Sheffield United: The 'moneyball' statistics that suggest Enda Stevens was second-best value Championship signing last season

Enda Stevens was the second best pounds-per-minute signing in the whole of the Championship last season, new 'Moneyball'-type figures suggest.

Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 4:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 4:32 pm
Enda Stevens

The Sheffield United defender made 48 appearances in his first season in the second-tier after leaving Portsmouth, fresh from winning the League Two title.

And after being picked up by United on a free transfer, Stevens was the second-cheapest player per minute in the Championship last season and, costing an estimated £23,000 per clean sheet, also represented one of the best-value defenders in the league.

Bookmaker bwin took into account transfer fees and wages to discover who were the best bargain buys from last summer and who wasted the most money on players who failed to perform or even make the pitch in the 2017/18 season. The analysis has taken into account minutes played, goals, assists, clean sheets and saves made.

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For every minute he played last season, according to bwin, Stevens cost United £48.52 - second only to Millwall's Jake Cooper, at £45.52 per minute. Cooper was also the best value-for-money defender, costing £9,750 for each of his 16 clean sheets.

"The English transfer window will shut on the eve of the new season – weeks earlier than the rest of Europe – creating an even greater sense of urgency than usual among managers to plug the gaps in their squad," said bwin's Andrew McDermott.

"Such haste will surely lead to more poorly-researched deals that see clubs short-changed, but there will also be some whose nous allows them to thrive in such a high-stakes market.

"We’ve cast our eye back to the deals done in the Premier League and EFL last summer, comparing what each signing achieved on the pitch with their total cost to the club – based on reported fees and wages – to see which players represented the best and worst value for money in a range of categories.

"Wage data in particular is tricky to come by, so we’ve made use of the figures quoted in Football Manager 2018 to help us estimate what each player earns. We’ve decided to ignore loan deals and also any payments besides the transfer fee due to how little information is available on how much was paid by each party."