Who would you buy?

Red over the water

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Ward Prowse is a solid Prem player. Great ball delivery and would undoubtedly improve under Klopp. The trust level is so high in our manager and recruitment team that if we sign him we would be just fine with it. Even if we wouldn't quite be on board with it, there would be a collective anticipation along the lines of, "OK, let's see what we do with this one."

My tuppence worth, since we haven't bid for Ward Prowse:

He's not a player that excites me. I think we have better in the team right now, and better on the books trying to make the grade and get into the team. I can appreciate that we have made some unheralded signings at a cheap price who have shown that they are top notch. Robertson is a great example, and we are also hoping Takumi Minamino follows suit. (That's a mouthful to type, so my vote is we have a vote to decide what we are going to call him, for the sake of abbreviation! I can type Takumi a bit faster than Minamino, so I know how I'm going to vote when this important matter is placed before the people).

But how much would Ward Prowse cost? Contract issues aside, we would overpay, such is life when a big Prem fish wants to raid a smaller Prem fish for one of their star men. If WP cost a small sum like Takumi (see, the abbreviation is working already) then that's one thing, but I would imagine Southampton would be trying to get 40-50M or something silly like that, again, notwithstanding contract issues.
 

Dave-D

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Melissa Reddy today published an article about how the Thomas Lemar deal fell through in 2017. Apparently the club were prepared to pay £74m for him then, and perhaps there still may be interest now... particularly if he's available at a more reasonable fee after not kicking on in Spain. Whatever the case, it's rather curious that Reddy would put together a story on him, and suggests that he might be someone the club are looking to bring in next summer. For what it's worth his age profile also lines up with our other forwards behind the front 3:

Mané (27) ------- Firmino (28) ----- Salah (27)
Lemar (24) ------- Origi (25) ------- Minamino (25)
Jones (18) ----- Brewster (19) ----- Elliott (16)
Reddys article was about how Lemar has went from wanted by Liverpool and Arsenal to Atletico are willing to let him go out on loan as he has done nothing of note for them and he’s gone well of the top teams radars. It at no point said Liverpool were interested in him anymore.
 

LFCFFC

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Winks. Ward Prowse. Grealish.

Come on guys, aim higher. You're thinking like Hodgson now. None are remotely good enough play for us.

Curtis Jones is already in a different class with plenty more to come.
Dunno bout that, I think James McArthur would be a solid pickup for us.
 

Jaytinho

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That quote came an year back. The manager who said that got fired too.
So? Dardai was their manager for 4 seasons and is Hertha's most capped player in the clubs history. He is very respected at the club, manager change aside. He has definitely seen his fair share of midfielders come through the door at Hertha, so hes opinion should definitely hold weight
 

Jaytinho

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@Jaytinho

Have you watched Grujic much this season? What do you think of his mobility and defensive awareness, in terms of being able to stop counter attacks? I haven't seen him much the last couple of years; always liked him on the ball, but the question mark for me has been how he would do in defensive transition for a Klopp team.

Same question about Havertz, by the way. Looks very elegant on the ball, but I haven't watched him more than a couple of games, and haven't paid any attention to that part of his game.
Ive watched him a couple times when I had the chance, he really is strong, his frame is huge for his age yet he seems to be light on his feet when he carries the ball. In terms of work rate? Its hard to tell how he will fair in a Klopp squad but, he is as fast as Fabinho or even Milner so, its like having the ball control of Lallana but with much more steel
 

The Elusive 19th

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So? Dardai was their manager for 4 seasons and is Hertha's most capped player in the clubs history. He is very respected at the club, manager change aside. He has definitely seen his fair share of midfielders come through the door at Hertha, so hes opinion should definitely hold weight
Many things actually. Dardai said this 1 year back. Even at that time Grujic couldn't even get a squad role at LFC. Which means Hertha's best midfielder in last 20 years = not even squad role at LFC. So his opinion while can be taken into consideration, it cant be given much importance.
Further, how much has Grujic improved in this one year. Or has he regressed.
 

cynicaloldgit

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Further, how much has Grujic improved in this one year. Or has he regressed.
I try to catch as many Grujic games as possible online and he has definitely improved immeasurably. He has cut out (most of) the rash tackles and both his reading of the game and his passing have improved.

I would definitely have him back as a midfield option next season.
 

Sweeting

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Just looking at up and coming CB prospects in the top 5 leagues (and the Championship). The criteria I used was the assess our four main CBs on their whoscored.com stats and find a common trend.

