If you read the intro to Part 1, you can skip the intro here! Just note that I have another batch of players to share apart from this, so there will be a Part 3 next week too. 

Young player mania is in full swing and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. 

Generally, for the well known ones we are dealing with potentially good players, and the issue is price rather than talent. There are a few exceptions at the higher end where people confuse being good at football with being good on the Football Index. It’s not the same thing. 

But on the whole, the Mbappe’s, the Rashford’s, the Sancho’s, Dembele’s and the Vinicius Juniors have potential to be big players, even if some aren’t obviously performance suitable. At the moment, Vinicius and Dembele are looking the best of that bunch in FI performance suitability terms. 

However, the prices are restrictive. Because people assume those players are going to be global stars already, they are already priced to match. The reward for being right about their future world domination is no longer huge, and the penalty for being wrong if they fail is high. 

Then in the next tier we have some more up and coming players. Pepe, Havertz, Jovic, Werner, Felix, Thorgan Hazard. Apart from Werner, whom I converted to in December at about the £3.50 range because he showed a big improvement, I have been highlighting those as big potential players on the site since very early in the season.  (I was also relatively late to Jovic as I waited until he showed consistency – I got him at £3.96.)

But they are no longer the trades they were. You can do what you like with them because they are quality players. Either take profits now or wait until the Summer when almost all of them have big transfer links to pick up. If you are holding quality you make life easy for yourself.

But here is my main point and the point of this article. Because people buy players who are rising because they are rising, there are good young players that are equally talented with good prospects who are being overlooked.

This week, I spent hours and hours combing through this seasons stats of all players aged 24 and under from the big 5 European leagues to find the most FI suitable candidates. I have rooted out players showing the same levels of ability as the Pepe’s, Havertz, Felix and Thorgan Hazards (ok he is 25). In some cases, they even match some of the £8+ players stat for stat. 

Once we have narrowed down the list, we then need to think about the softer factors like potential transfers and international appearances so we can consider who might be getting lots of attention and the chance of a first team spot at a big club.

There will be another part to this as I have another batch to share once I’ve done a bit more research on them. 

I will also do another article in the coming weeks on more long range, unknown players who have the right sort of stats but need a big club move. 

The Players

All the players below I believe to be of very high quality.  They represent some of the best prospects that have not yet risen to very high prices. Some may get attention soon and others are more long range, but they all show signs of being very strong FI players.

Jacob Bruun-Larsen - £2.21

Position: Left Wing
Age: 20 
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Nationality: Denmark (9 caps)
Market Value: €20m
Contract Expiry: 6/2021
Rumours: None, but getting frustrated with lack of first team action. 

Performance Suitability: 

Very good. He mainly sees action from the bench but on a per 90 minute basis his stats are excellent. His goal threat is high for a player who can hit the 30-40 passes a game range. He is also unlucky that he was only added to FI in October. He had a hot streak in September and if he had been on FI at that time he would have some much better scores down on his card. 

Recent Form:

Still getting heavy rotation and the likes of Sancho are blocking him. When he does make an appearance, he looks good though. 

Thoughts and Changes:

I believe him to be a strong talent who just needs the opportunity. He is getting to an age where he is going to want a regular 90 minute spot and we need someone good to come in for him or possibly someone at Dortmund to leave to make space. I probably undersold him a bit at Potential 3 out of 5 stars and will bump him slightly. 

Current Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Potential Rating: 3 out of 5 stars > 3.5 out of 5 stars

Kingsley Coman - £2.90

Position: Left Wing
Age: 22
Club: Bayern Munich
Nationality: France (15 caps) 
Market Value: €50m
Contract Expiry: 6/2023
Rumours: None.

Performance Suitability: 

He has had problems with injuries and rotation in general. He has all of the ingredients of a top performance player, often pushing into 40+ passes per 90 minutes whilst his Expected Goals average over 0.3. 

