IN MODERN football it is not enough to simply be at the party, players have to bring something worthwhile to it.

So the crucial question is who 'adds value? Well, we've taken a dive into StatsBomb’s newly-released on-ball value metric to see which Celtic players have been bringing more to the party than meets the eye...

What is 'on-ball value'?

StatsBomb have updated their system with a new metric designed to, as they put it, “objectively and quantitatively measure the value of each event on the pitch”.

Our data provider goes on to explain: “You can do this by assessing the change in probability of a team scoring and conceding as a direct result of the event.”

Readers familiar with statistical jargon will know there are already metrics used to give a sense of involvement in general play (such as assists, xG Assisted, and xGBuildup) but the difference between these and OBV is that OBV assigns a value to every action and seeks to identify the ones that were more important towards the creation of a chance and reward those players rather than simply acknowledging their involvement.

Additionally, it notes that some players – by nature or by design – take higher-risk actions at some stage in the build-up play than others and this should be recognised too.

OBV also tracks each event’s impact on the team’s chances of scoring or conceding separately, doesn’t credit the pass recipient (although they are indirectly credited by the outcome their receipt facilitated) and takes into account pitch location as well as whether a player was pressurised or not. For a full breakdown, see the StatsBomb website.

Overall OBV

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Four Celts appear in the Premiership top 10 for overall on-ball value per 90 minutes.

Liel Abada’s form has been rather volatile so far this campaign but he leads the Hoops contingent here with his 0.56 good for third. Kyogo Furuhashi and Anthony Ralston are immediately below the Israeli meaning three of the top five wear green and white hoops.

David Turnbull is the other to appear (in ninth) while, intriguingly, the top 10 as a whole contains five right-backs.

Limiting the data to just the top five Celts, the same four feature with Jota rounding off the group.

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Passing OBV

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Part of the charm of StatsBomb’s OBV metric is that it’s not enough to simply play in a possession-heavy team, something reflected here as only three Celts appear in the top 10 for passing OBV despite the Hoops being far and away the most ball-dominant in the division (over 70 per cent possession on average).

READ MORE: Liel Abada, the 'Messi desert' and Celtic stars' output compared in Premiership context

Again there is a distinct right-back bias in the rankings; four of the top five play there including Celtic’s Ralston in third. Turnbull and Abada feature once more alongside fellow midfielders Steven Davis and Jamie McGrath in a full-back-heavy chart that sees young Aberdeen player Calvin Ramsay rate highly again too.

When the data is restricted to just Celtic players, Jota and Josip Juranovic (another right-back, albeit one playing on the left lately) join the ranks.

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Carries and Dribbles OBV

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Abada once again ranks highly here. Remember, this metric isn’t just about the volume or success rate of dribbles and carries but giving credit for where they take place and how penetrative they are too.

In general, as expected, the top 10 is populated by wingers with Tom Rogic’s dazzling feet seeing him squeeze into the rankings alongside Abada.

Jota, Turnbull and Ralston make up the rest of the Celtic-specific top five.

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Shooting OBV

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Given he is renowned for his movement in and around the final third, as well as his clinical start to the season, Kyogo’s presence at the top of the shooting OBV was probably predictable.

However, no other Celtic player features in the leading 10 and there is a steep drop-off from Kyogo to the rest of the top five Parkhead players.

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Defensive actions OBV

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Likewise, no Celtic players feature in league-wide defensive actions top 10. Carter-Vickers leads the club-specific list but the more intriguing results for the Hoops are perhaps in assessing the contributions of centre-backs in terms of carries and dribbles rather than purely defensive actions.

In that regard, Carter-Vickers is top of the pile with Carl Starfelt sixth. Interestingly, if we slacken the game-time requirement to 300 minutes instead of 600 then Stephen Welsh comes in as comfortably the league’s best.

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