Friday July 13 2012
The value of Thiago-Ibra

Just what are Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva worth to Milan? Rob Paton tries to do the sums.

How could Milan even consider selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain? Two of the League’s most notably class footballers should carry a value beyond monetisation. Indeed, an analysis of the duo’s worth on the pitch gives perspective as to why both the Italians and French are valuing the duo so highly in this transfer deal. There are few players in any of Europe’s Leagues that can boast statistics personifying influence as much as this duo.

Beginning with Ibrahimovic, he has scored 42 goals and assisted a further 17 in his two years with Milan, equating to a direct involvement in 59 League goals for the club in that time – 42.5 per cent of the Rossoneri’s total scored. Only Edinson Cavani and Antonio Di Natale have netted more goals in the Italian top-flight during this period and if assists are included, only Di Natale with 64 has had direct involvement in more goals in Italy than Ibra since August 2010.

The Swede’s goals and assists have also directly accounted for a difference of 35 points for Milan in the past, which is 22 per cent of the club’s total earned in the past two campaigns, with his impression in 2010-11 mathematically the difference between the top spot that the team finished in and sixth place.

During those same two seasons, Thiago Silva’s basic statistics also make for impressive, significant reading, with last season’s numbers particularly highlighting the 27-year-old’s value to the Rossoneri. Whilst as many as 15 players averaged per game more tackles than Silva in 2011-12, no-one for his team managed even half as many interceptions as the Brazilian, or blocks, or clearances. Where defensive colleagues across the Division such as Giorgio Chiellini, Giuseppe Biava, Lucio, Hugo Campagnaro and Mehdi Benatia had players in possession run by them on occasions well into double figures, Silva’s 27 appearances saw it happen to him a total of just six times. Statistically, few have shown themselves capable of reading the game as well as the No 33.

That his passing accuracy last term was bettered by no other player in the League, and only by Javier Zanetti in 2010-11, is testament to the other aspect to his game that the Rossoneri have benefited from in recent years, his temperament in possession. Added, only Andrea Pirlo averaged more accurate long balls than Silva last season, whilst nobody was better than Silva the year before. Not only are these attributes remarkable considering his position on the pitch, so too is the fact that Milan has been able to use him with regularity. Over the last two years, no player at the club has averaged as many passes per game as the defender – no-one has been involved in play at San Siro as much as Silva has.

With the Brazilian on the pitch, Milan have recorded 33 clean sheets during the past two years. In only five games when Silva did not play did the team not concede in the League in this time and it is perhaps equally pertinent to note that the now departed Alessandro Nesta was playing on each of those occasions.

In short, Ibrahimovic and Silva have shown themselves worthy of a ridiculous price-tag and of asking for extortionate rates from PSG – they have consistently provided the most valuable aspects of play to their team. Yet, for those statistics that make consideration of their sale most damning, there is another set of numbers that make the French side’s offer so irresistible to Messrs Berlusconi and Galliani.

Specifically these are financial. Ibrahimovic’s remaining two years of his contract with the club amounts to a total spend of €48m, including the 50 per cent tax-rate, whilst Silva’s recently-signed five-year deal will cost the club €70m including tax. A €62m offer for the pair, combined with foregoing this huge double commitment turns a potential €118m spend into a €180m boost.

That the club’s total annual expenses continues to rise each year and is threatening to break the €300m barrier for 2012 is significant with Financial Fair Play on the horizon. So too is the fact that it can be coupled with a drop in revenue, according the latest Football Money League, and consistent annual losses posted that in the past two seasons alone – before player sales, most of which are conducted with Genoa amid raised eyebrows – totals almost €200m.

Whilst Milan will statistically, definitely rue selling Ibrahimovic and Silva, should the deal go through and not turn out to be Milan’s third yes-no deal with PSG, it is a transfer that means the club won’t be ruing boardroom statistics that otherwise continue to look threatening. The Rossoneri’s choice looks to be between red faces on the pitch, or red writing in the account book.

