Apparently this transfer analysis is dangerous stuff. For those who didn't read into the comments thread of the Lewis Holtby to Spurs analysis, I was called out as something of a idiot by a reader who apparently doesn't believe I watch enough Premier League matches to made a qualified analysis. Now, given that I/we have chosen to write about topics that are almost entirely opinion-based I think we are all prepared for people to think we're off-base from time-to-time. If this were a science then there would be no need for blogs like this one. On the other hand, I want to make sure I'm clear on the purpose of these post-transfer analyses. It isn't to claim that we KNOW exactly what is going to happen but we want to intelligently speculate as to the possible value of incoming players based on:
a) what we know of their talents, skills and uses by previous teams;
b) how likely we think it is that this past history will translate to results in the Premier League; and
c) what their role is likely to be in the short, medium, and long term with their new team (i.e., amount of playing time, possible position, involvement in set pieces/penalties).
Until we see the player in action we won't know for sure and even then there are many cases where we won't know much about a player's ability to adapt until they have some time to adjust and the manager figures out how the player works best in reality (vs. whatever "on paper" plan they had when the transfer happened). So, with that, here are my thoughts on the fantasy value of Philippe Coutinho who was creating some real interest in yesterday's Barn Door Live Chat:
Here are the facts:
- He's young (20 years old)
- He has limited experience in "big" competitions. He didn't get much run at Inter Milan over the course of 3 seasons in Milan (11, 5, and 5 matches over the last three seasons) with 16 matches in La Liga (loan to Espanyol last season).
- In this limited sample he has proven that he can score goals at a reasonable clip (8 in 37 matches across the two clubs with the number looking better 5 in 16 when he got more playing time at Espanyol).
- He plays either as an attacking midfielder or as a forward.