We are heading into what has to be the most exciting time of the season. But it is also the hardest part to get right and you can either get it really right… or really wrong. 

Older traders have some experience to draw on but each season is different and there is no set formula that you can just apply every year.

Last season, the World Cup had a huge effect on prices and tided things over for the Summer. Not this time. And we also have the Share Split coming up which is just going to dominate March. I have laid out my plans for different Share Split scenarios in a members strategy article, and all my best and most timely tips now live in the members area for obvious reasons. But I will say this. 

For all of the noise and nonsense people talk about “must buys” for the share split (and it is nonsense), the most important thing to be doing is not necessarily trying to guess what the share split outcome is going to be, but rather, think about what the different possibilities are and make sure you have a portfolio that can prosper or at least survive no matter the outcome.

In the mean time, and with the fears of end of season sell offs starting to gather pace, traders are jumping on anything young with a pulse that gets a bit of attention. There are some really poor players being bought up in the last week make no mistake. 

It feels like confidence in FI is high, but confidence in “here and now” players is low because of the approaching end of season. So we have people wanting to spend money, but they don’t have a clear idea of what to do so they chase risers, turn to speculation and hunt in a bargain basement where 95% of options are in the bargain basement for a reason. 

You absolutely can find hidden gems but you aren’t going to find them at the top of your news feed or in the risers list. 

Risers

Moise Kean

That was Kean’s first start of the season and he made it count with 2 goals including the match winner. 

It didn’t get him the win though and a 181 given what he did in the game is a poor reward. His weak involvement is to blame, with just 12 passes made. 

We don’t have a great deal of Juventus data on him but we do have some from a loan spell at Hellas Verona. Taken together, his goals per game ratio is very good, but his involvement is consistently poor. 

So, we are looking at a typical high threat weak baseline striker. They can be solid but unspectacular performance players generally. If he reaches the standard of a Piatek or similar in the next couple of seasons, we could be in business. However, the difficulty for me with the trade is he is already at that sort of price.  

The big guns are expected to return so it might be a while before he gets another big chance. 

But, this is a great step forward for the player and it will reassure the manager he can count on him when needed.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (and Chelsea)

A rise for Hudson-Odoi seemingly off the back of the Chelsea transfer ban news. 

It looks like Chelsea will be banned for the Summer after all. That’s huge. 

I am not sure why some people have interpreted this as a positive for Hudson-Odoi though. This price is supported by transfer hype in the main. My take is that his odds of pitch time for this season and next just went up, but his odds of a transfer drama just went down.

He will be more likely to stay knowing other players cannot be signed to block him. He could try to force a transfer anyway of course but it will look very unprofessional and Chelsea will be extremely reluctant to sell. They will have a very good reason to shut this down that can’t really be argued with. Other clubs will know they will have to pay sky high fees to get anyone out of Chelsea and will probably look elsewhere.

It should be good for his pitch time at Chelsea though as I say, particularly for next season. But I wonder how many holders will care about that if hope of transfer hype for the summer fades. 

As for Chelsea in general, I think this is good for some of their performance friendly rotation risks like Barkley or Loftus-Cheek, and potentially any of the raft of loanees who Chelsea will have no choice but to take a second look at.

Fallers

Cristiano Ronaldo

Another brutal drop for Ronaldo and holders must have nerves of steel by now (or be on holiday in the Yemen). 

I think this is the knock on effect of seeing the brutal impact of Champions League knockouts this week. When you get big drops like this traders do look around and think “Damn, who is next?”.

Ronaldo and Juventus are in a very precarious situation and have it all to do to progress. Still, turning around big Champions League games is Ronaldo’s thing.

We could see a big reaction if Juventus manage it to reward those holding for their patience. 

I suspect at some point before next season, whatever happens in the Champions League, this price will probably recover some. 

They say that the more toxic the asset the better the bargain. If a few of these clouds lift from Ronaldo (like his personal issues) I think people will realise that this is very unlikely to be his last season. The way he looks after himself you would think he could go on for a long time.

Hot Gossip

Neymar

Are Real actually going to try to break the world transfer record this Summer? It seems a long shot but when it is Neymar you can’t really afford to ignore it entirely even if you don’t hold. It would be FI mana from heaven for holders over the Summer (and a nightmare for FI!).

After PSG’s exit from the CL (which now feels like a curse) you would think Neymar’s desire to get out just increased. And Real in crisis may just feel desperate enough to splash that cash with Perez apparently tiring of their youth experiment. It could be back to Galacticos. 

Nicolas Pepe

He can have his pick of clubs but so far it looks like Bayern who might win the race and talks are apparently well under way. 

Obviously, a lot of Pepe’s price is pumped by transfer speculation but the prospect of Pepe at Bayern is a salivating performance prospect that might just persuade me to stick around. 

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FIT

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