Get the latest news and insights from 21st Club

Please read our Privacy Policy carefully to understand how we use your data. You can opt-out of our marketing communication at any time.

Player trading

Currently browsing: Player trading
  • 10 May 2018

    The easiest loss to take

    Spot the link between club, person and season:

    Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Kagawa (2012-13)

    Atlético Madrid and Radamel Falcao (2013-14)

    Juventus and Antonio Conte (2014-15)

    Atlético Madrid and Arda Turan (2015-16)

    Juventus and Paul Pogba (2016-17)

    Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho (2017-18)

    The answer, obviously: the player or coach left that club during or at the start of that season. Eagle-eyed readers will […]

  • 03 May 2018

    Changing the food chain

    With unprecedented levels of inequality in football, a clear hierarchy of both clubs and leagues has been established. While between 1986 and 1988 clubs from Romania, Sweden, Scotland and Belgium were represented in European finals alongside clubs from the continent’s bigger countries, between 2016 and 2018 pretty much all spots have been reserved for teams […]

  • 07 Sep 2017

    High-frequency trading

    As the dust settles from another chaotic transfer period, it’s important to assess how things went during the window. While it may take some time to evaluate our new signings, it is possible to evaluate our processes: the steps that led to all the bids, negotiations, and deals done.

    In our own review of the […]

  • 06 Apr 2017

    The impact manager

    We know from our research that, in the long run, managerial changes on average make little difference to the performance of a team. That isn’t to say, however, that smart hires can’t turn a struggling team around.

    When we look through our database of managers who did improve performance in their first 20 matches in charge, […]

  • 19 Jan 2017

    The endowment effect

    At this time of year, it is worth remembering that there is a sizeable disconnect between the number of transfer rumours reported, and the number of trades that actually occur.

    One simple explanation for this is that the level of evidence required to legitimately report a ‘rumour’ is very low. Another is that the rumours may […]

  • 01 Dec 2016

    The overvalued asset

    Imagine that this winter your squad had a player who you believed to be overvalued. Perhaps he’s a “Match of the Day player” who you suspect doesn’t contribute as much as his highlights suggest. He might be a defender who makes last-ditch tackles that only give away corners, or an ageing player who is enjoying […]

  • 10 Nov 2016

    How many players do we need?

    Implicit in all the decisions around player trading and youth promotion is a prediction about the depth of squad needed to compete during the season. Some clubs hope to go deep in all competitions, others are content at prioritising the league.

    Given the average footballer’s annual pay is a deeply material cost to the club, it […]

  • 22 Sep 2015

    The cost of going nowhere

    Problem-solving in football has become synonymous with money. If results aren’t good enough, cheques will be signed for new players and coaching staff, with cheaper and weaker recycled for dearer and perceivably stronger.But how often is there a benefit to all this cost? Have teams going through these same processes improved or simply gone in circles?
  • 24 Oct 2014

    A framework for squad evolution

    With 71 days until the January transfer window opens, many teams are beginning to tilt the blinds and assess their options. The winter window is very much ‘level 2’ in the game that is transfer dealings - gone are the summer comforts of infrequent matches and ample negotiating time; enter injuries, premium prices and an all-or-nothing approach.