Top-50 Football Players: September 2015 Edition

Thomas Müller expressed his satisfaction, to be "finally above Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a ranking". So we shouldn't let him wait to see the updated ranking. He still is in the lead after this month's update. Apart from adding new games, we also implemented a minor change to the algorithm. Red cards are now handled better. For most players this meant little to no impact, but some player saw their rating deteriorate a bit.

Emir Spahić is infamous for his robust way of playing.
He also ranks high in suspension rankings.


Rank Player Team GoalImpact Player Age PeakGI Nationality Previous
Rank
GI Diff #Games #Mins
1 Thomas Müller Bayern München 216.6 26.0 216.7 Deutschland 1 +3 441 35039
2 Mesut Özil Arsenal FC 207.8 26.9 209.6 Deutschland 2 +2 483 37152
3 Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea FC 201.5 28.3 205.9 Spanien 6 +5 569 43259
4 Lionel Messi FC Barcelona 200.7 28.2 205.0 Argentinien 4 +1 559 46459
5 Karim Benzema Real Madrid 200.4 27.7 203.7 Frankreich 3 +0 459 30998
6 Busquets FC Barcelona 200.0 27.2 202.2 Spanien 9 +6 382 30743
7 Theo Walcott Arsenal FC 199.5 26.5 200.4 England 5 +3 367 22346
8 Robert Lewandowski Bayern München 199.1 27.0 201.1 Polen 7 +3 342 27566
9 Manuel Neuer Bayern München 198.3 29.4 199.6 Deutschland 11 +6 504 47196
10 Mario Götze Bayern München 195.1 23.3 203.2 Deutschland 12 +4 269 18785
11 Stefan Ilsanker RB Leipzig 192.4 26.3 192.9 Österreich 8 -3 285 22653
12 Piqué FC Barcelona 191.9 28.6 196.8 Spanien 17 +4 426 36436
13 Marcelo Real Madrid 189.6 27.3 192.1 Brasilien 10 -3 351 29215
14 Toby Alderweireld Tottenham Hotspur 189.3 26.5 190.3 Belgien 14 +1 260 22894
15 Luiz Gustavo VfL Wolfsburg 188.7 28.1 192.8 Brasilien 13 -1 301 24348
16 Pedro Chelsea FC 187.9 28.1 192.0 Spanien 15 -1 354 21965
17 Georginio Wijnaldum Newcastle United 186.9 24.8 189.7 Niederlande 16 -1 313 25288
18 Mats Hummels Borussia Dortmund 185.7 26.7 187.1 Deutschland 24 +4 374 32778
19 Andriy Pyatov Shakhtar Donetsk 184.7 31.2 185.0 Ukraine 20 +3 301 28058
20 Toni Kroos Real Madrid 183.9 25.7 184.8 Deutschland 25 +3 388 29102
21 Gregory van der Wiel Paris Saint-Germain 183.3 27.6 186.4 Niederlande 29 +5 316 27189
22 Jeremain Lens Sunderland AFC 182.8 27.8 186.2 Niederlande 22 +1 344 24160
23 Kwadwo Asamoah Juventus 182.7 26.8 184.1 Ghana 47 +11 269 23164
24 Kevin Kampl Bayer Leverkusen 182.5 24.9 185.2 Slowenien 18 -3 280 22558
25 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 182.3 30.6 193.4 Portugal 21 +1 682 57365
26 Emilio Izaguirre Celtic FC 181.5 29.3 187.5 Honduras 39 +6 235 20513
27 Nani Fenerbahce 181.0 28.8 186.2 Portugal 23 -0 402 29372
28 Arturo Vidal Bayern München 180.8 28.3 185.2 Chile 36 +5 393 32389
29 Jonny Evans West Brom 180.7 27.7 184.0 Nordirland 32 +3 265 22802
30 Andriy Yarmolenko Dinamo Kiev 179.7 25.8 180.0 Ukraine 27 +0 282 23025
31 Bastian Schweinsteiger Manchester United 179.3 31.1 193.9 Deutschland 31 +2 609 46627
32 Wayne Rooney Manchester United 179.0 29.8 185.9 England 28 +0 626 50820
33 Fraser Forster Southampton FC 178.8 27.4 181.8 England 19 -3 259 23892
34 Tony Jantschke Bor. Mönchengladbach 178.2 25.4 179.7 Deutschland 50 +7 250 21994
35 Andreas Ulmer RB Salzburg 178.1 29.8 185.0 Österreich 33 +1 317 28113
36 Petr Čech Arsenal FC 178.0 33.3 181.9 Tschechien 30 -0 665 61795
37 Henrikh Mkhitaryan Borussia Dortmund 178.0 26.6 179.2 Armenien 74 +14 282 23380
38 Victor Valdés Manchester United 177.9 33.7 182.4 Spanien 41 +3 536 49745
39 Joe Hart Manchester City 177.5 28.3 179.7 England 42 +3 390 36351
40 Ángel Di María Paris Saint-Germain 177.3 27.6 180.3 Argentinien 37 +2 425 27984
41 Martin Hinteregger RB Salzburg 177.1 23.0 186.4 Österreich 54 +8 221 18953
42 Gaël Clichy Manchester City 176.8 30.1 184.6 Frankreich 26 -4 417 35286
43 Douglas Trabzonspor 175.9 27.7 179.1 Brasilien 45 +4 286 25499
44 Eden Hazard Chelsea FC 175.8 24.7 179.1 Belgien 38 +0 376 28336
45 Daniel Agger Brøndby IF 175.6 30.8 187.7 Dänemark 34 -1 310 26719
46 Arjen Robben Bayern München 175.5 31.6 193.7 Niederlande 35 -1 537 39791
47 Luis Suárez FC Barcelona 173.1 28.6 178.0 Uruguay 51 +2 439 37503
48 Antonio Valencia Manchester United 172.4 30.1 180.1 Ecuador 40 -2 366 28547
49 Jérôme Boateng Bayern München 172.4 27.0 174.3 Deutschland 44 +0 415 34038
50 Yaroslav Rakitskiy Shakhtar Donetsk 171.5 26.1 171.7 Ukraine 88 +10 221 20171



