A big change for the FIT site as I announced on Twitter yesterday. 

The Members Area is well up and running now and the numbers of people joining has been far more than I expected so soon. More importantly, the feedback received has been excellent in the first members survey and it looks like people are going to stick around. I’ll share the survey results soon. 

Members also had a lot of great ideas for new additions to the site too. I have already included a trend tracking tool that helps members work with the trends for the coming months. And I am shortly going to be adding a transfer rumour tracking section as that will become very important in the run up to the Summer. 

I will also add Guide Pricing that members can use together with the trends to work out whether they are paying too much for a player or getting great value. All of these new ideas have been suggested by Members and I want to make them happen. 

I have also written 11 substantial members only articles this month alone including long detailed strategy pieces with another 3 to come before the month is out. That is way more than I thought I would!

 

But, all of this takes a lot of time. The Members content needs to be kept fresh almost every day and quality standards must be maintained. And it is all original content created by me, not something I can just churn out of a database. So, in order to accommodate all that, I am going to have to reduce the free Daily articles from 7 days a week to 3.

I am going to be aiming for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. That’s a fairly big change I know, I have been doing the Daily articles 7 days a week (with a few exceptions) every day for around a year now. 

From now on the Daily (maybe it needs a new title?!) will wrap up the previous couple of days rather than just the day before like normal. So you might notice I am reaching a bit further back than usual to find the most interesting things to talk about. I’m actually looking forward to that because I’ll have a bigger range of topics to pick from! 

So with that public service announcement over, let’s get back to the players!

Risers

Sean Longstaff

Relatively new IPO Longstaff is catching a bit of attention. His excellent showing at the weekend is cause for optimism but I am not getting too excited yet (unlike many). 

This was a soft day vs a 10 man side so you have to be careful reading too much into games like this. It’s fair to say that in games where Newcastle can dominate he should see plenty of the ball and build a nice baseline, but those days are not going to come too often. His goal threat is also not brilliant given his relatively deep position. 

He is capable of a big score but the stars would have to align very nicely. And with a contract that runs until 2022 for his boyhood club we probably aren’t going to see much speculation to bump up the price.

This feels like one of those “Match of the Day” pumps where pundits praise the player and people get excited. But FI does not perfectly reflect reality and we have to worry about who fits the scoring system rather than just looks good on the pitch.

Gelson Martins

Martins has put in a string of excellent performances since joining Monaco on loan. 

His introduction also coincides with an upturn for Monaco in general and it does look like they may be digging themselves out of relegation trouble. That could also boost other talents like Rony Lopes in the short term although many were hoping for a relegation fire sale and moves to other clubs. That is looking less likely now. 

As for Martins, he is looking strong. With the way he is playing, he should be consistently putting up some strong scores in the coming games. He won at the weekend all be it with a soft score of 161. I think he is capable of more than that with a match winner and vs softer opposition that could see him into the 190’s.

It is only a loan though and we have to watch carefully where he ends up playing his football next season.

Fallers

Vinicius Junior

Another popular youth player taking a hit this week along with Ousmane Dembele. 

This has been a far better season than we could really have hoped for Vinicius. The troubles at Real Madrid and a change in philosophy to giving youth more of a chance has really given him an opportunity to shine.

And he has. On the pitch. But not on the Football Index yet. 

I have said a few times that actually getting onto the pitch for a consistent run can be one of the worst things to happen to a future star player. Safely on the bench the hope and optimism can endure but when getting 90 minutes, playing well and still not being hugely rewarded, they become human again.

Still, the signs are encouraging and he is throwing up some FI suitable stats that suggest he could do well on the Index but he will likely need a bit more development. It bodes well for next season if he can keep his place. 

Still, with the kind of money tied up here for holders I think this will require some iron patience from here out, especially once new hype targets with Summer transfer links emerge. Holders are probably hoping for a breakout performance in the Champions League which could renew the optimism for a while.

Hot Gossip

Chelsea

This club is in chaos and quite a few performance suitable assets are at beat down prices in this team. I was stunned by the Kepa incident and Sarri should have dragged him off the pitch himself and taken a ban!

It can only increase the odds on an exit for Sarri. If a big name manager came in like a Zidane, you could see a burst of renewed optimism in Chelsea assets across the board. 

The big consideration though is the transfer window and I think there is a lot to suggest that Chelsea will be able to appeal the ban and get it delayed until after the Summer. We could expect some big money signings then and you can bet other clubs will make them pay through the nose knowing how desperate they are. 

It could also mean younger players get more of a chance. I think the Barkley’s and Loftus-Cheeks may benefit being next in line. The very young and fringe players perhaps not so much. For someone like Hudson-Odoi, holders are hoping for transfer speculation rather than minutes because that is what is really supporting the price. 

If Chelsea know they aren’t able to replace for years, they may not be in the mood to entertain any talk of players leaving.

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