Serie A Attacking Transfer Targets – The Final Edition

I have too many guys I need to cover today for the usual preamble, at least two of whom were added by request. If you missed the first edition of Serie A analysis, you can find it here.

Now let’s get to it.

Name: Mauro Icardi
Team: Sampdoria (now owned by Inter Milan)
Age: 20
Position: Forward (Centre)
Potential Buyers: SOLD!

For the most part, this series has focused on players whose stats suggest they are future superstars, and who might be available for transfers. Mauro Icardi just transferred to Inter Milan, but a reader asked me to take a look at him, and who am I to deny that?

Year Apps G A ShpG KP Drib Disp Trn PS% NPG/90 Sot%
2013 24(7) 10 2 1.6 0.6 0.5 1.1 1 66.2 0.43 41

Note: An explanation for all the abbreviations is found at the end of this article

When I looked at the stats initially, Icardi was on the bubble as a player the model might be interested in. Only 10 goals isn’t an amazing return from an entire season, but that NPG rate is exceptional for a 20-year-old.  I’m also impressed by his Shots on Target stats. Sampdoria weren’t very good last season, but Icardi made the best of the service he got.

Solid at 20, how good will Icardi be in 5 years?

Solid at 20, how good will Icardi be in 5 years?

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5 Defensive Prospects from La Liga

This is a Guest Post by BallNotABomb

Ted has already done a good job of having a look at those players that have done well, but may be not got the credit for it that they should have on the offensive side of the ball. This is going to be an attempt to do the same for defensive players.

Name: Carlos Martinez

Team: Real Sociedad
Age: 27
Position: Right Back
Potential Buyers: Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen

Everyone by now has probably heard and maybe seen some of Real Sociedad’s incredible over achievement in the league this season, which culminated in a fourth place finish and a spot in next year’s Champions’ League. Carlos Martinez has as much to do with Sociedad’s good season as any. Having been there all of his career, starting in 2004, he probably has more to do with their success than anyone. However, this could also add a few pennies on to his asking price. Continue reading

5 Attacking Prospects from Serie A You Need to Know

more_ss_moneyballWe’re in the home stretch on the attacking transfer dossiers, with Serie A the last major league I am expecting to cover this summer*.  For those who are new to this series, the point is to try and unearth interesting and valuable players that are probably not household names… yet. And the conceit is that I try and do it via statistical analysis, as opposed to listening to expert opinion, or just following along with what the media says.

As of this past weekend, noted expert and Match of the Day pundit Mark Lawrenson hadn’t even seen Isco play. That sort of stance on young players isn’t just avant garde, it’s bleeding edge. It takes a special kind of expert to say, “Fah, so what if he’s been in the Champions’ League. I only care when he starts playing in the Premier League.” There will be none of that here, let me assure you.

If you are interested in the earlier dossiers, you can find Germany here, France part 1 and part 2, and Spain part 1 and part 2.

*Unless someone decides to ship me a raft of data from any other Euro countries, in which case I will happily continue the journey of the S.S. Moneyball.

The Quirks of Serie A
I have mentioned that Serie A is a bit of a statistical anomaly both on Twitter and in slightly longer form. Most of Serie A’s leaders in Key Passes for the last two seasons were 29 or older, so I had some concern that the league might be a wasteland for young talent that we would be interested in.  It turns out I needn’t have worried – Serie A is packed with some younger studs, provided you know where to look.

Let’s start with the most talked-about young transfer target of the summer.

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Cristian Tello and Four More Transfer Targets from Spain You Need to Know


Welcome back to another edition of transfer dossiers, where I scour the internet for stats on some of Europe’s most interesting and underrated players. If you are new to the series, you can find players from Germany here, France parts 1 and 2 here, and the first part of my Spanish dossiers here.

Today I’m going to examine two Barcelona players that have been heating up the transfer airwaves, and then look at a Madrid forward, one of Sociedad’s wonder kids, and finish with an unpolished gem from Bilbao.

Here we go!

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5 Hot Transfer Targets from Spain That You Need to Know

Iago says, "Welcome."

Iago says, “Welcome.”

Welcome back to another set of transfer dossiers. To those who are new to this series, you can check up on the German targets here, plus France part 1 (including Payet, Mollo, and Cabella) and  and part 2 (including Ben Yedder, Alessandrini, and Boudebouz). The point of this series is to use statistics to help unearth excellent players that you might have never heard of before. By focusing on certain key metrics, it becomes possible to see players with high levels of potential well before they become stars, which in turn means you can sometimes find superb bargains in the transfer market.

The end of this piece includes a review of Liverpool target Iago Aspas, but first we’ll look at the guy who lead La Liga in Schrodinger’s Goals this season…

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