Deadline Day Data Viz: A look at some of the last-minute signings across Europe
The January 2022 transfer window is finally closed for many of the top leagues in Europe. Despite all the common belief that ‘a good club gets their business done early’ we still say a lot of activity late on Monday with players moving right up until the cut-off point.
Fans of all clubs will no doubt have an opinion on whether X was a good buy or Y will be hopeless – but we thought we’d try and bring a little more statistical thought-process to the table and give you a data viz look at the performances so far this season of a selection of Deadline Day signings.
Tottenham Deadline Day Transfers
Tottenham headed into Monday having missed out on Luis Diaz (Liverpool) and Adama Traore (Barcelona). Antonio Conte had to settle for Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus – but how have the two recruits from Turin fared this season?
Dejan Kulusevski – in
When reading these visuals, there are two general rules of thumb. #1, you want to see your player dot highlighted to the right of the scatter charts in the first viz. This is how he compares to everyone else playing in the same tier – in this instance, we consider the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga as Tier 1 leagues. #2, you want to see lots of long bars. The longer the bar, the higher the percentile for the player compared to everyone else in his league.
We can see here that Kulusevski is well above the league average in many metrics – lots of touches in the box, assists per 90 and many other attacking metrics. Just don’t bank on him to take too much of the goalscoring burden off the shoulders of Harry Kane.
In terms of creation, though – he’s looking good. Could he be the player that allows Kane and Son to stay higher and not have to come so deep to create? Time will tell.
Rodrigo Bentancur – in
Bentancur also arrives from Juve. A criticism of Spurs under Conte is a lack of creativity in midfield with Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp not feeling progressive enough. Bentancur could arguably slot straight into Conte’s system – his passing metrics are very impressive and he also provides plenty of energy in the defensive phase.
Dele Alli – out
There aren’t many that would disagree it’s time Dele Alli had a fresh start – is a move to Everton under new manager Frank Lampard a good move? Considering Alli was once considered one of the top attacking midfield talents in Europe, Lampard will be hoping to get more out of Alli than we’ve seen this season – if not, his defensive metrics are strong so maybe a shift to being a midfield enforcer?
Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil – out
Lo Celso arrived at Spurs a couple of years ago with a big La Liga reputation – it’s not really worked out for him but Villarreal will probably be delighted if he can bring these passing and defending metrics to the table.
Bryan Gil hasn’t really had much of a chance since joining the club and is off to Valencia who, like Villarreal, will be very happy if their new signing brings this forward.
Tanguy Ndombele – out
What is it with Spurs and big signings not working out? Ndombele arrived for a record fee and is heading back to his old club, Lyon, on loan for the rest of the season – and an option to buy for less than they sold him for if he does well in France. For someone who was bought as a midfield powerhouse, Ndombele is missing quite a bit of midfield powerhouse.
Liverpool Transfer Deadline Day moves
Nat Phillips – out
Nat Phillips is a bit of a cult hero at Anfield and he’s heading to the South Coast and Bournemouth on loan. Scott Parker now has plenty of defensive options as Phillips joins Gary Cahill, Lloyd Kelly and James Hill – but if they need someone aerially dominant who is better in the build-up phase than most people assume, then Phillips is a decent move.
Juventus Transfer Deadline Day deals
Denis Zakaria – in
Personally, I was expecting Zakaria’s metrics to look a little more impressive given the hype. Still, he is off the scale for accurate forward passes.
Burnley Transfer Deadline Day Signing
Wout Weghorst – in
Selling Chris Wood for £25m and bringing in an arguably better player for half that price? Burnley don’t do much but what they have done here seems to make a lot of sense. Weghorst has an above-average xG per 90, non-penalty goals per 90 and assists per 90. Maxwel Cornet will be looking forward to playing off him, that’s for sure.
Everton Transfer Deadline Day signings
Donny van de Beek – in
Finally, we might get a chance to see the ex-Ajax star perform in the Premier League. But, his data here clearly shows that Van de Beek is a more attacking midfield player than defensive – how will he fit in with Dele Alli?
Newcastle United Deadline Day moves
Matt Targett – in
Newcastle were scrabbling around like crazy towards the back-end of the window but they’ve made a very smart loan signing in Matt Targett. Solid defensively and on the ball, he’s still one of the better Premier League left-backs and was only moved on from Aston Villa after they signed one of the other better Premier League left-backs in Lucas Digne.
Dan Burn – in
Eddie Howe has desperate to sign a central defender in January and he finally got his wish in nabbing Dan Burn from Brighton. Brighton got a better fee than they hoped for, Burn got his dream move back to the club he supported as a boy and Newcastle got a defender capable of playing in a progressive manner.
Brighton Deadline Day deals
Denis Undav – in
Finally, a signing we can really get on board with. Denis Undav has been scoring for fun in USG’s storming season back in the Belgian top-flight and that has been enough to convince Brighton to bring him to the Premier League from their partner club – he has been loaned back to USG for the remainder of the season but you can imagine he’ll be a good signing for the Seagulls in the next campaign.
Rangers Deadline Day signings
Aaron Ramsey – in
Lots of people were expecting Aaron Ramsey to move this window, but not many would have guessed it would have been to Scotland and Rangers. Juventus, you would imagine, are heavily subsidising his wages but this move has shades of Gazza returning from Serie A in the mid-90s. Ramsey’s numbers are not terrible at all and we fully expect him to be successful at a lower level in the Scottish Premiership.
Barcelona Transfer Deadline Day moves
I think we can all agree, we’d love to be as hard up as Barcelona. The club that allegedly have no money pulled off one of the more surprising moves of the window taking Aubameyang from Arsenal on a free transfer. As we can see though, they are getting a striker that was still performing well in the Premier League. Now, who can they ask to defer their wages this time…?
As we can see above, there were some interesting Deadline Day moves made across Europe – more so in the Premier League than in other top tier leagues.
Many of the players we have highlighted there could be considered players with points to prove – so we should consider the data points at this moment (the data is gathered over the last calender year) a starting point rather than an absolute guide of what they could do for their new sides.
Personally, I am interested in the moves that have plenty of narrative around them just to see how much of the signing was made on common sense and how much is weighted towards “I can be the one to do something better with them” – Dele Alli, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Ramsey, Aubameyang all fit into that category and you’d have to assume there is big upside on all those moves for the players and clubs involved.
Equally, you wonder if Burnley have done enough in securing just Wout Weghorst. Have Tottenham had a far better window than the chaos would actually suggest?
As ever, time will tell.