By Tony Attwood
Our correspondent in Switzerland has just come up with the calculation that the English players in the top level of the academy at Arsenal outnumber the non-English by two to one. The suggestion is that there is some serious forward thinking going on, judging by the way the transfer market is going.
That serious forward thinking relates to the possible restrictions on the Premier League from 2019/20 onwards when the free movement of players registered with European countries will be stopped, and all such players will be subject to import restrictions. At this time, English players will once more be at a premium.
For the moment however there is little such restriction, and the number of English citizens who are moving between clubs in Europe for the highest of prices seems very limited. I think three out of the 31 transfers listed below involve an English player.
What the tables show us is that there clearly does seem to be one price structure for selling to a Premier League club, and one for selling to any other club.
We’ll deal with the explanations as to why this is so in a moment. But first I decided to have a quick look at the cost of players across three leagues: the ten most expensive players sold to Premier League clubs, the same for Spanish clubs and again for German clubs.
Of course this is not scientific – we’d need to do many more analyses for this, but it is an indicator – a suggestion based on some data, the selection of which looks reasonable. The hypothesis is that in Spain and Germany players cost far less irrespective of where they come from.
Which raises the question: why should any Premier League club sell to a club in Germany or Spain? And the answer is… because they don’t want a Premier League club to have their star players, even if selling abroad reduces the price.
This might be a suicidal approach to finances, but first let’s see if this basic level of analysis fits the hypothesis.
Top Premier League buys
|2||Kyle Walker||Tottenham||Manchester City||£50m|
|4||Bernardo Silva||Monaco||Manchester City||£43.6m|
|8||Victor Lindelof||Benfica||Manchester United||£31m|
The other explanation is that if it is an English team buying then the price goes up because everyone knows the English have the money.
Over time we’ll see.
The Index of Indexes
- The In Index: All the players tipped to be joining Arsenal this summer
- The Out Index: All the players tipped to be leaving Arsenal this summer
- The Purchase Index: All this summer’s player buying by the top 10 clubs of last season
- The Loan Index: The top clubs compared in terms of players loaned out
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- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
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