This is our “prospecting the prospects” series, where we run the rule over lots of FPL prospects who will enter the game next season– our directory for these (over 20!) is here. This series analyses a selection of significant newcomers to the FPL game by simulating how they would have performed using last season’s stats (wherever they played) in FPL, then provide our evaluation of the player as an asset ahead of the new season.
On 3rd July, the long mooted transfer of Spain U21 striker Sandro Ramirez from La Liga side Malaga to Everton was completed.
— Everton (@Everton) July 3, 2017
Ramirez signed for what looks like an astonishingly cut price deal, with a £5.2m fee – loose change in the modern age of the Premier League – being reported.
Prospecting the prospect (using last season’s data)
So how good would Everton’s new boy have been if he had played at this level last season in the Premier Legue? Well using WhoScored data and our knowledge of the FPL bonus point system we can attempt to analyse him.
Appearances: 30 appearances (28 over 60 mins, 2 times sub on/off) = 58 points ((28×2) + 2)
Goals: 14 goals (4×14) = 56 points
Assists: 3 assists (3×3) = 9 points
Bonus: To give an estimation of the bonus points he would have got, we need to review the games that he was instrumental in, ie when his goals and assists arrived to come to a rough calculation of how well he did.
(Occasional random bonus points (bps) are sometimes awarded in FPL where a player has bossed it but not actually got on the score card. We’re not estimating these as we’re using pure data rather than contextual data (e.g. watching the games he played in) to make perform this analysis. Plus it’ll only be an extra one or two points either way, which won’t change the story.)
For goals: this is best looked at by breaking down his contribution to games – where he was undisputed difference in the game, we will assign 3bps; where he was involved in changing the result but didn’t win the match, it’s 2bps; where he was on the scoresheet but it wasn’t a telling contribution, we will give the metrics and make an approximation
- Match winning: Ramirez scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 victory over Sporting Gijon on 5th April, but was also booked in the game. He also scored the opener in the surprise 2-0 victory over Barcelona on 8th April, which the bonus system would count as a winning goal. He also scored a brace to beat Granada 2-0 on 25th April. For the brace, he would’ve definitely achieved 3bps. For the 1-0, he would have been in the mix for 3, but the yellow card could put him down to 2bps. Let’s give him 1bp for the Barca game, as I’m sure the defence would’ve gotten the lion’s share of the bonus. 6bp for winning goals.
- Result change: He scored the equaliser on 20th September in the eventual 2-1 victory over Eibar, but received a yellow card in that game. He repeated the trick on 2nd October, except without the yellow card, also being deemed the man of the match in the 2-1 victory over Athletic. On 4th November, he scored the equaliser to haul his side back to 2-2 in the eventual 3-2 victory over Sporting Gijon. For these, he’d likely receive nothing for the card with the yellow, maybe 2bp against Athletic, and maybe a further 1bp for the Gijon goal; 3bp here.
- Contributions: Ramirez scored the third (and also assisted the second) in the 4-0 victory over Leganes on 23rd October. He scored the goal to bring his side back to 2-1 down against Atletico Madrid on 29th October, but ultimately lost 4-2. He put his side 2-1 up against Deportivo in the 4-3 victory on 20th November. He also netted the consolation in the 4-1 defeat to Sevilla on 17th December. Much later in the season, he made sure of victory by slotting in the second goal in the 2-0 victory over Valencia on 22nd April. On 1st May, he scored the second to put his side 2-1 up, and assisted the third, as Malaga beat Sevilla 4-2. On 7th May, he scored the third as his team beat Celta Vigo 3-0. For the two occasions where he scored and assisted, he would’ve been in the mix for 2 or 3 bps, so let’s give him 4bps for those two games. For the consolation goals, it’s not likely he would’ve received bonus. For the final two, where he added a goal at the end to make sure of the victory, let’s say he snuck a further 1bp somewhere. 5bps overall.
Total guessimated bonus for goals: 14 points
For assists: We’ve already covered two of his three assists (v Leganes on 23rd October and v Sevilla on 1st May). His other assist came in putting his side 2-1 up in the eventual 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad on 14th May, which probably wouldn’t have earnt him any bonus.
