By Tony Attwood
OK, I admit it. I know nothing about football.
When it was announced that the Football Observatory was publishing a new list of the 100 most valuable footballers according to their own special unique super-wonderful way of evaluating players my pal and I decided to test our knowledge of football.
The game we played was this: to work out the top five players in the Arsenal squad in terms of their value on the open market today without first looking at the Observatory results.
We talked about age, ability, difficulty of finding players in that position, likelihood of getting injured, etc etc and started out by putting the players in the order of value before actually giving values to them.
OK, everyone was going to put Alexis and Ozil in the top two. But what else?
I made a case of Iwobi being one of the most valuable in Arsenal’s team because of his amazing talent, the speed at which he has come through, his youth and the variety of positions he seems to be able to play.
My pal made the case for Koscielny, so solid, dependable, no fuss, not making fouls.
So there we are, we argued a bit and come up with our lists, which didn’t look at all like the Observatory’s list which ran like this (I’ve just added the commonly asserted cost of the players in each case).
- Alexis: 76.3m euros – cost: 36.13m euros
- Bellerin: 70.3m euros – cost: Nothing
- Mustafi: 60.5m euros – cost: 39.9m euros
- Ozil: 47.6m euros – cost: 47.88m euros
- Xhaka: 46m euros – cost: 34.2 euros
We didn’t have Xhaka in either list, and Mustafi turned up on one of the lists. As for Bellerin, yes he got one mention too, but our second most valuable player? No, we didn’t see that.
What is quite extraordinary is just how much profit is seemingly being made on these players. If they were to be sold at the prices quoted at the moment the profits would be…
- Alexis: 40.17m Euros
- Bellerin: 70.3m Euros
- Mustafi: 20.6m Euros
- Xhaka: 18.2m Euros
Of course I don’t want any of these players being sold, but given that Mr Wenger is endlessly portrayed as a man who is completely incapable of undertaking any sort of transfer deal properly, who buys the wrong players and dithers around and so fails to complete deals that should have been simple, it does seem strange.
Here is a man who knows nothing about transfers compared with the guys who write the bloggettas, and yet if these members of his squad were sold the club would get all their money back and make a profit of approaching 150m euros.
It is also interesting to look at Bellerin’s value and consider some of the comments made about the player after his first match against Borussia Dortmund. Not the comments that said he was young and had a lot to learn, but the ones that said there was no way he would ever be good enough, and suggested selling him now before he soaked up anything more in Arsenal wages.
Anyway, there it is. The conclusion was that either the Observatory have got it totally wrong or it was rather fortunate that we were not in charge of Arsenal’s transfer policy.
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