AWKWARD MOVES. AND A SHOWCASE FOR YOUNG TALENT.

On again off again transfers have been a theme for a while now although this week I had one of my own. 

Moving house this week I had some last minute contract issues which made it possibly the most awkward transfer since Odemwingie told everyone he’d quit West Brom because he’d signed for QPR only to find out he hadn’t and had to go back. 

So, apologies for the missed updates after a very stressful week but things are now getting back to normal. And there is a lot coming up to talk about.

The still to be concluded Nations League and the upcoming U21 Euros that will make themselves known on the market. Usually, these temporary events end up being lots of hype with not much substance. 

A month ago “and he is playing the Nations League” would have a fair bit of pull with traders. But during the event itself and especially afterwards, traders are often very quick to drop them when the short term event arrives or fades away.

With the U21 Euros though, I am not sure that will always be the case.

If you think of it as a showcase of talent in preparation for the new season, there is a host of great young players on the stage at the U21 Euros. For anyone who missed it, I wrote a members guide/analysis of the top teams and the best of the rest.

There is a lot of dross too and it’s prime social media pumping season for obscure youth players who won’t actually play regular football next season. 

But if you look at the players appearing at the U21 Euros that should see good pitch time for strong clubs, there are some bargain choices to be had. And, if they do well, they have better chance of retaining value into the season and benefiting from increased trader optimism.

You can find players most readers will recognise in every team like Fabian Ruiz, Dennis Man, Jonathan Bamba, Marcus Thuram, Dominic Solanke, James Maddison, Luca Waldschmidt, Mikel Oyazrabal and a host of others. The full squads list can be found here.

Risers

James Maddison

With Rodgers restoring the feel good factor to the King Power, my bet was on Maddison staying put for another season at least.

His late season performances were excellent, possibly indicating he doesn’t even need to move yet to fulfil a good chunk of his FI potential. 

But, holders will have been hoping for a transfer rumour and the Manchester United link is now credible. In fact, the bookies have him nearly nailed on to go.

You can see why he would be a good fit for Manchester United and they might be prepared to test Leicester with a big offer. However, the gossip is that Maddison is happy to do at least another season with Leicester and that fits. He needs consistent pitch time in a European Championship year and Rodgers is helping him play good football.

So, if I have to make a bet, I’d say not this Summer and he has plenty of reasons to stay. 

Fortunately for holders, there are plenty of good reasons why Maddison is a strong long term hold even at Leicester who might well prove to be a decent performance side next season. 

Whilst he is hardly unknown and some of the value in the trade is gone at £2.64, I think he is one that traders will be confident in for quite some time. 

And, the chance of a transfer is nice to have in the locker too because a Manchester United move for a relatively young and talented future England player is always going to do big things to a price tag in this market.

 

Dennis Praet

I like this type of trade because the percentage gain when a low key player gets the right link can be huge.

In my members area transfer centre Praet has languished in the “D list” unsexy trades since May 1 at the 50p mark. His Arsenal link has heated up and he is now pushing towards 70p. 

It’s a nice boost of roughly 40% gains and all away from the glare of hype/social media pumps. 

They don’t even have to be the best FI players in the world. Praet certainly isn’t. But he has some reasonable historic scores in the 150-180 range which will mean others might think he could be decent if they put too much emphasis on history.

If used in his usual role he should end up with some decent scores and an occasional big score on the days he grabs a goal which on past record is not very often with an expected goals just under 0.1. 

With these trades, get them early, but don’t hang around too long expecting them to set the world on fire in the EPL unless you have serious evidence to suggest they are FI quality.

 

Fallers

Paul Pogba

A few months ago I really didn’t think this would happen but the rumours aren’t going away. Pogba can be so awkward that United may well cash in on him for the right price. But it would likely be a BIG price and a messy, extended drama.

That’s everything we love in a Summer transfer story except for one key thing. No matter how much we might want to convince ourselves that the player is too big to fail and will succeed even outside of the EPL, there is a simple reality. 

Media dividends be damned, traders do not like the idea of stars moving outside of the EPL and this could shape up similar to Hazard’s big fall in the last 6 weeks (only worse).

Pogba is heavily reliant on penalties for performance and he may not get them outside of Old Trafford where he will have to jostle for main man status with some big players.

He is big enough to still get media anywhere and there would be a huge initial burst. But it will likely fade from his glory EPL days. 

With the price so high, it would have to fall a lot to bring him into value range outside of the EPL. 

However, if the transfer fell through and he remained at Old Trafford for another season that would for me look like quite a strong opportunity.

Reason being, Pogba likes a sulk and if he downs tools to get rid of OGS and spends next season agitating to get out he would be likely to hoover up some big dividends. 

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