>1.0 INT & <1.0 FOUAGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNG
MATIP29.01.71.70.95.31.00.60.170.183.12.9
VAN DIJK28.00.71.10.44.80.20.40.182.588.85.5
LOVREN30.01.31.00.34.60.50.80.168.383.92.9
GOMEZ22.00.91.10.81.50.30.30.357.789.32.3
AVERAGE27.31.21.20.64.10.50.50.269.786.33.4

All of our CBs have >1.0 INT (interception) per game with <1.0 FOU (Fouls committed). Gomez's clearances and passing stats are reduced by his appearances at RB but otherwise he is roughly in line with the others. In terms of passing all our CBs are over 83% completion and average roughly 70 passes per game (Gomez's stats in this area increase when only considered at CB).

Therefore I looked at all the CBs under the age of 25 in Europe who are averaging more than 1.0 interceptions and less than 1.0 fouls per game (they also must be regular starters). There are 55 that match these criteria. At this point I factored in the other stats.

Passing I have tried to be more generous with as few will have the volume of passes we do because of the way we play, and the quality of the team.

Centre back is probably the hardest position to judge on the rudimentary stats provided to the public - a good centre back might not need to tackle, for example - but the idea is the find a list of players that should be scouted further, or that people on the forum will know more about and can fill in some blanks that data cannot.

I decided interceptions and fouls was the best measure as this implies a level of awareness and control in situations that could be missing if going off tackles, for example.

Of the 55 players who hit the first criteria I then narrowed that down by removing players with very poor passing statistics, very high dribbled past ratio and those with foul counts on the high end of the acceptable ratio (unless high "activity", which I have deemed as TAK+INT, makes up for it).

This has left now 25 players across Europe's top five leagues who could potentially be fits in our system. I have listed them in no particular order below. Their transfermarkt.co.uk value is in the comments section (this is unreliable but an interesting measure).

AGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNGCOMMENTS
WHITELEEDS22.01.82.50.93.50.40.70.258.485.03.1GOOD PASSING AND INT RATE. HIGHER FOUL COUNT THAN IDEAL BUT INT RATE IS HIGH. £2.25M.
WEBSTERBRIGHTON25.01.21.60.42.80.60.80.464.285.13.8LOW FOUL RATE WITH GOOD DEFENSIVE ACTION. HIGH PASS VOLUME AND %. £13.5M.
TOMORICHELSEA22.02.01.50.52.50.50.30.564.586.03.3LOW FOUL RATE COMPARED TO HIGH ACTIVITY. GOOD PASSING VOLUME AND %. £18M.
SOYUNCULEICESTER23.01.61.40.95.10.60.70.169.489.82.9WELL ROUNDED. HIGH TACKLE AND INTERCEPTION RATE PER FOUL. GOOD PASSING. £36M.
AKEBOURNEMOUTH24.01.11.40.34.20.20.70.348.589.11.9RARELY FOULS DESPITE GOOD TAK & INT RATE. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. WOULD LIKE HIGH PASS VOLUME BUT GOOD PASSING %. £31.5M.
GODFREYNORWICH21.00.91.10.44.80.31.40.053.789.32.9RARELY COMMITS FOULS. TOUGH TO DRIBBLE PAST. GOOD ON THE BALL. VERY YOUNG. £11.7M.
FELIPELAZIO22.01.51.60.62.10.40.70.140.987.92.6PASSING INDICATES SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STYLE BUT % SHOWS POTENTIAL TO GROW. GOOD DEFENSIVE STATS. £10.8M.
AIDOOCELTA VIGO24.01.41.50.74.30.30.50.146.587.92.8PROMISING PASSING STATS AND GOOD DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY. £7.2M.
GIMENEZATLETICO24.01.41.30.63.40.40.30.041.885.24.0NEEDS TO DEVELOP PASS VOLUME BUT STRONG DEFENSIVE STATS. £63M.
ELVEDIGLADBACH23.01.72.20.63.50.60.40.049.992.21.9NOT AN ENTERPRISING PASSER BUT IS SAFE. HIGH POINTS ON DEFENSIVE STATS. £31.5M.
SCHONLAUPADERBORN25.02.42.10.96.90.80.50.271.589.32.9HIGH DEFENSIVE NUMBERS OFFSET 0.9 FOUL COUNT. VERY STRONG PASSING. £1.35M.
ST JUSTEMAINZ23.02.22.00.83.30.70.80.139.486.22.1EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE ACTIVITY OFFSETS HIGHER FOUL COUNT. PASSING VOLUME IS LOW BUT SHOWS POTENTIAL. £8.1M.
UPAMECANOLEIPZIG21.02.51.50.83.20.80.50.571.788.85.0AGGRESSIVE PASSER WITH HIGH %. HIGH DEFENSIVE OUTPUT PER FOUL. £45M.
REKIKHERTHA BERLIN25.01.41.50.72.70.30.70.148.687.74.3GOOD DEFENSIVE OUTPUT. PASSING GRADE IS OK BUT IN NEED OF HIGHER VOLUME. £10.8M.
LIENHARTFREIBURG23.00.51.50.53.50.30.70.255.384.53.5HIGH NUMBER OF INTERCEPTIONS WITH PROMISING PASSING NUMBERS. £9.9M.
AKANJIDORTMUND24.01.31.10.62.50.50.60.167.191.03.1GOOD ACTIVITY TO FOUL RATE. USED TO HIGH VOLUME PASSING. GOOD %. £31.5M.
SARRNICE20.00.72.00.21.40.50.30.159.690.23.5VERY LOW FOUL RATE WITH HIGH INTERCEPTIONS. VERY GOOD PASSING %. £16.2M.
MUKINAYIMONACO18.01.11.70.82.80.30.70.256.884.93.4DEFENSIVE NUMBERS SHOW POTENTIAL DESPITE RAISED FOUL COUNT. STRONG PASSING STATS. £18M.
PELMARDNICE19.02.21.50.32.60.20.40.058.490.91.5SAFER PASSER BUT HIGH DEFENSIVE NUMBERS WITH LOW FOULS. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. £3.6M.
GELINRENNES22.01.11.30.52.80.50.60.240.686.74.2AGGRESSIVE PASSING CB WITH GOOD OUTPUT TO FOUL RATIO. £5.4M.
DIASBENFICA22.01.31.10.62.40.40.40.565.189.75.6ENTERPRISING PASSER WITH OK FOUL COUNT. ROOM TO IMPROVE. £34.2M.
MEULENSTEENWAALWIJK20.01.41.90.43.50.91.50.155.585.24.6GETS DRIBBLED PAST TOO EASILY BUT TAK AND BLK SUGGESTS HAS PACE TO MAKE UP FOR IT. GOOD PASSING. £360K.
VEENDORPEMMEN22.01.91.70.73.70.50.60.151.982.45.5DEFENSIVE OUTPUT IS STRONG. OK PASSER, NEEDS TO IMPROVE HERE. £540K.
BOTMANHEERENVEEN20.01.51.40.55.20.20.60.365.883.83.9SHOWS PROMISE IN BOTH PASSING AND DEFENDING. DOESN'T CONCEDE TOO MANY FOULS. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. £1.13M.
DOEKHIVITESSE21.01.21.10.45.30.10.60.254.988.72.2LOW FOUL RATE WITH GOOD ACTIVE DEFENDING STATS. SOLID PASSING NUMBERS. £810K.

My personal favourites are the Nice centre backs Malang Sarr & Andy Pelmard, Adam Webster, Nico Elvedi and Nathan Ake.

Andy Pelmard and Malang Sarr have the added bonus of being extremely young. Dayot Upamecano, Sven Botman and Ben Godfrey are extremely promising also.

Sebastien Schonlau's stats are outstanding but I am unsure if this is simply an unusual season and would need more details.
 

Chewbazza

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Just looking at up and coming CB prospects in the top 5 leagues (and the Championship). The criteria I used was the assess our four main CBs on their whoscored.com stats and find a common trend.

>1.0 INT & <1.0 FOUAGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNG
MATIP29.01.71.70.95.31.00.60.170.183.12.9
VAN DIJK28.00.71.10.44.80.20.40.182.588.85.5
LOVREN30.01.31.00.34.60.50.80.168.383.92.9
GOMEZ22.00.91.10.81.50.30.30.357.789.32.3
AVERAGE27.31.21.20.64.10.50.50.269.786.33.4

All of our CBs have >1.0 INT (interception) per game with <1.0 FOU (Fouls committed). Gomez's clearances and passing stats are reduced by his appearances at RB but otherwise he is roughly in line with the others. In terms of passing all our CBs are over 83% completion and average roughly 70 passes per game (Gomez's stats in this area increase when only considered at CB).

Therefore I looked at all the CBs under the age of 25 in Europe who are averaging more than 1.0 interceptions and less than 1.0 fouls per game (they also must be regular starters). There are 55 that match these criteria. At this point I factored in the other stats.

Passing I have tried to be more generous with as few will have the volume of passes we do because of the way we play, and the quality of the team.

