EFL squad churn: summer 2016
With the summer transfer window having closed I wanted to look at how much each EFL squad has changed since last season. While we can’t predict which of the summer’s new signings will win – and ultimately hold down – a first team place this season, we can quantify the hole left by the players who have departed since the previous campaign.
For each of the 72 clubs I’ve added up all the league minutes played by each player last season, then subtracted all the minutes which were racked up by those who are no longer at the club. I’ve then divided what’s left by the original total to get a percentage, so a higher number means that the current squad player a large part in last season’s campaign.
This should be more representative than just counting up how many players have left, as the departure of a fringe player who barely featured will make less of an impact than that of an ever-present.
Anyway, here’s the graphic:
Of the 72 EFL squads, Sheffield Wednesday‘s is the one most similar to its 2015/16 self, with almost 91% of their playing minutes accrued by players still under contract with the club. Of the six players who featured for the Owls in the Championship last term but have since departed, only loanees Alex Lopez and Michael Turner racked up more than 1,000 minutes on the pitch.
At the opposite end of the scale, the players currently representing Oldham only accounted for 17% of the Latics’ playing time in League 1 last season. Incredibly only seven of the 39 players to have turned out for them last season are with the club, so this is a team that’s barely recognisable from the previous campaign.
It’s interesting to see that newly-promoted Cheltenham and Grimsby are at opposite ends of the League 2 graph: Gary Johnson looks to have kept the faith with the players that got the Robins out of the National League but Paul Hurst has rung the changes.
To look at some of the extremes in another way, I also worked out who each club’s 11 most-used players were last season and how many of them were still around. Rather than providing the full 72-club list – which on the whole isn’t massively different from the graphs above – here’s a quick look at the outliers:
So Sheffield Wednesday are the only EFL club to have retained the services of their 11 most-used players last season (for reference, they are Atdhe Nuhiu, Barry Bannan, Daniel Pudil, Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Glenn Loovens, Jack Hunt, Keiren Westwood, Kieran Lee, Ross Wallace and Tom Lees).
There are eight other clubs who have only lost one of their most-deployed 11, which in the case of Bristol Rovers and Wimbledon suggests a high degree of confidence that the core of the side that got them promoted from League 2 can keep them in League 1.
Those expecting a repeat of Accrington and Walsall’s impressive exploits last season should bear in mind how much each squad has been raided by those with deeper pockets over the summer. Stanley have only four of their most-used 11 players still under contract and the Saddlers just three.
However Newport are the EFL club whose core players have been depleted the most, with only two – goalkeeper Joe Day and striker Lenell John-Lewis – still with the Exiles.