Young Player Challenge - September 2015 Update

The transfer period ended and some of our talents moved to new clubs. This, in turn, affects also their market value. So time to check where we are standing. Here is the list of the most talented players that are yet to turn 20. Players listed with a value of 2,000,000 € or below at Transfermarkt.de are anonymized and numbered. The numbers are consistent with earlier posts. When talents become known, we will uncover them.

Player Transfermarkt First Listed Transfermarkt @
first listed
Goalimpact PeakGI Player Age
Julian Brandt, Bayer Leverkusen 7,500,000 € Apr 15 5,000,000 € 139 176 19
Anonymous Talent 20 0 € Jul 15 0 € 111 152 17
Max Meyer, FC Schalke 04 13,000,000 € Apr 15 15,000,000 € 121 151 20
Andrija Živković, Partizan 4,000,000 € Apr 15 3,000,000 € 110 149 19
Youri Tielemans, RSC Anderlecht 12,000,000 € Apr 15 12,000,000 € 102 148 18
Anonymous Talent 2 1,500,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 102 147 19
Anonymous Talent 19 1,200,000 € Jul 15 500,000 € 98 146 18
Breel-Donald Embolo, FC Basel 8,000,000 € Apr 15 8,000,000 € 101 146 19
Rubén Neves, FC Porto 6,000,000 € Apr 15 5,000,000 € 100 145 19
Anonymous Talent 24 0 € Sep 15 0 € 105 145 17
Ante Ćorić, Dinamo Zagreb 2,500,000 € Jul 15 2,500,000 € 98 144 18
Anonymous Talent 9 1,500,000 € Apr 15 750,000 € 108 144 19
Anonymous Talent 18 50,000 € Jul 15 0 € 105 143 19
Anonymous Talent 25 0 € Sep 15 0 € 97 143 18
Anonymous Talent 3 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 99 143 19
Anonymous Talent 12 250,000 € Apr 15 125,000 € 102 142 19
Anonymous Talent 7 750,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 109 142 20
Anonymous Talent 16 250,000 € Apr 15 0 € 101 141 19
Danilo, Valencia CF 7,000,000 € Sep 15 7,000,000 € 106 141 20
Anonymous Talent 26 750,000 € Sep 15 750,000 € 92 141 18
Anonymous Talent 27 500,000 € Sep 15 500,000 € 101 141 19
Anonymous Talent 8 1,000,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 100 141 19
Anonymous Talent 4 800,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 93 140 18
Anonymous Talent 5 300,000 € Apr 15 350,000 € 103 140 19
Valentino Lazaro, RB Salzburg 2,500,000 € Jul 15 2,500,000 € 104 140 19
Anonymous Talent 11 50,000 € Apr 15 50,000 € 94 140 18
Anonymous Talent 23 1,250,000 € Jul 15 750,000 € 100 140 19
Richairo Živković, Willem II 3,000,000 € Apr 15 4,000,000 € 99 139 19
Anonymous Talent 14 200,000 € Apr 15 250,000 € 106 139 20
Anonymous Talent 10 200,000 € Apr 15 200,000 € 106 138 20
Anonymous Talent 1 400,000 € Apr 15 300,000 € 95 138 19
Anonymous Talent 15 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 94 138 19
Anonymous Talent 22 2,000,000 € Jul 15 1,000,000 € 94 138 19
Anonymous Talent 21 0 € Jul 15 0 € 92 137 18
Teddy Bishop, Ipswich Town 2,500,000 € Apr 15 2,500,000 € 98 137 19
Anonymous Talent 17 450,000 € Jul 15 200,000 € 92 137 19
Anonymous Talent 13 250,000 € Apr 15 125,000 € 99 136 19

