With most competitions ending in the next couple of weeks, fan excitement, and anxiety is slowly rising. Stories which would otherwise be considered odd or irrelevant in any other time of the season, become fuel to the transfer window machine. Take this article as an example. Somehow somebody at Marca found out that James Rodriguez was able to get his Spanish citizenship, a process he likely started as a function of living in Spain for several years after playing for Real Madrid. They took this to mean that his return to the Bernabeau is a foregone conclusion, completely neglecting the fact that Bayern Munich have an option to purchase him during the summer. This is not even mentioned in the article or many of the dozen other such articles.
As a passionate fan of Bayern Munich, I scout the internet for any news (yes, often falling pray to the above) that I can find, sifting through articles and looking for patterns linking any player to my club. Lately, there seems to be an unusually large volume of articles linking Lille’s young winger, Pepe, to my club. The suggested fee for the player is rumored to be around 80 million euros. Almost twice the amount estimated by Transfermarkt, a website devoted to estimating the value of players. This got me thinking: Why is he so much and what factors are associated with higher evaluations?
According to Rodriguez et al. (2018) there are several factors closely associated with higher fees: (1) participation in the national team, specifically the under 21s; (2) age, with the point of inflection at 26 years old; (3) playing time and number of appearances; (4) square value of the age; (5) and career goals. They performed various statistical analysis on 45 potential predictors previously suggested in the literature and narrowed it down to the most significant. The research article is interesting and brought attention to several determinants which I had not even considered in past, such as involvement in the national set up and under 21s and the square value of age, which makes small differences in age between players larger. Additionally, it was interesting to see that the researchers mentioned Transfermarkt and suggested that it is often a very reliable predictor of transfer sums.
What sort of player do you think your club needs and how much do you think he will go for? Have you encountered any odd/ridiculous stories linking players to certain clubs? What other factors do you think would affect the sum?
Rodriguez, M., Hassan, A., and Coad, A. 2018. Uncovering value drivers of high-performance soccer players. Journal of Sports Economics: 1-31