Comparing # of United's elite players vs. other top clubs

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by VancouverUtdFan, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Aug 22, 2017
    #1

    VancouverUtdFan Banned

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    Just a little interesting concept I thought I'd share.

    In sports, more often than not what separates the top teams versus the rest of the pack is the amount of quality players on a single roster. In hockey/football (american)/basketball, these types of players are usually categorized as "franchise" or "elite". General rule of thumb is the more players you have of such calibre, the more likely it is your team is a top team. In football, the terms "world class" and "elite" are used to define such players. So looking at United's roster, let's try and see how many of these world class/elite players there are and compare them to other top clubs in the world. And yes all great teams can't entirely rely on such players needing a fair share of quality depth+support players to work hand in hand also. Not disregarding that as it's just as important but for the sole purpose of this thread, will be focusing just on the "world class" and "elite" players as they do most the heavy lifting and make players around them better. So let's get started.


    Manchester United
    World Class: Pogba, De Gea
    Elite: Lukaku, Matic, Bailly, Martial (,Zlatan)
    - 6 world class/elite players. No potential taken into consideration, just their pure, current form. Otherwise players like Bailly and Rashford could be dragged into the conversation but they're just not at that level yet. Zlatan not taken into consideration as he'll be gone after the season and won't be joining until January anyways.

    Real Madrid
    World Class: Ronaldo, Ramos, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Marcelo
    Elite: Benzema, Isco, Casemiro, Asensio
    - 10 world class/elite players.

    Bayern Munich
    World Class: Lewandowski, Neuer, Muller, Boateng
    Elite: Alaba, Vidal, Robben, Hummels, Thiago
    - 9 world class/elite players.

    Juventus
    World Class: Dybala, Buffon
    Elite: Higuain, Chiellini, Pjanic, Sandro, Matuidi
    - 7 world class/elite players.

    PSG
    World Class: Neymar, T.Silva, Verratti
    Elite: Cavani, Di Maria, Alves, Marquinhos
    - 7 world class/elite players.

    Barcelona
    World Class: Messi, Suarez
    Elite: Iniesta, Busquets, Pique, Rakitic, Alba
    - 7 world class/elite players.


    ...from the looks of things, United are a few world class/elite players away from matching the likes of those top5 teams in the world. Taking the average of them, it comes down to 8 a team so United are technically 3 away. Add another big splash signing (Griezmann ?) in January or next summer and it takes us to 6. If Bailly+Rashford can cement their potential/play/consistency this season and promote themselves into that category, it'd make it 8 for United which is the bare minimum we have to reach just to match considering those other teams will also be looking to improve their already strong rosters.

    So yea, that's that lol. I hope this is a little something that can be used to compare where we stand vs. other top teams in the world in terms of high end talent. And there are certainly different levels within the category as shown. On one end there's world class, on the other those that just make the cut, and then those that fit in between in which there are a few leaps as well. More players you have towards the world class end the better compared to having just the bare minimum. It's why Real Madrid show they're head and shoulders above everyone else really. Too much high end quality on the world class spectrum to match up against.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  2. Aug 22, 2017
    #2

    Pexbo has never watched Star Wars

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    Matic is a £60m player now? I guess if the club we bought him from wasn't an oil rich title rival that didn't need to sell they may have demanded that.
  3. Aug 22, 2017
    #3

    M Bison Full Member

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    I dont think you can include Martial as an elite player yet but i would include Bailly
  4. Aug 22, 2017
    #4

    slored1 New Member

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    Wouldn't consider Martial world class. I think our only 2 are Pogba and DDG.
  5. Aug 22, 2017
    #5

    LeeFunK Full Member

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    I would definitely include Bailly.

    Also Ascensio has only just arrived on the scene so I think he is more or less our Rashford.

    Also Mata/Mkhitaryan.

    Valencia as arguably been the best right back over last 2 seasons.

    Finally, Zlatan? I know technically not in the squad this year but looks as though he will be shortly.
  6. Aug 22, 2017
    #6

    VancouverUtdFan Banned

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    Debatable but regardless, either him or Bailly United have 5 such players I'd say.


    I don't either, he's at the elite level. And yes I'd agree Pogba and De Gea are our 2 "world class" players whereas the rest fall in categories below them but still have enough quality to make the cut.
  7. Aug 22, 2017
    #7

    VancouverUtdFan Banned

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    Ascensio is ahead of Rashford but that's just my opinion and I'm sure the general publics. Mata/Mikhi don't make the cut in my eyes unfortunately. Effective players (support/cast players) but in terms of value, definitely not £60M worthy. Valencia falls into the same boat. And yes forgot about Zlatan, he'll be another for sure but not a long term solution as he'll be gone after the season.
  8. Aug 22, 2017
    #8

    Z_Wolf Banned

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    Matuidi and Khedira aren't world class. I'd take Herrera over them any day of the week.
  9. Aug 22, 2017
    #9

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    Who would pay £60M for Dani Alves at his age?
  10. Aug 22, 2017
    #10

    arnie_ni Full Member

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    Your definition of world class is wrong imo
  11. Aug 22, 2017
    #11

    MZX7 @Vato @Varun @moses @Hectic @Solius

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    Pogba and DDG are currently, the only world class players we have. We're just kidding ourselves about the rest. Martial is the only other potential.

