BOOM!(only joking) – Arsenal squad value revealed! by JS
I saw a brilliant article on another Arsenal forum that looked at a study produced by the Football Observatory site in which various player attributes are combined to work out the worth of the players, and these values are then aggregated to provide a valuation for the whole squad.
I reviewed the study myself but I have lazily followed the format of the article from Untold Arsenal, but have added a little of my own commentary. I thought it would provoke a bit of banter and give us a break from “transfer window fever”. For the astute amongst you it will be clear that the findings of this study will provide great ammunition for both the AOB and AKB factions – so everyone is a winner.
My personal over-arching conclusions are two-fold. Firstly that PL teams (not just Arsenal) are hugely under-performing in the UCL, but I do wonder how much the over-valuation of the British contingent is skewing the figures, put simply, all things being equal, a £20M British player is not as good as a £20M non-British player. My second conclusion is that Arsenal must be quite smooth operators in the transfer market and fairly smart in building squads – certainly from a business perspective (whether we have the right players to win things is a separate argument). The Arsenal squad actually cost around £200M, so a £336M valuation is not a bad return. By way of comparison, Chelsea’s squad cost around £380M.
The study also looks at the correlation between league position and squad value and perhaps not unsurprisingly finds that the top 4/5/6/7 places are taken up with the top 4/5/6/7 highest value squads in all the major leagues with very few exceptions. (I assume someone, somewhere will merge the squad valuation, transfer spend and wage bill data to provide one killer correlation statistical tool – I have not seen one to date. The correlations are shown to be strong already, we may get to the stage with even better predictive data where we may not then even have to play the season out – we will know in advance!) For anyone still wondering about the relative competitiveness of the PL and La Liga, Chelsea (PL champions 2014-15) has a squad valuation approximately 15.5 times that of Burnley (bottom placed team 2014-15). Barcelona has a valuation 77 times that of Cordoba!! 70% of the total value of the PL teams is tied up in the top 7. 70% of La Liga total value is tied up in the top 5 teams. Case closed really.
Anyhow, the individual player’s estimated market value takes in to account six main criteria:
And then adding in three team criteria:
This gives players’ notional values. I am not sure anyone is saying that each value is what the player will be sold for – because of course most of these players are not going to be sold, but even so it gives a bit of an insight.
According to this study, here are Europe’s most valuable squads:
1. Barcelona £491.0m
2. Chelsea £445.8m
3. Real Madrid £392.5m
4. Arsenal £335.6m
5. Liverpool £274.7m
6. Bayern München £272.8m
7. Manchester City £269.8m
8. Manchester United £243.1m
9. Tottenham £226.0m
10. Juventus £222.0m
I am not going to interpret or comment on this list here – but there are quite a few gobsmacking elements that maybe some of you will comment on rather than me leading the way. I am not going to make a case for how accurate or valid these valuations are but on the face of it the criteria is consistently applied throughout. Teams with maybe better players but with high average ages and perhaps many players near the end of their contracts will suffer by comparison – Man City is an obvious example. So who are the players who give us this valuation? In the table below the first number is the position of the player in the top 100 most valuable players. The figure in brackets is the date of the end of the contract and the figure at the end the estimated value. We can argue all day and all night about the accuracy but hey, that is what it is all about.
9. Alexis Sánchez. (2018) Age 26. £48.8-53.7m
40. Mesut Özil. (2018) Age 26. £24.6-27.0m
44. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. (2018) Age 21. £23.9-26.3m
46. Santi Cazorla. (2017) Age 30. £23.2-25.5m
47. Danny Welbeck. (2019) Age 24. £23.1-25.4m
49. Aaron Ramsey (2019) Age 24. £22.9-25.2m
60. Jack Wilshere (2018) Age 23. £20.5-22.6m
73. Olivier Giroud (2018) Age 28. £18.3-20.0m
85. Calum Chambers (2020) Age 20. £17.0-18.7m
There are a couple of sub-sections in the analysis where the site gives us the best performing players with one year left on their contract: –
1. Xabi Alonso (Bayern München)
2. Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
3. Patrice Evra (Juventus)
4. Nicolas N’Koulou (Marseille)
5. Carlos Tévez (Juventus)
6. Maxwell Scherrer
7. Pablo Piatti (Valencia)
8. Lars Stindl (Hannover)
9. Paulo Dybala (Palermo)
10. Dani Parejo (Valencia)
11. Zlatan Ibrahimović (PSG)
As for the best performing players at end of their contract they offer…
1. Dani Alves (Barcelona)
2. Jérémy Morel (Marseille)
3. Ludovic Baal (Lens)
4. André Ayew (Marseille)
5. Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco)
6. Rod Fanni (Marseille)
7. Christian Fuchs (Schalke)
8. Ignazio Abate (Milan)
9. Christian Maggio (Napoli)
10. Nigel de Jong (Milan)
With Wenger’s oft reported liking for a bargain I wonder if any of our transfer targets are buried in these lists!