December 23 – In football quality beats quantity every time, is the conclusion of the latest analysis by the CIES Football Observatory of the number of players used in the season to date in teams in 31 top division of UEFA nations.
Clubs that used the least number of players were most likely to win or finish higher in the league, as evidenced by Finnish champions Mariehamn who used just 17 players in their league winning campaign.
In the Big 5 leagues Chelsea (top of the Premier League), Bayern Munich (top of the Bundelsliga), and RB Leipzig (second in the Bundesliga) have only used 20 players, while Nice (top of Ligue 1) have only used 21.
At the other end of the scale Croatian side RNK Split lead the way having used 37 players so far this season. In the Big 5 leagues Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga are in 14th position having used 30 players, while Osasuna in Spain are 20th and bottom of La Liga having used 29 players and Lorient are bottom of Ligue 1 having used 29 players.
With the transfer window about to open clubs need to think before they buy. The stats suggest that bloated squads only bloat the agents’ bank accounts.
See the full report at http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2016/170/en/ and the CIES Football Observatory Digital Atlas at http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/atlas/en/
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