A massive weekend on the Index and I think all of the new traders joining saw the full range of emotions!

We had a crushing win for Neymar, who reminded everyone who needed it that he deserves his place at the top of the price list because of his sustained and consistent dividend returns.

And then yesterday we had wins for some of the more under the radar picks, like Zapata and Canales. They are hardly household names in the UK but you will know who they are if you are into your player research.

And then the crash on seeing Dembele’s injury after his rise! Ouch.

All in an average weekend on the Football Index.

Of course, the key take away will have been that some of the biggest risers didn’t win, and some didn’t even come close. Some had weak performance scores despite a goal or similar.

That will be quite confusing for newcomers. It really boils down to something I say very often: Football good and Index good is not always the same thing.

The scoring system isn’t a million miles away from reality. But fine margins make all the difference and just because a player is doing well in a game and pundits are raving about him does not mean he will succeed as an Index player.

This is particularly fuelled at the moment by a frenzy of piling into hyped up young players. I don’t enjoy being the designated driver at the party but this site was founded on giving responsible advice so that’s what I’ll do.

Be very careful of chasing over hyped players who are expensive yet doing little to really justify the inflated price. If you must hold a £8+ kid who has never returned a dividend because you really do think he is the next Neymar, at least diversify and make sure this is not the entire basis of your portfolio.

Looking ahead to the end of January and February, we have a lot more actual football to be played which gives the real quality the chance to shine through. Especially on those big European knock out nights that are now not far away.

Rocket Ships

Duvan Zapata

A monster score from Zapata as he knocks in 4 goals for Atalanta.

He’s hit a real purple patch with 14 goals in the last 8 games, but if you look at his history, there is evidence to suggest this is not a total one off.

These performances are getting him links to Inter and Roma, (and a few lesser clubs as well) and he would likely do better there with better quality chances in more dominant teams.

However, you are still buying a player who needs 2 goals including the match winner, and probably a hattrick, to challenge for dividends. That won’t happen every week, and patches of form like this are not sustainable by mere humans.

However at just 27 with the prospect of a bigger move, and the ability to pop up with a big score this season it’s not a bad shout. Especially given the relatively kind price tag and the sweetener of goals dividends in a busy February.

Joao Felix

As featured in yesterday’s New Trader Challenge update, Felix has made huge gains in January.

He is one of Europe’s hottest young prospects but has escaped widespread attention as he is in an ineligible league. Links to Liverpool and Manchester United are really getting the price pumping now though.

Despite the current hype, it will probably be a Summer move rather than January however with time ticking down.

So why am I positive on him and not other talented kids? It’s price, and minutes.

Picking up a talented but raw young player at £1-3 makes perfect sense. Once they get to £5-8, not so much.

Secondly, he is getting minutes at a competitive level and demonstrating what he can do. I’ve got a decent amount of minutes to analyse and I’ve got reasons to believe he is not only good, but Index suitable.

Sinking Ships

Justin Kluivert

What’s the deal with this?

A pretty big fall and I can’t see a reason other than the Torino game where he was not at his best.

However, on the whole, this season he’s getting minutes and he has shown glimpses of performance dividend friendly play. That’s more than many young players with bigger price tags and worse prospects have done.

I think there is some value here after this drop for the patient trader.

Hot Gossip

Krzysztof Piatek

Piatek looks set to complete his move to AC Milan very soon.

He’s been prolific this season for Genoa and he could really cement himself as one of Europe’s best young strikers if he starts scoring for Milan.

He isn’t a textbook performance player and needs big goal hauls to challenge for wins. But he is capable of that, and In Play goals dividends helps players like Piatek. Decent value at under £4.

Oddly, Genoa play AC Milan today so the lineups will make interesting reading!

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