Much of July has so far been dominated by a surge towards youngsters making pre-season appearances. 

As I have been saying here a lot recently, that was never going to last forever.

In recent days we have seen a shift towards first team players at the expense of some of the overheating youngsters. I expect that to continue.

Anecdotally I know of a few traders who have messaged me regretting having piled into some of these youngsters late and now feel lumbered with them and aren’t sure what to do.

I can do my best to give advice but really there are no good options at that point. Prevention is better than cure – don’t get yourself into these binds in the first place by wildly speculating on overpriced players.

In amongst all the hype of FI good traders know not to get caught up in it. Irrational things happen and you can absolutely profit from it. 

But if trying to chase those gains late out of frustration/fear of missing out you have straight up done some bad trading and have to take the consequences on the chin.

Another area where this is starting to happen is the transfers. We have had one very painful example I’ll discuss below.

There is a risk that traders can get really complacent about transfers. We have been talking about Summer transfers since February on FI. We go on and on about it until at a certain point it’s easy to forget that the business end of the transfer window is, in reality, only just hotting up.

Player prices are sensitive to it and particularly for those make or break transfers where the player is seemingly worthless at one club and priceless at another these are very high risk trades. If the player is decent at his current club but might get even better if a move happens, we can be a bit more relaxed.

Overall though, for traders who are able to read the trends and pick a solid player, I am very optimistic for the coming month or so at least. The distractions in July have left many quality players at decent value prices and I expect the market to keep moving towards them.

Risers

Bruno Fernandes

Will his transfer to Manchester United get over the line? Hard to say but it does look close from all the gossip. The latest about a medical being underway is from one Italian source that I am unsure of.

There aren’t many better moves than Manchester United and he could do well there. He is capable of the spectacular so could be media friendly if he starts well. Likely though, he will need time to adapt.

In pre-season terms for Sporting, he could hardly have done more to convince. A goal in all 4 games and excellent underlying stats across the board. There is a reason I have been singing about him in these write ups for well over a year now when for a while people were saying “Bruno who?”.

Obviously, we still have uncertainty as the deal must be finalised. And, a move to Manchester United can often bring media but is far from a guarantee of performance success historically speaking.

A fresh approach from OGS may change that though and it is something I am analysing closely in the members scouting section.

What about the price? It’s… not cheap. But then this move has been expected for a while. We will likely see some people exit as per usual when and if the transfer happens but I also think in this case there will be plenty interested in seeing how he gets on in the EPL given his media and performance potential.

By now I would say the price is about fair and carries reasonable risk with reasonable potential reward.

Paulo Dybala

Dybala to Manchester United as well?

I’m not sure I believe that but perhaps just because it would be too good to be true for holders! Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Italy is the source and there are worse sources in the world.

Swap deals are always tricky though because they have more moving parts that can fall over.

Dybala is a sleeping giant in performance terms, held back at Juventus, at least under the old system. He’s got huge potential in the right system. Would Manchester United be that system? 

As mentioned above, that’s questionable and we need to see more of the way OGS is lining up with more senior squad members present before making that call.

But the media potential of Dybala at United is considerable.

This would be a huge move if it comes off that would surely push the price even higher. But it’s risky too because a stay at Juventus, despite some noises about accomodating him from Sarri, would be a big turn off for traders. At least until he proved himself.

Holders need to watch this one closely.

Fallers

Gareth Bale

This is one of the roughest drops we have seen in a while. Perhaps ever, by the time it is done.

I’m not much of a gambler. I like to stack the odds in my favour (like a poker player more than a punter). My latest trader guide explains my approach to this

So, I really struggle to understand why someone would have taken a risk on Bale by buying in or persisting with the hold once the China move was on the board and credible.

It is a one way ticket to being essentially worthless. Even if you rated that at 20% likely, that’s still too big a risk vs the potential reward on offer. 

I have said here for months that Bale could be a big summer transfer drama, and in a way, it has been. But as those EPL links started shutting down the warning signs on this were flashing weeks ago. 

In risk management, if an outcome is a total disaster you take steps to protect yourself from it even if you judge it not to be very likely. 

If you want these kinds of high risk gambles there is the whole of the traditional bookies out there to punt with. FI has so many more opportunities that could have delivered higher potential profits than Bale with considerably lower risk. 

So, we’ve seen some unpleasant gloating on social media with people poking fun at Bale holders and I find that pretty damn distasteful I’ve got to say.

Although, I don’t have much sympathy with anyone left holding here either because if you take big gambles you are inviting big losses and have to take it on the chin when it happens.

 

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