Julian Brandt kept his lonely lead and even improved his expected peak yet a little bit more. However, this time it was only one additional point. One player dropped out of the list because he turned to twenty. For our investment tracking, we count him as sold at the final value.

Player Transfermarkt First Listed Transfermarkt @
first listed
Goalimpact PeakGI Player Age Drop Out
Anonymous Talent 6 50,000 € Apr 15 50,000 € 110 140 20 Sep 15

We also updated the virtual investment portfolio in all players that have a market value of 2 million or below. The following table shows the investment results cohort, i.e. per investment point in time.

Cohort Investment Up Down Profit Rate of Return
Apr 15 6,700,000 € 56% 12.5% 2,800,000 € 41.79%
Jul 15 2,450,000 € 71% 0.0% 2,500,000 € 102.04%
Sep 15 1,250,000 € 0% 0.0% 0 € 0.00%

Of all anonymous players first listed in Apr 2015, 56% saw their market value rise and only 12.5% suffered from a reduced value. Netting profit and loss leads to a net profit of 2,800,000€. Signing all players back then would have costed us 6,700,000 €. That is a rate of return of nearly 42% in just five months.

Our July investment turned out even more profitable. On an initial investment of just 2,450,000€ we had a net profit of 2,500,000€. That's +102% in just two months. Actually, none of the players had his market value reduced and an incredible 71% now have a higher  market value than in July.

Five new players have been identified in this September update and the total investment is only 1,2500,000€. Stay tuned to see the how they develop.

We are providing football clubs with lists of potential scouting targets. If you are interested, please contact us at info@goalimpact.com


Will Brentford FC get promoted to Premier League?

On the football hipster scale Brentford FC currently rates very high. Ever since Matthew Benham invested into the team with both money and knowledge, a remarkable increase in performance started. Yet the ultimate aim, promotion to Premier League, was missed last season. Will it happen this season?

Brentford's strategy to achieve promotion, as I understand it, consists of three main pillars.
  1. Build game tactics on a deep understanding of the beautiful game that includes measures not commonly used by other teams
  2. Identify undervalued players and hire then for comparably little money
  3. Develop the players by creating an open learning atmosphere and a lot of specialist coaches
Those pillars are closely interlinked. If Brentford identified tactical means that are underused by other teams, players good at supporting and executing these means will more likely be undervalued, because the other teams don't rate this means highly. Currently, e.g. Brentford seems to want to leverage on set-pieces. They may hence try to identify players that are good in set piece situations, be as taker or receiver of the ball. If Brentford can create many set piece situations, those players will be worth more to them than they might have been worth to their previous teams, especially also because the players will improve each other if they are all good in set pieces. If both the taker and receiver side of a set piece is good, the probability to score raises more than just linear.

Coming back to the initial question. Will Brentford get promoted this season? To answer this question I use the Goalimpact algorithm to evaluate the average player quality of the teams. With that information, I can use a Monte-Carlo simulation of all league games to come up with probabilities for each team to finish on each rank of the league table.

