Wolves getting best value for money - Aston Villa amongst the worst

A newly-released financial study has unearthed contrasting fortunes in Wolves and Villa transfer dealings across the last decade.

Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0.
Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0.

CIES Football Observatory – the Swiss-based international centre for sports studies – developed a statistical model designed to determine the monetary success of signings.

And their study revealed Wolves as the English club to have underpaid for signings with transfer fees in the period from July 2012 until the end of last year (November 2021).

The statistical model uses a specially-calculated estimated value of players prior to their transfers and works out whether clubs across the big five European leagues paid over the odds or under the value for their targets.

Wolves, it highlighted, spent seven million euros less for their paid-for transfer dealings than the market value, according to CIES' figures.

English top-flight clubs posting the next best figures were Tottenham, with six million euros, and Brighton's one million.

Aston Villa's Ross McCormack during the EFL Cup, First Round match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 10, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Luton. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications..

The trio were the only Premier League sides among the 36 clubs that invested less money than expected to conclude deals, highlighting the role of English top-flight clubs in driving up transfer inflation.

By contrast, Villa racked up the second-highest overspend among English clubs at 149million euros (£130m) for the same period.

That was second to just Manchester United across the Premier League – and it was revealed the Red Devils came out on top of the pile as the biggest overspenders in Europe across the last decade having splashed out a whopping 238m euros over the value of targets. Chelsea were third from English clubs.

The number crunchers at CIES revealed the process that goes into estimated a footballer's estimated market value includes several variables.

These include age, contract remaining at selling club, overall experience (minutes) in senior football and whether match action has grown or diminished over 12 months.

It also calculates other in-game variables, such as goals scored over 24 months in balance with the expected level of the league, goals assisted over 12 months and the number of successful dribbles or passing accuracy per minute.

It also takes into account international fixture figures, 'the economic level' of the recruiting club and an average from the 100 largest transfer fees completed over the last four windows, which take into account inflation or deflation.

Figures do not include fees paid in the summer transfer window just gone, including Wolves' £20.5m outlay for Nathan Collins, the £27.5m move for Goncalo Guedes and the record fee spent on Matheus Nunes, which could rise to £42m, likewise Villa's moves to capture Philippe Coutinho, Diego Carlos and Leander Dendoncker.

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