Centre back is probably the hardest position to judge on the rudimentary stats provided to the public - a good centre back might not need to tackle, for example - but the idea is the find a list of players that should be scouted further, or that people on the forum will know more about and can fill in some blanks that data cannot.

I decided interceptions and fouls was the best measure as this implies a level of awareness and control in situations that could be missing if going off tackles, for example.

Of the 55 players who hit the first criteria I then narrowed that down by removing players with very poor passing statistics, very high dribbled past ratio and those with foul counts on the high end of the acceptable ratio (unless high "activity", which I have deemed as TAK+INT, makes up for it).

This has left now 25 players across Europe's top five leagues who could potentially be fits in our system. I have listed them in no particular order below. Their transfermarkt.co.uk value is in the comments section (this is unreliable but an interesting measure).

AGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNGCOMMENTS
WHITELEEDS22.01.82.50.93.50.40.70.258.485.03.1GOOD PASSING AND INT RATE. HIGHER FOUL COUNT THAN IDEAL BUT INT RATE IS HIGH. £2.25M.
WEBSTERBRIGHTON25.01.21.60.42.80.60.80.464.285.13.8LOW FOUL RATE WITH GOOD DEFENSIVE ACTION. HIGH PASS VOLUME AND %. £13.5M.
TOMORICHELSEA22.02.01.50.52.50.50.30.564.586.03.3LOW FOUL RATE COMPARED TO HIGH ACTIVITY. GOOD PASSING VOLUME AND %. £18M.
SOYUNCULEICESTER23.01.61.40.95.10.60.70.169.489.82.9WELL ROUNDED. HIGH TACKLE AND INTERCEPTION RATE PER FOUL. GOOD PASSING. £36M.
AKEBOURNEMOUTH24.01.11.40.34.20.20.70.348.589.11.9RARELY FOULS DESPITE GOOD TAK & INT RATE. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. WOULD LIKE HIGH PASS VOLUME BUT GOOD PASSING %. £31.5M.
GODFREYNORWICH21.00.91.10.44.80.31.40.053.789.32.9RARELY COMMITS FOULS. TOUGH TO DRIBBLE PAST. GOOD ON THE BALL. VERY YOUNG. £11.7M.
FELIPELAZIO22.01.51.60.62.10.40.70.140.987.92.6PASSING INDICATES SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STYLE BUT % SHOWS POTENTIAL TO GROW. GOOD DEFENSIVE STATS. £10.8M.
AIDOOCELTA VIGO24.01.41.50.74.30.30.50.146.587.92.8PROMISING PASSING STATS AND GOOD DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY. £7.2M.
GIMENEZATLETICO24.01.41.30.63.40.40.30.041.885.24.0NEEDS TO DEVELOP PASS VOLUME BUT STRONG DEFENSIVE STATS. £63M.
ELVEDIGLADBACH23.01.72.20.63.50.60.40.049.992.21.9NOT AN ENTERPRISING PASSER BUT IS SAFE. HIGH POINTS ON DEFENSIVE STATS. £31.5M.
SCHONLAUPADERBORN25.02.42.10.96.90.80.50.271.589.32.9HIGH DEFENSIVE NUMBERS OFFSET 0.9 FOUL COUNT. VERY STRONG PASSING. £1.35M.
ST JUSTEMAINZ23.02.22.00.83.30.70.80.139.486.22.1EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE ACTIVITY OFFSETS HIGHER FOUL COUNT. PASSING VOLUME IS LOW BUT SHOWS POTENTIAL. £8.1M.
UPAMECANOLEIPZIG21.02.51.50.83.20.80.50.571.788.85.0AGGRESSIVE PASSER WITH HIGH %. HIGH DEFENSIVE OUTPUT PER FOUL. £45M.
REKIKHERTHA BERLIN25.01.41.50.72.70.30.70.148.687.74.3GOOD DEFENSIVE OUTPUT. PASSING GRADE IS OK BUT IN NEED OF HIGHER VOLUME. £10.8M.
LIENHARTFREIBURG23.00.51.50.53.50.30.70.255.384.53.5HIGH NUMBER OF INTERCEPTIONS WITH PROMISING PASSING NUMBERS. £9.9M.
AKANJIDORTMUND24.01.31.10.62.50.50.60.167.191.03.1GOOD ACTIVITY TO FOUL RATE. USED TO HIGH VOLUME PASSING. GOOD %. £31.5M.
SARRNICE20.00.72.00.21.40.50.30.159.690.23.5VERY LOW FOUL RATE WITH HIGH INTERCEPTIONS. VERY GOOD PASSING %. £16.2M.
MUKINAYIMONACO18.01.11.70.82.80.30.70.256.884.93.4DEFENSIVE NUMBERS SHOW POTENTIAL DESPITE RAISED FOUL COUNT. STRONG PASSING STATS. £18M.
PELMARDNICE19.02.21.50.32.60.20.40.058.490.91.5SAFER PASSER BUT HIGH DEFENSIVE NUMBERS WITH LOW FOULS. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. £3.6M.
GELINRENNES22.01.11.30.52.80.50.60.240.686.74.2AGGRESSIVE PASSING CB WITH GOOD OUTPUT TO FOUL RATIO. £5.4M.
DIASBENFICA22.01.31.10.62.40.40.40.565.189.75.6ENTERPRISING PASSER WITH OK FOUL COUNT. ROOM TO IMPROVE. £34.2M.
MEULENSTEENWAALWIJK20.01.41.90.43.50.91.50.155.585.24.6GETS DRIBBLED PAST TOO EASILY BUT TAK AND BLK SUGGESTS HAS PACE TO MAKE UP FOR IT. GOOD PASSING. £360K.
VEENDORPEMMEN22.01.91.70.73.70.50.60.151.982.45.5DEFENSIVE OUTPUT IS STRONG. OK PASSER, NEEDS TO IMPROVE HERE. £540K.
BOTMANHEERENVEEN20.01.51.40.55.20.20.60.365.883.83.9SHOWS PROMISE IN BOTH PASSING AND DEFENDING. DOESN'T CONCEDE TOO MANY FOULS. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. £1.13M.
DOEKHIVITESSE21.01.21.10.45.30.10.60.254.988.72.2LOW FOUL RATE WITH GOOD ACTIVE DEFENDING STATS. SOLID PASSING NUMBERS. £810K.

