As expected it is a fairly subdued week as people hold their breath and wait for the big Share Split announcement on Monday evening. 

That’s at 19:00GMT with a market suspension (phew) until 19:30GMT to give people some chance to digest. For members, I’ll share my initial analysis during that 30 minute window in the members area, and then I will take to Twitter after that with some thoughts for everyone. 

The devil makes work for idle hands and when traders don’t know what to do but they still want to play they tend to buy some awful players. And I can see plenty of youth/reserve picks that are just nowhere in terms of dividend returns in the next 2-3 years or even potentially ever. 

The other major factor at this time is the Champions League and to a lesser extent the Europa League. It was a really exciting end to the Round of 16 in the CL with some huge upsets and big price movements. No better advert for the entertainment value of FI than that. 

That, combined with the draw yesterday and the treble performance dividends available from the Quarters onwards has seen plenty of interest in involved players and I expect that to continue. People may be nervy about the end of season but I don’t think it will stop many having a last hurrah on the big knock out games. 

The urge to “play” as people buy in the build up to these big games can get the better of sound judgement here even for the most disciplined traders. And this tendency is something that can be exploited for big profits.

This is the last public Daily until Tuesday morning when I will have the actual announcement to pick over. So it seems right to end with some final share split thoughts. 

I am expecting a good announcement. It will probably come with a dividend increase modest or otherwise. And it is quite hard to screw that up. However, these technical problems do shake confidence and I really hope they are on top of that by Monday. 

Notably, there has been an unusual silence from the FI big hitters CEO Adam Cole or Marketing manager Mike Bohen. Usually, they are there with their onwards and upwards / rocket ship emojis creating excitement. The announcement of the announcement (yes, even that is exciting) was actually posted by a junior analyst. 

Are they trying to play it down, meaning it is going to be fairly routine? Or do they think that excitement is high enough and they don’t need to do anything? Have they learned from previous casual Friday night beer fuelled Twitter comments and are just playing it safe by not saying anything?

Truth is, like the announcement itself, it is hard to read. We can try to gather little clues from various sources but we are unlikely to get the full picture and could misdirect ourselves. Therefore, my approach for the past month has been largely to focus on the overall market trends rather than sweat too much on guessing the share split announcement.

It’s hard to imagine for example how relatively young, performance suitable attacking players with transfer links for the Summer can really be disadvantaged by the share split. They might, but it’s the best bet I think I can make. 

We will also have some time to react and I have therefore set aside a portion of my bankroll to give myself some flexibility.

Let’s hope for a smooth announcement and in all honesty, I can’t wait for it to be out of the way so I can focus on what is probably my favourite (and yet most difficult) time of the season.

Trimming end of season fat, moving to a Summer portfolio and then rebuilding for the next season is tough but all that uncertainty opens up the most opportunity for profit if you work hard and get it right. 

Risers

Virgil Van Dijk

A big winner out of the Champions League this week. Not only did he get a media and performance win off the back of the game, but the favourable draw vs Porto has set up big expectations for the following rounds.

The two goals against Watford at the end of Feb can be counted a bit of a freak. But he does have strong goal threat for a centre back and a goal every 7-10 games is likely.

His 61p dividend yield this term is good. But at his cost price, it’s never going to be a stellar return. Nor will it ever be when you are buying a player everyone knows is solid.

At this point it is a best buy for patient traders who like a steady reasonably safe income (usually very large portfolio holders) or traders who want to flip him on the next CL match (or keep him for the potential treble dividend in those games). 

Maxime Lopez

Lopez has been attracting some interest after a string of solid scores recently, all of them without a goal. 

His baselines can be excellent due to his high level involvement from deep midfield, and that can get him to the 170-180 range. 

On soft days, that can be enough to win so he isn’t bad. However, his deep position and lack of interest in the net will prevent him becoming a strong performance challenger. He will be a 2-3 goal a season man and they will need to line up with a big baseline day. That might happen on average maybe once a season. It’s just not enough for me. 

That said, at the budget £2 price range he is not bad. It might be more attractive if Marseille were still in Europe where he will have a good chance of a treble performance win with limited competition.

This is the sort of pick it is easy to mistake for a big performance player if you rely too much on historic performance scores. 

Fallers

Justin Kluivert

A string of poor scores for Kluivert and he has taken a bit of a beating this week.

It has not been the explosive start at Roma many will have hoped for. Rotation and a general lack of pitch time has been a big factor in that. 

On a per 90 minute basis though, his stats aren’t bad. He needs to add more goal threat and he did show he can have that for Ajax. 

So, I think he could develop into a decent player. But I can see why with limited transfer speculation and lukewarm performances for Roma, interest in him is going to drop off at least until the build up to next season.

Hot Gossip

Raheem Sterling

Some Real Madrid rumours for Sterling gets him some attention. This would be huge but it feels like an extreme long shot to me.

Despite the huge Real Madrid war chest and the lure of Zidane, it’s hard to see Sterling wanting to leave and he is under contract until 2023. It just feels so impractical. 

No doubt Real are going to be pulling in some big targets but I don’t think this is the one. 

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FIT

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