‘The cost of a goal in the Premier League’ – my theory behind NUFC’s search for a proven striker

A fan written piece by one of our very own, Roy Frankland (Dubai Toon). This one seems particularly relevant after today’s claims from the Chronicle that we are now in talks with a striker who could smash our club record fee. We’ll believe that when we see it, mind..

 

I’m old enough to remember the very first £1 million transfer in what was then the old first division. Trevor Francis transferred to Nottingham Forest in 1979 for £1.15 Million (including some fees and taxes!) and suddenly the world took notice. It was big news! That season, Trevor Francis scored 14 goals for Forest and helped them to win the European cup. The following season he only scored 6 goals and then he moved on, but the era of the £1 million player was here to stay. The barrier was breached and the flood gates opened.

Almost 40 years on from that first £1 million deal, fast forward to where we are today, with the huge revenues from TV around the world and the unbelievable barrier of the £100 million player now breached, and not just once!

What should teams expect to pay for a qualified, proven goal scorer and in effect, what is the cost of a goal in the premiership today?

Listening to Rafa speak about striker a short while ago, it occurred to me that in effect what you need to spend today, as a minimum, is around £1 million per goal. This is a very simplistic viewpoint, I know, but I think to get a good 20 goal a season player, you must be looking at a transfer price of around £20 million, without even considering the astronomical wages this level of player would demand. If you can only pay £5 million, you can expect a return of roughly 4 – 7 goals a season at best from that player. There is another dimension to this too, I feel, and that is consistency. If you want a player that can consistently score 20 or more goals in a season, then this will multiply the number. There are very few players that will score 20+ goals in a season, but if that player has some consistency over say, 2 seasons or 3 seasons then we are into the realms of the £40 million or 60 million or more as we see today. I guess there is also an age factor as well, younger means more potential to be consistent over several seasons, and then of course, they need to stay injury free.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. Neymar is not going to score 20 goals plus for another 10 years! Neither is Messi, or Coutinho, but for sure they will command silly money as we have seen, so there is a bracket of player with the X factor that will cost ridiculous amounts, however, on average in today’s market, I think we could safely say, the cost per goal is around £1 million and for consistency it is 2-3 times that figure.

So, how about NUFC and our strikers? What can we expect realistically?

We paid around £5 million for Joselu and I think the best we can expect from him is going to be 5-7 goals this season. Any more is a plus and any less is underperformance.

Gayle we paid I think around £12 million but that was in the Championship, and he will most likely fall short of providing 12 goals this season. He proved himself very well in the Championship, and I think he is at that level.

Mitrovic was, I think, around £13-14 million or so, and following the argument, he should be able to provide a good 13-15 goals in a season, (assuming he plays!), but he is not getting the game time to do that for whatever reason.

Perez around £1 million, so whilst we criticise him sometimes, he is consistently giving us more than his worth back in goals, albeit only 5 this season so far. This could be why Rafa keeps him in the team.

As we look to find a new striker, (I hope!), capable of keeping us in the premiership this season we must have realistic expectations and pay the going rate to get a consistent, 15-20 goal a season striker and I do not see this happening in this window. Every team with expectations of being in the top half should have at least 1 striker capable of 15-20 goals regularly season after season. We don’t have that right now, and under Ashley, sadly, I just don’t see us getting it unless, by accident, we discover a gem like Mahrez or Vardy for little money and big reward. This is also very unlikely.

Where does this leave us? Struggling in the bottom half and super reliant on a manager that must try to get all our strikers to over achieve. The message should be clear to our owner, whoever that ends up being. Pay what it takes!

