It’s been an oddly subdued market in the last week punctuated by a bit of  FIFA Wonderkid pumping to cheer people up and some grumbling about a lack of a deposit bonus.

Many old hands are used to those but I suspect people need to get less used to them. They are a device for pumping the market up artifically and whilst use of them early in the markets life can be useful, eventually, the market does have to fly on it’s own and it is doing a good job of that so far this season.

Football Index has been a gift for early adopters. But eventually, it will get harder and harder and we will have to rely less on “free money events” and more on good trading to stay profitable.

Even the wonderkid thing will burn itself out. 

It feels a bit at the moment like with lots of the “gold” having seemingly gone traders desperately start working their way through the silver, then the copper. Then before you know it you are holding up lumps of coal pretending it’s worth something. 

But I don’t think the gold has gone you just have to work harder to look for it. And I think too, rather than scatter gunning into any young player in an ineligible league it’s better to be more lazer targetted on the ones who have both a trend fit and real quality.

You get bigger, more sustaintable rises this way and you won’t be dragged back by the ones who fail to deliver and fall over later. This is a particular problem for traders who have unweildly 100+ player portfolios. Even when they hit a big rise in a player, it often doesn’t make them much because they spread themselves too thin. 

We are seeing multiple examples where no matter how big the hype is for a player, eventually, they have to start delivering big scores or the shine starts to wear off.

The more games they play without doing something special, the more the pressure ratchets up on holders and it’s something we need to bear in mind when looking at any currently hyped players in our portfolios.

It is fine to trade in hype players particularly in the 50p to 90p range but eventually you have to know which ones are the gold and which are the coal covered in glitter otherwise you don’t know when to take your profits.

Elsewhere, there are some juicy fixtures coming up in the Champions League / Europa and another round of internationals just around the corner too (which is now a cause for FI excitement not depression!). 

I think the internationals in particular will be a big part of the story of this season and in the return of the joint free newsletter I write with Football Index Guide and company, we will be discussing just that. 

Pop your email in here to get it later tonight.

 

Risers

Lorenzo Pellegrini

Off the back of 3 assists in the same game, Pellegrini has been flying.

That many assists is always going to catch the eye!

It did only net him a 191 score, though. And whilst he does have assists in the locker and will often create 2-3 chances in a game, getting 3 assists off the back of it is very likely a freak occurence that is unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

Overall, we can expect a smattering of goals and assists and some solid baselines. Midfield is tough though and I am not convinced he really has the punch to put up regular winning scores.

On the other hand, he’d be easy to sell with Italy involvement and his relatively young age.

If the stars align and the match winning goal comes on his best day he could put up a really big score. It’s just quite unlikely, maybe 2-3 times in a season.

I suspect those buyers may need a bit of patience (which traders who buy this quickly after an event are not always known for). 

At the price, it’s a fairly borderline call. Under £1 if he does keep his Italy spot then sure. 

Now after a 30% rise? I’d be a bit worried he loses his Italy place in the next qualifiers and doesn’t immediately replicate his 3 assists. But he’s far from the worst pick in the world.

Calvin Stengs

In the race for ineligible league players it can hard to find value when traders are willing to pay big money for players they know very little about.

You can still find an advantage though by knowing who the real potentially good players are. And I think Stengs fits that bill.

Playing at AZ in the Eredivisie, Stengs has the all round game, goal threat and assist potential to succeed on FI whilst being a solid trend fit. He is getting the minutes he needs to develop and get attention.

He plays for the Netherlands at U21 level too and has the Europa league coming up which is a nice bonus. 

Contrary to popular opinion, kids are far from safe and are in fact always risky punts because you never know if those youth level or weak league stats will translate to the highest level. 

I, for example, happened to be quite the finisher in my local 5 a side league vs the Dad’s. But I fear against Van Dijk and his ilk I might not have been quite so prolific.

That said, all we can do is play the percentages and Stengs shows all the right ingredients for a good future performance player and is a solid trend fit.

Do you want to chase him after he has spiked yet again in 7 days? Maybe not, maybe you want to find another one. But at the very least if you are going to do it on the real potential not the dross.

 

Fallers

Marcus Rashford

A real struggle for Rashford lately and it is one of many examples of how  no matter how good the trend fit, if you aren’t delivering the big performance scores regularly you are going to fall backwards eventually.

He is looking extremely poor as a performance player for Manchester United, particularly when played as the striker rather than on the wing. So he may improve a bit when Martial returns.

On recent numbers he will need to be hitting match winning hatricks to challenge for a performance win and that is not a good place to be when you are north of £4.

Interestingly, he actually looked much better for England. Although Bulgaria was an easy and flattering game, he was vastly improved when played out wide. 

So there is hope, but I fear OGS has not banished the curse of Old Trafford.

 

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