So a relatively tame reaction to last nights Champions League scores and many people are wondering why. Well, there is no single answer. It’s a few things.

First up, because of the Manchester United bloodbath, there wasn’t quite so many keen to pump up player prices for involved players yesterday. And if they haven’t been pumped they don’t have as far to fall. 

The type of mentality that chases in on the match day likely learned a harsh lesson on Tuesday. However, in my experience, learning these lessons is short lived and many still won’t be able to help themselves in the later rounds. But it was still very raw yesterday.

Secondly, all clubs involved, even Real this year, are considered outsiders and not many will have been heavily buying Spurs, Dortmund, Ajax or Real players in anticipation of a run to the Final. They will likely have tough draws next even if they progress.

If a Barcelona, Manchester City, PSG, Juventus or Liverpool suffer a shock however, it will be different because traders definitely do hold their players in expectation of  them going far.

Much of the money was in Sancho and he got off very lightly given Dortmund are all but knocked out. I put this down to holders not being overly interested in the Champions League as a reason to hold. If you are still holding Sancho at this price, you are likely to be a true believer who thinks that either his style of play or the FI scoring system will change, and that he will get a huge Summer transfer to the EPL. You certainly aren’t holding him for his performance scores. 

And finally, big holders just held firm. As with any premium player, lots of him will be held by a relatively small number of big fish. It only takes one of them to start dumping to start the rout. But as holders nervously watched for the Instant Sells, it just didn’t happen and they could breathe a sigh of relief.

For members, I will be previewing next weeks Champions League games later this afternoon to highlight the form players and analyse the market conditions to see who is primed for a big rise or a drop depending on how the game goes, so check back then.

Risers

Mauro Icardi

Some breaking drama yesterday as Icardi was stripped of the Inter captaincy. Apparently, he is refusing to play for Inter vs Rapid Vienna tonight following a bust up over his contract negotiations. 

This will put a host of clubs on alert including Real Madrid and no doubt a few EPL clubs. Chelsea have been linked in the past although Higuain is now a complication there. I am sure he will not be short of suitors, though.

I’ve been tracking Icardi in the gossip for months on this site because he could be a huge transfer. This feels like it has been going on so long that it might be in everyone’s interest for him to move on and let Inter reinvest the no doubt sizeable transfer fee.

Is he any good on FI? Not generally, no! His involvement is poor so he needs explosive goal scoring but he can do that. He is in poor form lately but he blames that on a lack of service. And no doubt the contract situation is a distraction.

But with 29 goals last season, 24 the season before that and 9 in 20 this campaign despite bad form, he is a proven goalscorer, one of the best in Europe no doubt. 

I think he could do well at Real but for the big pay off we would want an EPL club where media dividends would likely add to his sporadic performance wins.

Lautaro Martinez

A potential beneficiary of an Icardi sulk is Martinez, and someone has clearly noticed because he is rising.

He is generally involved from the bench and has been the super sub a couple of times recently, coming on to grab the matchwinner. His start to the season was very poor but perhaps he is adapting a bit more now.

His expected goals are high. And he puts his chances away. Involvement is generally very weak but this is hard to judge when he is typically only coming on as a sub for 10-20 minutes.

It could be a good opportunity for Martinez though and he is well worth watching in the coming games if he does get to start. He could show himself to be an explosive goal scorer.

Fallers

Justin Kluivert

This is possibly a delayed reaction to his lack of start for Roma the other night. 

On the pitch, he’s been doing ok lately although his minutes have been limited. Distribution is good enough but we need to see more goal threat per 90 minutes for him to be a regular winner. 

I think he has potential but he is looking a fair way off, and has a lot of competition for places. But, this is about as expected for a new young player, next season might be his time to push on. 

I’m not sure he has done much wrong but I can see why people are selling when there are much more tempting youth targets around at the moment.

Hot Gossip

Joao Felix

Speaking of tempting youth targets, this hype train continues after a couple of stutters. 

With a European tie up tonight and Felix in red hot scoring form, it’s not a huge surprise to see him rising again. The market reaction if he scores could be silly. 

On the same day, he has also picked up renewed links to Manchester United who, along with every big club in Europe if you believe the papers, are planning a big money move for him in the Summer.

He does have potential FI suitability and is very promising but even though I still hold (and picked him at a cut price for my New Trader Challenge – I know I need to update that, by the way!)  I have acknowledged on the site for some time now that the price is getting  out of hand.

Will that stop people? Probably not.

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FIT

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