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Scouting has always been a fundamental part of football. While we are enjoying watching the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid, dedicated scouts are scouring local parks and pitches looking for the sport's next superstar.

The importance of scouting is reflected at the highest level, too, as elite clubs in the Premier League and beyond have their own sophisticated scouting network, dedicated to bringing the next big thing to their club.

Football has changed enormously in recent years but, thanks to vast technological and scientific advances, youth academies are continuing to produce potentially world-class talent by staying ahead of the curve.

But how do scouts operate? How are they so keen-eyed and what are their techniques to ensure they identify a talented player before a rival?

Daniel Fieldsend, who wrote the book The European Game: The Secrets of European Football Success, sits down with Football Whispers to discuss how clubs use scouts to find the best talent and how European philosophies compare to those in England.

Having been a scout for Liverpool, he reveals the secret to good scouting and highlights some of the more impressive examples of player development in Europe, including Feyenoord.

Fieldsend also offers his opinion on stats-based analysis as a method of scouting and reveals why the German youth system is able to produce players who can win the World Cup.

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