Just over a year ago, we helped introduce Celtic supporters to a cutting-edge football metric called on-ball value (OBV).

Our data provider, StatsBomb, designed OBV to "objectively and quantitatively measure the value of each even on the pitch".

They have refined their much-coveted and intricate process since its introduction but, essentially, they do this by assessing the change in probability of a team scoring and conceding as a direct result of an event.

For instance, Liel Abada playing an incisive through ball to Giorgos Giakoumakis or Jota deciding to have a shot when Kyogo Furuhashi was open for a pass in a good position. Fairly straightforward concept underneath it all, then? 

Data-friendly readers will know existing metrics are out there that give a flavour of a player's involvement in play. Assists, xG Assisted, xGBuildup are all useful in their own right.

Where OBV comes in is that it assigns a value to every action and seeks to identify the ones that were more important towards the creation of a chance. It then rewards those players for that rather than simply acknowledging that they were involved.

In doing so it takes into account that some footballers will take more risks than others. For instance, the difference between Carl Starfelt opting for a square pass between centre-backs rather than Cameron Carter-Vickers going for the line-breaking ball through to James Forrest in the right half-space.

OBV is a way to recognise that along with where on the pitch things happen and how much pressure a player is under at the time.

You can get a full breakdown on the StatsBomb website. For now, we move on to our updated Premiership lists for each of the main five outfield OBV categories (min. 300 minutes played)...

Overall OBV

Last season, Celtic players dominated the top 10 in overall on-ball value and that trend has continued.

Where season 2021-22 ended with five Celts in the top 10 - including four of the top five - season 2022-23 has started with almost half of the leading players coming from Parkhead again.

Sead Haksabanovic - you're going to read his name a lot in this article - has started life in Glasgow in superb style and tops the overall OBV charts by a considerable distance. 

For context, Jota and Rangers captain James Tavernier led the way at the end of last season with 0.53 and 0.54 OBV, respectively. Haksabanovic is considerably higher than both those tallies in his opening few months at 0.81.

Unsustainable? Probably, but even accounting for a levelling out period, the Montenegrin is set for a starring role in the second half of the campaign.

Trailing him is team-mate Liel Abada and Ibrox winger Fashion Sakala (who just squeezes into the minutes-played threshold by less than half an hour).

Tavernier and Jota both feature in the top five again while perhaps a surprise entry is Stephen Welsh at seventh highest overall. Josip Juranovic just misses out on the top 10 by 0.01.

Last term, the top five Celts were Jota, Matt O'Riley, Kyogo, Abada and Anthony Ralston. The current leading Parkhead-only quintet are:

Passing OBV

For passing OBV, it’s worth noting that it’s not enough to simply play in a possession-heavy team.

Haksabanovic - told you you would read his name a lot - also features prominently in the passing OBV charts.

The 23-year-old sits second in these, just 0.01 behind Tavernier and ahead of Borna Barisic, Sakala and Jota.

Four non-Glasgow players shine in the lower end of the top 10, with Livingston's Sean Kelly, and Ryan Strain of St Mirren joining Motherwell skipper Stephen O'Donnell and Kilmarnock's Fraser Murray in there alongside Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston.

Last season, six of the top 10 were from teams outside the top two, with Jota and Ralston the only Celts in there.

The eminence of SPFL full-backs in this category continues this season - last term they made up seven of the top 10, this season it's six.

Limiting the data to Celtic players only and the club-specific top five is made up of Haksabanovic, Jota, Ralston and - you guessed it - a pair of full-backs in Alexandro Bernabei and Juranovic.

Dribble & Carry OBV

As you would probably expect, the dribble and carry on-ball value list is dominated by wingers.

Sakala tops this one with three Celts - Haksabanovic, Jota and Abada - making it into the top 10.

Both Abada (fourth) and Jota (seventh) made the season-ending top 10 for dribble and carry OBV last term. It is worth noting the Israeli is putting up the exact same number as his last campaign while Jota has actually improved his (and Haksabanovic is matching it). 

Joining Haksabanovic, Jota and Abada in the Celtic-only table are centre-back Moritz Jenz and central midfielder Callum McGregor. 

A trio of players - Stephen Welsh, Carl Starfelt and Juranovic - all missed out by just 0.01.

Defensive action OBV

Throughout last season no Celtic player was able to touch the league-wide top 10 for defensive action OBV. This is, understandably, almost totally down to team style, and thus not much has changed this season.

The list is dominated by defensive-minded players from teams such as Dundee United and Hearts.

Of more interest to us on this one is the Celtic-only top five. 

Greg Taylor topped it last season but does not feature yet in this iteration. Instead, it is the full-backs from the opposite flank who take charge. 

Juranovic and Ralston are followed by central midfielder Aaron Mooy and centre-back Welsh with, interestingly, centre forward Giorgos Giakoumakis the next most valuable Celt in defensive action OBV.

Shooting OBV

Last year, shot OBV was the domain of one man: Kyogo.

The Japan international led the way virtually from the get-go and never relinquished his position, finishing the season at almost double the value of the next-best shooter (Giakoumakis).

He is, however, not in the top 10 so far this season. His shot OBV numbers have fallen from 0.40 to 0.10, which puts him on par with Livingston forward Joel Nouble and Ross County winger Owura Edwards.

It is, though, still a Celt at the summit. Abada leads the way with Haksabanovic (there he is again) in second.

Surprisingly, Welsh makes an appearance in the top 10 and is in fact the only centre-back in the top 25.

Limiting the data to Parkhead players only, Giakoumakis (down by half from last season which, taken with Kyogo's drop-off poses interesting questions) and the Japanese forward join the party.

Goalkeeper OBV

Usually, we only include the outfield and overall categories rather than goalkeeper-specific ones in these round-ups.

On this occasion, it is offered for posterity and to guide you towards this piece of work by TCW columnist James Dailey exploring the state of Scottish goalkeeping in more detail.

Suffice to say, StatsBomb's OBV metric incorporates elements of keeper play such as claiming crosses and sweeping rather than just shot-stopping ability and, in this case, Aberdeen's Kelle Roos truly dominates.

All data correct as of w/c November 21 2022