Ten days on the market since the last public update – and it’s been a choppy time for many traders. 

There have been plenty of bright spots, particularly in the last few days, but overall, many players have been dropping too. 

There are a variety of reasons for that, from international breaks to a general comedown after a really rapid period of growth.

Despite all the warnings people do over extend during bonus periods etc and put in more than they can really afford, so it is expected that some people will need to claw that back. It doesn’t really stress me out. 

All of these reasons I think are basically temporary, and I expect things to get back to normal around about the time domestic football returns. 

But when people have dipping portfolios the worry sets in and the self doubt can appear – should I be worried and am I doing anything wrong?

It depends. 

It depends mainly on whether you are holding players who have the ability to actually win dividends at reasonable prices or not.

In recent weeks we have seen a bonfire of overhyped, overpriced mainly weak or at least highly speculative players, often at the youth end of the market but not exclusively. 

But a price drop for a weak and overhyped player does not make them good value. It means they were very overpriced before and are often still overpriced. 

Many holders who have been burned on these players will be out in force saying “Amazing discount for X player, it’s top up time!”. They are likely just trying to claw back their own losses and should be ignored. 

But there is no point in waiting for a bounce back that will never come. 

Whether it’s a player that never really had a chance, or a player that used to be good but now has a genuine obstacle – a good trader takes their medicine and gets out when they know a trade has gone bad, even to Instant Sell if need be.

At the same time, it is also true that some very good players have been sold during this period and are available at a discount. That creates real opportunities.

But these players will need to prove it in all likelihood and they’ll need a solid reason to tempt traders to come back to them – whether that’s big performance scores, or a transfer or similar. It won’t just happen automatically.

That’s why good quality analysis is so crucial – it’s not easy to tell the difference between a genuinely strong or weak player just from a few headline numbers and a quick check of SofaScore or similar. 

If you can be confident in your player selection – you won’t need to fear small drops for any of them. And you’ll know which of the dropping players are coming back into good value range and which ones to avoid.

 

Risers

Ansu Fati

It would be hard to write anything today without mentioning what must be the most awaited IPO in FI history!

With the youth end of the market enduring a tough time, it’s crucial to know which of the youngsters have genuine potential and which don’t. 

Fati definitely does.

Even at just 17, if he were to start every game and replicate his numbers over 90 minutes, I’d back him to become a very strong FI player. For a Forward he’s got an excellent overall level of involvement, with very solid goal threat and assists in the locker too.

With the chances he has had, he should probably have scored more in recent games. 

And it’s fair to make an assumption he’s going to get even better not withstanding all the barriers young players have to overcome before they are first team regulars.

So we can check off potential – it’s about as good as it gets and every young player comes with development risks.

In price it gets more complicated.

He already starts high, even really if you were one of the first buyers. He’s comparable in price to many of the strongest FI players already who do not carry those development risks and have much higher dividend potential in the next 2-3 years.

Whilst Fati is good he is, as you would expect, being introduced gradually. With limited minutes and no goals since mid-September, if we did have FI scores on him, they’d be low except for the Valencia game where he scored and assisted.

So realistically, this is probably what we will see going forward unless we believe he’s going to become a 90 minute regular soon. Will some persistant low scores send impatient traders rushing to sell?

Or will he put in another Valencia performance and score big? Hard to say, he certainly has the goal threat to do it across his last 6 appearances though with limited minutes it’s unlikely to win unless he plays the full 90.

This is one of those trades that suffers from being so well known and highly anticipated. When everyone is talking about a player (or a stock in the real world) it is generally very difficult to make a big profit unless you were an early bird.

It feels nice to be part of the crowd and involved with the players everyone is talking about. But it very rarely delivers the best profits either.

Still, my general position on this is if you can’t help yourself but to hold the highly priced youth players – at least make sure you are holding the good ones. And Fati is that.

 

Fallers

Thiago Alcantara

A tough week for Alcantara who can be an FI heavy hitter but is facing some significant problems.

Flick now looks to be getting an extended job interview at Bayern so we have to take his selections seriously. And Alcantara (And Coutinho) have been benched for both games.

Flick seems happy with his choices so further benchings become likely.

Thiago’s recent performances were a concern even without that, as in the 4 games from 22nd October to 2nd November he showed his usual excellent baseline numbers but with none of the usual goal threat or assist potential that turns a good score into a great one. 

He did manage a 225 vs Union Berlin without a goal or assist, but 225 in midfield doesn’t impress me without strong goal or assist potential on top. 

In earlier season, it felt more unlucky. He wasn’t scoring but the chances were there and it felt like a goal would come before long.

Didn’t though. And recently the chances have dried up. 

And yet, he remains a quality player and is only ever a goal away from a monster score. 

Things look tough at the moment but I think he is worth keeping an eye on to see if he works his way back in to the side. 

If so, playing the full 90 and in his usual form he can match some of the strongest players on FI. 

 

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