It’s been a fairly flatlining market in recent days, perhaps surprisingly.

We still have the 5% deposit bonus in play, although as I said in the bonus strategy guide, 5% isn’t the huge incentive 10% was. But it’s not to be sniffed at either, it’s substantial.

That ends on Friday and I do expect a renewed push in the last few days with people wanting to get their final money in for that. 

But where will it go?

As soon as the dividend review announcement was made, I published analysis for my members section. The main point being that no matter what wild theories anyone wants to come up with, rumours of a dividend increase will only ever lead them to one conclusion:

“I need to buy players who actually win dividends. And therefore, I may need to sell players who do not win dividends to pay for them.”

In the week since, that is exactly what we have seen. One of the reasons FI will want to increase dividends is that they need a credible, sustainable product. 

It just looks stupid to the average person looking into FI for the first time that untried kids are often vastly more expensive than the global stars they one day hope to emulate.

It has to change and it will change, due to a mixture of changes FI will make and as a result of the high failure rate of “next big things”. 

FI just hasn’t been around long enough to see too many of those yet, but as it starts to happen, the fact that untried kids are high risk trades will slowly become common wisdom. Markets mature.

We have a very exciting few weeks ahead as we await the Dividend Review announcement and then pick over it. As ever, I’ll be doing a “Live Reaction” blog for site members which have proved very popular as I quickly break down the changes, what they mean, and which players are likely to benefit the most.

As to what exactly we can expect? We could speculate for hours! The fortnightly blog I share with Football Index Guide and the team is out later tonight where we cover this in depth, so I’ll not spoil that here. If you want to get that sent to your inbox, sign up here.

Risers

Ross Barkley

Barkley holders have had something of a wild ride in recent months.

It wasn’t long ago he was down at just 80p and he looked an extreme bargain to me then and I bought heavily. Here is what I said in pre-season Scouting in the members area in June:

Barkley: Not everyone rates him in reality but as an FI player he’s got what it takes. If he starts and plays the full 90 under a new manager we will see his scores getting better. As a young England player he will be easy to get traders to buy if he starts doing well. The value price makes it very appealing.

He was around £1 then and went on to have a fantastic pre-season, soaring in price to as high as £1.95. 

Then, it started to unravel. Surprisingly dropped after that great pre-season, he fell back to £1.25 as players like Mount got the starts ahead of him.

But, anyone paying attention will have noted that he has been a whisker away from wins twice this season despite limited minutes, even before his Star Player last night.

As an FI performance player he has real quality and when on the pitch is vastly superior to players like Mount, Abraham or Hudson-Odoi. 

Lampard’s lack of faith hurts. As does the general chatter about the fans not liking him etc. 

But, Southgate seems to be a believer and his performance last night did his England chances no harm at all.

He will get his chances over the season and if anyone can take them at Chelsea or England, it’s him. 

It’s possibly counterintuitive to most football fans but for FI purposes, Barkley is one of Chelsea and England’s best. 

 

Miralem Pjanić

The risers list today reads like a who’s who of well regarded performance players as people switch onto the importance of holding players who return dividends ahead of an expected dividend increase. 

So it’s no surprise to see Pjanic up there.

Incidentally, it should be a surprise to see some other names up there. There are some players on there that some people seem to incorrectly believe are good performance players.

Perhaps because they have hit a recent hot streak or similar. Or sometimes just because the pumping is so relentless that it becomes common “knowledge”.

Pjanic is probably somewhere in between. He is solid and should be a regular challenger although it would be too optimistic to expect him to maintain the form of his last 5 games. 

He doesn’t get this many goals usually and the penalty aside, the ones that have been flying in are low percentage efforts. Overall, his goal threat isn’t that brilliant.

But, his baselines are solid so he only really needs 1 or even 1 assist to challenge.

A very solid hold but very unlikely to maintain his recent form forever.

Fallers

Donyell Malen (and others)

Today looks like the bonfire of the over priced wonderkid which should not be unexpected.

Malen is leading the way, and that’s not suprising given he is one of the ones whose price has run away the most recently.

What goes up fast often comes down fast too, especially when much of that rise is built on hype.

With Barcelona now in the mix an EPL move looks less likely, so it’s bad timing for anyone holding Malen. Players with no real prospect of dividend returns are going to struggle to stand up to bad news in the coming period ahead of an expected dividend increase.

Don’t get me wrong, Malen looks solid for a forward. You can’t argue with the goal scoring record although you can point to numerous examples of how scoring hatfuls in the Eredivisie means nothing at all in a more competitive league. He creates chances too, and the rest of the underlying stats are ok if not spectacular.

He’s just not ready for this kind of price tag and buying anything close to this price you are taking all the risk of failure with very limited prospects of a profit.

Looking at the rest of the fallers list, it’s a similar theme with overhyped players who aren’t close to real returns dropping. With the notable exception of Neymar. 

In fact, Sterling aside the top 5 aren’t doing particularly well despite dividend potential (of varying degrees, mind!). Perhaps this reflects a nervousness about media players after the recent drops. 

Whilst media may get a boost from any dividend review, it might not, and with the size of the spreads at those prices, it does feel like a gamble to bet on it.

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