defensive deficiencies (the types of issues that not even the much maligned Stones has exhibited in our terrible system). The Niasse deal was atrocious because we got awful value and he could hardly even play for months upon arrival (and things don't seem to be trending up).
sporting director will sort these problems out. And the italicized good
is crucial because there are a lot of crap sporting directors, many of whom have already been mentioned in this thread. A good sporting director is (1) adept at spotting talent (with the help of the scouting team) and (2) [the most important part] understands value
. Martinez's transfer team was iffy with (1) and downright bad with (2). The next manager might be better on both counts but it's always a crapshoot when you rely on managers.
Given that most managers only last 2/3 years per appointment, it would be a major benefit to club to have someone clever in charge of personnel decisions. So basically the opposite of Joe Kinnear. Even someone like Begiristain (City) would make me uneasy as he has a poor record of getting value on big transfers (Bony, Mangala, Otamendi, etc.). Baldini (Spurs) has made some poor choices (mostly Soldado) but Spurs' recruitment has been strong overall -- even players they've sold, like Capoue and Sigurdsson, have been very good elsewhere.
I think a sporting director would be good for Everton provided the club does its due diligence and finds someone with football and business know how, plus the skills to get everyone beneath him in the club's hierarchy pulling together (scouts, coaches, etc.).
Edit: Monchi (Sevilla) and Christian Heidel* (formerly Mainz, soon to be Schalke) are the sorts of appointments we should aspire to.
* Shout out to @Alfie Noakes
for putting him on my radar.