If Winston Reid was up for sale (which he is not) or if West Ham were still a selling club (which our owners promise us we are not) There still remains possibility that the player himself has ambition to play in the champions league and could one day hand in a transfer request. We have to remember footballers are professionals with career ambitions and not wedded to one club like fans are. Loyalty with one club is rare these days. Even the legendary Bobby Moore joined Fulham.
So the question remains is how do you value an in form centre back like Winston Reid?. If you believe the papers then Arsenal values him at £6m but this probably just agent talk and a complete under valuation in today’s transfer market.
In a 2011 academic paper called The Valuation of Human Capital in the Football Player Transfer Market the conclusion in a nutshell was ’Value is what fools are willing to pay for it’
Never was that quote more true when Liverpool paid £35m for Andy Carroll and £20m for Stuart Downing only to sell them to West Ham for a fraction of that price earlier this year.
There are some factors which do determine the price whether the buyers are fools or not:
1) Squad Status
This player is an indispensable member of the team, This player is an important first team player
The younger the higher value we can affix to a fee from the 21-25 range. The same for squad status: the higher the status, the higher value the fee.
Opta Statistics to determine whether a player is in the top 10% performers in their positions
4) League Factor
Like the European Golden Boot we can adjust the above talent for league factor and affix value of those factors. West Ham may not be so keen to pay a lot money for a Brazilian forward plying his trade for a small team in the Dutch league! Proved premier league experience adds further value.
5) Premium Position
Attacking Midfielders, central and wide areas in the final third of the field and forwards are considered premium. The problem with marginalizing the full back position or defence is that football is essentially a team sport and all players should be considered as equal. But that is not the case as a glance at the top transfer fees by position would suggest the goalkeeping position and full back positions are not essentially considered an area of the team where a team should spend plenty. There have been some anomalies with a handful of significant transfers of central defenders with Nesta, Ferdinand and Carvalho the more prominent names in the upper echelons of transfer fees and Dani Alves by far the most expensive full-back, on average, these positions command a smaller transfer fee than strikers for instance.
Certain nationalities notoriously had problems with adapting to the rigours of English football. South Americans are widely thought to have trouble adapting to the British game but it is more a case of the managers doing their in-depth homework on a player’s lifestyle, intelligence, attitude and personality as a person rather the footballer alone to provide a measure of cost certainty that their import can succeed.
“depreciation” basically amounts to a rental deal. Alex Ferguson paid a widely reported £10m for two years service of Carlos Tevez at £5m per season, while also paying his contract, How much would a club accept in depreciation? Arsene Wenger is probably the shrewdest manager around who is prepared to sell a player in his late 20s even at the top of his game for a significant return. Put this way, if Steven Gerrard was under his management, he’d likely be sold this summer whilst extracting maximum value for a player at the peak of his career but likely worth much less in 2-3 years as he settles into his 30s. Would he be right to do so? As a fan, NO! But in the real world, he is doing what the best managers do.
The “salvage” value is the theoretical sell-on fee when his contract expires (4-5 years) and this should prove an invaluable guide to the player’s actual price. How much “depreciation” would they be prepared to write off? 50%? 10%? What’s reasonable? Because a player can walk away from the club at the expiration of his contract, a club has the player for only a couple of years before they either make the decision to extend his contract and completely write off the transfer fee or make the decision to sell. For a two years rental, a player at the right age would prove no risk or profitable provided that player shows improvement or sustained performances.
8 ) Image Rights
What a player projects to bring in merchandising sales. This is a tricky subject as merchandising sales are variable rather then fixed. Clubs would have to release figures relating to the exact amount each player are thought to have earned for their clubs in their commercial activities.
Other Factors include: Games played previous season (36 for Reid last season) Goals scored, Size of buying club (modeled on stadium size) and
participation of buying club in continental club competitions.
One of the highest profile centre backs was also a product of our own West Ham Academy. In November 2000 we sold Rio Ferdinand to Leeds for £18m who later sold him to Manchester United for £30m in 2002. Chelsea bought the Brazilian Centre Back David Luiz for $25 million euros in 2011 but it is said they slapped a £50m price tag on him when Barcelona wanted him earlier this year.
I am not suggesting Winston Reid is a David Luiz or Rio Ferdinand but at their price tags Winston has to be worth at least £15m for any champions league team desperate for a good centre back. Winston ticks many of the boxes above to increase his value.
That said let’s hope we keep hold of him for a few more years yet. We need to hold out for a £50m bid from Barcelona ;-)