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Squad turnover: South America king of change

The 290th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks clubs from 87 top divisions worldwide according to the number of players fielded in domestic league matches since January 2015. The highest value was recorded for the Colombian side of Deportivo Pasto (176 different players), while the lowest one was measured for Shanghai SIPG in China (44 players).

South American clubs are over-represented among those with the highest squad turnover: 7 in the top 10 positions and 14 in the top 20. Conversely, many top-flight European teams are among those who fielded the least different players in domestic league matches since January 2015, such as Manchester City (52), Real Madrid (54) and Bayern Munich (59).

Generally speaking, the richest leagues are not those where clubs change the most players. The average number of players fielded per club and season varies between 38.7 in the Paraguayan top division and 22.1 in the San Marino one. The highest values in Europe were recorded in Romania (30.5 players per club and season) and Croatia (30.2).

Pandemic: 28% loss on players’ transfer value

The coronavirus pandemic is heavily impacting the football industry. Issue number 289 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the gaps in the players’ estimated transfer value in the event that no matches will be played and no contract will be extended until the end of June. As such, the total player transfer value at big-5 league level would decrease by 28%: from €32.7 to €23.4 billion.

The extent of the decrease varies according to several factors such as the players’ age, contract duration, career path and recent performance. The greatest loss in relative terms concerns ageing footballers with short-term contracts who played fewer matches during current season than in the previous one. As matter of example, Paul Pogba’s estimated transfer value would almost halve from €65M to €35M.

The greatest potential percentage loss per club was measured for Olympique de Marseille: -38%. Conversely, the lowest one was recorded for another French Ligue 1 team: Stade Brestois (-16%). The values presented have been calculated on the basis of the exclusive CIES Football algorithm. The transfer value ranges for big-5 league footballers before the league shutdown are available here.

Most expensive youngsters: Sancho and Håland at the top

Two Borussia Dortmund players head the rankings of big-5 league footballers born in or after 2000 with the highest transfer values according to the CIES Football Observatory algorithm: Jadon Sancho and Erling Håland. The Englishman is valued at almost €200 M and the Norwegian at €101 M. While the value of Sancho probably reached its peak, that of Håland is destined to grow. The top 50 list is available for free in issue number 288 of the Weekly Post.

The Real Madrid’s attacking duo Rodrygo and Vinícius have the third and fourth highest estimated values: €89 M and €74 M respectively. Both Brazilians also have a high potential for progression. With four nationals, England is the most represented origin in the top 10: Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi (5th, €72 M), Mason Greenwood (8th, €50 M) and Phil Foden (9th, also €50 M).

With an estimated value of €53 M, the French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga (Stade Rennais) is the youngest player in the top 10. Another footballer born in 2002, Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona) is worth more than €40 M. The value ranges for all big-5 league footballers is freely available here. The 53rd Monthly Report presents the variables and approach developed by the CIES Football Observatory research team to assess the transfer value of footballers on a scientific basis.

Squad valuation: six clubs over one billion

The 287th edition of the Weekly Post ranks clubs from the five major European leagues according to the value on the transfer market of players under contract. The analysis takes into account the 20 players per club with the highest values as per the algorithm exclusively developed by the CIES Football Observatory research team.

With an aggregated value of €1.4 billion, Liverpool heads the table. Jürgen Klopp’s team outranks Manchester City, the two Spanish giants (Barcelona and Real Madrid) and Chelsea. The valuation of the latter team has strongly increased thanks to the outbreak of many young talents following the transfer ban imposed by FIFA to the London club. The German side Paderborn is at the bottom of the table.

The estimate ranges for all of the big-5 league players with a sufficient level of professional experience are freely available here. The 53rd Monthly Report presents the variables included in the statistical model developed by the CIES Football Observatory to assess the transfer values of professional footballers on a scientific basis.

Most precocious players: Donnarumma and Hazard at the top

The 286th CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks current big-5 league players according to the age at which they have reached 50, 100, 200 and 300 caps in these competitions. The Milan AC goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma leads the 50 and 100-match tables, while the Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard is at the top for the 200 and 300-match rankings.

Gianluigi Donnarumma played his 50th game in the big-5 even before his 18th birthday, and the 100th at 19.2 years of age only! In both cases, he outranks another goalkeeper, the French Alban Lafont (FC Nantes). The Basque Iker Muniain (Athletic Club) is the outfield footballer having reached the earliest the 50 and 100 caps in the big-5: at 18.2 and 19.8 years of age respectively.

Eden Hazard holds the records of precocity for both the 200 and 300 big-5 league matches. The Belgian was only 23 years old when he played his 200th game in the five major European championships. He is the only player currently in the big-5 who reached his 300th cap before 26 years of age. Five additional footballers played 300 games before their 27th birthday: James Milner, Moussa Sissoko, Iker Muniain, Miralem Pjanić and Cesc Fàbregas.

Big chances created: a fabulous four headed by Messi

Issue number 285 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post highlights the players who created the most big chances for their teammates in big-5 league matches over three different periods: last year, last three years and last five years. Lionel Messi is clearly at the head of the tables for the last five and three years, while Ángel Di María tops the last-year rankings.

According to the data from OptaPro, over the five past years, Lionel Messi created a big chance every 90 minutes. The frequency of big chances created by the Argentinean went even up during the last year (87 minutes). This clearly indicates that the Barcelona prodigy is far from being on the downhill slope of his career.

At the second and third positions for the different periods analysed are Ángel Di María and Kevin de Bruyne for the last five years, Thomas Müller and Kevin de Bruyne for the past three, as well as Thomas Müller and Lionel Messi for the last one. During last year, besides Lionel Messi, three other players have created at least one big chance every 90 minutes: Thomas Müller (every 72 minutes), Ángel Di María (82 minutes) and Kevin de Bruyne (every 87 minutes). This is the fab four for chance creation!

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