Pay at least £15-20 million and get us that rarity – a striker that will return 15-20 goals in a season and keep us up where we belong, in the premiership.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

119 thoughts on “‘The cost of a goal in the Premier League’ – my theory behind NUFC’s search for a proven striker

  1. Stuart79:
    Too big a risk. It’s just bizarre the thought that anybody would be happy to sell a player to our main rivals. He might have a complete mare at Brighton but score the winning goal in one match that kept them up and sent us down. Why risk that when he could be sold at the end of he season or abroad in Jan…

    Stu – I totally get what you’re saying, and ideally I’d want to sell him abroad. But if an abroad club doesn’t come in, he’s just a dead weight to us (he shouldn’t be, but Rafa doesn’t want him).
    I get your what if, but what if we get rid of him and the person we replace him with scores the goals Mitrovic isn’t and that player keeps us in the PL. I just don’t see Rafa changing his mind and playing him now.
    The other factor is that Mitrovic himself himself might want to stay in the PL and not go abroad. He has a young family now and might be settled in England.

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  2. There is the questions are who can afford to buy Mitro and who would want him. The answer is the Premier league clubs:

    1. In that survey yesterday 14 of the richest clubs in the world were PL clubs and that did not include us. We will be added next year based on TV money alone.

    2. Of the top 4 clubs in Germany, Spain and Italy who would want him. They could afford him but already have better. That’s partly why they are in the top 4.

    It really only leaves our PL rivals. He would bring in money to fund other acquisitions so I say do it. Any of the bottom 11 could easily go down so that leaves 10 possibilities and us. If Mitro manages a few goals for a rival (a big if) then there would still be 9 others to possibly get relegated. The odds are in our favour if we use the money wisely (again a big if).

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  3. Jurgensen is a bit underwhelming. I have said before that I worry about buying from the Dutch league because for every Ruud Van Nistlerooy there seems to be a Ricky Van Wolfswinkel.

    Is he really worth 20 million? I can see why they are trying to negotiate on price.

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  4. I was in favour of playing Mitro because at least he is better than Joselu. At least have him on the bench. However, he has never exactly been prolific for NUFC and has his card marked by the Refs. We all know he is an accident waiting to happen and could easily see red in an important game for one of our rivals. With such thin margins for error that could lose points in an important game and mean the difference between staying up and the drop.

    I think I am saying there are pros and cons with Mitro but if Rafa wont play him then I say get rid now, even to Brighton or West Brom.

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  5. And Tom Cairney only has 1 goal this season. Did we really offer Fulham 20 million for him, I have my doubts? The story was that they wanted 25 mil which shows the true insanity of today’s valuations.

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  6. Olly: I looked at your clips and Jurgensen is a Mitro clone/replacement. If we get him I am convinced Mitro is gone, even on loan to save wages. Joselu will then be his backup which is the role he should have anyway – good in the air but not a natural finisher so probably a good option to protect a lead.

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  7. No way I would sell Mitrovic (23) for £15m, to bring in this Danish lad (27) for £20m.
    I don’t mind moving Mitrovic on for a better player – but this would not fall into that category imo.

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  8. I don’t think the Jorgenson deal is dependant on Mitro leaving. So on that basis I’d keep Mitro of the alternative was selling him to a relegation rival.

    I agree with with Eric. It’s a strange signing of it happens. Although he’s scored goals all over he’s not done it in the best leagues. It’s a risk from Rafa.

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  9. Stuart79:
    I don’t think the Jorgenson deal is dependant on Mitro leaving. So on that basis I’d keep Mitro of the alternative was selling him to a relegation rival.

    I agree with with Eric. It’s a strange signing of it happens. Although he’s scored goals all over he’s not done it in the best leagues. It’s a risk from Rafa.

    Not if Rafa isn’t going to play Mitro. It is not like we will be in any of the cups after Sunday 🙂 A loan abroad would be best for all parties if his replacement is a similar type of player.

    We only see Mitro on match days where he gets sent off and gives a Ref a psycho stare. If he is like that every day in training no wonder Rafa is wary.

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  10. Even the Mad Serbs goal celebrations when a team mate scores are, well, mad. How many times have you seen him shake a player like a rag doll?

