When the madness and excitement of the new season starts to wear off in a few weeks, it it will become all about the c-word.

Consistency.

It’s the key to profiting big in the coming months whilst avoiding the losses from with players whose price is flying way out ahead of their abilities.

Those players who were bought heavily on the back of freak big scores in the first game will fade back to their usual mediocrity, get found out, and be punished on the market.

The players with real performance strength will put up similar big scores only it’s not a freak. They are capable of doing it time and time again. And when they do, the masses will become aware of that strength and buy them heavily.

But it’s usually too late for the best profits by the time they are stringing consistent wins together, the price will have flown already.

You need to know who the strong players are now so that you can either just get them signed up or at least buy them on their first big score not their second.

The best traders know who is most likely to demonstrate this consistency already through extensive pre-season and early season match analysis.

I’ve spent more days digging through it all this week for the members scouting section and I’m starting to feel like the picture is coming together. But we’ll need to keep up the pace and keep refining it over the coming weeks and months as we respond to the performances.

Whilst all this occupies days of my time each and every week, I can’t imagine trading without having analysed pre-season and the early games in such detail. Buying players based on a handful of recent performance scores combined with last season data alone would be like trading blind.

If you add in the madness of social media chatter with everyone saying a dozen different things that all contradict each other it would be like trading blind whilst a dozen people shout seemingly random suggestions at you.

We need clarity based on strong analysis of the real match data.

And should just play our own game and believe in our decisions rather than worrying too much about what others are doing.

You can do that when your decisions are based on good analysis.

Risers

Angel Gomes

With plenty of absentees some United youngsters are expected to at least start making squads if not the first 11.

Gomes is one of them and he is flying as a result even though he has been carrying a high price for some time anyway.

He may come on from the bench and if he does he has the potential to score, and that will likely get traders hot under the collar. So if you want to punt on that, there are worse players to do it on for sure.

He has had a decent amount of minutes in pre-season, so really, if you want to make these punts, it’s best to read that and punt early rather than waiting for them to appear in a squad. You can then sell on the squad announcement and then don’t have to sweat on whether they actually make it off the bench and score. 

As a performance player in general, he looks potentially decent without being spectacular. 

At this price, I wouldn’t be buying expecting value in any kind of long term hold. But, if you like this kind of punt for a flip there are worse ones because he does have a bit of goal threat.

Renato Sanches

Sanches has flown after a transfer to Lille. 

This is a fascinating trade and actually an early case study in something we are going to have to start dealing with on Football Index in the coming seasons.

The wonderkid flop. 

We have definitely seen plenty of young players rise and then tank so far. But FI hasn’t really been around long enough for the “next Ronaldo” type to really fail. There will be a lot of them, though.

At 18, fresh from winning the Golden Boy award with Benfica, he went to Bayern and shortly after won the young player of the Tournament at at Euro 2016. 

Imagine the price if that happened now! £5-6 is easy to imagine.

But after being inconsistent for Bayern and atrocious for Swansea on loan, he had another mixed year and for much of his FI life he has been hanging out at 50-60p. 

The drop would have been catastrophic. When something like that happens, traders will gain an appreciation for the risk attached to unproven youth. But those harsh lessons are yet to be taught on FI and until they are, the mad speculation will continue.

What do you do about this? Ignore the youth trend? No of course not. You’d be walking on by and leaving money on the ground. But, I definitely do not hold “next Ronaldo” types once they have reached silly prices that they are then going to struggle to justify. It’s just good risk management and you’ve made most of your profit on the way up anyway.

As for Sanches, his move to Lille is an excellent one and I wish I had seen this one coming sooner. 

As a performance player he does have some potential and with Pepe fresh in the memory traders are going to be optimistic on Lille players. I was distracted analysing match data when this was being rumoured a few days ago and at 70p he looked a real bargain. 

At 95p now, he still could be. But I think I’d want to see the numbers on his first game before jumping in. His baselines should be solid but he needs to prove he can get forward and deliver goals or at least regular assists to really succeed.

Fallers

Nico Schulz

A poor game for Schulz vs Koln in reality although in FI terms his stats held up fine.

This off game was particularly highlighted by Hakimi replacing him and then scoring the match winner and he’s taken a beating as a result.

Schulz however had a solid opener vs Augsburg and has played 90 minutes all of pre-season performing well. He’s also Germany’s first choice left back and is highly rated.

So, it would be a surprise if one poor game is going to see him sent to the bench in favour of Hakimi. 

The previous assumption was that Schulz would be the regular starter. But Hakimi does represent stiff competition and we need to watch this. 

It could be a problem that scuppers both players if they are constantly battling each other for starts or even just replacing each other on 60 minutes.

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