Footballers are paid handsomely for what they do, that is universally accepted. But for every Mohamed Salah or Kevin De Bruyne whose end product is clear to see, there are others whose contribution is found a little wanting.
There is obviously more to a player’s performance than goals, clean sheets and wins – but inevitably stats are what people will judge them on.
We looked at the number of saves the Premier League’s goalkeepers made, successful tackles from defenders, and shots on targets recorded by forwards last season. And by looking at the reported salaries for each player, we could see what each individual contribution ‘cost’ their respective teams.
For fans of some teams the numbers weren’t pretty.
West Ham’s 2017/18 campaign was full of ups and downs, and although they ended up finishing a respectable 13th, fans will be hoping for more in the season ahead.
That’s especially true of Javier Hernandez, who managed just 16 shots on target in all competitions, picking up a whopping £455,000 in wages for each attempt. Thankfully for the East Londoners, eight of those shots ended up in the back of the net, redeeming Chicharito somewhat. That’s in comparison to Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke who scored just three times throughout the campaign, costing the Eagles over £2 million in wages a time.
Back in the East End, this time at the other end of the pitch, things weren’t much better. An injury hit campaign limited Winston Reid to just 15 appearances in the Hammers defence. Making just 14 successful tackles in those matches, means David Sullivan and David Gold shelled out £260,000 for every dispossession recorded by the Kiwi.
The man with the gloves for much of the season, Joe Hart featured high on our list of keepers’ take home per save, but he wasn’t in the top spot.
Liverpool may have rectified their need for a goalkeeper this summer with the signing of Alisson Becker from Roma, but last year’s stoppers left a lot to be desired. Loris Karius’ Champions League Final nightmare may linger in the memory, but it was his predecessor who contributed least for his pay packet according to the stats.
Simon Mignolet made just 40 saves in his 20 appearances in all competitions, equalling £78,000 in wages for each one. It appears that the Belgian could be on the way out of Merseyside in this transfer window, so it remains to be seen if the new number one at Anfield will prove quite so costly.