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  11. Eric Sykes:
    Even the Mad Serbs goal celebrations when a team mate scores are, well, mad. How many times have you seen him shake a player like a rag doll?

    He’s certainly a very enthusiastic celebrator of goals, I must admit you do hold your breath when he grabs a fellow team mate and I suspect they do too.

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  12. Well, we all been asking for a forward so lets get behind who ever , if anyone comes in I say.

    As for Mitro, Gayle and Shelvey, if any of that lot get sold then they need replacing like for like , otherwise the fatman isn’t really investing.

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  13. Each Premier League televised game is worth £1million in “facility fees”. So that’s £11m banked already this season.

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  14. Passion On The Tyne‏
    @passionnufc

    Follow Follow @passionnufc

     More

    Daily Mirror: Newcastle United agree fee of £20m breaking their transfer record for Ghanaian striker Neebid Morelies from French side Nancy #Nufc

    😆 😆 😆 😆 brilliant

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  15. Eric Sykes: No Bid, More Lies

    Eric – what I mean is, have we got ourselves into a position where any forward we show interest in – the selling club will set that price upward of £16m, knowing the pressure is on club break the record.

    I’ve no problem spending on quality, but I don’t think this Danish lad is worth over £15m personally and I hope we don’t just go out and sign someone for £18-20m just for the sake of addressing this monkey on the back.

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  16. Sharpy17: Eric – what I mean is, have we got ourselves into a position where any forward we show interest in – the selling club will set that price upward of £16m, knowing the pressure is on club break the record.

    I’ve no problem spending on quality, but I don’t think this Danish lad is worth over £15m personally and I hope we don’t just go out and sign someone for £18-20m just for the sake of addressing this monkey on the back.

    That’s unlikely to happen mate, we’re talking Ashley here lol. Think the pennies are pretty safe and if we did spend £20m then Mitro, Gayle, Shelvey would be out the door quicker than lightning.

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  17. Sharpy , I have no idea how good or bad that Danish lad is or indeed how well he’d adapt to PL. What I do know though, is that I don’t give a Scooby what any player cost so long as we sign a forward who has a chance of helping us secure pl status. I will leave the finance headache to the bean counters at nufc.

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  18. The papers want headlines and clicks. They confuse Euros and Pounds. The asking price is supposedly 20 million Euros which is 17 million Pounds. But, it is highly unlikely we will pay the asking price, thus the 12.5 mil Pound offer that is quoted. After all is said and done, and if anything is done at all, I bet there is a compromise in the region of 15 million POUNDS. This would NOT break the NUFC transfer record, but who cares when you are looking for clicks.

    I cannot tell if it is deliberate, if the journalists are lazy or if they are just dumb.

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  19. And has everybody noticed that the papers never put a players name in the headline anymore? It is so they can get clicks on news consolidators like Newsnow. You will see headlines like “21 year old determined to fight for his place at NUFC” – you click on it and it turns out to be Jamie Sterry. They all do it, including BLOGS, and including this very blog I am on now 🙂

    Just have a look at newsnow and see how many headlines refer to “29 year old” and don’t specify who until you click.

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  20. 15-20 mil wont buy you a good striker these days, just a slightly average one.

    Atm we dont even have that apparently.

    Any signing is a risk, especially strikers who thrive under particular systems in particular sides who play with a particular tempo. Only the £40m + strikers generally have the ability to adapt to any playing style and still score regularly.

    I’d welcome a new £15m striker of course, but wont be expecting fireworks.

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  21. kimtoon:
    Sharpy , I have no idea how good or bad that Danish lad is or indeed howwell he’d adapt to PL. What I do know though,is that I don’t give a Scooby what any player cost so long as we sign a forward who has a chance of helping us secure pl status. I will leave the finance headache to the bean counters at nufc.

