The weekend’s games didn’t seem to have quite the buzz about them that last week did.

I think we missed the EPL during the FA Cup weekend which focuses attention particularly for newer traders, not all of whom have become armchair experts in Europe’s other top leagues like the rest of us! Yet.

As compensation though, we have another big match day tomorrow to look forward to that should result in some big performance scores for Arsenal and both Manchester clubs who have reasonably soft opposition. Assuming it all goes according to plan. And we all know it often doesn’t but there in lies the fun.

This week also has the last 4 days of the transfer window and it’s going to cause a lot of knee jerk market reactions as the rumours break and then fade.

I generally keep out of this because it is very unpredictable unless I see an obvious slam dunk profit. I did most of my January transfer business buying early in November/December and all those have been offloaded already barring a few I want for performance returns.

So really, I am now looking forward to the window closing which will renew the focus on performance players as we get into the thick of the season. Fortunes in European competition are also going to get very important from February onwards.

Rocket Ships

Leon Goretzka

He’s having a good time recently and it feels like he is really starting to establish himself as a Bayern regular.

Whilst he was always a talent, he hasn’t looked in a position to get regular high scores all season because of his often deep playing position. So why has he just got two high scores in a row?

It’s not random, it’s because he was been moved to the number 10 role where he is now much more advanced.

His decent baseline has held up and it now has close range threat, which makes a big difference. As long as he remains in this position, he should contend regularly for performance wins. However, if he is switched back he will likely return to his previous form.

That is in doubt because he will need to fend off both Muller and James to secure this role.

Ivan Perisic

It’s been a poor season for Perisic compared to the last.

He has however shown flashes of his quality this season, notably against Chievo in December. His goal threat remains high but he is just not putting the chances away like he has in the past, and his lack of game time is hurting, too.

The link to Arsenal looks reasonable, and I think he could do very well there. He will be 30 in a few days so is off-trend as far as age goes but will surely still be years away from retirement.

I think if you could get Perisic at Arsenal for under £3 it would be a solid trade. The move feels credible but with Arsenal restricted to loan offers, it could break down given Inter want a full transfer.

Sinking Ships

Alassane Plea

Plea is taking a bit of a beating after a link to a move to China.

The dreaded China link a is a killer because it effectively means the player becomes worth next to nothing.

I rate Plea but with a rumour like this it is not unreasonable to hit the panic button, I tend not to muck about when the consequences of the risk are high even if the chance of it happening are small. The spread on Plea was also quite low so the cost of the Instant Sell was not too punishing.

However, most China links do come to nothing and it’s likely this one will too.

If the window shuts with him still at Monchengladbach he will be a bargain at this knock down price.

He isn’t a classic performance player but he can be explosive and goals dividends helps his cause. He also has decent prospects of a move to a bigger club in future if he steers clear of China.

Hot Gossip

Gerard Deulofeu

Apparently he is wanted back at AC Milan where he had a good spell and netted 4 goals and provided 3 assists in 16 games in 16/17.

Deulofeu is just 24 still. If he did finally settle at a performance friendly club, I think he has good attributes and he could do pretty well.

I am sceptical about the AC Milan rumour because they have just bought Piatek and I am not sure they can afford another. But at this bargain basement price I think he is worth keeping an eye on, if not for now then for the summer.

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