The market is bouncing along nicely in the off-season. 

Transfers are still on the brain and media dividends are coming in although we have not so far had that “blockbuster” story that dominates. Hazard came close but it was so long expected it was hardly a shock. There is a mix of players hoovering up those 5 places of media so it’s not a straight forward thing to catch them.  

And, pre-season is not all that far away where we can look at new squads in action.

We can’t at all assume that players will perform the same as last year. Changes to formation, tactical instructions and rotation will all have a huge impact. Good players will go bad. And bad ones will come good. So, on the site, I’ll be spending a lot of time this Summer running the rule over the stats from pre-season games to try to get an edge.

But the biggest thing on my mind right now is the user survey FI sent out about possible performance changes. We had a fair idea this was coming following Adam Cole’s comments, but the survey actually appearing suggests they may actually be getting on with this and it could be there for the new season.

When this was first announced, I gathered comments from social media followers and put together an article on the possible performance changes we might expect. There were some really good community ideas in here.

And I think community ideas is the key phrase. With the survey, I think FI know that what they need is some sensible tweaks that are not going to be shocking or particularly controversial. There isn’t really an appetite for a full overhaul of the scoring system because a) it’s not that bad and b) it would cause havoc with the market.

Causing a storm just before a new season is not in FI’s interest so I would be willing to bet that any changes will be the ones that get most widespread agreement.

I’m not expecting to burn my whole portfolio and start again because of these scoring tweaks. I will try to position myself in advance with educated guesses rather than waiting until after the fact, but I think the fundamentals of what a good player looks like will remain largely the same. I think my usual selection criteria will need to be slightly adapted, not burned.

I’ll run through some numbers on players this week who could benefit (or not) from the most likely changes and share my thoughts in the members area.

It’s dangerous to make too many assumptions. So I think it’s a case of trying to find the players who are a) good under the existing system anyway and b) could get even better. If there is a player who is weak now but could improve if the right scoring change happened, they’d need an extreme value price to tempt me into the punt.

Risers

Wissam Ben Yedder

I have not always been a Ben Yedder fan but I try pretty hard to not get locked into positions if the facts change.

With IPDs strengthened a player like Ben Yedder with 30 goals in all competitions is more attractive in his own right, even if he is a weak performance player, and even at a mid ranking side like Sevilla.

I don’t have to buy him for IPD’s specifically myself, I only need other people to in advance of the season and I may well sell to late buyers.

In the mean time, if I am holding him and a long shot transfer to a big EPL club like Manchester United happened it would be a huge boost. That transfer has been rumoured although it has hard to tell how serious it really is.

These are the sorts of trades I like. Lots of ways to win. Not really many downsides when picking up a decent player cheap who has some underlying value.

 

Nabil Fekir

I rate Fekir as a performance player. It wasn’t his best season but he showed his quality in Feb/March with a great spell of strong scores. 

This isn’t a secret though and the price is high. Liverpool is still possible and rumours are resurfacing in recent days. There are still plenty of traders around willing to chase a transfer rumour clearly as he has risen.

In the EPL he’d get a big boost and look a great season hold with good returns prospects. However, if that EPL link does not happen, he starts to look a fair bit overpriced.

Feels like something of a gamble right now despite his obvious quality.

Fallers

Joao Felix

Felix has probably been one of the most discussed players on this site all season. Starting cheap at £1, I was a big advocate. As we hit April I started to say the price was seriously overheating

Selling then, I sold at the £3.60 mark. Since then he has dipped, come back a bit, then dipped again depending on the rumours.

To me, once a player like this with so much uncertainty ahead of them in terms of club, pitch time and playing position has reached such an insane price, it is a no brainer to cash in.

I’ll ride it tor a fair while if it meets the trends because if people are willing to pay too much for my player I won’t stop them. But at a certain point, I always think it is time to get out and use my money elsewhere.

Instead of holding Felix for 2 months and stagnating, I’ve made big profits with that money in other players.

Yes, the EPL link could have happened and it may have risen more. But actually, I think it would have gone down because people will fear the rotation risk. 

At some point in a trade, it becomes hard to make any more gains and really easy to lose what you have. Why bother when the opposite is true for so many other players if you know where to look?

Gareth Bale

Not long ago this looked like a near certainty for a big media story. It probably still will be to some extent but what holders will be looking for is an EPL transfer. That is looking less and less likely with Manchester United, the only club I could realistically see taking him, apparently not keen according to yesterday’s reports. 

I guess Bale’s personal awkwardness and huge wages are counting against him. It could yet surprise us and the rumoured loan deal could come through. But if Bale is stuck at Real, I would not fancy him because he will be way down the pecking order. 

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