    Kim – but that’s just it, we don’t leave the finances to the bean counters, we have fans regularly comparing our spends to other clubs or mentioning the fees we pay out – even Shearer putting captions up on MOTD.
    Sean Dyche spoke this week about Burnley keeping up & he said is wasn’t about them keeping up, it was about Burnley operating within their means whilst continuing to compete.
    They smashed their record by signing Chris Wood in the summer – but nobody mentions the fact he only cost £15m. Apparently to compete in the PL you need to spend more than that.
    They spent £10m on Jack Cork and I’ll admit I thought that was a lot – but it turns out he’s been worth every penny.

    I don’t care if we loan a forward or spend £20m on one. As long as we get the job done and get the players in to allow Rafa to do his job.

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  22. shamrock:
    15-20 mil wont buy you a good striker these days, just a slightly average one.

    Atm we dont even have that apparently.

    Any signing is a risk,especially strikers who thrive under particular systems in particular sides who play with a particular tempo. Only the £40m + strikers generally have the ability to adapt to any playing style and still score regularly.

    I’d welcome a new £15m striker of course, but wont be expecting fireworks.

    Sham – I look at Leicester as an example mate. They spent £10m on Okazaki in the 15/16 season. They then spent £30m on Slimani in the 16/17 season.
    I’m not saying Slimani is not worth the money. He’s a class player and I’d be happy to see him at NUFC.
    But Okazaki at £10m has worked out to be a class signing.

    I don’t think the price matters as long as you’re addressing the needs of the squad.

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  23. Sharpy, you won’t hear me argue mate. The fact is there are very few forwards around who will give us the goals to keep us up unless as Sham says we blow £40m plus for one who adapts easily to systems. What we need is a guy up front who is composed enough to take the chances we do create, which by and large we do most games. The only other thing you can do is pack the team with guys who can score, spread the goals around to compensate for the lack of a potent forward.
    Throw in a keeper with some quality and hopefully you are safe.

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  24. So it’s been confirmed that our initial bid for the Danish lad was £14m – I don’t think that’s derisory. I’m not sure he’d be worth much more than that personally.

    This Shurrle link rumbles on as well. I would love to see him in – he’s quality. Slimani in the mix too.

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  25. Sharpy17: Sham – I look at Leicester as an example mate.They spent £10m on Okazaki in the 15/16 season.They then spent £30m on Slimani in the 16/17 season.
    I’m not saying Slimani is not worth the money.He’s a class player and I’d be happy to see him at NUFC.
    But Okazaki at £10m has worked out to be a class signing.

    I don’t think the price matters as long as you’re addressing the needs of the squad.

    Sharpy comparing prices from two years ago to only last year and this year is pointless. The prices of players has gone up so much it really doesn’t matter what a player cost two years ago. They’ll be double of treble now.

    I agree with Sham, a £20m striker will be slightly above average these days but it would be an up grade on Gayle or Joselu I would hope.

    Amongst the many **** ups Ashley has made, right up there financially is his blindness to the way football has gone transfer wise. He knew the TV deal was going to continue on an upward trajectory and transfer fees would follow that path. Yet he continually refused to pay an extra £2m here or there. He could have done that for Lacazette and he would have been sat on a £35m profit and the same for Aumbyang or whatever he’s called. It’s been a little bit stupid imo.

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  26. Sharpy17:
    So it’s been confirmed that our initial bid for the Danish lad was £14m – I don’t think that’s derisory.I’m not sure he’d be worth much more than that personally.

    This Shurrle link rumbleson as well.I would love to see him in – he’s quality.Slimani in the mix too.

    Which decent striker has been signed for £14m or less in the last 12 months?

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  27. I’m incredibly wary of strikers who look good in the Dutch league. De Jong’s anyone? Jansen? Van wolfs. I know we’re desperate but I’m not keen on this nor am I keen on Slimani who just hasn’t done it in England. He looks like he would but hasn’t . At the moment I’d prefer Rafa bit the bullet and played Mitro. He’s as good as anyone mentioned so far. Spend the money on a No 10 instead.

