New data reveals which Premier League signings are the worst value for money

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Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, centre right, and Harry Maguire, second from left, hold the trophy during celebration as they won the English League Cup final soccer match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
  • New data has revealed how much each Premier League team has paid per goal for new signings, with Manchester United spending the most for the least reward 
  • The research looked at the first 11 games in the league and the performance of attacking players who were purchased for a fee in the summer transfer window 
  • Clubs have so far paid a staggering £15.6m per goal contribution from newly signed attackers  
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, right, challenges for the ball with Leeds United’s Crysencio Summerville during the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road, Leeds, England, Sunday, Feb.12, 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

New data has revealed how much money each Premier League team has spent on goals made by new signings, and it’s not good news for Manchester United.

It analyzed the cost of players and how many goals/assists they contributed to the first 11 games of the season. 

Despite spending around £120m on fresh players, Manchester United’s newest signings have failed to score any goals or make any assists in the Premier League so far, meaning the club has received the worst value for money from their new attacking players, former Chelsea player Mason Mount, and 20-year-old striker Rasmus Hojlund

Manchester’s oldest football club has endured the worst start to a season in six decades, with many calling for manager Erik ten Hag’s resignation. 

This follows Manchester’s recent derby, which not only saw United lose 3-0 to Manchester City but also City’s whizz-kid Erling Haaland scoring his 11th goal of the season, meaning he has scored almost as many goals as United have as a team throughout the 11 games. 

Four other clubs have seen no goal contributions from their attacking signings so far this season. Everton spent around £33m on Beto and Chermiti, neither of whom have produced a goal or assist yet, while Bournemouth’s £32m outlay on Justin Kluivert and Hamed Junior Traorè hasn’t resulted in much attacking impact. Fulham spent around £27m in the summer on attacking players, and Crystal Palace approximately £17m, but both are yet to get a goal or assist in return. 

For clubs whose new signings have scored and contributed to goals, Arsenal were found to have received the least value for money from their £65m signing Kai Havertz. The German international has so far only contributed one goal and an assist at a cost of £32.5m per goal contribution to the club. 

Newcastle United spent a combined £45m on Harvey Barnes and Yankuba Minteh, and quickly sent the Gambian out on loan, which means that Barnes’ single goal and assist resulted in a cost of £22.5m per goal contribution.  

Nottingham Forest were shown to have signed the best value players, having spent around £32.9m on attacking players Chris Wood, Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who have collectively contributed eight goals this season at a cost of around £4.1m per goal. 

Luton Town were the smallest spenders on attackers in the summer transfer window, paying around £6.5m for Tahith Chong and Jacob Brown, which has resulted in one goal so far after Chong scored against Liverpool this weekend.  

The third best return on attacking investment is Manchester City, who spent around £52m on their signing Jérémy Doku. The Belgian winger has so far scored two goals and assisted five others, contributing seven goals overall at a cost of £7.4m each.  

Next was Aston Villa, which spent a club-record fee of more than £47m for Moussa Diaby, who has delivered three goals and three assists so far, averaging £7.9m per goal contribution. 

Surprisingly, despite spending around £127m, the second largest amount on new attacking players, Tottenham Hotspur emerged as the fifth-best value for players. 

The team has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts following the appointment of their new manager, “Big Ange” Postecoglou, who has made a number of astute signings this season, including attacking midfielder James Maddison from Leicester for £40m

Having contributed five assists and three goals for the club, Maddison has increased his value by 51% to £60.5m. Coupled with two goals made by teammate Dejan Kulusevski, and an assist by Brennan Johnson, Tottenham have so far spent £10.5m per goal contribution. 

The ten teams with lowest cost per goal contributions from attackers signed in the summer 

      Team      New attacking signing goal contributions      Total spend on attacking players      Cost per goal contribution 
Nottingham Forest     8       £32,946,000       £4,118,250  
Luton Town     1       £6,589,200       £6,589,200  
Manchester City     7       £52,020,000       £7,431,429  
Aston Villa     6       £47,685,000       £7,947,500  
Tottenham     12       £126,842,100       £10,570,175  
Brighton     3       £32,252,400       £10,750,800  
Sheffield United     2       £22,672,050       £11,336,025  
Chelsea    10       £151,725,000       £15,172,500  
Burnley     3       £46,861,350       £15,620,450  
Wolverhampton    3       £48,552,000       £16,184,000