Attacking players: have the top clubs already mopped up the talent?

By Andrew Crawshaw

In the last article we looked at the link between winning the league and having the top defenders in the side.

The overall figures gave us the number of top players for the top teams in the league.

England France Germany Italy Spain
Man City – 8 PSG – 7 Bayern – 11 Juve – 3 Barca – 10
Man United – 1 Monaco – 0 Shalke – 0 Napoli – 7 Athletico – 1
Tottenham – 7 Lyon – 5 Hoffenheim – 0 Roma – 2 Real – 4
Liverpool – 7 Marseille – 4 Dortmund – 1 Inter – 3 Valencia – 1
Chelsea – 3 Bordeaux – 1 Bayer Leverkusen – 0 Lazio – 2 Villareal – 0
Arsenal – 4 St Etienne – 0 Leipzig – 0 Milan – 2 Real Betis – 0

In that article we went on to look at defensive players.  Now we turn to attackers.

Attacking Midfield 

There are surprisingly few of this type of player in the top 100 – only nine in total and Mesut comes in in seventh place.  Here are the top 5 with our players added for interest

Pos Player Club Score Transfer Value €m
32 Nabil Fekir Lyon 87.23 59.8
33 Florian Thauvin Marseille 87.15 82.3
33 Philippe Coutinho Barcelona 87.15 155.4
45 Dimitri Payet Marseille 86.37 12.6
59 Josip Iličić Atalanta 85.45 16.2
64 Mesut Özil Arsenal 85.23 58.3
Alex Iwobi Arsenal 80 34.3
Henrik Mkhitaryan Arsenal 78 25.4

And finally the forwards

Here are the top 10 and they are all expensive – ours are added at the bottom

Pos Player Club Score Transfer Value €m
1 Lionel Messi Barcelona 92.12 185.6
3 Paulo Dybala Juventus 91.37 163.4
4 Sergio Agüero Man City 90.48 97.8
6 Mohammed Salah Liverpool 90.45 168.0
9 Raheem Sterling Man City 89.76 153.5
10 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich 89.61 95.6
12 Harry Kane Spurs 89.02 198.7
16 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 88.58 106.8
16 Lorenzo Insigne Napoli 88.58 110.4
21 Edinson Cavani Paris SG 88.14 80.4
Piere-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 76 92.3
Andre Lacazette Arsenal 74 84.6
Lucas Perez 74 3.3
Danny Welbeck 65 13.7

Aubameyang in particular seems to be wrongly rated, the mid-season change in clubs is probably responsible.  Lacazette suffered with his mid season loss of form. 

Realistically we aren’t going to have the money for any big name additions to our strike-force.  Neither Lucas Perez or Danny Welbeck look likely to provide any real threat to the two main men.  It will be interesting to see how our youngsters do in pre-season to see if they can cement a full-time place in the squad for next season.

Finally sorting the data-set by age – there are only a few players under the age of 25 who are likely to be affordable on our rumoured transfer budget:-

Pos Player Club Position Score Transfer Value €m
86 Memphis Depay Lyon Forward 84.40 10.4
49 André-Franc Zambo Marseille DM 86.07 24.3
92 Malcom Filipe Bordeaux Forward 84.23 30.2
62 Hakan Çalhanoglu Milan AM 85.28 32.6
96 Mariano Díaz Lyon Forward 84.12 33.4
56 Presnel Kimpembe Paris SG CB 85.50 34.5
93 Tanguy Ndombélé Lyon DM 84.22 35.2
22 Adrien Rabiot Paris SG DM 88.12 36.2

Ignoring age there are a number of under €20m bargains that might be available whom I’m sure that some of the PL clubs will be looking at, including in this chart both the defensive and attacking players…

