The market keeps flying although as per the January theme, it continues to drift further away from true values and the actual win mechanics of the Index towards wild speculation.

I think given where we are in the cycle of the year, that’s not surprising. It’s January, transfer speculation is in full swing. We have a ton of new traders throwing risk free offers around. And there isn’t much real football going on across Europe.

There is nothing like actual football to show up hype/speculation players for what they are. And the main European leagues are spinning back up over the next week.

As we get towards February, things should settle down a bit.

Rocket Ships

Marcus Rashford

No doubt, Rashford is in good form and OGS is determined to make him the main striker at Old Trafford.

That bodes well but there are practical problems here in terms of what is working on the pitch and what is working on the Index.

If you are hitting match winners and yet only scoring 148 as he did yesterday, you’ve got a problem.

That means even when we are scoring a hatrick or 2 goals including the match winner, we will still probably only score around the 200 mark, which on most treble days is not enough to win.

Of course, he’s got media potential and prospects to develop, so I think there are far worse holds.

However, we are on shaky value ground here.

An improvement in form on the pitch has not been matched on the Index with only 15p in media dividends and no performance dividends in the last 3 months or so. That troubles me, because if you are in good form and still not getting close to winning, it speaks of an underlying problem.

This highlights a very common issue on the Index. You can have a player at a high price based on speculation alone. Rashford is young, getting starts at United, so the £5-6 range came relatively easy without having to do anything.

When a good run of form comes, people mistakenly take that to mean he should now be worth more. Actually, he needed the improvement in form to start to justify his existing inflated price tag.

Unlike a lot of kids, there is some substance here because his media potential does something to justify the price, even if his performance suitability is very shaky. But at £7-8+ you really need to be regularly pulling in both to justify your price.

Ademola Lookman

Lookman has always been one on the radar as a young player who could come good if given the right opportunities. Two strong scores last season certainly drew some trader attention his way.

He is finally starting to get some minutes and he is making the most of them, with some excellent displays.

He is doing the right sort of things. If I want to find fault, he is doing too much defensively for us and tracking too far back. We need to see more of him in the final third taking more shots.

But it’s a promising start and with a bit of development and some goals, it is possible we could see Lookman up there competing for the occasional dividend, even at Everton.

Sinking Ships

Declan Rice

Having covered him twice recently there isn’t much new to say except it can illustrate a point about why some players keep rising and some don’t.

Despite a good score last time out, Rice plays deep, and has no history of being a goalscorer. Now he gets a bump like any player does right now for being young, so the price is actually pretty high.

But in general, it isn’t enough just to win dividends or get one good score. Traders need reasons to believe they will win again and again.

If they don’t, the player may get a price bump after a good performance, but they are unlikely to snowball that into a sustained price gain that they hold onto. So how can we use this?

1) Ask yourself the question before you buy. Is this a one hit wonder, or someone who may keep rising? Multiple wins in quick succession is one of the best triggers for sustained buying.

2) If you are holding a player who has won but you think it is actually a bit of a fluke, do not be afraid to cash in whilst others are seeing reason to buy. You’ll sell at a likely peak and avoid the costly instant sell.

Hot Gossip

Ruben Neves

There is no doubt Neves is hugely talented and destined for a bigger club than Wolves. Manchester City have long been linked, but that seems to have been squashed by Pep himself:

“That’s not going to happen. We’re not going to pay £100million for a holding midfielder.”

That’s quite a damning assessment in Index terms, and he is right too.

Despite all his quality play, and even the number of shots he has, he is very awkward for performance scoring. He tries very hard to get on the score sheet and tries spectacular ranged shots in almost every game. They are always an unreliable source of goals, though.

But it always felt that one day one of them would go in and his decent baseline could push him towards a win. Unfortunately, that match winning goal game in the ineligible cup game, and if that was scored, he would probably have done very well.

I’d expect him to be capable of some occasional big scores, but it is unlikely to be with the kind of regularity that sees consistent buying.

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