Soccerex Transfer Review 2016-17 testifies to Premier League’s dominance in Europe and claims that most of the big-buys remain underutilized on field.
The Soccerex Transfer Review by Prime Time Sport has made some exceedingly incisive observations on the recently closed transfer window which saw one of the highest signings ever.
It claims that in a follow-up to the new and highly profitable TV rights contracts as well as the entry of new investors, Premier League has established its dominance on European football with a 16% growth. While Serie A is in the second place, Bundesliga has replaced La Liga at the third spot.
The review reveals that despite the drastic fall in the value of pound sterling post Brexit, the English Championship (EFL Championship now) still saw an 80% rise in player investments, amounting to a massive €247 million. It states that this amount is ‘five times more than all other second division leagues combined’.
With the Premier League, Manchester United and Manchester City top the list of European investment rankings with their respective ventures of €185 million and €174 million, dominated of course by the Pogba signing which remains the most expensive in football history.
Be that as it may, one of the standout features of the report is its scathing analysis of these investments over the past four years with respect to players’ utility, highlighting the possibly scatter-shot nature of these strategies. The report reveals that €95o million worth of players, 42% of whom were bought for more than €10 million, were used in less than 50% of the game time.
Of all the contracts exceeding €10 million, 34% of the players had already left the concerned club. The report states that, ‘22% of total investment of last 4 seasons was made on footballers that played less than 50% of minutes and 14% was spent on players that are no longer in the sides.’
With respect to individual players, the analysis suggests that Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi was the most profitable signing of this season as the Argentinian played in 78% minutes of the Premier League games. Also successful was Manchester United’s Anthony Martial who comes second with 77% playing minutes.
On the flip-side, Christian Benteke emerged as one of the worst among the expensive signings for any team in the Premier League with his playing minutes only being a paltry 44%. Liverpool had signed the Belgian from Aston Villa for €47 million. Benteke only contributed for the Reds in 44% of their playing time, before moving to Crystal Palace in August.
With huge amounts of money flying around during the transfer windows, which are constantly increasing every year as the report shows, these analyses go a long way in showing the connection between player worth and their utility, thereby finding a pattern in the chaos.