Of course, this will not show the complete picture. If Brentford delivers on pillar 1 and 3, they will outperform predictions because Goalimpact just rates players by their average past performance, albeit adjusted for many factors. While Goalimpact adjusts for performance changes due to normal development and aging, it does so only in an average way. Goalimpact will assume that Brentford's young talents improve over time as the average football players do. However, I assume, that Brentford's ambition is to improve them more than just average. If they manage, Goalimpact will undervalue the players' performance until enough there are enough observations to adjust the rating. But you can also see this the other way round. Goalimpact can be used as a Key Performance Indicator to track if player development at Brentford is indeed above average.

The Monte-Carlo simulation is based on the assumption of a "frozen world". I.e. I assume there are no more transfers done and I also assume that clubs don't react on past performance. In reality, e.g., a club with very bad results may hire new better players in the winter break to avoid relegation, but I assume the teams to stay as they are now. Also in reality, not the best players will always play nor will the "average player" play. In reality changing sets of players play. To reflect this, I average the Goalimpact over all players of a team, but weighting players with strong Goalimpact higher than those with lower ratings. Again this is a simplification, as in reality a seriously injured good player may miss all games of the season, while the same player in an other reality will stay healthy and play all games. The impact on the season will be different than my assumption of him playing half of the games. Note that I also ignore currently known injuries for the sake of keeping the work for this post manageable. In the Bundesliga season ticker, injuries are reflected.

Ok, here are the results as of the 22nd of July 2015:


You will find Brentford on rank seven in this table. But Championship turns out to be a very competitive league with many teams having a Goalimpact in a similar range. This makes random variation having a big influence on the final league table. So while I "expect" Brentford to finish seventh, there is still a 3.4% chance they finish first and even a 1.8% chance that they finish last. Not because they have been a better or worse team, but just because they might turn out to be very lucky or extremely unlucky. Summarizing the results into categories yield following probabilities for the season end.



Relegation is very unlikely and so is direct promotion. However the total chance that they will promote or at least play promotion play-offs is 28.4%. That's more than decent. Still if you point a gun to me, I'd rather bet they will not promote. That said, the team is young and will develop. If we keep the world just a little bit longer frozen and predict how the current teams would fare in the 2016/17 season, promotion odds of Brentford are strongly increased. The reason is that they are very well prepared for that season already. The contracts for key players extend to there and often even longer. Not all other teams are that well managed. This leads to a more than 50% chance Brentford will at least play promotion play-offs and a 18.3% chance they'll promote directly.

However, the assumption of a frozen world is a strong assumption. Actually, while I wrote these lines, Brentford signed to more players and improved their team further.

Lasse Vibe wasn't rated highly until mid 2014 when is Goalimpact started to pick up. He is now a more than just decent signing that improves the team substantially. He past the common peak age of 26 already, but given his recent surge in Goalimpact he is expected to help for more than one season.
Phillip Hofmann developed exactly as good as predicted early in his career. Already 2011 he was expected to have a Goalimpact of 130 when 26 and his performance was in line with this expectation ever since. Just the type of excellent signing you'd love your club to make.

The two good signings raised the expected number of points won this season from 64.0 to 65.5. Less than two extra points may not sound too exciting, but it narrows the gap to the top teams in the league.



Brentford is now expected to finish ahead of Nottingham Forest. And also their odds to get promoted increased.

Instead of 7.8%, chances of direct promotion are now 10.6% and the chance to enter the promotion play-offs increased, too. If looking at the barrel of a gun, I'd still bet they will not promote, but I would now worry even more. In the 2016/2017 season, the chance that they will at least enter the promotion play off is now two thirds with the odds for direct promotion increased by 50% from 18% to 29%.

Conclusion

Brentford FC has a realistic chance to get promoted this season. Yet, it is given the expected performances of all players in the league still below 50%. The club is very well prepared for the season 2016/17 already today. This gives them an edge above the other teams in the league and promotion odds are strongly improved. This analysis is based on Goalimpact and expected average development only. If the club manages to identify tactical inefficiencies and leverage on them, they will out perform expectations. The same holds if they manage to develop their players above average. If so, the players' Goalimpact will raise more than expected and the rating can be used as a KPI to see if the objective has been reached.

Update 26.07.2015:
I recalculated the numbers because some players were erroneously assumed to be off contract. This effected especially Ipswich Town which is now rated higher. Brentford's numbers only marginally changed.

Top50 Football Players - July 2015 Edition

New quarter, new top-list. With the move of Stefan Ilsanker to Leipzig, one of the players with the highest Goalimpact of the world plays in the second German devision. Weird.


