The second half of June has seen another huge period of growth on FI, capped with the FOOTIE hitting 100k. 

This year on FI almost nothing can surprise us because it has been so good. It’s probably been good even if your trading was average or worse. If you played it well it’s been unbelievable.

But if you told me a year ago the market would have got this far, even though I was optimistic, I would not have believed you.

I expect the last part of June to continue much the same, possibly getting even crazier in the final week as people try to turn over their bonus requirements before the end of the month. 

The market is ripe for a big transfer story breaking or similar. If a player catches fire this week they could really rocket as people pile in to empty their balance and chase some extra bonus cash.

There is huge opportunity here. But also, real traps for people who pile in too late to over priced players. Whenever we have these periods where everything is rising and it seems like you can’t make a bad decision, history has shown so many times that this is when traders are at their most complacent and vulnerable.

We know that not everyone will be keeping all the spare cash they found down the back of the sofa for the bonus in the Index.

I’ve been preparing for this bonus rush for a while and feel primed to profit nicely from other people’s over excitement. 

But this is also a time to show steel and discipline. I won’t get carried away with the hype and will continue cashing out over priced players in favour of more promising and lower risk value choices.

Risers

Neymar

Speaking of big transfer dramas, what on earth do we do with this one?

This news that he has agreed a deal in principle with Barcelona is huge and the only way it could really be bigger would be if he was coming into the EPL (not likely!).

In normal circumstances this would be a no brainer Summer media hold. But coming off the back of a huge price decline from £8.50 it requires careful thought. 

Usually we could call that price fall a discount and be delighted. But there was a serious reason for that fall and trader confidence is shaken in players with rape allegations hanging over them. Ronaldo was a harsh lesson for some.

Such cases tend to drag on, and I think we have to assume that will remain a complicating factor that may make some traders reluctant to throw too much money his way.

On the other hand, if this transfer does happen, and the mood music does sound positive, it’s going to hoover up some serious media in the short term.

Performance wise, he probably gets a tougher time in games in La Liga compared to Ligue 1. And, we have to worry more about him competing with other stars most obviously Messi. To balance that, if he is happier and playing more games hopefully with fewer injuries, his output might actually increase vs a poor previous season by his standards.

Media wise, you can expect him to have the short term burst and then there is no reason to think there will not be be plenty of stories all year to keep him in the headlines as usual whilst back at Barcelona.

Lots of upsides here and he is coming off a price fall. So it’s very tempting. In performance and media returns I think he justifies the price anyway for patient holders. And he has a chance of a strong price spike if the story catches fire, particularly with the market as it is.

With Ronaldo, readers back then will recall I profited extremely well from dumping him near his high because I did not want to worry about the rape allegation. That worked out perfectly but that does not mean you can just follow the same formula each time and expect it to work. 

Without the rape allegation I think his price would be flying. I think it’s for each trader to look into that and see whether they believe it because that is the major risk factor here. 

Personally I think this one is much more tempting as a trade than Ronaldo was at the time. Ronaldo had age problems anyway which was another downer that Neymar doesn’t suffer from just yet.

Ianis Hagi

The quest for undiscovered value is always there but people aren’t always great at spotting the really good ones. They are certainly willing to pay too much, particularly where they have no real performance stats history to look at.

In the absence of real stats, people are more willing to believe hype and it’s the same reason why getting pitch time can often be the worst thing that can happen to a hyped young player. Safe on the bench, people can dream, in the glare of the pitch spotlights, it’s obvious that many of them are not ready.

Sparked by good Euro Under 21 performances and a goal vs England, Hagi has risen dramatically probably due to some loose links to Arsenal.

He has some decent stats for Viitorul in the Romanian league, although not amazing given they will decline vs tougher opposition. And we know he flopped when making the step up to Fiorentina. 

If you took a punt on some cut price talent before the Under 21 tournament, found Hagi for 40-60p and rode this rise to £1.30, you have done extremely well.

If you have piled in at 90p+ you are entering a very high risk trade which almost has no positive outcome that doesn’t involve dumping quickly. 

If he comes to Arsenal, we don’t have many reasons to think he is good enough and he will likely be heavily rotated anyway. There is always a chance he will do well of course. But there are far better options available for the money if you are looking for a performance prospect. 

And if he stays in Romania the price will fall off a cliff which is a huge flashing red risk there is almost no reason I can think of to run.

Fallers

Matthijs de Ligt

For a long time I called this one of the craziest trades I’ve seen on FI. I still think it is.

It wasn’t just that he was currently poor value at £3+. It’s worse – there are almost no possible circumstances in which it could ever be considered good value regardless of what club he went to. 

He’s good. But not that much better than many other high quality centre backs available often in the 90p to £1.30 range. 

An inevitable price drop that I expect to continue.

Gareth Bale

Deals are never dead until they are but optimism for Bale being one of the big Summer transfer dramas has faded fast. 

A few months back I thought this looked pretty nailed on to happen but it no longer seems that way.

It seems really hard to find a buyer for him given his salary combined with his reluctance to move.

China is also getting vague mentions which is one of those risks I just don’t think it is worth running.

However, these stories have a way of coming back again and there is a long way to go in this transfer window. 

Unlikely to be the last we hear of it and if a credible EPL move materialised it could be well worth jumping back on especially as the price gets knocked down.

 

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