In recent weeks we have seen a renewed wave of hype kid buying, often scraping the bottom of the barrel with poor players in ineligible leagues as the search for young talent gets harder and harder.

You can go out and buy any starting player in an ineligible league if you want before they have really kicked a ball in a competitive game. But you are likely to end up with a mixed bag of mostly poor quality players and an occasional gem. You will also be spread very thinly so when one comes good, it won’t really get you paid.

These trends burn themselves out and with lots of young players already bought up based on very little at all, the only real advantage left is to know which players actually have potential and still offer real value. 

By lazer targetting a smaller number of high potential young players at reasonable prices, I believe you get better results overall. Certainly better than if following in to already over priced players.  

This way, you avoid the drops associated with weak players that eventually get found out or flipped. And a player with real ability will attract a wider variety of buyers outside of the hype chasers and it will carry them to higher and higher prices, much as it did for the likes of Havertz, Fernandes and Felix last season. 

I’ll make this a weekly article for the next few weeks, covering around 8 high potential players each time.

These may be Key Strategy trend fits but they don’t have to be. The Key Strategy tends to cover the next few months ahead. Some of these selections may fit that, others may be long term holds and that’s fine provided the player has real performance potential, a decent chance of some pitch time and a good value price. 

I am focusing on players 22 and Under, and Under £2. Really, I will try to go under £1.50 or around there but for some exceptional players that I think deserve the price, I’ll include them up to £2 but not beyond that.

To be clear - the primary purpose of these listings are as solid season long holds and possibly into Summer - they are not necessarily instant wins although some may deliver them.

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Victor Tsygankov

Dynamo Kiev

0.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars

On the surface a defensive midfielder but he has some solid goal threat numbers for Kiev and Ukraine combined with very decent baseline stats and assist potential. 

Kiev can reasonably be expected to go on a good Europa League run, and Ukraine, where he is a regular fixture, currently comfortably top their group for Euro 2020

Combined with likely big club transfer rumours come the season end, it’s a great package at £1.09.

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Thiago Almada

Velez Sarsfield

0 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars

A massive IPO price at the time of £1.80 for the 18 year old Argentine. He has had Manchester City links as well as other big name clubs. 

Any Google search will bring up “the new Messi” before long and I hate that overused and lazy term. It’s not totally ridiculous in this case though. 

Whilst comparing any player to one of the greatest all time players is almost always going to be over optimistic, he does have that mix of all round involvement, goal threat and assist potential that can lead him to succeed as an FI player.

He’s just 18 and so has a long way to go. However, by the time the Summer transfer window rolls around it’s quite likely he will get big rumours and even at his £1.85 I can see that pushing higher into £2 and above for a tidy profit by the Summer. 

One for the patient.

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Nikola Milenkovic

Fiorentina

1.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars

Centre backs aren’t incredibly fashionable but you can still get a very nice % rise out of them at a bargain price. Milinkovic is 67p which is decent considering he is a regular for Fiorentina and Serbia at just 21. 

According to transfermarkt.co.uk he has a market value of £27m so he is likely to get big club interest at some stage.

He also has hints of performance suitability with decent passing accuracy (very fashionable at big clubs these days) and the ability to score headers (he has had 2 in the last 6 with very consistent goal threat by defender standards).

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Ansu Fati

Barcelona

1.5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Possibly one of the most hyped players on FI and a dreamed of IPO which is inevitable.

What is rare about Fati is that the hype is fairly justified. At 16 he will have a long way to go but you can see in the stats that he has very strong FI potential.

The price will get silly very quickly. I’d be very keen to get him anywhere under £2.50 at IPO if at all possible. After that, I can see the price heading up to £3 or even £4. Maybe more if people get really silly and they often do.

By that point I’d probably be content to take profits because the money is too much. However, if you must hold hyped up players because you enjoy it for whatever reason, it is better to hold the ones that actually have real potential. 

And Fati has that.

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Nadiem Amiri

Bayer Leverkusen

1.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars

In and out of the side at Leverkusen after a recent move, he’s just 22 and getting regular minutes for the Germany U21’s. 

Recently, he’s shown more goal threat to add to his decent baselines and he is creating plenty of chances, too.

I can see him getting more and more minutes for Leverkusen this season and at 92p is still fairly kindly priced. 

If playing every game I’d put him around 3 out of 5 stars at the moment, which is solid and I think he has potential to get better than that. 

A promising young player still at a reasonable price. May not be expected to move again so soon but some good performances could get him interest. 

 

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Calvin Stengs

AZ

0.5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

One covered in scouting recently at £1.20 at the time. He has risen to £1.62 now but I actually think that still offers value given his strength.

You do have to take Eredivisie stats with a pinch of salt because it’s a soft league. But the style of play is very favourable, he has goals, big baseline potential and assists in the locker.

He’s 20 and playing for the Netherlands U21’s, too. 

Just about everything you look for in a young player. And should have transfer rumours. He does intend to leave eventually from the comments and has his eye on Barcelona. 

Whether Barcelona want him is another matter but the rumours are there which is all that is needed at this point. 

 

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

Hannes Wolf

RB Leipzig

0 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Wolf was covered in very early pre-season Scouting around the time of the U21 European Championship. He has a lot of promise but unfortunately suffered a serious injury. He should be back around January.

Before the injury, he hit 6 goals and 1 assist in the previous 5 matches for Austria U21 and Salzburg. He looks strong and I would back him to make an impact when he comes back.

Clearly some agree because his injury caused an initial storm and a flatline but from August people have bought him up from 80p to £1.28. 

He’s a solid FI suitable player though and I think he can justify that price tag for a young player in this market. 

 

Player

Club

Current Ability

Potential Ability

David Neres

Ajax

1 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Neres was the hottest tip in town 6 months ago hitting a high of £2.41 amidst rumours of an EPL move in Summer.

Didn’t happen though and he signed a new contract with Ajax seeing him tumble to £1.63.

Often, when hype chasers take a big loss on a player it makes them reluctant to go back and it can open up value.

I like Neres and he has performance suitability. Despite the long term contract at Ajax, that feels like a move designed to attract a big fee and I would expect the transfer rumours to return by the Summer. 

In the mean time, the prospect of a good Champions League performance and his increasing minutes for Brazil could keep him ticking over.

Whilst I will generally be favouring European internationals this season for obvious reasons as per Key Strategy, exceptions can be made when you see value.

Brazil is still Brazil and it has wide appeal, and the Summer transfer rumour gives a reason to hold late season. 

That's it for this week! I'll make this a regular feature over the next few weeks picking out 8 good young prospects each time.

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