2. PART 1: EXPLANATION OF RADAR PLOTS AND LIVERPOOL
CURRENT PLAYER’S EVALUATION.
*Ball Recoveries are considered won ground duels, anticipations and interceptions, where the next
event is not out of play.
1. Mixture of a player’s
abilities, both in defence and
2. Based on the principles of
position-based xT, each
action is valued for its
3. Positive value added for a
4. Negative value added for an
5. The final value suggests the
ability of a player based on
actions important for a
Situation: It is the summer of 2018. The head scout of your club is looking to sign a
player to improve your attack.
Selected Position: Central Midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation, with creativity and ball-
1. A successful season where the team was scoring a lot.
2. One of the top players left in January 2018 for a record fee (Coutinho).
3. The manager changed the formation to a 4-3-3 when Coutinho left, with one
player as a defensive midfielder and two players as central midfielders.
4. Therefore I will look for a player who brings both creativity and ball-winning
capabilities in the attacking third.
Assumptions from these radars:
1. Ideally, I will look for a well-balanced player who strives in both passing and
offensive ball-recovering attributes.
2. Highest his numbers, highest his performance for each metric.
Mid to Att 3rd Passes
• Successful passes started from a middle third
position and ended in a final third position.
• A creative and penetrative pass that attempts to
break the opposition's defensive lines to gain a
significant advantage in attack.
• A pass that immediately creates a clear goal
opportunity for a teammate.
Ball Recoveries in Att Third
• Ball recoveries made inside the attacking third.
Progressive Ball Recoveries
• If the next action by the same player which makes a
ball recovery is progressing the ball at least 7
meters closer to the opponent's goal.
3. Liverpool FC existing players’ evaluation
Name Age Minutes Played (17/18) – Ligue 1
J. Milner 32 1763
J. Henderson 28 2172
G. Wijnaldum 28 2387
A. Oxlade-Chamberlain 25 1483
E. Can 24 2094
i. Milner is an excellent threat in attack, with a lot of passes from midfield to attacking
third, an excellent number of smart and key passes and ranks highly in our xGegenThreat
metric. However, he lacks at the number of ball recoveries in attacking third and
progressive ball recoveries.
ii. Henderson is an excellent well-balanced player, making a lot of passes from midfield to
the attacking third, an above-average number of smart passes, key passes, and ball
recoveries in the attacking third. He ranks decently in progressive ball recoveries, and he
ranks high in xGegenThreat.
iii. Wijnaldum is ranking low in every metric, highlighting his poor season overall.
iv. Oxlade-Chamberlain had a good season as he was very good in creativity and progressive
ball recoveries, but ranked average when it comes to ball recoveries in attacking third and
v. Can was a good well-balanced player, playing regularly in a more defensive position. He
was above average for his creativity, but he excelled in making a lot of ball recoveries
which were progressive. He was average in our xGegenThreat metric.
vi. Considering the “Moneyball” approach by Liverpool FC in their recruitment, and the fact
that Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player with an injury record and Milner is getting older, I
will look for primarily a creative player, but at the same time a player that can provide a
lot of ball recoveries in the offensive third in a younger age.
4. PART 2: USING A WEIGHTED COMBINATION OF THE METRICS
TO FIND A PLAYER IN LIGUE 1.
To produce the below table of a top-10 shortlist of midfield players in Ligue 1, I created
an Index variable which is used to score these players, based on weighted criteria.
Midfield to Attacking Third Passes 10%
Ball Recoveries in Attacking Third 10%
Progressive Ball Recoveries 10%
Smart Passes 20%
Key Passes 20%
∑ 𝑃𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑒𝑟 𝑅𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑖𝑛 𝑀𝑒𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐
I utilized a ranking approach, where I multiplied a player's metric rank by its designated
weight. Thus, a lower index indicates a better fit for our team. I emphasized the
xGegenThreat metric due to its role in identifying high-threat players. Similarly, I
assigned greater weights to creativity metrics like Smart and Key passes, underscoring
our preference for a more creative player.
