As Jim White's voice counted down the last few seconds of transfer deadline day, the footballing world reflected on a truly bizarre window of moves.
It seemed that more of Europe's top players were arriving for medicals than ever before, and that prices had inflated far beyond their normal amount. With these huge sums of cash being interchanged, it is becoming increasingly relevant to get value for money, and it is clear that statistics could be useful in this venture.
Billy Beane, star of the book and film 'Moneyball', proved that statistics could provide an insight into the performances of players and their relative value. In this way, a severely handicapped baseball side in the Oakland As were able to completely over-perform in terms of transfers and thus become competitive amongst much richer clubs.
Beane has also stated that he believes there is a place in football for the use of statistics, to prevent clubs from succumbing to the 'noise' (as he puts it) surrounding certain players when it comes to choosing which players to sign.
Although statistics are finally finding some recognition amongst the big decision makers in football (Liverpool and Manchester City have already made inroads into the virtually untapped sea of numbers), they are certainly in their infancy, and it seems evident that the first clubs in Europe to effectively analyse performance using data will have a huge advantage.
Liverpool's experiment under Kenny Dalglish to use statistics were certainly primitive and ultimately unsuccessful, as both the signings of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson were driven by numbers showing their high percentage of ball turnover in the opponents half. Some of the figures that I will bring you in forthcoming articles will tackle much more in-depth analysis of players performances over the 2012-13 Premier League Season.
So be sure to check back to see the next Stats Zone article and discover why Steven Fletcher is more effective than Robin van Persie, why Real Madrid should have considered Barry Bannan over Bale, and why Daniel Sturridge has already shown improvement from last term.
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