Rank Player Team GoalImpact Player Age PeakGI Nationality Previous Rank GI Diff
1 Thomas Müller Bayern München 214.1 25.8 214.6 Deutschland 1 -3
2 Mesut Özil Arsenal FC 205.6 26.7 206.9 Deutschland 2 +4
3 Karim Benzema Real Madrid 200.3 27.5 203.1 Frankreich 3 +1
4 Lionel Messi FC Barcelona 199.6 28.0 203.4 Argentinien 4 +0
5 Theo Walcott Arsenal FC 196.5 26.3 197.1 England 7 +4
6 Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea FC 196.0 28.2 200.0 Spanien 6 -0
7 Robert Lewandowski Bayern München 195.7 26.8 197.3 Polen 5 -3
8 Stefan Ilsanker RB Leipzig 195.2 26.1 195.4 Österreich 19 +14
9 Busquets FC Barcelona 194.3 26.9 196.1 Spanien 11 +6
10 Marcelo Real Madrid 192.5 27.2 194.7 Brasilien 10 +3
11 Manuel Neuer Bayern München 192.1 29.3 193.3 Deutschland 8 +0
12 Mario Götze Bayern München 190.7 23.1 199.7 Deutschland 14 +7
13 Luiz Gustavo VfL Wolfsburg 189.3 27.9 193.0 Brasilien 9 -2
14 Toby Alderweireld Southampton FC 188.7 26.3 189.4 Belgien 15 +6
15 Pedro FC Barcelona 188.6 27.9 192.2 Spanien 13 +4
16 Georginio Wijnaldum PSV Eindhoven 187.8 24.7 191.4 Niederlande 17 +6
17 Piqué FC Barcelona 187.5 28.4 191.9 Spanien 16 +5
18 Kevin Kampl Borussia Dortmund 185.0 24.8 188.5 Slowenien 18 +3
19 Fraser Forster Southampton FC 182.2 27.3 184.8 England 12 -4
20 Andriy Pyatov Shakhtar Donetsk 181.7 31.0 181.7 Ukraine 23 +2
21 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 181.6 30.4 191.3 Portugal 21 +1
22 Jeremain Lens Dinamo Kiev 181.6 27.6 184.6 Niederlande 20 +0
23 Nani Sporting CP 181.4 28.6 186.2 Portugal 32 +4
24 Mats Hummels Borussia Dortmund 181.3 26.5 182.3 Deutschland 26 +3
25 Toni Kroos Real Madrid 181.1 25.5 182.5 Deutschland 39 +7
26 Gaël Clichy Manchester City 180.8 29.9 187.8 Frankreich 22 +0
27 Andriy Yarmolenko Dinamo Kiev 179.4 25.7 180.2 Ukraine 52 +11
28 Wayne Rooney Manchester United 178.6 29.7 185.2 England 25 +0
29 Gregory van der Wiel Paris Saint-Germain 178.4 27.4 181.0 Niederlande 36 +3
30 Petr Čech Chelsea FC 178.3 33.1 182.2 Tschechien 34 +2
31 Bastian Schweinsteiger Manchester United 177.6 30.9 190.6 Deutschland 29 +0
32 Jonny Evans Manchester United 177.5 27.5 180.3 Nordirland 37 +2
33 Andreas Ulmer RB Salzburg 177.3 29.7 183.8 Österreich 27 -1
34 Daniel Agger Brøndby IF 176.9 30.6 187.6 Dänemark 35 +1
35 Arjen Robben Bayern München 176.0 31.4 192.4 Niederlande 33 -1
36 Arturo Vidal Juventus 175.8 28.1 179.7 Chile 31 -1
37 Ángel Di María Manchester United 175.6 27.4 178.2 Argentinien 28 -2
38 Eden Hazard Chelsea FC 175.5 24.5 179.6 Belgien 30 -2
39 Emilio Izaguirre Celtic FC 175.1 29.2 180.7 Honduras 85 +16
40 Antonio Valencia Manchester United 174.7 29.9 181.6 Ecuador 24 -4
41 Victor Valdés Manchester United 174.6 33.5 179.1 Spanien #NV #NV
42 Joe Hart Manchester City 174.5 28.2 176.4 England 41 +2
43 Vladimir Stojković Ergotelis 172.3 31.9 174.0 Serbien 42 +0
44 Jérôme Boateng Bayern München 172.3 26.8 173.8 Deutschland 48 +3
45 Douglas Dinamo Moskva 172.1 27.5 174.8 Niederlande 38 -3
46 Salomon Kalou Hertha BSC 172.0 29.9 178.9 Elfenbeinküste 40 -0
47 Kwadwo Asamoah Juventus 171.6 26.6 172.6 Ghana 44 +1
48 Danijel Subašić AS Monaco 171.5 30.7 171.8 Kroatien 49 +2
49 Alexis Sánchez Arsenal FC 171.3 26.5 172.3 Chile 46 +1
50 Tony Jantschke Bor. Mönchengladbach 171.0 25.3 173.1 Deutschland 65 +6

