A groundbreaking study has shown that in the 2014/15 campaign, only 30 percent of Premier League players are Connor Wickham. While Wickham’s declining influence on the domestic game has been anecdotally acknowledged, this is the first statistical proof of the extent to which non-Wickham players have become the norm.
A team of researchers discovered that fewer and fewer players coming through the youth ranks at Premier League sides are Connor Wickham, while big teams preferred once again to look to non-Wickham players over the summer.
“Comparatively recently, top sides would turn first to Wickham, and only after that would they move on to non-Wickham options,” lead researcher William Montague told FourFourTwo.
“But with amount of money in the game these days, and the pressure of Champions League qualification, teams want a quick fix and that’s not going to come from Wickham.”
After watching a sample of 100 Premier League matches, researchers were taken aback by how few times Wickham featured.
“It’s sobering to think that when Manchester United played Arsenal, there wasn’t a single Connor Wickham on the field," Montague continued.
“From the data we have discovered here I would tentatively suggest that in a few years’ time there’ll barely be a Connor Wickham transfer in each window.”
The statistics are thrown into sharp relief when compared with Germany's Bundesliga, where over 85 percent of players are Mario Gotze, and nearly 95 percent are at least Lewis Holtby.
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