Listed below are the 10 most influential players last season for current Premier League clubs based on analysis.
All the data relates to 2016-17 season and only includes those who played a minimum of 900 minutes – the data for Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield was taken from the Championship matches last season.
It is BBC Sport who have featured the results and it is done using plus-minus ratings (full explanation below).
They have been used in sports such as basketball and ice hockey for decades and are a way of identifying which players are the most valuable to their team.
It tells you the advantage/disadvantage a side experience when a particular player is on the pitch.
Taking all the players at Premier League clubs this season, the top 10 based on ratings last season includes two Newcastle players.
Most influential players at current Premier League clubs during the 2016-17 season:
David Silva Manchester City 3.09
Sergio Aguero Manchester City 2.8
Petr Cech Arsenal 2.52
Raheem Sterling Manchester City 2.49
Jan Vertonghen Tottenham 2.35
John Stones Manchester City 2.3
Hector Bellerin Arsenal 2.29
Isaac Hayden Newcastle 2.22
Matt Ritchie Newcastle 2.21
Aleksandar Kolarov Manchester City 2.2
So basically, when Hayden and Ritchie played, Newcastle did a lot better than compared to when they were missing.
The BBC also featured who were the best three and worst three for each club last season.
For Newcastle, Hayden and Ritchie were obviously the top two and then in third it was Ayoze Perez.
When it came to worst performers, it was Colback and Diame, followed by Daryl Janmaat. They must have included Watford performances for Janmaat, as he only played twice for NUFC, although it will surprise many Newcastle fans that he even did that, the Dutchman starting both defeats against Fulham and Huddersfield in the first two Championship matches 13 months ago.
The Newcastle best and worst kind of evens up, as Hayden & Colback were competing for the same position, as was the case with Diame and Perez. As for Ritchie he was such a consistent vital part of the promotion effort.
Newcastle United top trio and bottom three based on the plus-minus ratings:
Isaac Hayden 2.22
Matt Ritchie 2.21
Ayoze Perez 1.97
Jack Colback -0.7
Mohamed Diame -0.55
Daryl Janmaat -0.12
‘What is this system and how does it work?
Ever heard of plus-minus ratings? They’ve been used in basketball and ice hockey for nearly half a century and are a way of identifying which players are the most valuable to their team.
In those sports it tells you the points advantage/disadvantage a side experience when a particular player is on the pitch.
In football it follows the same premise as in the American sports – but in this new model it has been adapted to factor in things such as home advantage, the impact of red cards, strength of team-mates, opposing players and any substitutions that have been made.
It is also based on expected goals, rather than actual goals, as this is considered a more accurate reflection of a team’s performance. So, this way, a defender’s ranking isn’t negatively affected by an attacking team-mate missing an open goal.
Expected goals – what is it?
All this gives us a player’s plus-minus rating which, at its simplest, compares how a team perform with a player to how they perform without them. A plus rating means the team do better with them, a minus rating means the team fare better without them.
The results tell us who each team’s most important – and least important – players are.
The value assigned to each player is their plus-minus rating per 90 minutes – the number of expected goals the team were better off by when that player was on the pitch.
All data relates to 2016-17 season and only includes those who played a minimum of 900 minutes.’