Recent Form:

Good, and he has been getting some decent pitch time. His big recent moment on 6th Feb was getting the winner in the German cup which obviously won’t have appeared on FI. That would have been a big score if it counted. 

Thoughts and Changes:

He’s got everything we just need to monitor him for injury and minutes. One factor that worries me is that he said if the ligament tear that occurred twice in 2018 recurs again he may consider giving it all up. That may well have just been a throwaway comment in a dark moment. But still. That’s a big risk so it keeps me off him for now, but if he can show stability over weeks he will be hard to resist. 

Current Ratring: 3 out of 5 stars
Potential Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (may be a bit harsh, could go up to a 4 depending on performance in the coming games). 

Keita Baldé - £1.53

Position: Left Wing
Age: 23
Club: Inter (Monaco loan)
Nationality: Senegal(23 caps)
Market Value: 28m
Contract Expiry: 5/2019 (returns to Monaco)
Rumours: Inter may sign permanently or he could return to Monaco. 

Performance Suitability: 

Stats can be inconsistent, sometimes up at 50 passes a game which is superb, others down at mid 20’s. Threat is solid. Decent number of crosses and no real niggles dragging him down although pass completion could be 5% higher if I am being picky. 

Overall, very strong potential and I would love to see him get a regular run of 90 minute games. 

Recent Form: 

Was getting minutes in December and doing pretty well but then got injured. Should return soon. 

Thoughts and Changes

He needs a good run of games and we need to watch his contract situation closely to see whether Inter buy or not. That’s fine if so. If Monaco go down it could get interesting. If not Inter, surely someone will come in for him. 

Current Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Potential Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (I may be low balling this, it could go to 4 if I see some more 90 minute games.) 

Gelson Martins £2.00

Position: Right Wing
Age: 23
Club: Monaco (Atletico Madrid) 
Nationality: Portugal (21 caps)
Market Value: 20m
Contract Expiry: 5/2019 (returns to Atletico)

Performance Suitability: 

He has always had promise but we haven’t seen him get a ton of 90 minute games this season. The stats from last season and what we have seen this season suggest he has what it takes, though. 

Solid involvement and consistent threat, which has spiked since moving to Monaco and is worth monitoring. 

Recent Form: 

Since he moved to Monaco in January his 3 performances so far have all been excellent. He may get held back by Monaco’s struggles like he did in the last match, but he is showing very impressive stats. 

Thoughts and Changes

Well worth watching him in the coming games for Monaco. He could get attention very easily if he keeps up this form. We will have to watch carefully where he ends up next season. 

Current Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Potential Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ondrej Duda £1.43

Position: AMC
Age: 24
Club: Hertha
Nationality: Portugal (21 caps)
Market Value: 8m
Contract Expiry: 6/2021 
Rumours: None

Performance Suitability: 

Hertha players don’t often make these lists but this guy has a lot of potential. He could do with being in the final third a bit more but he does get forward to take shots and puts them away. 10 goals in 18 league starts this term. And, being a deeper AMC, his passing involvement is strong. 

Recent Form: 

Very good, scoring regularly and even putting up his second +200 score of the season recently with a brace. He was unlucky that neither of his 2 goals were the match winner or it would have been a monster. 

Thoughts and Changes

One for the patient traders or otherwise put him on the “buy if he gets a transfer rumour list”. 

Current Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Potential Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Missed the Cut

These are 2 more notable players who I consider to be high quality but have gone beyond £4 so don’t meet the value requirement of the article. 

Krzysztof Piatek, AC Milan, £4.32 – Potential: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Piatek’s baseline involvement is low so he needs to be prolific. On the evidence so far, he may well be, and you couldn’t have asked for a better start at Milan. 

Leon Bailey, Leverkusen, £4.14 – Potential 4 out of 5 stars

I like Bailey and think he has potential but the price is just a bit too high for my taste, he’s too well known. 


error: Right click is disabled to protect members content.
error: Alert: Copying is disabled to protect members content :)