Highest new entry to the list is Kiev's Andriy Yarmolenko.

Andriy Yarmolenko played already for Kiev's youth teams
and was always expected to excel by Goalimpact. However,
since beginning of 2014, his Goalimpact just skyrockets.

Young Player Challenge - July Update

A new quarter started. Time to look what our young talents are doing. Here is the list of the most talented players that are yet to turn 20. Players listed with a value of 1,500,000 € or below at Transfermarkt,de are anonymized and numbered. The numbers are consistent with earlier posts. When talents become known, we will uncover them.

Player Transfermarkt First Listed Transfermarkt @ first listed Goalimpact PeakGI Player Age
Julian Brandt, Bayer Leverkusen 5,000,000 € Apr 15 5,000,000 € 136 175 19
Max Meyer, FC Schalke 04 15,000,000 € Apr 15 15,000,000 € 123 154 20
Anonymous Talent 2 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 99 14918
Youri Tielemans, RSC Anderlecht 12,000,000 € Apr 15 12,000,000 € 97 14818
Anonymous Talent 17 200,000 € July 15 200,000 € 98 14718
Andrija Živković, Partizan 4,000,000 € Apr 15 3,000,000 € 106 147 19
Rubén Neves, FC Porto 5,000,000 € Apr 15 5,000,000 € 97 146 18
Anonymous Talent 8 500,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 102 146 19
Anonymous Talent 3 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 99 146 19
Ante Ćorić, Dinamo Zagreb 2,500,000 € July 15 2,500,000 € 95 145 18
Breel-Donald Embolo, FC Basel 8,000,000 € Apr 15 8,000,000 € 97 145 18
Anonymous Talent 18 0 € July 15 0 € 104 145 19
Anonymous Talent 19 500,000 € July 15 500,000 € 92 145 18
Anonymous Talent 20 0 € July 15 0 € 102 144 17
Anonymous Talent 7 500,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 109 143 20
Anonymous Talent 9 750,000 € Apr 15 750,000 € 104 142 19
Valentino Lazaro, RB Salzburg 2,500,000 € July 15 2,500,000 € 104 142 19
Anonymous Talent 4 800,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 90 142 18
Anonymous Talent 21 0 € July 15 0 € 95 142 18
Richairo Živković, Jong Ajax 4,000,000 € Apr 15 4,000,000 € 98 141 19
Anonymous Talent 22 1,000,000 € July 15 1,000,000 € 94 141 19
Anonymous Talent 23 750,000 € July 15 750,000 € 99 141 19
Anonymous Talent 1 400,000 € Apr 15 300,000 € 94 141 19
Anonymous Talent 11 50,000 € Apr 15 50,000 € 91 141 18
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, FC Augsburg 4,000,000 € Apr 15 4,000,000 € 111 141 20
Anonymous Talent 5 350,000 € Apr 15 350,000 € 100 140 19
Anonymous Talent 16 0 € Apr 15 0 € 97 140 19
Anonymous Talent 12 250,000 € Apr 15 125,000 € 96 140 19
Anonymous Talent 6 50,000 € Apr 15 50,000 € 110 140 20
Teddy Bishop, Ipswich Town 2,500,000 € Apr 15 2,500,000 € 98 139 19
Anonymous Talent 15 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 91 139 18
Anonymous Talent 10 200,000 € Apr 15 200,000 € 106 139 20
Anonymous Talent 14 200,000 € Apr 15 250,000 € 104 138 20
Anonymous Talent 13 125,000 € Apr 15 125,000 € 99 137 19

You think that the rating of Julian Brandt looks unreal? It does. However, this didn't keep him from outperforming already high expectations. His PeakGI actually increased from 171 to 175 since April.



