Football clubs overspent by 30% on players - CIES Football Observatory study

Kylian Mbappe
France international Kylian Mbappe scored 26 goals in all competitions for Monaco last season

European clubs paid on average 30% more than a player was worth during the recent transfer window, a study says.

The CIES Football Observatory, using a transfer value algorithm, claims Paris St-Germain's proposed 180m euro (£165.7m) deal to sign Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe was the most overpriced.

It says the fee was 87.4m euros (£80.4m) more than his estimated worth.

The study also suggests Manchester City overpaid by 29m euros to sign Benjamin Mendy from Monaco for 57.5m.

The Football Observatory uses various statistics, including age, goals and points won by the team, to calculate a value for a player.

Greatest gaps between fees paid and estimated values (summer 2017)
PlayerMoveEstimated (euros)Actual fee (euros)Gap (euros)
All figures from CIES Football Observatory
Kylian MbappeMonaco to PSG92.6180+87.4
Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund to Barcelona95.8147+51.2
Benjamin MendyMonaco to Man City28.557.5+29
Jordan PickfordSunderland to Everton6.834.3+27.5
Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea to Everton24.149.3+25.2
Mamadou SakhoLiverpool to Crystal Palace5.328.2+22.9
Patrik SchickSampdoria to Roma2142+21
Nemanja MaticChelsea to Man Utd30.250.3+20.1
Mohamed SalahRoma to Liverpool69.450-19.4
Harry MaguireHull to Leicester3.121.6+18.5

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, 23, left Sunderland for Everton for 34.3m euros (£31.6m) in the summer was called up to the England squad last month.

However, according to the Football Observatory, that fee was 27.5m euros (£23.5m) more than Pickford's estimated worth.

The study also said Manchester United overpaid by 20.1m euros (£18.5m) to sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, although former England striker and BBC pundit Ian Wright described it as the "last part of the jigsaw" for United.

Mohamed Salah's 50m euro (£46m) move from Roma to Liverpool was less than the forward's estimated value of 69.4m euros (£63.9m).

Greatest gaps between fees paid and estimated values in Premier League (summer 2017)
PlayerMoveEstimated (euros)Actual fee (euros)Gap (euros)
All figures from CIES Football Observatory
Benjamin MendyMonaco to Man City28.557.5+29
Jordan Pickford Sunderland v Everton 6.834.3+27.5
Gylfi Sigurdsson Swansea to Everton24.149.3+25.2
Mamadou SakhoLiverpool to Crystal Palace5.328.2+22.9
Nemanja MaticChelsea v Man Utd30.250.3+20.1
Mohamed SalahRoma to Liverpool69.450-19.4
Harry MaguireHull to Leicester 3.121.6+18.5
Davide ZappacostaTorino to Chelsea11.830+18.2
Antonio RudigerRoma to Chelsea54.239-15.2
Kyle WalkerTottenham to Man City41.356+14.7
Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainArsenal to Liverpool30.543.4+12.9

Total change or tweak to the transfer system?

Neymar
Neymar's 222m euro move from Barcelona to PSG in August is the biggest transfer in history

According to the Football Observatory, clubs in Europe's big five leagues (England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga and France's Ligue 1) spent a record 5.9 billion euros (£5.4bn), a 41% increase on the previous year.

Following Neymar's 222m euros (£204m) move from Barcelona to PSG, world players' union Fifpro criticised the "anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal" transfer rules governed by Fifa and called on the European Commission to investigate transfer fees within the European Union.

The Football Observatory is also keen for the distribution of transfer fees to be addressed, suggesting an increase in indemnities paid to the clubs that develop players.

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