Have your say...
G30FF i agree w u 100% but no more brazilian, or argentinien pls.
on the 19th July, 2012 at 12:03pm
AC Milan has become a selling club, like Ajax. It's the end for them. Berlusconi should sell the team to a rich Arab or Russian. But I am an Inter supporter, so it's all good for me.
on the 19th July, 2012 at 3:03am
I still don't understand why everyone is complaining about Silva the guy is great i give him that but he can't guarantee titles & Milan doesn't need Silva or Ibra because both of them are a waste of wages & money. Milan is in the rebuilding process they just lost i don't know how many players for free & needed money to start rebuilding. Honestly without the class players Milan used to have two years ago, Ibra & Silva would be unable to make a difference in any major competition. So why keep them
on the 16th July, 2012 at 10:06am
Viktor - i'm not the only one saying he is decent - read through previous blogs & you will see i'm not entirely in the minority. For me the standard of defending in the last 5 years has been poor in world football. He's not in the same league as baresi, maldini and nesta . Mila is about the CL and he did not look solid against Arsenal and he wasn't fit for Barca. I don't seem him as being as solid as Costscurta, Stam or F Galli. He is the star of the worst Milan defence i have seen!
on the 16th July, 2012 at 9:46am
@ Adrian gaveglia it also makes me rage that Milan Juventus and inter are still signing second rate south Americans after the euros juventus sign isla asamoah and lucio on a free makes me laugh im juve but why not get some good italian kids in the team, Italy got ruined in the final and are miles behind Spain who are in another under 19s final yet again. why are Italian clubs still going down this mercenary route don't they ever learn.
on the 16th July, 2012 at 2:02am
i agree with adrian gaveglia hes hardly baresi good business for Milan and as for ibra ive never seen a forward with so little urgency on a quick counter attack my god he slows every counter down to a walking pace he must be the most frustrating forward around, im juventus but milan have done good business its just a bit late in the transfer window for them to rush signing through
on the 16th July, 2012 at 1:52am
if galliani were to buy the following players with the money received id be very happy, but i doubt it.

k Papadopolus CB 20 years, £11-13
Ogbonna CB/LB 24 years old £10-13
Verratti CM 20 years old £10
Sahin CM 24 years old £10-12
Destro CF 21 years old £12-14


AC MILAN 2012-13
on the 15th July, 2012 at 8:18pm
its an absolute shame a club like milan sold silva he would of been talked about in the same respect as maldini and baresi a true world class center back and certainly the best of his generation
on the 15th July, 2012 at 7:18pm
@adrian gaveglia

To mention also I havent missed a game for the last 30 years I supported ACM. He DEFIANTLY in the top 5. Baresi, Maldini and Nesta is there too. You do realize the guy can play centre mid too right?
on the 15th July, 2012 at 6:41pm
@adrian gaveglia

They won the leageu two years ago and almost won it last year? I truly believe your the only person who calls him decent. Name anyone whoes better at the moment? I dont believe in the market prices most of the time however in this case I do. He's worth every dollar.

All italian clubs need mo
on the 15th July, 2012 at 6:38pm
Viktor - yes decent. He's not a great and in terms of Mila defenders of the last 25 years he wouldnt get into my top 10. By your theory Lescott is the next best defender in the world since City paid 24m. PSG are paying 42m as they only have a willing buyer at that level and Mila need the cash! He's proven to a level and Mila will certainly miss him initially but lets be serious Mila have needed serious investment for the last 3 seasons, a few ageing star players & cast offs do not make a team.
on the 15th July, 2012 at 5:33pm
@adrian gaveglia Did u just call Thiago decent but not great defender? Are you sane? He's by far the best CB in the world. Why do you think PSG payed 42 mill for him...
on the 15th July, 2012 at 3:34pm
I can't believe what rubbish people are writing here. I am not a Milan fan but i feel sad to see these two leave yet their wages were too high & none should earn that much. As for Dzeko, This lad was instrumental in City's title win. Just because Mancini prefers to play Balotelli doesn't make Dzeko a third class player, he is better then Ibra & more complete CF! He destroyed German defenses a couple years ago & Milan would be lucky to have him as he would almost guarantee Milan top three finish.
on the 15th July, 2012 at 9:38am
truth of the matter is that the selling of silva and soon ibra will only pave the way for more foreign players, i mean look at the players milan are looking at to replace silva DEDE i mean come on this is a disgrace, im all for ridding milan and serie A of oney grabbing over rated foreigners but truth is milan sell 2 foreigners and bring in 3!!
Use the money and invest in Italians
on the 15th July, 2012 at 9:00am
Silva transfer done. PSG to pay him 7.5m a season, Mila would be crazy to pay that, decent but not great defender - good business. Finally some fans with sense have landed on this blog Mila has always been based on a core of Italian. The clowns across the city have continued to embark on their buy every foreign star in sight model, since they ruin every Italian they buy please continue. To say they have 1 up on Mila in the summer transfers, as i've read on other blogs here is laughable!
on the 14th July, 2012 at 5:51pm
Short-term, we will struggle to even make it into the Champion's League during the upcoming season. However, as some have mentioned, this is an opportunity to invest in grassroots Italian players and once again build up these players into international legends. The way Serie A works at the moment, most great players have been purchased from abroad and not Italian. If this had been the case a decade or two ago, we probably wouldn't know who Roberto Baggio or Gianluca Vialli were.
on the 14th July, 2012 at 5:09pm
all well said, but a great man is one dat can prove to people he is doin the right thing even well people are faulting his approach. i will love to sit bach and relax to see how milan survive this scare. meanwhile my take is dat should milan wish to sell to get finance, why not ibra only? and if silva must go, berlusconi and galliani pls advance an alternative. remember what milan means to the fans!
on the 14th July, 2012 at 3:12pm
All the great Milan teams had a solid core of Italians in them. The clubs origins where italian only. 70mil, 170 over two years, the champions league money, all puts the club in a good position for the long term for financial fair play. Pain at the moment but I am optimistic for the long term future of the club. I just hope we don't waste money on people like tevez/dzeko and looke closer to home e.g. Astori, verratti, destro and ogbonna
on the 14th July, 2012 at 1:00pm
So sad , Berlusconi is destroying the club.
on the 14th July, 2012 at 9:31am
62 million is a bargain price for these two. Silva the best defender on the planet is worth 45-50 in todays market! And ibra is worth 25-30. If Milan don't get 75-80 mill at least they are losing out.
on the 14th July, 2012 at 8:40am
Milan struggled since berlusconi was no longer PM. His influence is decreasing. While serie-a reputation is going down, Milan did nothing to improve their account but pray for fortun only. Similar with inter why they pushed to sell eto'o for similar reason. While Juventus, even they had controversial demotion which mean lost of significant financial income, they prepared with very delicated plan by building own stadium which is proved to be a card that help the survive.
on the 14th July, 2012 at 4:50am
PSG has unlimited funds, they can almost buy ANY players from any league. They only buy players from serie A just because serie A based players have high quanlity. Man U and arsenal also can not resist the cheque from PSG, but PSG does not consider their players good enough. However, i still think milan made a big mistake. Milan should sell ibra only, you can only sell one key player per year to still keep your team on top level. Ibra will lost motivation if silva was sold, not vice verses
on the 14th July, 2012 at 12:35am
@ Adrian gaveglia. You sir speak so much sense it is ridiculous. Now is the time to sure up the finances and invest in the Italian game. Who wants a mercenary like Tevez, or a regular substitute like Dzeko. Bring in youth, get them playing football and build for the future.
I just hope Berlusconi has the same trail if thought.