Total guesstimated bonus: 14 points.
Disciplinary: 4 yellow cards = –4 points / 0 red cards
Scores on the doors
133 points over 30 games. Let’s make a points per game (ppg) score and get him to a 38 game projected total: this works out at 4.43ppg (133/30) which gives us a projected score of 168 points over 38 games.
That would put him in the top 20 overall, one point ahead of Mesut Ozil and 2 points behind Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta. That works out at him being 5th amongst strikers, ahead of Jermain Defoe and 7 points behind Sergio Aguero. Not bad.
Evaluation and conclusion
Ramirez looks a streaky player, scoring his goals in clumps rather than being consistent throughout the season. He scored half of his goals in the gameweeks between 20th September and 17th December, and then scored the other half from 5th April up until the end of the season. The message might be from the outset that he is someone to get on if a bandwagon forms.
The history for strikers coming from Spain, is pretty chequered in the Premier League. One example of a player who moved from a club the same stature as Malaga to the Premier League is obviously Lucas Perez’s move to Arsenal (reportedly over Everton), which clearly did not turn out as he thought it would, with him barely getting a sniff over the season in the league. Other imports such as Aguero and Diego Costa are probably not a fair like-for-like comparison.
Another good example is Boro’s Alvaro Negredo, signed on loan from Valencia for the 16/17 season, having hit an OK 5 goals and 2 assists in 12 starts (and 13 sub appearances) in La Liga the season before. With 9 goals and 5 assists – and a 130 point total last term – he proved a relatively decent (if annoying for those who owned him in DGW34, sold after the blank, then saw him score v. old club City in GW35) import to the Premier League, though obviously he had knowledge of it from his time at City in the past.
A more vexed example could also be WBA’s Salomon Rondon, who was also at Malaga and hit a similar 11 goals and 4 assists across 29 appearances and 8 sub appearances in 2011/12, earning him a move to Zenit. His first season haul of 9 goals and 3 assists for WBA – worth 115 points – and this season’s haul of 8 goals 3 assists (118 points) could also be indicative of how Ramirez could do.
Those couple of examples could mean we expect a return of around 130 points from Ramirez in his first season. But it’s not unfeasible that he could surmount that target – as Romelu Lukaku’s seeming replacement at Everton, the quality of service he could be receiving might mean he does better, with a place in the side perceivably nailed down if big Rom moves on. Bearing in mind Malaga finished 11th La Liga last year, he could be on course to step up, rather than step down, which leaves open a question of how he will adapt and flourish in the Premier League. The ex-Barca man’s 14 goals at a young age in La Liga, including scoring against Barca and Atletico, does augur well for him.
It’s already rather well known that Everton’s first 5 fixtures make for bad reading (STO mci che TOT mnu), which will almost certainly deter suitors in the first instance.
The pricing is also interesting here, with a lot riding on the judgement of FPL towers; he could be judged a young whippersnapper and be given a 6.5 rating, which would be worth a look at Everton (especially for BOU BUR bha from GW6). However, it’s more likely we’d be looking at a 7.5m rating, or even 8.0m given he might be the main man at Everton if Kaku departs. This could set him on our radar as a decent shout for the third striker slot – maybe the second if going for an all out midfield – but only from later on.
The streakiness and the price point need to work in tandem for us to consider Ramirez. We certainly won’t be from the outset, but that could change if he hits the ground running; I’d imagine we wouldn’t jump on him until GW6 though, even if he does get off the mark quickly, given Everton’s fixture list. All in all, a lot of variables at play for assessing Ramirez as an unknown quantity, albeit one with decent pedigree and clear potential. Should be adapt well in the rocky first five fixtures we might well be circling him come early wildcard.
Overall rating: 3.5 / 5 – A fairly good prospect for FPL
*derived from a completely subjective scale from 1-5, where 1 is bad and 5 is excellent
Caveat: we thoroughly accept this system of evaluating players isn’t flawless. However, we feel that it’s a nice approach to getting a feel for how a player might do.