Pre-COVID-19, there were some big transfer fees being mooted. Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona for €115m? Jadon Sancho to Man United for €120m?
Now, more than ever, player valuations will be a major talking point and teams can't risk spending a significant sum only for the deal to be far from worth it.
But put simply, what does it mean when we say a player is 'worth it'?
Typical responses can tend to be highly subjective and often biased by
many hidden factors through common fallacies or club allegiances.
So let's take a look at attackers in the Premier League and attempt to focus on the quantitative angle.
We are simply looking for undervalued players based on some very simple data points.
WHAT IS VALUE?
We will use expected goals and assists data in order to assess the number of contributions a player would reasonably have been expected to make in the Premier League in 2019/20.
We will also utilise the current market value of each player (transfermarkt data from December 2019, before the coronavirus market crash).
Expected Goals and assists are not the only ways that a player can contribute to a team, but they help to paint a picture of the extent to which a player is involved in his team's attack. And utilising transfer valuation allows us to assess which players are offering the most for their side despite their value.
Note: we will exclude players that have not played the requisite number of minutes to allow for effective valuation.
So which players performances in the goal and assists metric would deem them to be overvalued?
BEST-VALUE FORWARDS IN EPL
|Player||Value||Expected Contributions||Cost Per Cont.|
- David McGoldrick's woes in front of goal are well-documented - he hasn't actually scored a Premier League goal this season - but he has been very much in the think of the action and he's been a little unfortunate in terms of the chances he has squandered - Sheffield United fans are delighted with his contribution.
- Teemu Pukki's goals may ultimately not be enough to keep Norwich in the division but his modest fee means his regular input to the team is worth a great deal - just over €500k for every expected contribution.
- Troy Deeney and Jay Rodriguez aren't far behind Pukki in terms of what they bring to their teams in respect of their perceived valuations.
- Jamie Vardy's continued importance to Leicester even at the age of 33, providing a contribution for just every €1m of his worth.
- The conclusion is that hundreds of millions of euros doesn't need to be spent on attacking talent in order to make a Premier League impact - money simply needs to be spend in an effective manner.