Patrons of our humble football blog will know all about the study undertaken here a few weeks back designed to identify the ideal signing for a new manager at one of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ clubs.
Three of them – Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United – have got new gaffers ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, with Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola make their debuts in English football’s top flight, while Jose Mourinho returns to management with the latter.
With the Blues sealing a £33m deal for Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi at the weekend, each of the bosses has made their first signing too but, according to data collated below, who’s done the best bit of business?
The study examines the first signings sanctioned by new bosses at Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur across the last ten years, plus Arsene Wenger’s maiden foray into the transfer market buy at Arsenal back in 1996, but which of the three new brooms has most closely followed the formula?
On average, the first signing a ‘Big Six’ manager makes costs £8.8m. Unsurprisingly, the fees required to buy Batshuayi, United’s Eric Bailly and City’s Ilkay Gundogan dwarf that figure, with the latter weighing in as the cheapest at a reported £20m.
However, the 25-year-old German is comfortably above the average age of the prototypical first buy, which currently stands at 23. Batshuayi and Bailly were both 22 when their transfers were finalised.
In terms of trophy-winning prospects, it seems as though the latter is going to prove the better buy.
According to the past performances of his positional peers, centre-back Bailly stands to win two trophies at Old Trafford, though he’ll only feature regularly for just over a season.
When a defender is the first signing made by a new manager at a ‘Big Six’ outfit, he averages just 57 appearances, but still finds time to get his mitts on two cups.
By contrast, midfielders turn out 78 times on average, while the mean outings for strikers stands at 80. The typical number of trophies won by players in these positions, however, is one.
Bailly’s Red Devils stint stands to be significantly shorter than those which Batshuayi and Gundogan can look forward to at Chelsea and City respectively, but his arrival increases United’s potential for short-term success.