Scientists reckon Harry Kane is most underpaid player in world football

Harry Kane is followed by Granit Xhaka in the 'underpaid' list

Harry Kane (c) and Granit Xhaka (l) top the 'underpaid' list

Friday, August 4, 2017

With reports that Neymar will earn over £500,000 a week after tax for Paris Saint Germain, the notion that any top-level footballer is underpaid seems a little far-fetched.

But a pair of US scientists reckon some of our biggest soccer stars don't earn what they should.

Lara Yaldo and Lior Shamir, from the Lawrence Technological University in Michigan, conducted a study of over 6,000 professional football players across Europe using machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, and data science, which enabled them to gather knowledge from information in various forms.

The players' salaries from the 2016-17 season were compared against a total of 55 attributes, comparing a player's value to others in his position. External factors, such as commercial appeal, weren't considered.

Based on their findings, the scientists compiled lists of the most underpaid and overpaid players in Europe's top leagues.

Their findings suggest that Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva was the most underpaid player last season. However Silva can now be discounted, as he's just moved from Monaco to Manchester City and signed a huge contract with the Premier League club.

That means the 'most underpaid' crown passes to none other than Tottenham's young star Harry Kane. Although the striker signed a new contract last season, worth around £100,000 a week, this seems cheap compared to the earnings of other players, particularly given Kane's amazing scoring record.

Behind Kane on the list include Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka (although anyone who saw him play last season would find that hard to believe), Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn and Barcelona forward Paco Alcacer.

At the other end of the scale, the scientists found that Lionel Messi was the most overpaid player in world football, his huge salary outstripped even his remarkable talent on the pitch. 

However, given Neymar's exorbitant new salary, the list has almost certainly changed.