    That said, the team as a whole is probably the best bunch along with City right now in the PL, although City might edge us out if they can help together fast enough. Spurs will sorely miss Walker imo.

    If we win the league, it'll probably be out of sheer team-spirit and great coaching/tactics.

    If we win the CL, it'd be sheer luck.
  12. Aug 22, 2017
    #12

    Akshay Moderator Staff

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    When a team wins trophies, more of its players will be rated as world class. Then it'll be used as proof that teams with 'world class' players win more. The metric is completely flawed.
  13. Aug 22, 2017
    #13

    Von Mistelroum Full Member

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    In terms of what I'd consider truly elite players, I'd say that we have one. Pogba is excellent but has a way to go yet.
  14. Aug 22, 2017
    #14

    MZX7 @Vato @Varun @moses @Hectic @Solius

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    Do not forget De Gea. Ever.
  15. Aug 22, 2017
    #15

    DannyCAFC Full Member

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    Have you watched Alves lately?

    I don't think he's world-class anymore, neither are Khedira or Matuidi. The likes of Martial, Marquinhos, even Lukaku, even Asensio as big a fan of him as I am still have a lot to prove IMO.

    I personally feel you've used the term somewhat loosely.
  16. Aug 22, 2017
    #16

    Trizy Full Member

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    Bailey should be there.

    Also if you're gonna name Barcas midfield you might as well put in ours. It's better than theirs.
  17. Threadmark: Spot on
    Aug 22, 2017
    #17

    AgentP Full Member

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    I would categorize players into 2 main categories - World class and elite. Madrid wins hands down. It's more even after that.

    Man United (5)
    WC - De Gea, Pogba
    Elite - Lukaku, Bailly, Matic

    Real Madrid (12)
    WC - Ronaldo, Modric, Kroos, Ramos, Marcelo
    Elite - Isco, Asensio, Bale, Benzema, Carvajal, Casemiro, Varane

    Barcelona (5)
    WC - Messi, Suarez
    Elite - Iniesta, Busquets, Pique

    Bayern (9)
    WC - Lewandowski, Neuer
    Elite - Boateng, Hummels, Vidal, Thiago, Muller, Robben, Alaba

    Juventus (6)
    WC - Dybala
    Elite - Higuain, Pjanic, Buffon, Sandro, Chellieni

    PSG (6)
    WC - Neymar, Cavani, Veratti
    Elite - Thiago Silva, Di Maria, Alves

    Chelsea (5)
    WC - Hazard
    Elite - Kante, Courtois, Morata, Azpilicueta

    Man City (4)
    WC - Silva, Aguero
    Elite - KDB, Mendy

    Arsenal (3)
    WC - Sanchez
    Elite - Ozil, Lacazette

    Spurs (4)
    WC - Kane
    Elite - Alli, Eriksen, Alderweireld

    Liverpool (2)
    Elite - Coutinho, Mane
  18. Aug 22, 2017
    #18

    GM K Full Member

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    Nice job you did there.

    I get your basis for choosing and not wanting to consider 'potentials' but in reality, I think Bailly, Rashford, Miki, Valencia, and Herrera can pass as world class. Bailly for me is one of the top 10 center backs in world football at the moment. Rashford is just 'good finishing' away from being grouped with Mbappe or Dembele. Miki is world class by any standards. Valencia is top 10 right back for me and before this season, everyone was talking about Herrera. Barca even wanted him in their squad.
  19. Aug 22, 2017
    #19

    Von Mistelroum Full Member

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    I didn't. That's the one I was inferring.
  20. Aug 22, 2017
    #20

    RC89 Full Member

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    Agree with most of this with a couple of exceptions. Muller was probably just low in form but he's otherwise a World class player. KDB is world class also. Reckon he'd be one of the best players for any team on that list. Do not agree with Cavani being world class though.
  21. Aug 22, 2017
    #21

    septic Full Member

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    Did Juve just sign Matuidi for like £18m? How's he suddenly worth £60m?
  22. Aug 22, 2017
    #22

    Adnandos Full Member

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    IMO:
    KDB to WC
    Kante to WC
    Boateng to WC
    Vidal to WC
    Cavani to Elite
    Silva to Elite
    B. Silva added to Elite
    Asensio removed
    Mendy removed
  23. Aug 22, 2017
    #23

    Oneunited26 Full Member

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    Its tough to say from a united perspective until the season progresses, you would think has the season progresses, Mkhi, martial, bailley improves has the season gets on a few more united players could be added to the elite list. World class is a tough one, think bailey, matic, martial, mkhi I think could enter the WC category, martial hopefully just enters the elite level because what he could give to united down the left, because of what they will give to the united side. At the moment for united, its just about right.
  24. Aug 22, 2017
    #24

    TheReligion Abusive

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    Does it really matter?

