GdS: Five possible right wing targets for Milan based on ‘Moneyball’ algorithm

By Oliver Fisher -

The feeling is that AC Milan must reinforce their attack this summer and one of the areas they will have to strengthen is the right flank.

La Gazzetta dello Sport have published a report which is centred around the idea that the Milan scouting team and management will use ‘Moneyball’ style data analysis to try and pick the right player for each role that is cost effective.

They asked three companies that analyse football and the transfer market with data, algorithms and artificial intelligence to ask their computers for a list of right wingers suitable for Milan. They must have the following: good in one-on-one situations, ability to assist, age under 30 and an affordable price no more than €40m.

The first name that came back was Marcus Edwards who is left-footed but also shoots well with his right. He’s technical, quick, creative and he has six goals in the league and two in the Champions League against Tottenham. However, he would cost €35-40m and Sporting CP have him under contract until 2026.

Then there is Angelo Gabriel, who Milan have been linked with already along with Newcastle and Barcelona. The Santos winger is very young and while technically he is clearly of a high level he is more of a creator than a finisher. The Brazilian club are asking for €25-30m to sell.

Next on the list is David Neres of Benfica, who seems to have found form again after an up and down time with Ajax. They paid around €15m and this season he has four goals in the league and three in the Champions League, including the 2-1 win against Juventus in September. He has 53% successful dribbles, a very high percentage.

Michael Olise was also put forward. The France U21 international has pace, can beat a man, creates with his left foot and is technically good, but he has only four goals in his first season and a half of the Premier League. Palace signed him for £8m from Reading, but now he is worth much more.

The final name is perhaps the most obscure, but the numbers suggest Roony Bardghji of FC Copenhagen could be a fit. He is left-footed and a good dribbler, and he has scored three times for the Danish side this season despite being just 17 Of the players on the list, he’s probably the cheapest and the most ‘Moneyball’ profile.

The other players selected by the analysis companies contacted – Driblab, Stats Perform and Wallabies computers – were Nico Williams (Bilbao), Rayan Cherki (Lyon), Ademola Lookman (Atalanta), Dango Ouattara (Bournemouth) and Joseph Paintsil (Genk).

Tags AC Milan Angelo Gabriel David Neres Marcus Edwards Michael Olise Roony Bardghji


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