Name Index Age Value(m €) Minutes Played (Ligue 1) Club
R. Cohade 20.5 34 1.0 3301’ Metz
D. Payet 27.6 31 22.0 2355’ Marseille
T. Ndombèlé 28.7 21 25.0 2361’ Lyon
Y. Tielemans 29.9 21 20.0 1565’ Monaco
B. Nivet 30.8 41 0.25 1658’ Troye
H. Aouar 32.7 20 40.0 2434’ Lyon
L. Deaux 32.9 30 2.5 1953’ Guingamp
M. Verratti 34 26 70.0 1722’ PSG
Fabinho 34.5 25 45.0 3060’ Monaco
I. Sangaré 35.1 21 5.0 1590’ Toulouse
Given the aforementioned factors, Youri Tielemans
emerges as a highly promising choice. At the tender
age of 21, he presents an attractive proposition,
particularly considering his reasonable market
value. Despite a somewhat limited playing time
during the season, Tielemans showcased his
brilliance in orchestrating astute passes. His
performance in delivering passes from the midfield
to the attacking third was commendable, and he
also exceeded expectations in terms of key passes.
Furthermore, Tielemans exhibited an impressive
ability to recover the ball in the attacking third,
outperforming the average in this regard. His
proficiency in making progressive ball recoveries
was also noteworthy. To cap it off, his standing in
our xGegenThreat metric is quite respectable.
Overall, Tielemans stands out as an exceptionally
well-rounded player, combining creativity with solid
5. PART 3: GROUP DISCUSSION AND PLAYER SELECTION
During our group discussion, the consensus among
the majority was that our team should focus on
bolstering its attacking positions. The player who
garnered the most support for selection was Angel
Correa, a 23-year-old talent currently with Atletico
Madrid. A closer examination of his performance data
reveals a notable aptitude for creativity. However, it's
worth noting that he falls short in certain key metrics
like ball recoveries and xGegenThreat, metrics that
carry significant importance within the tactical
framework employed by Liverpool FC and our manager,
Jurgen Klopp. Furthermore, Angel Correa's suitability
for the team was enhanced by his remarkable
versatility. He possesses the ability to excel in multiple
positions, including those of an attacking midfielder,
winger, and striker. This versatility would undoubtedly
offer our team greater tactical flexibility and depth in
our attacking options.
During our discussions, several members, including
myself, were adamant that our team needed to
reinforce the midfield area. We had lost a player to
injury (Oxlade-Chamberlain) and two through transfers
(Coutinho in January and Can in the summer).
Additionally, as Milner is ageing, the need for midfield
depth became even more apparent. It was evident that
after Coutinho's departure, Jurgen Klopp altered
Liverpool's style of play, adopting a 4-3-3 formation
with a GegenPressing approach. One player who
piqued our interest was Luis Alberto, currently playing
for Lazio. Luis Alberto had an impressive season, but it
was important to acknowledge that Liverpool had sold
him two years prior. Reacquiring him might not align
with the club's long-term business strategy.
Furthermore, his playing style leans more towards an
attacking role and may not be an ideal fit for the 4-3-3
formation we discussed earlier.
While researching about Luis Alberto, I came across
Bryan Cristante, who had an exceptional season with
Atalanta. He seamlessly combined his creative
abilities with outstanding performance in ball
recoveries, both in progressive and attacking thirds.
Notably, he ranked very highly in our xGegenThreat
metric. What sets Cristante apart is not only his
skillset but also his versatility. Standing at 1.86
meters, he brings valuable height to our squad, and
his ability to play both as a center-back and defensive
midfielder adds another layer of flexibility to his
profile. Furthermore, Atalanta's failure to secure a
European ticket may potentially lower Cristante's
price, making him an even more attractive option for
us. Taking all these factors into consideration, my
final choice is Bryan Cristante, a 23-year-old talent
from Atalanta, with a market value of 25 million