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By Lee Mooney.

Finding first-team right-sided wide forwards

This is the last of four short pieces aimed at identifying players to fill four playing roles (listed following a quick survey I did on Twitter):

  • Centre-back;
  • Left-back;
  • Defensive midfield; and
  • Right wing/forward.

The approach and techniques used are the same as those described in a TTT piece I wrote in March called ‘A Model to Identify Players’. If you haven’t read this piece, you’ll probably need to – just so that you understand the method, its weaknesses and the underlying assumptions. The model used for this piece has been modified slightly and uses newer data – but the basic ‘core’ remains unchanged.

Potential candidates

Typically, I like to provide links to these dashboards so that you can use them interactively. However, because of a connectivity problem, you will need to settle for images (if I solve the problem, I will provide the links in the comments section). The diagram below provides an overview of the talent pool that I have identified, which contains 79 potential candidates. These players are:

  • Right-sided wide forwards (or could be used in this way)
  • Aged between 19 and 27
  • Have a ‘Player Score’ exceeding 0.700
  • Have made an international appearance OR
  • Play for the equivalent of a Championship club or better

This segment of the talent pool was even harder to differentiate than the defensive midfielders! Is the player a midfield-winger, a striker-winger, a wide-forward or an attacking-midfielder that tends to occupy wide areas? Do they play on the same side as their natural dominant foot, or are they inverted? Using a Liverpool example: should the list include players like Downing and Henderson or Suarez and Sturridge (or even both)?

In the end, I decided to be less specific – allowing all of the various flavours of wide players into the mix so that they could be filtered later. However, where possible, I’ve differentiated the ‘specialists (48)’ from the ‘potentials (102)’. For presentation purposes I also decided to remove four big outliers:

  • Lionel Messi (£105m)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (£88m)
  • Edinson Cavani (£53m)
  • Gareth Bale (£44m)

Each of the potential candidates has been reviewed in the context of a theoretical LFC budget for the role. Using an updated turnover number of £200m, and a slightly revised budgeting model, the colour-coding is as follows:

  • Overspend:                          more than £17,969,721
  • High Spend:                         £12,835,515 to £17,969,721
  • Sensible Spend:                  £8,984,861 to £12,835,515
  • Low Spend:                          £6,417,758 to £8,984,861
  • Very Low Spend:               less than £6,417,758

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