    United have rightly moved away from signing individuals and are now building a functional cohesive unit.
  25. Aug 22, 2017
    #25

    KN5 Full Member

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    We don't need 11 elite level players to dominate and win, look at Park, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, Saha, Heinze, O'shea, Brown. Whilst not up there, did their job and we gained a lot of success off of it.
  26. Aug 22, 2017
    #26

    Massive Spanner Thinks Geoff Shreeves has one

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    Anderson never "did his job", he was one of the most talented youngster's in Europe and completely squandered it with his poor attitude and laziness. He, quite frankly, did feck all for the club. A complete waste of talent and space (a lot of space, the fat feck).
  27. Aug 22, 2017
    #27

    Sarni nice guy, unassuming, objective United fan.

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    Matuidi and Khedira are not elite players and those values are a bit ridiculous. Alves worth £60m?
  28. Aug 22, 2017
    #28

    KN5 Full Member

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    Yeah but he started a fair few games when we were a force, my point is, we don't need a squad full of elite and world class players to compete.
  29. Aug 22, 2017
    #29

    Pavl3n Full Member

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    I would also move Cavani from WC to Elite.
    But I would also put Buffon, Courtois and Iniesta to WC. I know that both Buffon and Iniesta are a bit past it, but I still rate them as WC. And then there's Thiago Silva, Pogba and Kante, who are hindering between WC and Elite, depending on who is rating them.

    I know most of you are tired of rating player based on talent/potential, but I truly believe that Pogba, Lukaku, Bailly, Martial and Rashford have what it takes to get to the WC category. It only depends on work ethic, attitude and commitment.
  30. Aug 22, 2017
    #30

    ThomasEmil Invisible Herrera Watcher

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    Disagree with the OP. Individual players get the highlight reel spinning, however it's players like Carrick, fletcher etc. That will make these individual players shine. The quality of true understand of teamwork will outshine a bunch of individuals In the long run. Leicester last season is an example of that.
  31. Aug 22, 2017
    #31

    Akshay Moderator Staff

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    Leicester is a good example because the other thing is, before that season how many of their players would have been rated as elite? Pretty much none. That season is the reason why Vardy, Mahrez and Kante came to be regarded highly. Now in retrospect it looks a better squad than it did at the time.
  32. Aug 22, 2017
    #32

    Random Task Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    My only grievance here would be KDB's position, I would absolutely include him in the WC bracket.

    Good effort overall.
  33. Aug 22, 2017
    #33

    Synco Full Member

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    Putting players in rigid tiers is always a subjective matter, but I disagree with several points here:

    To me you are underrating a larger number of non-United players you have put in the same category as Bailly and Matic. And, to take the example of Bayern, you missed out on others like Ribery and Javi Martinez. The same goes for other teams as well. Young players not listed like B. Silva, Kovacic, Umtiti, Kimmich and Marquinhos are not really further away from the best than Bailly is imo, some are probably closer. Last point: Atletico should be included, Dortmund too.

    So all in all I consider United to be further adrift in top class individual quality. But since the team aspect is crucial as well, the gap should be bridgeable to an extent if Mourinho and the players manage to build a tight unit this season.

    --------
    Edit: Asensio was listed, corrected
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  34. Aug 22, 2017
    #34

    Rozay Not good at posting fixture lists

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    Kane has a lot to prove before he is considered World Class.

    The PL is a poor level in terms of overall quality, and HK has looked an extremely ordinary player outside of the competition. His CL form was unspectacular, and his Euro 2016 performances were worse than that.
  35. Aug 22, 2017
    #35

    Charlie Foley Full Member

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    Ignoring 'how many great players we have' for a second; there's an interesting discussion to be had as to whether football is a 'strong-link' sport (dependent on who your best stars are) like basketball, or a weak link sport (as I think ice hockey is viewed, I don't really watch it). I think most research points to it being a weak link sport (making upsets more likely than in a sport like basketball).
  36. Aug 22, 2017
    #36

    Bepi Full Member

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    Look, United are coming back to the level they belong, so d*ick waving may be skipped for the real thing 20 days from now :lol:
  37. Aug 22, 2017
    #37

    ghagua Full Member

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    You can have all the elite players in the world, but unless you have a manager who can get the best out of them, then it does not matter. Look at Real Madrid before Zidane took over, they are good, but very inconsistent, but since Zidane took over, they look like a well oiled machine.
  38. Aug 22, 2017
    #38

    GBBQ Full Member

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    Really highlights how far Barcelona are falling. Busquets the only one of the 5 who is under 30 (and he's 29).
  39. Aug 22, 2017
    #39

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    I don't understand half of the fees. How did the OP made them, what is the basis?
  40. Aug 22, 2017
    #40

    RobinLFC knows Klopp is a hypocrite

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    I think he just took a wild guess for most of them.

    Buffon worth £70m at almost 40;
    Iniesta still worth £70m;
    Khedira worth £60m.

    It's even weirder for players that have been transferred this very Summer. How is Lukaku worth £15m+ now than a month ago, or Matic worth £20m more than 20 days ago? Matuidi's value has more than tripled in less than a week? Mind boggling guess work.