Squad retention, 2 September 2022

With the transfer window now closed I’ve compiled (hopefully) final versions of my graphics that compare how each Premier League and EFL squad has changed.

I’ve harvested the data from the official retained lists, the BBC transfer page, Transfermarkt, Twitter and matchday squads from this season, so hopefully I haven’t missed anyone.

You can see the all the information that I’ve compiled in a Google Sheet here – please let me know via Twitter if you think I’ve gotten anything wrong.


There’s a brief explanation of how these work at the top of each graphic, but in summary I’ve plotted a donut chart for each club where every player’s share of their league minutes from 2020-21 is represented by separate segment, ordered from largest to smallest. I’ve then shaded them dark if they’re still at the club and light if they’ve left, so you can see at a glance how regularly a team’s retained and departed players featured last season.

Graphics for each division

More than half of the minutes played by Nottingham Forest last season were accumulated by players who have since left the club, making them the most-changed Premier League team. Three clubs – Brentford, Man Utd and West Ham – have retained the services of all of their 11 most-used players from 2021-22.

In the Championship, Watford have only kept hold of four of their 11 most-used players from last season (it would have been three if Hassane Kamara hadn’t been loaned back to them), although both Burnley and Cardiff lost a higher share of their league minutes. At the other end of the scale, Bristol City are one of only two EFL clubs to have kept hold of all of their most-used 11.

The chaos at Derby has left them without seven of their most-used 11 from 2021-22 and leaves the Rams as the only League 1 side to have retained less than 40% of their playing minutes. The third tier is also where we find the other EFL club not to have lost any of their 11 most-deployed players: Bolton.

All of the three most-changed clubs among the 92 – none of whom managed to even retain three in every 10 minutes from last season – can be found in League 2. Swindon, Gillingham and Rochdale are almost unrecognisable from 2021-22: while the Robins edge it as the club with the most churn, Dale stand out by having lost nine of their most-used XI.

My PA colleague Phil Leake has written this up in more detail here.