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...
It's not the first time that AC Milan sale such a super star, they sold stars like Andre Shevchenko, Kaka and others and they won trophies, so, I think they will remain as a strong side and compete the European competitions with out Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.

Milan only need 4 new players.

Forza Milan.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 3:49pm
its a good deal, financially yes and it could proven to be a good future deal, because they will save alot alot of money, they can bring in Lassana Diarra, Michel Bastos, Witsel or even a good striker for example, But with Serie A its a bad deal
on the 13th July, 2012 at 2:32pm
frzamln - Milan can only sign one more non-EU player which makes your plans impossible.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 1:47pm
I think this is a fine move. With the money coming in, we will be able to replace and even get better.

Ibra out -- Dzeko comes in.
Silva out -- Papadopoulos (Schalke) or Dede (Vasco de Gama) come in.

People need to remember that Silva was a no one when he came in to Milan and look what he became. Both the CBs I have listed above are young and have potential.

Also, with the money brought in we can bring in a world class mid (Strootman or Sahin) and then we have a strong, YOUNG team.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 1:41pm
I really doubt Silva wants to go. In the space of a month Milan have gone from having one of the best centre back pairing in the world to poor back-ups. With Mexes, Bonera and Yepes Milan won't qualify for the CL if they don't get in 3-5 players. Jovetic(20m), Armero(10m), Douglas(bosman), Destro(10m), Astori(10m), Sahin(loan), and sell Robinho too. ABBIATI - ABATE - ARMERO - ASTORI - DOUGLAS MONTOLIVO - NOCERINO - SAHIN - BOATENG - JOVETIC - PATO/DESTRO. Not perfect, but a young, hungry team.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 1:36pm
Surprised alot of people saying Milan need rebuildig they won the league in 2011 and finished 2nd last year thats not so bad. Milan wont use the money to reinvest they will use it to pay debts! So Milan will have two or the years in 3rd r 4th in my opinion. Inter seem to have had a good summer thus far Silvestre and Handanovic good. Milan are behind Juve and Inter on the transfer front but you know Galliani he will do something magical on 31st of august at 11 pm!!
on the 13th July, 2012 at 1:18pm
As for Silva while he is a good player and is very strong in the air, he makes mistakes, particularly in big games. Frankly is he really £20m better than Ogbonna, Astori or Ranocchia? All avaialble on the transfer market this year for half of what PSG have played. He is no Baresi or Nesta in his prime - he just stands out in a ropey Milan defence. Other than Abate Milan need a whole new backline and the fee will go someway to making Milan a force across the pitch.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 1:09pm
I have to say this blog is just the short sightedness that frustrates me. Man U, Juve, Barca have all sold players and started afresh and been successful. Have Milan won the CL with these two? No.
Ibra changes the style of play of every team he plays for and makes it very difficult for a Plan B,C or D - against top class opposition you need different weapons and his presence in a team eliminates this. He is no spring chicken so this is 100% the right decision.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 1:05pm
I'm going to laugh hard when Ibra says that it always was his dream to play for PSG, just like he said for Inter, and Barca, and Milan. You just know that in another year or two, he'll join an English side, and then probably end his career in Germany. This guy truly is a soccer mercenary.

By the way, AC Milan is making Inter look like tranfer geniuses this summer.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 12:53pm
what ur problem of ac milan !!!!!!!!
on the 13th July, 2012 at 12:38pm
Yes they are both great players but this Milan team needs to be put on the right path to start building again, if that means cashing in on Ibra and Silva then that is fine by me.

Im dissapointed of course but I believe in this club, whatever painful decisions they have to make.

I want a Milan team that has pace, energy, will to fight to the end and more importantly play as a team. There is no I in team, Together Everyone Achieves More
on the 13th July, 2012 at 12:21pm
The figures can all be used to justify the transfers, business's a statement that Milan are not looking to be the best anymore, no more CL's!
The physcological effect alone on the other players will be notable.
To prove clever business Milan need to re-invest and snap up some young exciting world class players fast, build our own stadium and re-negotiate that TV deal. We are so far behind UTD, Barca, Real etc in terms of revenue it's shambolic! Forzamilan
on the 13th July, 2012 at 12:12pm
Ibrahimovic is 30 and with that money Milan could buy Cavani instead, a better striker who is younger and could become the best CF in the world. Plus Milan have Cassano back next season who can play a similar role to Ibra.

Silva is a good player but certainly not worth the sums being talked about and gets caught out of position too much, I mean when Milan play top sides as opposed to Genoa or Chievo. Napoli and Arsenal away last season for example he was dreadful.

80 million is good business.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 11:21am
To be repeated -- we have seen this before from Milan. The fact that they snapped up Traore on a free transfer, Acerbi on the cheap from Chievo, Montolivo and generally sniffing around for bargains says it all. The money from this sale is going back into the coffers. No near equal replacements, just endless promises from Galliani. Yawn. However this might be the time for Alex Pato to step up methinks.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 11:18am
I can't believe it ! Mr Galliani is very smart & he's good intelling lies.Inaddition, Milan can replace Ibra but Silva is IRREPLACEBLE. Forza Milan !
on the 13th July, 2012 at 11:00am
the french raiding serie A is getting to the point of becoming ridiculous..
on the 13th July, 2012 at 10:46am
For God sake. Go build a new 60.000 seater stadium with Munic the rolemodel.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 10:33am
the value is more than what PSG are paying for them!!! Truth is this deal wont happen........ Zlatan and Silva together are worth at least £75-£80 million and PSG can pay it so why Milan are only asking fo £60 ish is silly.
on the 13th July, 2012 at 10:10am

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