Forza Milan!
on the 14th July, 2012 at 12:23am
How anyone can consider Galliani a transfer master is a joke. After lying to us by telling us Ibra and Thiago will stay at Milan numerous times, he sells our best players for way less than their worth. He's a lying scumbag who cares more about money than the team. Even after we sell them Berlusconi is going to keep half of the money for himself. After Berlusconi saved Thiago the first time from PSG he was hailed as a savior, then a week later he agreed to sell not only him but also Ibra.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 11:55pm
I'm an Inter fan but I think its a good idea for Milan to sell Ibra. When Inter sold Ibra they went on to win the treble. He is a loser and never wins the CL with any club, so while he may help PSG win the league title they're gonna get knocked out of the CL quickly. Besides, they could seriously rebuild the squad with the money they're making with this sale.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 11:33pm
Milan without Ibra...Sixht place..Ibra Took Milan to the TOP that even Ronaldinho and Kaka failed to do the last years.Ibra was Milan you fools!
on the 13th July, 2012 at 9:52pm
So Milan sold shevchekno due to financial reasons. They then sold Kaka for financial reasons. Now they are selling Silva an dIbra due to financial reasons. What the hell is wrong with this club why can't they keep their finances in check? I think Milan are settlign for survival, not banking on winning anything. The structure is terrible. If i were a milan fan id b furious at this i couldn't care less about the maths. I watch football to win trophies, not count numbers
on the 13th July, 2012 at 6:39pm
It makes me rage that after seeing italy play some wonderful football in the euros most of the posts here are about buying south American players or other teams cast offs. Why brazilian players because there league is strong? Or there they are the best team in the world? Maybe the best in south america? Why do we want teams cast offs- Dzeko for Pete's sake. Dede - what makes anyone think he is bette r than some home grown talent? Deary me if you are Milan fans please go back and know ur history
on the 13th July, 2012 at 6:18pm
The real question is, who do you even replace Ibrahimovic with? It's hard enough to find a world class centre back, let alone arguably the most complete forward in the business! Silly move, Ibrahimovic will be sick of the French league within a season. The regulations on financial fair play need to be tighter, teams shouldn't be able to go out and spend more than the rest of the league put together in one season, which looks very likely for the second season running.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 6:11pm
I would rather see Milan sell their two best players than ending up like Rangers. This deal is essential to keep the wolf from the door. Milan are 113 years old, these players will retire in a relatively short space of time. Its a shame to see them go, but it has to happen. Look at all the other players who left and need to be replaced, that money has to come from somewhere. I would rather have 3 or 4 good defenders than one exceptional one(Silva) and a bunch of mediocre ones. Forza Milan.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 4:50pm

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