My personal favourites are the Nice centre backs Malang Sarr & Andy Pelmard, Adam Webster, Nico Elvedi and Nathan Ake.

Andy Pelmard and Malang Sarr have the added bonus of being extremely young. Dayot Upamecano, Sven Botman and Ben Godfrey are extremely promising also.

Sebastien Schonlau's stats are outstanding but I am unsure if this is simply an unusual season and would need more details.
Excellent stuff. I would not be sad if you did this again for other positions that we might be looking to recruit to.

I believe we have been linked to Ben White recently, so that might be one to keep an eye on.
 

SithBaare

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Reinforcements for the defense.

One cb , one rb and one lb.

If we can get a jack of all trades who can boost in multiple positions , I would say we go for it....maybe a two footed wingback and one cb who can play either of rb or lb.

Easier said than done but we really need bench strength
 

SithBaare

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Grujic and Henderson basically play the same position (role), but Klinnsman does not play a 3 man midfield. Grujic next to Fabinho in a 4-2-3-1 would be killer. Both him and Fab have steel, a strong tackle, but are not afraid to carry the ball and pick out a pass. Grujic work rate would be the only question mark
Sounds good. Depends on whether klopp plays a double pivot #6. Nothing that I've seen about klopp leads me to believe he can't be pragmatical at times despite the tag of heavy metal football applied to his style of play.

I for one wouldn't mind that being used , especially in games where robbo and Trent are being given a rest
 

norwegian wood

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Yeah, we don't play a pure 4-3-3 anyway. That's mostly the defensive starting shape. Gini in particular often plays more withdrawn, rather than a shuttler role.
 

SithBaare

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Yeah, we don't play a pure 4-3-3 anyway. That's mostly the defensive starting shape. Gini in particular often plays more withdrawn, rather than a shuttler role.
The game has shifted to transitions now. That's what klopp is all about.
 

norwegian wood

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The game has shifted to transitions now. That's what klopp is all about.
Definitely, that's been his trade mark for many years. And it still is, even though he has become more focused on a structured possession game the last couple of years in particular.

Anyway, that's where I'm unsure about Grujic, because I haven't watched him that much. The foundation of our midfield is good transition play; they need to be alert and agressive, both when it comes to locking the opposition in their own half, and also track back to put out the small fires. I think that's where he needs to convince the coaching staff he either has what it takes, or can get to a level they look for with a bit of work.
 

Zoran

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Good stuff, @Sweeting .

I'm usually too lazy to check so many stats and compare them (something that simply has to be used well in context, certainly not ignored, but not taken solely into account). But it's good when you narrow it down like that, prioritize and make it simple and clean. Not messy.

(y)
 

Sweeting

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Good stuff, @Sweeting .

