Liverpool have secured the signature of the 20 year old Spanish under-21 international Luis Alberto from Sevilla for a fee believed to be around £6.7m.
He spent this season on loan at Barcelona B, playing in Spain’s Segunda Division (which, out of interest, is the same division that Dani Pacheco spent this season in), so I thought it would be interesting to see how his record compared to a couple of highly rated second flight prospects from England’s Championship.
As I’m sure you can appreciate, in-depth statistics are not widely available for lower divisions unfortunately, so I have had to resort to a simple comparison of goals and assists. It’s far from perfect (chances created is far more valuable than assists, for instance) but it’ll give an indication of his prowess.
I have compared Alberto’s league form from 2012/13 with that of Thomas Ince (who is being touted around for a fee in the region of £8M) and Wilfred Zaha, who has signed for Manchester United for £10m (plus a potential further £5m of add-ons).
The table below shows how frequently each of the players chipped in with a goal or assist. All three are midfielders so it seems a reasonable comparison:
Based on the above transfer fees, the cheaper the player is the more frequently he contributes! It certainly adds weight to the widely held belief that there is a British transfer premium in play when English clubs trade between themselves. As a fan of a club who spent £55m on Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, I can certainly attest to that theory.
The major question here of course is which division has the higher standard of football, and it’s not one I can answer. As Barcelona B only finished the season in 9th place, and it’s probably safe to assume that the Barcelona reserve team will inevitably have a collection of very decent young players (not least Gerard Deulofeu), then the level of football in the league must be reasonably good.
If Thomas Ince goes to a Premier League club next season (with Cardiff City the hotly rumoured destination at present), then it will be very interesting to see which of the three players listed here has the best campaign.
Welcome to Liverpool, Luis. Make that transfer premium look like the nonsense it is.
Related posts you might like:
Iago Aspas: Shots and Creativity – How do Aspas’ figures from 2012/13 in La Liga compare to the elite players from the Premier League? Pretty well, actually…
Coutinho: The Lowdown – A look at the new boy’s stats.
Daniel Sturridge: In Numbers – The lowdown on Liverpool’s new signing in January 2013.