SOCCER

Which of the “Big Six” had the best transfer window?

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Which of the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Six’ clubs had the best summer transfer window?

Manchester City have signed one of the most dangerous strikers on the planet in Erling Haaland, while Liverpool continue to develop their forward line after swapping Sadio Mane for 23-year-old Darwin Nunez.

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Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal did their business remarkably early with several solid signings, while Chelsea and Manchester United are still on the lookout for new signings to add to their latest entries.

The question is, which players will have the most impact for their new club? Which departure will be most felt? Can we predict who will be in the top four?

Spoiler alert: North London fans should be the happiest with their club’s business.


It’s hard to quantify precisely who might have had the best window so far, but is it possible?

Athleticism teamed up with football data consultancy TASPAwhich employs experts in understanding sports data to create actionable insights.

TASPA has a concise metric that calculates the positive or negative impact each player’s goal differential can have on their team – known as Player Impact Value (PIV).

By measuring team strength and PIV in goal, you can simulate a new player’s impact on their team’s results and final league position.

Crucially, it allows you to quantify the impact a new signing would have on a starting player or squad member competing for a role in the starting XI. For the baseball fans among you, this is similar to the “Wins Above Replacement” metric used to show a player’s contribution to their team.

Let’s walk through an example. If a new signing had a PIV of +0.08, that would mean the incoming player increases the strength of the team by 0.08 goals per game compared to the player he replaces. That might not seem like a lot, but over the course of a season that extra difference can be significant.

On the other hand, if a strong player leaves and is replaced by a weaker player, the new signing would have a negative PIV, thus weakening the overall strength of the team. Think of Rickie Lambert replacing Luis Suarez in Liverpool’s 2014-15 summer window.


Haaland celebrates his second goal for Manchester City on Sunday (Photo: John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

A PIV of zero would mean the new signing is of the same quality as the player they replace – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it would have no expected additional impact on the strength of their team.

So who should have the biggest impact among the top six clubs?

Unsurprisingly, TASPA advises Haaland to be the player with the biggest impact, increasing the strength of the team with a PVI of +0.14 goals per game for Manchester City.

Close behind Haaland are City departures Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus – now at Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively – with the pair expected to increase their side’s strength by +0.1 goals per game.

Haaland’s impact should be greater than new signing from Liverpool Darwin Nunez, whose impact should always be positive on his new team (+0.1 PIV) as he offers a new dimension to Jurgen Klopp’s attack.

At the other end of the scale, Liverpool new signings Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay are unlikely to have a positive impact on their new team beyond the players they replace.

However, that’s not surprising given their teenage status and leapfrogging from a weaker Championship and the Scottish Premiership, respectively. The pair is certainly that of the future, more than that of the present.

Meanwhile, Spurs’ arrivals of Djed Spence and on-loan Clement Lenglet are also unlikely to increase the squad strength of their new squad compared to the players they are replacing. For Lenglet in particular, it would make football sense given his arrival as a squad player in a weak Barcelona squad last season, as he ranks less favorably compared to current option Ben Davies.

Finally, this is also the case of the English international Kalvin Phillips, whose impact should contrast with that of Haaland among the new signings of Manchester City (-0.01 PIV). It will be interesting to watch whether or not Phillips can adapt to Pep Guardiola’s style of play after Bielsa’s swashbuckling approach.


In addition to incoming signings, how much have departures affected team strength among the ‘Big Six’?

Sadio Mane’s defeat should be felt by Liverpool, with an outgoing value of -0.08 PIV against Liverpool’s squad strength. Chelsea’s defensive shortcomings at left centre-back appear to have been replaced in kind, with Antonio Rudiger’s starting PIV of 0.08 salvaged by the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly (+0.08 PIV) at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Nuno Tavares’ departure from Arsenal should have little effect on the overall strength of their squad as the left-back seeks more regular minutes on loan with Marseille this season. This is also the case for Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi and Manchester United’s Juan Mata as the outgoing members of the squad. Although each of them performed well when entering the action, all were ultimately limited by their minutes played over the past season.

Taken together, we can then map the overall “net” change in impact value to players on each team considering all in and out. Where there are fewer outgoing players, as is the case with Spurs, TASPA instead maps the incoming player to an existing member of the squad with whom he will be competing – for example, competing Ivan Perisic with Ryan Sessegnon for a left-back role at Tottenham.

With Spurs in mind, it will be Antonio Conte who should be most pleased with the improvement his squad has made over the summer. By bringing quality players into positions where they currently have weaker squad members, the overall impact of his new signings contributed to a net PIV of +0.15 goals per game.

On the other end, TASPA projects that Chelsea’s summer window has seen them tread water against their rivals as their overall entries from Sterling and Koulibaly have simply restored balance to exits from Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.

The return of Conor Gallagher from his loan spell at Crystal Palace and the arrival of teenage sensation Carney Chukwuemeka may prove broadly positive for the Chelsea squad, but the data suggests Thomas Tuchel is justified in venting his frustrations about completed summer business at Stamford. Bridge.

Meanwhile, TASPA describes Liverpool’s summer activities to have a subtle negative net PIV as they replace players in their squad with relative inexperience. The age profile of Liverpool’s squad is interesting as Jurgen Klopp slowly transforms his squad composition with each transfer window. It remains to be seen whether they will reach the heights of last season.


So what does this mean for the title chase? Unfortunately for the chasing pack, TASPA predicts that Manchester City and Liverpool still have the upper hand in the battle for the Premier League trophy, with neither of the remaining contenders doing enough to push for a genuine attempt to threaten Jurgen Klopp or Pep. Guardiola.

Interestingly, TASPA predicts that Manchester City’s transfer activity has actually boosted their title hopes from 60% to 64%, while Liverpool’s chances drop slightly from 35% to 31%.

More broadly in the race for the top four, TASPA are still advising Chelsea to finish in the top four, despite their chances dropping from 84% to 78%. Meanwhile, Spurs also remain the favorites to stay in those Champions League places by the end of the season, with a 52% chance compared to 41% at the start of the window.

While Arsenal have improved their chances of finishing in the top four from 39% to 46% with the shrewd signings of Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira, they are currently unlikely to be enough to bring Champions League football back. in the Emirates in 2023-24.

Finally, Manchester United appear to have done little to change their underdog status for the top four, with their odds dropping slightly from 18% before the window to 16% currently.

The arrivals of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez were unable to significantly offset the departures of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani from Erik ten Hag’s side, with rebuilding at United appearing to be more of a slow and measured approach. . The arrival of potential signing Adrien Rabiot could turn the tide slightly but is unlikely to skyrocket United’s chances beyond the current favourites.

Of course, predicting such outcomes will always be a difficult task as there is a high element of uncertainty in the game. Manager changes, injuries and sheer luck can more or less influence the outcome of a Premier season. League.

As Athleticism have recently analyzed, the transfer between the leagues is accompanied by great uncertaintywith off-pitch factors influencing player performance as much as on-pitch performance.

So much can happen and so much can change with less than three weeks remaining in the transfer window.

But as things stand, Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta can be very happy with their transfer deals as we enter the 2022-23 Premier League season.

(Top photo: Getty Images)

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