Why Luiz to Barcelona is a disaster at 35m and a mistake even at 50m


via (I hope this is his reaction to the rumor?)

(Please excuse the fact that I haven’t the time nor energy to do formal maths right now and this post will be full of approximations, also grammar, I’m tired and this was written in a hurry. I hope it is comprehensible)

Economically it seems like a smart decision. It's easy to say take the 35m-50m and make two 20m signings to replace him.

I’m going to state an opinion that serves as an assumption for this whole piece, I think that David Luiz will be a top 4-5 center back in the world within 2 years and that he is currently top 20 in the world and top 5-6 in the prem. If you don’t rate him at least close to that level, this argument is inherently flawed. (and you’re not a true wagnh’er).

If you think of it in terms of pts. over replacement player (not sure this exists but it should). In this article we’ll take it to mean the number of points a player is expected to earn you over a season greater than the average premier league footballer. (assuming both play 100% of the time).

Edit: Obviously tournaments/cups are shorter and thus difficult sample sets to do anything meaningful with. This focuses on the premier league season, but the higher the porp theoretically the better the team and the better the performance in cups.


via (I couldn't decide which picture to use so I used both, deal with it)

We’ll say that Luiz is worth a completely arbitrary number of 7 pts. over replacement player (porp or porpoise for fun). Let’s say two 20m signings could be worth 4 pts. over replacement player each (even go to 5 if you'd like).

Then say the average full time position is worth about 4 pts (based on a 40 pt mid-table finish, excluding goal keepers for simplicities sake right now) and since most full time players play 75-90% of the time, we’ll say they are worth 3.2 pts. (arbitrary but reasonable assumptions do not take into account talent rarity at specific positions etc.) We are also assigning minutes to be of equal value for simplicity (obviously some minutes are more important than others)

If Chelsea had 10 david luiz’s in this hairy hypothetical they’d have 110 pts (a new prem record out of a max 114. The right center back david luiz got caught driving into the opposing 6 yard box while the holding midfielder david luiz was off for a cramp giving up a goal to lose to newly promoted west ham of all teams, and Chelsea dropped a point when di matteo insisted on starting torres and sturridge together in the second game of the season against united)

This is also assuming that the 10 david luiz’s play every minute of every game etc. (obviously inaccurate, so let’s say that the starter played 85% of match minutes and the substitute was 2 points above an average premier league player (another assumption I know). This means you’d expect to receive something like 7-8 pts less in the course of a full season. We’re already down to 102 pts. Keep in mind this was a team purchased at ~250 million pounds and in its prime.

Quick math with the replacement players – 4*10 = 40 + 40 and we’re starting out with 80 pts. Drop that down for 15% of subs and we’re at about 77 pts. This point total barring major injuries to huge stars never wins a premier league title and finishes 4th in 2008/2009, 2007/2008. And this is an oversimplified model which is predicting generous point totals.

So while it is likely impossible to get 10 players in the 7-8 porp range (even in 2004-2005 it’s more likely players were in the 5-6 range, but due to squad depth subs were in the same range), I would say that it is relatively easy for a club like Chelsea to get a number of players in the 3-4 porp range. I’d argue the vast majority of the team is in this range right now and in some cases even worse, a few noticeable guesses - left wing (assuming mata in midfield) 1-2, right back 2-3, st 2.

Essentially my argument is that you can’t make a premier league championship side without several outstanding (6-7+ porp players). It’s unfair to say that we can replace one of our best players (top 3-4 porps in the side) with 2 good players (average porps in the side (3-5, as that is all a good player will be at Chelsea’s level).

The only way you can make the argument that is a good deal is if you believe we can receive in return players that exceed this magical 5 porp barrier. The goal in the transfer market should be to receive higher lifetime expected porps (in chelsea’s special case higher expected porps in the next season or two).

This article also completely ignores 4 other cons in selling a player like Luiz

a. Graham would be devastated

b. The negative Emotional impact trying to recruit other players after being seen as an inferior selling team (look at tottenham, of course I believe some clubs have other factors that evade this negative impact like arsenal with their history and cashflow stability even if this doesn’t translate to spending ability)

c. Economic loss due to fans not having true stars to root for (again, assumed)

I realize I've unfortunately essentially argued that Tottenham made the correct decision this summer (tough to argue against that based on the season so far..)

d. The adjustment time of a new player to the premier league/ Chelsea's system/squad

Don't make him sad



relevant ad I saw in London:



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