Friday, March 22, 2013

Graphic: EPL best buys of 2012-13

Click to enlarge
The above chart hints at just how much English Premier League clubs are prepared to pay for good attackers.  Any forward (ie. wingers and strikers) who arrived at an English club during the Summer transfer window of 2012 has been included and the cost of his acquisition plotted against the number of goals for which he has been directly responsible.

When transfer fees were not disclosed, best estimates were taken from reputable online sources such as and several online newspapers (chiefly the Guardian, Mirror and Independent).

Unsurprisingly for a Golden Boot contender - and discounting QPR's Andy Johnson, who has managed only two games this term - Robin van Persie leads last season's acquisitions, averaging nearly a goal created/scored per game.  His price tag however means that he doesn't provide as much bang-for-buck as the likes of Villa's Christian Benteke, Wigan's Arouna Kone or Michu.  Were it not for any of this trio (or indeed Fulham's depreciated Dimitar Berbatov), all three clubs might be struggling at the foot of the table.

This year's flop crop includes Manchester City new boy Scott Sinclair, injured Liverpudlian Fabio Borini and, most surprisingly, the fleet of foot and extremely impressive Oscar.  Obviously this analysis takes into account only part of one season and measures only discrete measurable events - part of Benteke's success hasn't so much been his scoring but the fact his leadup play has created space that Andreas Weimann and Gaby Agbonlahor have used to get open and score.

Interpreting value from afar is always a risky business: from the stats above, it would seem that Oscar has yet to repay Chelsea's investment.  However, in concert with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, the Brazilian maestro seems likely to torture Premiership defenders for years.  Blues' fans and administrators alike should have no doubts about their potential ROI.

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