Calculating A Players Worth

With the quotes from Brendan Rodgers on the ongoing situation with Agger, the prospect of losing one of our best players (again) is striking fear into the hearts of Liverpool fans everywhere.

“@BenSmithBBC: Rodgers on Agger: ‘Every player has his price. Daniel is a top player, loves the club. But you can never say never.'”

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“Every player has his price”, an unfortunate modern football phrase that I happen to agree with. This is football, no player is bigger than the club and better players have come and gone, and will come and go. But, and it is a big but, calculating that price isn’t simple.

In my opinion, a players value cannot be as easy as just how good is that player. Porto’s Hulk has a well documented release clause of £80m, is he an £80m player? No, but is it a stupid price tag to put on arguably your clubs best player? No.

You cannot simply value players on how good they are. Its the reason Joe Allen is currently locked in one of our many transfer sagas, with valuations of £15m+ floating round. Some have laughed at that, citing Arsenals recent purchase of Santi Cazorla for the same price. Allen is not on the same level as Cazorla, but they are valued the same, why?

Its to do with the players value to the club. They could be a £5m player, but worth tripple that because of several factors. Conversely, they could be a £25m player, valued less because of the state of the selling club.

For me, a players valuation depends on a certain amount of factors, outside of the simple how good a player they are.

1: A players worth to their area. How strong are they in their department, best player, squad player, youth?

Being the best player in their area increases that players value to the club

2: How deep the squad is in that area.

If you are down to your bare bones in a department, they are hugely valuable, hence why lower clubs will often fight to keep hold of a good player.

3: The players standing in the club.

A clubs captain, a senior player or even a highly rated youth prospect will mean their value is increased.

4: Their skill set. Do they bring something unique to the club?

If a player does something that very few else offer, either with a particular talent, or being proficient in several roles, they are worth more.

5: How successful/secure the club itself is.

Top clubs can command the best players, lower clubs can’t compete, and so have to try harder both to find good players, and to keep the ones they have. The best clubs can often have talented players that aren’t getting playing time, forcing moves out of the club for less than they are worth. If a club is in financial difficulties, they might be forced to sell at a lower price.

6: Age and health.

Do they have a good injury record? How old are they? A player dogged with injury issues wont be able to command as high a fee. Same with players approaching their last years.

7: Contract.

A player on a long contract is under no pressure to leave. Alternatively, a player with a year left will either have to sign a new deal, or move clubs.

8: X-factor.

I loathe this term, but it’s something that you can’t quite put your finger on. A fan favourite player, someone who is loved by the fans or has perhaps had a great career with the club. It’s not tangible, but it does add value to a player.

These are the points that I consider to be most important when trying to figure out a players worth to a club. Using this, I’d like to try and calculate Aggers worth to Liverpool.

1. He is invaluable to his area. Our strongest area is defense, and he is the best player in that unit.

2. We aren’t that deep in defense, one of whom is an ageing Carragher, others include a young Coates, then reserve players.

3. He is a senior player in the club, he is a leader in defense and his country’s captain.

4. Agger offers a skill set that very few players in the world offers. He is a strong defender, a ball playing center back and a great footballer. There aren’t many players that have all those attributes.

5. We aren’t a top 4 club. Sorry guys, we aren’t. We cannot afford to let top players go if we do want to be a top 4 side. We cannot attract the cream of European defenders if he were to leave. The worry here is, we don’t know if we have to sell before we buy. I hope we don’t, because that’s no way to get back to the top.

6. He has had injury issues, this is his one negative point. Often blighted with problems, he has spent a lot of his time on the injury table.

7. He has 2 years on his contract, we don’t need to sell him. No issues here.

8. Agger is one of those players the fans have taken to their hearts. He obviously adores the club and has always said great things about us, he doesn’t want to go.

It’s clear that every player has a price that we have to consider selling at, as I’ve just shown, Agger offers a lot to this club and even with his injury problems, his footballing worth is more valuable to us than any cash we receive.

His value must be placed somewhere between 25 to £30m, because of his skill set, his standing in the side and him being part of our solid defense.

The club doesn’t have to sell him, he is happy and settled in Liverpool and loves the club. Even if an offer of say, £27m came in, it’s not nailed on that you should sell if that players valuation is met.

You have to consider the effect selling a top player has on the squad, it may cause others to question their place here if they feel the club isn’t being ambitious enough.

If a club, like we are right now, is in a transition, or building a new project, keeping stability is hugely important, and with that the value on almost all players increases, because if you are already having to make several changes to fit a new style or philosophy, you don’t want to have to add more problems for yourself.

Agger is a problem with a very simple solution. We don’t need to sell. He doesn’t want to leave. We shouldn’t sell our top players at this time, he shouldn’t be sold.

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