I'm usually too lazy to check so many stats and compare them (something that simply has to be used well in context, certainly not ignored, but not taken solely into account). But it's good when you narrow it down like that, prioritize and make it simple and clean. Not messy.

(y)
I think that is the key. Stats are a useful guide and can filter out a lot of "noise" but it shouldn't be the be all and end all - I think the eye test is still very important.
 

Limiescouse

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Ive heard a couple of podcasts from the people at 538 responsible for the football analysis. What I found so fascinating about it was how much they acknowledged that all their models were very preliminary. Most of the discussions focused on the limitations of using basic statistics, the sort we see at half time presented to you by Opta, in developing a sabremetric model for football. They then discuss ways these various stats can be contextualized and controlled for with other stats. All the while acknowledging that what they were trying to accomplish at this stage was simply generating a model that can approximate the eye test...and any deviation they see they put down to the limitation of the model.
 

Zoran

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I think that is the key. Stats are a useful guide and can filter out a lot of "noise" but it shouldn't be the be all and end all - I think the eye test is still very important.
Yeah, filter is a good word. Or tool. It can either confirm or reassure what you think (or you're pretty sure) you're seeing or it's like a voice that says to the brain "your eye might be missing something here, have a look".
 

Sweeting

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Ive heard a couple of podcasts from the people at 538 responsible for the football analysis. What I found so fascinating about it was how much they acknowledged that all their models were very preliminary. Most of the discussions focused on the limitations of using basic statistics, the sort we see at half time presented to you by Opta, in developing a sabremetric model for football. They then discuss ways these various stats can be contextualized and controlled for with other stats. All the while acknowledging that what they were trying to accomplish at this stage was simply generating a model that can approximate the eye test...and any deviation they see they put down to the limitation of the model.
Case in point - the Sky Sports "Power Rankings" which is a statistical model supposed to be a measure of how in form a player is currently (over 5 match days) has only one Liverpool player in the top 10 (Alexander-Arnold, 8) where as Watford have two (Deeney, 5 and Doucoure, 7).

It also has some rather dodgy claims to who is their teams best player... Sokratis (Arsenal), Gosling (Bournemouth), Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Martial (Man Utd) and even Alexander-Arnold listed as our best player.
 

kiwiredman

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Just looking at up and coming CB prospects in the top 5 leagues (and the Championship). The criteria I used was the assess our four main CBs on their whoscored.com stats and find a common trend.

>1.0 INT & <1.0 FOUAGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNG
MATIP29.01.71.70.95.31.00.60.170.183.12.9
VAN DIJK28.00.71.10.44.80.20.40.182.588.85.5
LOVREN30.01.31.00.34.60.50.80.168.383.92.9
GOMEZ22.00.91.10.81.50.30.30.357.789.32.3
AVERAGE27.31.21.20.64.10.50.50.269.786.33.4

All of our CBs have >1.0 INT (interception) per game with <1.0 FOU (Fouls committed). Gomez's clearances and passing stats are reduced by his appearances at RB but otherwise he is roughly in line with the others. In terms of passing all our CBs are over 83% completion and average roughly 70 passes per game (Gomez's stats in this area increase when only considered at CB).

Therefore I looked at all the CBs under the age of 25 in Europe who are averaging more than 1.0 interceptions and less than 1.0 fouls per game (they also must be regular starters). There are 55 that match these criteria. At this point I factored in the other stats.

Passing I have tried to be more generous with as few will have the volume of passes we do because of the way we play, and the quality of the team.

Centre back is probably the hardest position to judge on the rudimentary stats provided to the public - a good centre back might not need to tackle, for example - but the idea is the find a list of players that should be scouted further, or that people on the forum will know more about and can fill in some blanks that data cannot.

I decided interceptions and fouls was the best measure as this implies a level of awareness and control in situations that could be missing if going off tackles, for example.

Of the 55 players who hit the first criteria I then narrowed that down by removing players with very poor passing statistics, very high dribbled past ratio and those with foul counts on the high end of the acceptable ratio (unless high "activity", which I have deemed as TAK+INT, makes up for it).

This has left now 25 players across Europe's top five leagues who could potentially be fits in our system. I have listed them in no particular order below. Their transfermarkt.co.uk value is in the comments section (this is unreliable but an interesting measure).

AGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNGCOMMENTS
WHITELEEDS22.01.82.50.93.50.40.70.258.485.03.1GOOD PASSING AND INT RATE. HIGHER FOUL COUNT THAN IDEAL BUT INT RATE IS HIGH. £2.25M.
WEBSTERBRIGHTON25.01.21.60.42.80.60.80.464.285.13.8LOW FOUL RATE WITH GOOD DEFENSIVE ACTION. HIGH PASS VOLUME AND %. £13.5M.
TOMORICHELSEA22.02.01.50.52.50.50.30.564.586.03.3LOW FOUL RATE COMPARED TO HIGH ACTIVITY. GOOD PASSING VOLUME AND %. £18M.
SOYUNCULEICESTER23.01.61.40.95.10.60.70.169.489.82.9WELL ROUNDED. HIGH TACKLE AND INTERCEPTION RATE PER FOUL. GOOD PASSING. £36M.
AKEBOURNEMOUTH24.01.11.40.34.20.20.70.348.589.11.9RARELY FOULS DESPITE GOOD TAK & INT RATE. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. WOULD LIKE HIGH PASS VOLUME BUT GOOD PASSING %. £31.5M.
GODFREYNORWICH21.00.91.10.44.80.31.40.053.789.32.9RARELY COMMITS FOULS. TOUGH TO DRIBBLE PAST. GOOD ON THE BALL. VERY YOUNG. £11.7M.
FELIPELAZIO22.01.51.60.62.10.40.70.140.987.92.6PASSING INDICATES SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STYLE BUT % SHOWS POTENTIAL TO GROW. GOOD DEFENSIVE STATS. £10.8M.
AIDOOCELTA VIGO24.01.41.50.74.30.30.50.146.587.92.8PROMISING PASSING STATS AND GOOD DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY. £7.2M.
GIMENEZATLETICO24.01.41.30.63.40.40.30.041.885.24.0NEEDS TO DEVELOP PASS VOLUME BUT STRONG DEFENSIVE STATS. £63M.
ELVEDIGLADBACH23.01.72.20.63.50.60.40.049.992.21.9NOT AN ENTERPRISING PASSER BUT IS SAFE. HIGH POINTS ON DEFENSIVE STATS. £31.5M.
SCHONLAUPADERBORN25.02.42.10.96.90.80.50.271.589.32.9HIGH DEFENSIVE NUMBERS OFFSET 0.9 FOUL COUNT. VERY STRONG PASSING. £1.35M.
ST JUSTEMAINZ23.02.22.00.83.30.70.80.139.486.22.1EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE ACTIVITY OFFSETS HIGHER FOUL COUNT. PASSING VOLUME IS LOW BUT SHOWS POTENTIAL. £8.1M.
UPAMECANOLEIPZIG21.02.51.50.83.20.80.50.571.788.85.0AGGRESSIVE PASSER WITH HIGH %. HIGH DEFENSIVE OUTPUT PER FOUL. £45M.
REKIKHERTHA BERLIN25.01.41.50.72.70.30.70.148.687.74.3GOOD DEFENSIVE OUTPUT. PASSING GRADE IS OK BUT IN NEED OF HIGHER VOLUME. £10.8M.
LIENHARTFREIBURG23.00.51.50.53.50.30.70.255.384.53.5HIGH NUMBER OF INTERCEPTIONS WITH PROMISING PASSING NUMBERS. £9.9M.
AKANJIDORTMUND24.01.31.10.62.50.50.60.167.191.03.1GOOD ACTIVITY TO FOUL RATE. USED TO HIGH VOLUME PASSING. GOOD %. £31.5M.
SARRNICE20.00.72.00.21.40.50.30.159.690.23.5VERY LOW FOUL RATE WITH HIGH INTERCEPTIONS. VERY GOOD PASSING %. £16.2M.
MUKINAYIMONACO18.01.11.70.82.80.30.70.256.884.93.4DEFENSIVE NUMBERS SHOW POTENTIAL DESPITE RAISED FOUL COUNT. STRONG PASSING STATS. £18M.
PELMARDNICE19.02.21.50.32.60.20.40.058.490.91.5SAFER PASSER BUT HIGH DEFENSIVE NUMBERS WITH LOW FOULS. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. £3.6M.
GELINRENNES22.01.11.30.52.80.50.60.240.686.74.2AGGRESSIVE PASSING CB WITH GOOD OUTPUT TO FOUL RATIO. £5.4M.
DIASBENFICA22.01.31.10.62.40.40.40.565.189.75.6ENTERPRISING PASSER WITH OK FOUL COUNT. ROOM TO IMPROVE. £34.2M.
MEULENSTEENWAALWIJK20.01.41.90.43.50.91.50.155.585.24.6GETS DRIBBLED PAST TOO EASILY BUT TAK AND BLK SUGGESTS HAS PACE TO MAKE UP FOR IT. GOOD PASSING. £360K.
VEENDORPEMMEN22.01.91.70.73.70.50.60.151.982.45.5DEFENSIVE OUTPUT IS STRONG. OK PASSER, NEEDS TO IMPROVE HERE. £540K.
BOTMANHEERENVEEN20.01.51.40.55.20.20.60.365.883.83.9SHOWS PROMISE IN BOTH PASSING AND DEFENDING. DOESN'T CONCEDE TOO MANY FOULS. HARD TO DRIBBLE PAST. £1.13M.
DOEKHIVITESSE21.01.21.10.45.30.10.60.254.988.72.2LOW FOUL RATE WITH GOOD ACTIVE DEFENDING STATS. SOLID PASSING NUMBERS. £810K.

