Huge growth on the market and you can only really put this down to (perhaps earlier than expected) pre-season optimism. 

In recent weeks there have been plenty of fairly easy to find strong performers from last year available at value prices. And, experienced traders will not want to be too late to them. It’s just not sensible to wait until late July or early August to do this buying if you can avoid it.

Media over the Summer can be the focus but in the absence of targets that are really dominating (which has been the case so far but could change) it is quite hard to reliably catch enough of those extra dividends.

We also have the bonus period coming to an end as June closes out. Traders can be pretty short term minded so despite having weeks to sort this out, many will be trying to rollover bonus requirements before that window shuts and put more money in in the next couple of weeks.

It’s not always possible for traders to put money in earlier. Maybe they can’t afford to have money locked away too long (in which case, it probably should not be gambled with, by the way!). If you are coming in late i.e the final week, I would be very careful in your target selection and stick to players you will be happy to hold for a while, not anything that is getting over hyped and over priced. 

With these things, there can be a balancing out in July once people are able to withdraw their money. A fair bit of money should come out of FI at that point. A lot of money should shift to different targets rather than come out altogether.

But it’s wise to keep a level head during these periods of growth, and if we do get a good fortnight (I’m expecting one), don’t get complacent and cling too long to hyped/overpriced players.

In the members area, we are about halfway through the site Summer Key Strategy by now. It’s hard to top the End of Season Feb-April Site Strategy because it worked so well (reviewed here) but I am very happy with how the new strategy is progressing so far.

If interested in checking it out, the end of June and July will be the key period and I would say this week there is still time to join and make great use of the strategy as well as the extensive player scouting fresh in the last few days. 

But by end June/early July, it will be too late to execute most of the moves in this one. Members area attention by then will turn to detailed analysis of pre-season line ups and matches to get a jump on early season strategy from August to November. 

Lots of interesting players to talk about today so let’s get into that.

Risers

Neymar

A few months ago this move looked impossible.

It still looks extremely difficult contracts and fees being what they are. But at minimum it will be something that gets gossiped about. Only a handful of clubs have the financial muscle to pull this off so you are looking at Barcelona, Real or realistically Manchester United or City.

All are strong moves because it will just wake up huge media interest in the short term. An EPL move would just be out of this world incredible and almost certainly push his price to record FI levels. But the bookies put that at odds of 21.00 and I’d tend to agree. It’s tempting but I do not make bets that long.

Barcelona is much more likely. It’s a sideways move but arguably, reduces his potential output slightly because La Liga is tougher than Ligue 1. 

The most likely thing is he stays put though in my view. That’s no terrible thing.

Neymar at PSG is a valuable asset. Very reliable and his performance returns are extremely strong if he stays fit. Usually, I would therefore say this is an extremely good hold for long term passive traders, especially given the price drop.

However much of that price drop is there for a reason. Traders remember what happened to Ronaldo’s price during a rape allegation, and that is still unresolved. These things drag on. So, there is always going to be that nervousness around holding. 

Without that factor, I’d probably be in for a short term media spree knowing if that bet didn’t work out I’d have a reliable asset. As things are, it’s something I will stay away from. 

Federico Chiesa

The Under 21 Euros is getting a lot of attention on the market. Without performance scoring in play, what traders are really wanting to see is some super star quality and some eye catching goals. 

Step up Chiesa vs Spain U21 with a goal that had everything from a brilliant take down, beating his man and then firing home from a tight angle. Do yourself a favour and find the clip and enjoy it. He scored again with a poacher’s tap in too.

So, it could hardly have gone better and he got a big rise out of it. I’ve been talking about Chiesa’s quality all season on the public site and in the members area but it has taken a while to gain traction on him. He needed his breakout moment.

What he needs now is a good transfer and I suspect the price just went up. He apparently wants to stay in Italy and Juventus and Inter are circling. I prefer Juventus and am hoping Sarri brings a more performance friendly style of play to the side if so.

It’s worth noting that despite Chiesa’s quality there are areas of his game that need to improve, particularly his passing accuracy. However, traits like this can improve at a better club than Fiorentina. So, it’s a case of looking at the transfer, observing him in pre-season and then judging whether he will be worth it vs whatever the price he is by then.

After this good performance and the plaudits he is getting, he should enter the season with some optimism. Unless of course the transfer does not happen. Even the best players would struggle to make an impact at a smaller club.

 

Fallers

Eden Hazard

This is an interesting drop to think about.

Most experienced traders would have been able to tell you Hazard would tank when leaving the EPL. He got an initial boost as people anticipated media and then it went south very quickly.

It’s just one of those “rules” that you can try to argue with if you want but it’s pointless swimming against a tide. History shows that traders almost always sell big players leaving the EPL no matter what and we have seen that with Pogba recently as the fear of that builds.

You can make all kinds of solid arguments about Hazard being big enough to retain media interest abroad. And an ever better one about his performance prospects significantly improving at Real which I agree with. But it’s not going to change the market “rules” that most people believe in and we need to work with them.

With the transfer out of the way, traders would have good reason not to fear too many more people exiting the trade. Those who wanted to sell on the transfer probably already did. In fact, you might expect a boost as people who fancy him at Real come in to pick him up at the reduced price.

That has not happened yet though and he has even fallen another 15p this week. 

Players do tend to get momentum either way and one thing many traders often struggle with is looking at a price chart, seeing it going up and thinking “oh he is popular, I must buy” and looking at a chart going down and thinking “ugh, don’t want to be involved in that!”. 

It’s natural but it’s also a generally unhelpful way of thinking about trading. It leads you to buying at highs and missing value opportunities.

After his drop and with good prospects at Real, I see people returning to Hazard before the new season.

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