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  28. Georgio, I like Mitro but Rafa obviously doesn’t. Trust, attitude ? who knows why, it’s the same with Mbemba but not trust so much as a reluctance to grasp the English language if what’s been written is true.
    Like it or not they will both be gone as soon as a replacement arrives. If it’s another barren window,( sorry but loans for me don’t count) then they may yet feature .
    That the Toon is unable to bring in a bit of quality on a permanent signing is a sign of our total regression under Ashley.

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  29. Paul Merson’s Giant Balloon Heed is such an idiot (his latest comments, this time on Kenedy’s Tattoos). Has he ever checked Messi for Tattoos, or Zlatan? Today’s footballers live in a different world. They are like rockstars and don’t live by normal rules so can get neck tattoos and so on. Now if Lee Charnley got himself a neck tattoo that would explain a few things like him being bothered more about his ink than getting us a decent striker.

    Merse also has no self awareness. Him criticizing players for what they do off the training ground is so crazy with his drinking and gambling history.

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  30. Eric Sykes:
    Paul Merson’s Giant Balloon Heed is such an idiot (his latest comments, this time on Kenedy’s Tattoos). Has he ever checked Messi for Tattoos, or Zlatan? Today’s footballers live in a different world. They are like rockstars and don’t live by normal rules so can get neck tattoos and so on. Now if Lee Charnley got himself a neck tattoo that would explain a few things like him being bothered more about his ink than getting us a decent striker.

    Merse also has no self awareness. Him criticizing players for what they do off the training ground is so crazy with his drinking and gambling history.

    Eric – I saw last night then Ederson (Man City’s goalkeeper) has a smiley face emoji on his neck behind his left ear – it looks like a nicoret pad!!.
    I guess the pundits were too busy kissing his arse to notice his neck though.

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  31. So Brighton only bid £8m for Mitrovic. I hope their fans slate their board/owners in the same then. This the club who apparently bid £18m for Celtics Dembele.

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  32. We shouldn’t be judging players on whether they’re our record signings these days. It’s a pretty sure bet that our next record signing will still not be a great player. That’s just the way the market has gone and where we are as a club.

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  33. Sharpy17:
    So Brighton only bid £8m for Mitrovic.I hope their fans slate their board/owners in the same then.This the club who apparently bid £18m for Celtics Dembele.

    Why would they slag off their board? They’ve spent a fair bit of money, have got promoted to the PL for the first time and their owner has invested millions and millions all on improving the club and it’s facilities.

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  34. I don’t have tattoos and am not particularly fond of them but it was more Merson’s train of thought that didn’t make sense saying that because Kenedy had tattoos he was not committed to being the best footballer he could be. I suppose they shouldn’t be on Play Station either, or Pogba should stay out of the barbers.

    As Olly said on an article it is like these pundits are looking for any stick to beat us with. And anybody who has read anything I have said on here would know I think the same about Southern journalists and biased Refs.

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  35. Eric, Merse should look at his mate Charlie nic for footballers with ridiculous adornments . Hells bells a 56 year old greying man with diamond studs ffs.

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  36. Eric Sykes:
    I don’t have tattoos and am not particularly fond of them but it was more Merson’s train of thought that didn’t make sense saying that because Kenedy had tattoos he was not committed to being the best footballer he could be. I suppose they shouldn’t be on Play Station either, or Pogba should stay out of the barbers.

    As Olly said on an article it is like these pundits are looking for any stick to beat us with. And anybody who has read anything I have said on here would know I think the same about Southern journalists and biased Refs.

    You have to look at the culture that people are from these days as well. He is not some white kid brought up in a middle class English suburb. Stereotyping I know but I think you will get what I mean. Tattoo’s in Southern American lower classes is just how they express themselves.

    And you are right. Merson is a massive hypocrit. He could have been something really special of he had applied himself in the right way.

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  37. Anyway loads of players have lots of tattoo’s now, so what. Some are more naff than others, like you say Eric there are worse past times like the bookies or, ahem, drugs mr Merson. 😉

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