To do so, America’s “plus-minus ratings” system has utilised, which is often used in ice hockey and basketball in the USA.
The BBC say: “In those sports it tells you the points advantage/disadvantage a side experience when a particular player is on the pitch.”
They add: “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.”
So, according to the system, who was Tottenham’s most influential player in 2016/17?
The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is Jan Vertonghen.
The defender scores 2.35 on the system’s scale. That number is bettered by only four players: David Silva (3.09), Sergio Aguero (2.8), Petr Cech (2.52) and Raheem Sterling (2.49).
Second to Vertonghen for Spurs is Eric Dier (1.72), and just behind him is Dele Alli (1.62).
Tottenham’s least influential players in 2016/17 were Vincent Janssen (0), Mousa Dembele (0.45) and Ben Davies (0.56).
It’s only a bit of fun really, but it shows that statistics aren’t always the most reliable way of looking at the influence certain players have on a team.
For example, Spurs are a much better side when Mousa Dembele is on the pitch, so he doesn’t deserve to be ranked so low.
Also, I’d argue the man who scored 29 goals in 30 league games last season, Harry Kane, is almost certainly Tottenham’s most influential player.