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Top transfer value increases during last trimester

Issue number 243 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the top 20 tables for big-5 league players whose transfer values have increased the most during the last three months both in absolute and relative terms. At the head of the two rankings is the fresh English full international and Borussia Dortmund player Jadon Sancho: +€78 million and +806%.

Apart from Sancho, four players have seen their transfer value increase by more than €30M: João Cancelo (Juventus), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Richarlison (Everton) and Thilo Kehrer (Paris St-Germain). Many hot prospects are in the top 20 list of players whose value has risen the most in relative terms. The highest figures per league were recorded for Jadon Sancho in Germany, Moise Kean in Italy, Stanley N’Soki in France, Isaac Success in England and Júnior Firpo in Spain.

This analysis was performed using the exclusive CIES Football Observatory algorithm. A detailed explanation of the approach developed is available in this research note. The transfer value of all big-5 league players is freely accessible on the CIES Football Observatory website. The figures published refer to the estimated price for the most likely recruiting club. Moreover, a calculator was developed to allow users assessing the transfer value of players worldwide. However, this tool only provides rough estimates. Deeper analysis is available on demand.

New Report shows decline of competitive balance in European football

The 40th Monthly Report of the CIES Football Observatory analyses the evolution of competitive balance in 24 European leagues over the last 10 seasons. The study reveals a clear trend towards a greater imbalance. The level of imbalance is particularly marked and on the increase in the big-5 leagues and the Champions League, where the economic divides between teams are very strong.

In 2017/18, big-5 league champions achieved a record of 83.3% of points. This proportion is 10% greater than that measured in 2008/09. Over the ten seasons studied, the biggest average goal difference per match was measured for the UEFA Champions League: 1.58 goals. The premier competition of European football is also that presenting the highest proportion of matches with a goal gap of at least three: 21.0%.

According to the Report, “the concentration of resources goes hand in hand with the concentration of talents. Many teams and leagues are confined to a stepping-stone role for up and coming players. This permits the generation of profits on the transfer market. However, the financial compensations from these transactions are not sufficient to halt the increasing competitive imbalance. The present situation favours the wealthiest clubs. Each day, they increase their sporting, economic and political domination”.

Effective playing time in 37 European competitions

Issue number 242 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post relies on InStat data to present the average effective time of games in 37 European competitions. The Swedish Allsvenskan is the league with the most fluid matches (60.4% of effective time), just ahead the UEFA Champions League (60.2%). The Portuguese Primeira Liga finds itself in the opposite position (50.9%).

The highest effective playing time among the five major European leagues was recorded for the German Bundesliga (58.5%), while the lowest was measured for the Spanish Liga (55.8%). As for the Champions League, Europa League games are more fluid than the average observed at the level of the 35 competitions surveyed: 57.1% of effective time compared to 55.3%.

The highest percentage of minutes in which the ball was in play for clubs in national competitions was recorded for matches of the Swedish side GIF Sundsvall (63.7%). This is 18% more than for games of the Portuguese team Feirense. Club Brugge tops the Champions League table (66.2%), while Borussia Mönchengladbach (62.5%), Liverpool (62.2%), Milan AC (61.2%), Barcelona (60.3%) and Paris St-Germain (60.1%) present the greatest figures for the big-5 leagues.

See also the exclusive CIES Football Observatory Performance Atlas

Most represented origins in the big-5 leagues

Issue number 241 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks countries according to the number of domestic league minutes played by their representatives in the big-5. The French (=players who grew up in France) top the rankings (19.7% of total minutes) ahead of the Spaniards (15.2%) and the Germans (9.8%). Overall, players originating from 85 countries have taken part in big-5 league matches so far this season.

In each league surveyed, the highest percentage of minutes per origin was measured for nationals. Nevertheless, the gaps are quite marked: from 62.7% in the French League 1 to only 35.3% in the English Premier League. The figures in the remaining championships are 39.0% in the Italian Serie A, 48.5% in the German Bundesliga and 61.0% in the Spanish Liga.

The greatest values for players originating from abroad were recorded for the French in England (10.9%) and Germany (8.0%), the Brazilians in Italy (7.0%) and France (6.8%), as well as for the Argentineans in Spain (also 6.8%). The English Premier League hosts the representatives from the most countries (54). This figure is 50 in the Serie A, 46 in the Ligue 1, 45 in the Bundesliga and only 40 in the Liga.

CIES Football Observatory innovates with Performance Atlas

A brand new Performance Atlas was launched today on the CIES Football Observatory’s website. Powered with data from the leading company InStat, this unique tool presents exclusive pitch statistics at team level for 35 national competitions across Europe: 30 top division and 5 second division ones. The indicators cover all of the three key areas of the game: defence, passing and attack.

At defensive level, Dinamo Zagreb conceded the least shots on target per domestic league game so far this season (1.6). No club surveyed conceded as few passes in the own third of the pitch as Shakhtar Donetsk (40.8). From an attacking standpoint, the highest figures for shots on target and passes in the opponent third per match were recorded for AFC Ajax (9.1) and Manchester City (206).

At passing level, Chelsea FC tops the table for the percentage of accurate passes (89.9%), while Shakhtar Donetsk ranks first with regard to ball possession (67.0%). The tool also presents the data for the least performing teams. To know more about both the CIES Football Observatory and InStat, please contact us.

Most fielded U21 players: hot prospects

Issue number 240 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the ten most fielded U21 players in the big-5 leagues and Portuguese top division. Until last Friday, eleven U21 footballers had played the totality of domestic league minutes. Among them notably are hot prospects such as Rúben Neves, Jules Koundé, Arne Maier, Nikola Milenković and Rúben Dias.

Up to six goalkeepers are to be found in the top 10 rankings: Emil Audero (Sampdoria), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Paul Bernardoni (Nîmes Olympique), Florian Müller (Mainz), Alban Lafont (Fiorentina) and Unai Simón (Athletic Club). With four representatives, FSV Mainz is the most represented club overall: Aarón Martín, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Florian Müller and Ridle Baku.

Overall, footballers born on or after 1st of January 1997 have played 15.4% of total domestic league minutes in the French Ligue 1, 14.7% in the German Bundesliga, 9.8% in the Italian Serie A, 6.1% in the Spanish Liga, 5.3% in the English Premier League and a mere 5.0% in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. The average age on the pitch per league and club is available in the CIES Football Observatory Demographic Atlas.

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