A few weeks ago, I decided to give up on having a life for awhile. This is the result. What follows is a ranking of the thirty most valuable players in the Barclays Premier League, based on my viewing and the best stats that are publicly available. This is not a list of the thirty BEST players in the Premier League, so PLEASE, don’t yell at me about Zlatan, or Santi Cazorla, or pretty much anyone else who is over thirty not being here. Thanks to Bill Simmons for the idea (if you watch the NBA, check out his trade value stuff on ESPN/Grantland, it’s great), Whoscored, Michael Caley (MC_of_a), @11tegen11, and Jörg Seidel (@goalimpact) for stats & graphics, and transfermarkt for contract details.
A few ground rules:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a better player than Romelu Lukaku, but because Lukaku, at 23, has around 6 more years at the top level, while the 35 year old Ibrahimovic is nearing retirement, Lukaku’s worth more.
Players nearing the end of their contract have more leverage against their current employers than those with multiple years remaining. Also, players on massive wages will have less suitors, which lessens the probability of competition.
Strikers command higher fees than midfielders, who command higher fees than defenders, who command higher fees than goalkeepers. One could argue that this is imprudent, but it’s the case.
4. NATIONALITY MATTERS.
Englishmen are more expensive than players from other nations, along with the general premium paid for players from luxury nations, such as Brazil, Spain, Argentina, et cetera.
5. HEALTH MATTERS.
However great a player Daniel Sturridge is, he won’t make this list, simply because he can’t stay on the field.
The list 30-11, will be up next Thursday, followed by 10-1 the next day.