After the first three month, 19% of the players listed in April 2015 gained value and only one lost in value. In total the players saw their transfer value increase by 1,475,000€. Of the anonymous players, hence the not yet discovered talents, total earnings are 475,000 € on an initial investment of 6,700,000 €. This makes a rate of return of 7.1%. Not a bad start for the first three months.

Cohort Investment Up Down Profit Rate of Return
Apr 15 6,700,000 € 19% 6.3% 475,000 € 7.09%
Jul 15 2,450,000 € 0% 0.0% 0 € 0.00%

Next update will be in October, well into the new season. We might see more changes in value then, if some of the players managed to get a new position in their team or a new team.

How many league points do 10 Goalimpact add?

If you are a club owner or fan, you would want to know how many points your team is going to have at the end of the season to judge if your team is good enough or needs reinforcement. Let's assume you decide your team isn't good enough, by how much would you need to improve your team? It depends...

The case of highly competitive league

Let's first look at a league like Bundesliga in which all 18 teams are equally good. We would expect all teams to earn the same number of points (46). Preseason, we would have no clue whatsoever who is going to be champion as everybody is equally good.


Some insight we gain by the first line in the table. It shows the expected points conditional to a team ending on the respective rank. We thus expect the winner of this league of equally good teams to earn 59 points while the last ranked team only earns 33. Notice that this is pure random variation. While we expect the winner to have 59 points, we have no idea of who this is going to be.

At the end of the season probably the winner will have positive media coverage and can sell newly made star players at a premium whilst the last team saw its trainer replaced two times during the season. Humans tend to act of random outcomes, but that is not path to success. They are just fooled by randomness.

To overcome this, teams need quality measures that are not based on the actual random league position. Statistics is a way of achieving this. You could evaluate your team using TSR, EXPGRatio or other team quality measures, but this works best only during or after the season. Preseason, you'd need to use player based quality ratings such as Goalimpact.


Sticking out

Now imagine, one team in this very competitive league is 10 Goalimpact points better than the others. It did some investments in better players and gained an advantage. How does this affect the expected league outcome?


We picked Werder Bremen as the lucky team. They increased their expected points by 6 to 52 taking an equal share of the other teams. The chances are more than 50% that they will end Top4 at the end of the season. Odds to relegate dropped significantly, though in a freak season it could still happen.

The conditional points that the league winner holds hardly changed. Although we shifted the odds significantly, we couldn't tell that Werder Bremen is a better team just by looking at the final standings. They'd probably have something like 60 points and we couldn't tell if they were better than the others or just lucky unless we use analytics.

If we increase the team quality further to have 20 points more than others in the league, The team is expected to dominate the league and win with a chance of more than 60%.


The winner is expected to end the season with 62.7 points and the runner-up with 57.1. This is five points different and chances are that the winner will be Werder Bremen and it will have won the title before the last match day. But there is still a 40% chance that one of the other team will win the title or at least be close to it with a chance of winning on the last match day. Again, just looking at the final standings, may not give conclusive insight on the team quality.

Points per Goalimpact

To be able to plan, how many extra points does my team earn for 10 extra Goalimpact? From the tables above, we can see that Werder Bremen added 6.2 points by increasing the Goalimpact from 100 to 110. Increasing it from 110 to 120 added another 7.9 and hence more than first increase. If we calculate this for a number of Goalimpact values, we come up with such a distribution of points added per 10 Goalimpact.


As a rule of thumb, a team gains over a season 6 extra points gained by extra 10 Goalimpact. That said, depending on the actual distribution of skill in the league this can be a bit higher. There are two peaks in the chart when moving from a Goalimpact of 80 to 90 an when moving from 110 to 120. If you have a lot of opponents at a distance of 10 Goalimpact points, increase you team's quality further may hence be extra efficient.

Conclusions

10 Goalimpact points add about 6 points in a league of 18 teams. In some circumstances it may be a bit more than that. We can also estimate the maximum impact a single player has on his team. Imagine a team replaces a below average player with an Goalimpact of 90 by Messi (Goalimpact of 200). Assuming Messi takes all games, this would increase the average Goalimpact by (200 - 90 / 11 = 10. Hence, this transfer would make the team jump up 6 points in the expected league table. Quite a bit, but probably much less than people would instinctively expect given this extreme transfer. We can conclude, that you can't aim for the one killer signing that will let you play for Champions League. You need to improve the overall team quality on all positions to move from average Bundesliga (110) to Champions League qualification contender (130+). Or sign two Messis.