Grant Holt - bargain!Sergio Aguero might have scored more important goals, Wayne Rooney might have scored better ones and Robin van Persie might have bagged twice as many, but Norwich's Grant Holt has been named the undisputed best value striker in the Premier League.
Holt found the net 15 times in the Premier League this season, with each of those strikes costing the Canaries just £26,667, according to research by football stats specialists Opta.
By contrast, Rooney's 27 goals cost a whopping £981,481 apiece - that's 35 times 'worse' value than Holt, according to the study, which related goals this season to transfer fees.
Next best value on the list was West Brom's Peter Odemwingie, whose 10 goals in the league cost just over £50,000 each, while Clint Dempsey isn't far behind after his brilliant season with 17 goals at £88,235 each. Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie's 30 goals came in at £91,667 apiece.
Ashley Young, by contrast, cost almost £3m quid per goal, though only £1m per blatant dive. Allegedly.
Ashley Young's value took a dive... see what we did there?The survey was commissioned by Curry's and PC World to tie in with a 'Cash for Goals' Euro 2012 promotion , and as ever with this sort of half-baked PR stunt nonsense you could drive a team coach through the holes in their logic.
For starters, and taking nothing away from Holt, the survey only takes into account transfer fees thus giving undue weight to players who were brought in young such as Van Persie, signed by Arsenal eight years ago for £2.75m as an unsettled 20-year-old winger. Liverpool's £25m for Luis Suarez (11 goals at £2.1m each) purchased an established global star who had shone in the World Cup.
And though Cristiano Ronaldo's 45 Liga goals this season have cost £1.78m, there's little argument that the £80m Real Madrid paid for the Portuguese genius three years ago was one of the best pieces of business they've ever done.
Finally, to drive the absurdity home still further, the accompanying press release tries to suggest that the value figures should somehow be a guide for England boss Roy Hodgson, trumpeting that Holt "should definitely top his list" if he is looking for a bargain this summer. The only way he will be, of course, is if England are so dire at the Euros that Hodgson immediately gets axed and then ends up managing a Championship side who need a feisty, ageing striker.
That said, the list still makes interesting reading, and here it is:
|Player||Cost per goal (based on transfer fee)||Premier League goals|
|Robin van Persie||£91,667||30|
|Papiss Demba Cissé||£692,308||13|
|Rafael van der Vaart||£800,000||11|
In an interesting aside, the research also looked at goalkeepers, where Manchester City's Joe Hart (brought in, like Van Persie, as relatively unproven while young and cheap) is deemed the best value with his 17 clean sheets coming in at £35,294 apiece.
By contrast his counterpart at Manchester United, David De Gea, cost a hefty £1.46m for each of his 13 clean sheets... though the price of his "generosity" in the early part of the season (not least against Manchester City at Old Trafford) turned out to be far higher, ultimately costing United their Premier League title.
|Player||Cost per clean sheet||Clean Sheets|
|David de Gea||£1,461,538||13|