Echoing with my Europe’s Most Expensive Benchwarmers article, this week the Daily Mail thought about taking a look at the added values of players selected on the substitute bench, for last week-end’s English Premier League matches. Or, in other words: “How expensive was your team’s bench at the weekend”? The results are pretty frightening.
According to the Mail, “players who cost their clubs a total of £300.5m (â‚¬416m) in fees â€”including 58 internationalsâ€” were on the bench in last weekend’s 10 top-flight games. Shivering stuff. And those figures do not take into account Bosman free transfers or the value of players developed by a club’s youth system!!
The Mail‘s article points the spotlight to Sunderland’s Craig Gordon (tagged as the “most expensive goalkeeper in Britain” with his £9million (â‚¬12.4m) transfer), who was named among the substitutes for the game against Derby. Meanwhile the combined cost of Chelsea‘s replacements for the visit of West Ham reached a huge £67.6m (â‚¬93.6m) (that’s Sheva (£30m), Wright-Phillips (£21m), and Makelele (16.6m)… Hilario and Ben Haim were bought on a free transfer).
Second in the rankings we find Liverpool, who totalled £37.5m (â‚¬52m) with their superstar benchees Javier Mascherano and Ryan Babel, while completing the podium, none other than Manchester United (£34m, or â‚¬48m, with their Michael Carricks and Louis Sahas). Reading were the only club without an international among their subsititutes, while Bolton were the only club whose replacements did not cost a transfer fee.
The Mail‘s article concludes on a nostalgic note: “How times have changed. In the first season of the Premier League (when only three subs were permitted), the bench at most clubs was populated by a combination of young emerging players, journeymen pros and and cheap squad players â€” with the occasional big-money signing returning to full fitness. These days it is not uncommon for a former European Footballer of the year, World Cup winner or Britain’s most expensive teenager to be on the sidelines“.
Here’s the full ranking:
|Shevchenko â€” £30m; Wright-Phillips â€” £21m; Makelele â€” £16.6m; Hilario â€” free; Ben Haim â€” Bosman free|
|Mascherano â€” £17m; Babel â€” £11.5m; Kuyt â€” £9m; Hobbs â€” nominal fee; Itandje â€” free|
|Carrick â€” £18.6m; Saha â€” £12.2m; Kuzsczak â€” £4m; Fletcher â€” youth team; O’Shea â€” youth team|
|Walcott â€” £12m; Gilberto â€” £4.5m; Senderos â€” £2.5m; Lehmann â€” free; Bendtner â€” nominal fee|
|Defoe â€” £7m; Boateng â€” £5.8m; Huddlestone â€” £2.5m; Lee â€” £1.3m; Cerny â€” free|
|Gordon â€” £9m; Chopra â€” £5m; Stokes â€” £2m; Miller â€” free; Harte â€” free|
|Davies â€” £8m; Harewood â€” £4m; Maloney â€” £1m; Berger â€” free; Taylor â€” free|
|Johnson â€” £8.6m; Jagielka â€” £4m; Wessels â€” free; Hibbert â€” youth team; Anichebe â€” youth team|
|Enrique â€” £6.5m; Emre â€” £3.8m; Carr â€” £2m; Harper â€” nominal fee; Viduka â€” Bosman free|
|Ashton â€” £7.25m; Ljungberg â€” £3m; Collins £1m; Spector £0.5m; Wright â€” free|
|Bianchi â€” £8.8m; Jihai â€” £2m; Hart â€” £0.6m; Etuhu â€” youth team; Ball â€” free|
|Savage â€” £3m; Roberts â€” £3m; Reid â€” £2.5m; Pedersen â€” £1.5m; Brown â€” Bosman free|
|Kapo â€” £3m; Forssell â€” £3m; O’Connor â€” £2.6m; Parnaby â€” Bosman free; Doyle â€” youth team|
|Nugent â€” £6m; Taylor â€” £0.4m; Kanu â€” free; Ashdown â€” nominal fee; Hreidarsson â€” free|
|Huth â€” £6m; Cattermole â€” youth team; Tuncay â€” Bosman free; Steele â€” youth team; Hutchinson â€” youth team|
|Earnshaw â€” £3.5m; Mears â€” £1m; Fagan â€” £0.75m; Leacock â€” £0.375m; Price â€” nominal fee|
|Baird â€” £3m; Healy â€” £1.5m; Warner â€” nominal fee; Bocanegra â€” free; Seol â€” £1m|
|Cotterill â€” £2m; Taylor â€” £0.75m; Pollitt â€” £0.2m; Granqvist â€” £0.75; Skoko â€” free|
|Cissé â€” £0.6m; Long â€” £0.5; Bikey â€” nominal fee; Federici â€” youth team; Rosenior â€” £1m|
|Stelios; Al Habsi; Wilhelmsson; Teymourian; Alonso â€” all Bosman free transfers|
Marco Pantanella writes for the mCalcio blog