by Andrew Crawshaw
I have come across a couple of interesting pieces of analysis recently from the Swiss CIES Observatory. This is an organisation which publishes weekly articles covering one or another aspect of the European (predominantly) football scene.
Their report 227 has their take on the top 100 players in the top 5 European leagues (players have to have done more than 1800 minutes, 1440 for Germany).
The Premier League has 30 players in the list, Bayern Munich have the highest number with 11. Marc-André Stegen is the highest ranked goalkeeper, Nicolás Otamendi is the highest ranking Defender, David Silva, Midfielder and Lionel Messi the highest ranked player overall and the highest forward.
How have our players rated compared with out EPL competitors? Here is a table showing the players from each of the top 6 clubs with their ranking position and performance value:-
|Arsenal||Man City||Man United||Tottenham||Liverpool||Chelsea|
|Granit Xhaka||David Silva||Paul Pogba||Harry Kane||Mohammed Salah||Eden Hazard|
|Mesut Özil||Sergio Agüero||Eric Dier||Jordan Henderson||N’Golo Kanté|
|Skhodran Mustafi||Nicolás Otamendi||Mousa Dembélé||Dejan Lovren||César Azpilicueta|
|Nacho Monreal||Luiz Ferdandinho||Christian Eriksen||Joël Matip|
|Kevin de Brune||Jan Vertonghen||Emre Can|
|Raheem Stirling||Davinson Sánchez||Sadio Mané|
|Kyle Walker||Heung-Min Son||Roberto Firminho|
So Manchester City have eight of the top 100 players (all in the top 30 and 6 in the top 10), Spurs and Liverpool have 7 each we have four, Chelsea three and United one. None of the other Premier League clubs have any players in this list.
Our highest rated players come in at 63 and 64, behind all of City’s players and four of Liverpool’s.
It is also sanguine to point out that our top three players are all ones who the club are continually being demanded to sell. Xhaka, Özil, and Mustafi all regularly feature as players who should be cast aside. Whilst none are perfect it would seem stupid to sell and try to replace them. It must be easier to coach them into marginal improvements that should see them featuring higher up the equivalent top 100 table at the end of next season.
The table does show that we have some way to go over Man City, Liverpool and Spurs, all of whom have more players in this list and ones nearer the top. As United and Chelsea fare even worse than us in this metric and will almost certainly have larger transfer budgets we will have to be smart in the next 12 months to improve significantly.
Moving on now to squad values
The CIES weekly report 226 has some figures on this – at least in terms of average squad values (and I can’t see quickly how they derived the figures but it certainly will have been done on a consistent basis). They are bound to have featured, player age, performance and length of contract but are naturally keeping the details to themselves.
Here are the figures (€m per player) for the top clubs in each of the top 5 European leagues. For brevity I have stopped when I got to values lower than €10m per player:-
|1||Man City – 62.9||Barca – 55.3||PSG – 39.1||Juve – 30.7||Bayern – 25.4|
|2||Spurs – 51.3||A Madrid – 41.8||Monaco – 22.5||Napoli – 29.3||Leipzig – 19.3|
|3||Liverpool 43.6||R Madrid – 35.2||Lyon – 17.6||Roma – 25.9||Leverkusen – 13.0|
|4||Chelsea – 40.7||Valencia – 17.0||Marseille – 11.4||Milan – 17.9||Dortmund – 11.6|
|5||Man U – 39.4||Seville – 13.2||Inter – 17.0|
|6||Arsenal – 24.8||Celta V – 10.8||Lazio – 14.2|
|7||Leicester – 15.6||Atalanta – 11.6|
|8||Everton – 14.6||Fiorentina – 11.3|
|9||Southampton – 11.2|
I do not know exactly how many players have been counted in each squad but, for the sake of calculations, if I work on 22 players for each of the squads, the values for the top 6 English squads are:-
- Manchester City – €1,383m
- Tottenham Hotspur – €1,128.6m
- Liverpool – €959.2m
- Chelsea – €895.4m
- Manchester United – €866.8m
- Arsenal €545.6m.
So City have a squad which is nearly three times as valuable as us (they have seven players rated at €100m plus) and also have the finance to increase that gap. Spurs have, in effect, won the lottery with their squad with a number of €100m plus players having come up through their academy or been bought for very little. Liverpool are enjoying a vast leap in value from some of their players. Chelsea and United have outspent us for some time and are both €300m more highly rated than us.
I don’t think that any of us expect to be able to buy the sorts of players to bridge the gap to those above us any time soon. Any improvement in squad value will have to come from internal solutions:-
- Better (or at least different) coaching to enable our players to maximise their potential
- The value that can be expected from those of out U21 players promoted into the squad
- Ensuring that our senior players have longer on their contracts (Wilshere at present will have zero value as is Ramsey (also listed as contract expiry 30/6/18 although I am certain it is 2019).
Finally a reminder of the only table that actually means anything the PL points table
- All of the Metrics I have referenced prove that we are a distance behind out major competitors in the Premier League and in danger of falling back still further.
- A clear measure of success for me will be shown at the end of next season if our player’s scores and values rise in the CIES Observatory reports and we have an improvement in our performances away from home (which should also see us nearer the league leaders)
- It will be unrealistic to expect anything better than a top four finish next year and, in all honesty, an improvement of a single place will be good going.
Elsewhere on Untold
- That question of negative runs: Klopp, Tottenham and who has won what
- Arsenal’s squad for next season, including home grown and under 21 status.
- How far do repeated negative appraisals of a team by the media affect players and fans?
- Arsenal the most penalised by refs among the current top four teams
- Mykhaylo Mudryk now listed in 17 different articles as coming to Arsenal!
- Arsenal attacking problems… what attacking problems?
- Men’s football returns at last: Arsenal in action this afternoon
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?