MISSED CHANCES ARE ENOUGH TO GET A £6M MOVE

The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

WHAT will Burn­ley get for an ini­tial £6m out­lay on An­dre Gray? In short, a striker who misses a load of chances.

But don’t worry Clarets fans – it turns out that’s ac­tu­ally a good thing. As ev­ery­body knows, Brent­ford chair­man Matthew Ben­ham loves to crunch his num­bers, dig­ging for the stats that in­di­cate hid­den value.

Which is why, this sum­mer, he put the ki­bosh on man­ager Mar­i­nus Di­jkhuizen’s ef­forts to sign Dutch striker Michiel Kramer.

Kramer had scored a lot of goals for ADO Den Haag and boasted an ex­cel­lent chance con­ver­sion rate. So why did the com­put­ers say no?

In­tu­ition tells you that strik­ers who score lots of goals from few op­por­tu­ni­ties, like Kramer or Pa­trick Bam­ford at Boro, are ‘bet­ter’ play­ers.

In fact, Ben­ham’s sta­tis­ti­cal mod­els told him that the most ef­fec­tive play­ers were those who took the most shots, ir­re­spec­tive of whether they hit the tar­get.

Kramer, he said, didn’t get into scor­ing po­si­tions fre­quently enough.

Gray, on the other hand, did, even though plenty of his ef­forts missed the tar­get com­pletely.

That is why Brent­ford drove such a hard bar­gain for Gray. Now Sean Dy­che and Burn­ley must hope there wasn’t a glitch in the data.

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