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Mon. 07 September 2015

From Martial to Sterling: most over- and under-paid players

Who were the most under-paid players during the last transfer window? Who was under-paid? Issue number 117 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post answers to these questions.

On average, big-5 league players transferred for money during last summer were paid 23% more than footballers with similar characteristics transferred during the five previous years. If we add this percentage to the transfer values estimated by the CIES Football Observatory at the end of the 2014/15 season on the basis of its exclusive econometric model, we obtain figures taking inflation into account.

The comparison of these values with fees paid by clubs allows us to assess transfers from an economic perspective. This analysis is carried out without considering add-on fees related to the future performance of players, nor sell-on fees negotiated on future transfers. Players on loan with buy-out clauses were not included.

This study indicates that the most under-paid player in absolute terms with respect to the sums invested in the recent past for footballers with similar characteristics was Anthony Martial by Manchester United (+27.9 million €, not including add-ons), followed by Kevin de Bruyne by Manchester City (+26.6 million €) and Christian Benteke by Liverpool (+19.6 million €).

At the opposite end of the table, the most under-paid players according to the CIES Football Observatory analysis were Raheem Sterling by Manchester City (-32.1 million €), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa by Olympique Lyonnais (-11.9 million €) and Robin van Persie by Fenerbahçe (-11.4 million €).

More information is available on the CIES Football Observatory website or on request at[email protected]. For a detailed presentation of the methodology used to estimate the transfer value of players, please refer to issue number 6 of the CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report.

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