My personal favourites are the Nice centre backs Malang Sarr & Andy Pelmard, Adam Webster, Nico Elvedi and Nathan Ake.

Andy Pelmard and Malang Sarr have the added bonus of being extremely young. Dayot Upamecano, Sven Botman and Ben Godfrey are extremely promising also.

Sebastien Schonlau's stats are outstanding but I am unsure if this is simply an unusual season and would need more details.
Wow, huge effort there Sir. Excellent stuff.

Out of curiosity, how would Sepp VDB's stats have meausred up amongst the players on your list?
 

Sweeting

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,120
Wow, huge effort there Sir. Excellent stuff.

Out of curiosity, how would Sepp VDB's stats have meausred up amongst the players on your list?
Van Den Berg 2018/2019

AGETAKINTFOUCLRDBPBLKKEYAVP%LNG
VAN DEN BERGZWOLLE17.01.30.80.32.70.30.30.236.288.42.3

He comes out slightly behind so for the purposes of the exercise I performed (which was aimed at bringing in a CB for the first team) I would not have highlighted him based on last season. However, as a 17 year old you can see the stats there that drew us to him for the U23 squad - low foul count, hard to dribble past and high pass completion.
 

Richard88

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
648
What’s next? Pepe? Pulisic? Reus? Götze? Lacazette?

No offense but the quantity of your 'who would buy' posts ... it appears to me that you are a 'let’s spend for the sake of spending' guy.

We have the best team in the world.
And the best squad in the world.
And some promising youngsters coming through.
Squad is pretty packed.
Players have long term contracts.

Very likely that not much is going to happen and not much money will be spend.
I don't think we should spend for the sake of spending at all. However, I do think that the team is at a level right now that any additions need to be made at a quality level which will improve what we already have (very difficult), and/or in an age bracket which will allow for a smooth succession as current First XI players exit their peak years.

If there's no one available who can strengthen the side, and no positions of need currently, then I would be absolutely fine with no signings being made, as I was last summer.

That said, several key first XI players are nearing or entering their 30's (eg. Henderson, Wijnaldum, front 3, etc), and several players are winding down (eg. Lallana, Lovren, Milner), so it's important that we bring in players who will keep the level high, both in the present and also in the future.

The club is also in a very healthy financial position, with CL revenue, new Nike kit deal, TV revenues, etc etc, and having not spent much last summer there's really no reason why they shouldn't be able to compete for the best talent available - IF they are deemed to be worth it.

Note that I'm not saying that the club should go out and sign big players for the sake of it in every position. Rather, I have said that there are one or two key positions that need strengthening, namely LW and CM. A CB as well if Lovren leaves. It would be nice to sign a young LB, but in the short term we are fine there with Milner covering.

With that in mind, obviously there's a limit to how much we should reasonably spend (and I'm not really in the "let's sign Mbappe for £200m+ boat"), but why shouldn't we go out and try to get the very best LW and CM available? The squad is after all at a world class level right now because players who were the best in their positions were signed. Examples include Alisson, Van Dijk, Keita (who was a top 2 CM in terms of goals and assists in the BL), and Salah (who likewise had one of Europe's highest outputs in goals and assists for a winger at Roma). Now we have Sancho, who is only 19 but is already producing goals and assists that are among the best in not only the Bundesliga but also in Europe:

According to whoscored, Sancho has 0.7 assists per 90mins this season, which is ranked 1st among wingers under age 25 in Europe. He's also 3rd in goals per 90mins with 0.7, behind Mbappe (0.9) and Rashford (0.8) (Rashford is more of a forward anyhow). That's a pretty spectacular output if you ask me. And it's not a flash-in-the-pan either, as he already produced 12 goals and 14 assists last season as well as an 18 year old.
 
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