As James Rodriguez’s volleyed shot flew past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal four years ago, the football world instinctively knew he had earned a move to one of Europe’s superclubs. Barely three weeks later, James was unveiled as a Real Madrid player, for a cost of €76m before his first pay cheque.
We all know […]
After reviewing the year that has been, we’ve made some predictions for 2018:
Don’t expect miracles, Liverpool
The world’s most expensive defender, Virgil van Dijk, will have a limited impact on Liverpool’s defensive output. Our Player Contribution model expects the Reds to concede 2 fewer goals per season with the Dutchman as a regular starter. In truth, […]
The January transfer window is well-known to be a chaotic period, with circumstance rather than planning being a key driver of activity.
The general perception is that a good window can turn performance around; we can all think of examples of teams that spent significantly on new players, and saw an improvement in results. The bigger […]
Football’s global reach means the sport is uniquely positioned as having many high-quality leagues dotted around the world. Therefore unlike in the NBA or NFL – which are effectively closed leagues – understanding how performance translates across leagues is one of the single biggest challenges a club can face.
This is particularly true when looking […]
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 […]
As European football restarts after the summer break, club’s’ performance expectations have been realigned based on the extent of their offseason spending.
While it is true that signings can often have a significant impact on a team, the points value of a new signing is generally overstated. One of the reasons for this is that league […]
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, […]
In the final stages of the transfer window, where we might have three or four options to pursue, we are often faced with a deluge of information. It’s the result of days, weeks, and months of data and anecdotes collected from scouts, analysts, and external sources like the media.
Imagine, for example, that these are some […]
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 […]
Now the summer window has closed and new signings are bedding in, it is a good time to reflect on the recent transfer activity. As well as the headline numbers, the variation in fees paid for similar players has given us pause for thought.
So how do we know that c. £33m is a fair price […]