Pos Player Age Club Position Score Transfer Value €m
47 Marcio Rafinha 32 Bayern Munich FB 86.29 2.8
24 Dani Alves 35 Paris SG FB 87.66 4.5
31 Arjen Robben 34 Bayern Munich Forward 87.29 6.6
65 Borja Valero 33 Inter Milan Forward 85.22 8.4
42 Giorgio Chellini 33 Juventus CB 86.56 8.5
38 Thiago Silva 33 Paris SG CB 86.96 9.2
85 Ömer Toprak 28 Dortmund CB 84.43 10.3
86 Memphis Depay 24 Lyon Forward 84.40 10.4
84 Lucas Biglia 32 Milan DM 84.48 10.4
75 Mario Balotelli 27 Nice Forward 84.84 10.6
54 Jean Seri 26 Nice DM 85.62 11.6
41 Javi Martinez 29 Bayern Munich DM 86.65 12.0
45 Dimitri Payet 31 Marseille AM 86.37 12.6
36 Jérôme Boateng 29 Bayern Munich CB 87.05 13.5
39 Arturo Vidal 31 Bayern Munich DM 86.94 14.0
73 Luiz Gustavo 30 Marseille DM 84.98 15.4
90 Diego Demme 26 Leipzig DM 84.29 16.1
59 Josip Iličić 30 Atalanta AM 85.45 16.2
19 Raúl Abiol 32 Napoli CB 88.46 16.2
99 Nacho Monreal 32 Arsenal CB 84.06 16.2
97 Adem Ljajić 26 Torino AM 84.08 16.7
66 Mousa Dembélé 30 Tottenham DM 85.21 18.5

Looking at the number of players that Arsenal have who are in the top reaches of the ranking, the cost of players who are in those top positions, and the comparatively moderate amount of money available to the club to spend, on this data alone it looks like Arsenal are indeed going to be buying in older players, as the initial transfer rumours have stated.

In the third and final part of this series we will have a look at how some clubs seem to have done well, without having a large number of players at the very top of the game, and how Arsenal might be able to move up the league, even without spending a fortune.



2 Replies to “Attacking players: have the top clubs already mopped up the talent?”

  1. Arsenal will move up the League next season even to the top of it as the no.1 at end of the season’s campaign. But this can only be achieved if they get their apt correctly. Correctly in the sense by investing wisely during this summer players transfer market window to buy very top quality players at subdued prices who are not being pursued by their Premier League Title win rival club sides for their not being in the limelight of players transfer saga. But are very good players who can impact a great turnaround of Arsenal season to good fortunes next season’s campaign for Arsenal in all campaigns leading to the Gunners winning the League Cup as a rehearsal to win the PL Title and the Europa League Cup. Therefore, Arsenal should not bother about the huge amount of cash being splashed around and will still be splashed around in the transfer market by their PL Title win rival clubs to buy the top quality players they want.

    Arsenal having look to be signing Sokratis from Dortmund this summer to instil defensive discipline at the heart of the Gunners back line next season but if they conclude the signing. But one more centreback signing for this same arear in the squad should still be done this summer for option and cover. However, I will ought in for a 2nd centreback signing this summer who is still in his prime and not a veteran.

    I think the Diamond Eye, Sven Mislintat the Gunners recruiter should focus his Diamond Eye to other club sides apart from BVB Dortmund his former club to see well and fisih out not only that 2nd centreback signing this summer after Sokratis might have been signed. But he should also allow his scouting acumen to focus very well to see and pullout a two footed playmaker/holding midfielder for Arsenal to sign this summer. A two footed playmaker/holding midfielder who is a hidden top quality at a top or lower top club side but who is not yet being focused on for signing by Arsenal 5 PL Title win rival clubs. And also fish out a top quality striker for Arsenal to sign him this summer for productive option and cover in the 18 and not just being a squad player to make up the numbers but ineffective and unproductive in regular goals scoring venture for Arsenal.

  2. While having an owner with lots of money is recommended in order for a team to become a top team in a bifurcated league, it may not be necessary. I pointed to a Brazilian study on modeling football leagues, which looked at some leagues where bifurcation has taken place.

    Long ago, one could see one affect of having a rich top team, in that it would go cherry picking good players from other teams in the same league. This isn’t necessarily done because the rich team needed them or to better the player at the poorer teams, it was probably more done just to keep them from interfering with the “natural run of games” where the rich team wins most of the time.

Comments are closed.