Let’s see how prices have moved since the last update just over a month ago.
To avoid confusion, keep in mind that “on trend prices” here means the current trends as exist on the Dashboard, NOT the predicted trends outlined in the new Key Strategy for July which the market has not caught up with yet.
Guide Prices are a rough average of what the market is willing to pay for strong players in a certain position if they are KNOWN to be strong performers or widely considered to be strong POTENTIAL performers.
Each player is different and you have to mentally adjust the Guide Price depending on how well (or badly) they fit the trends, the transfer rumours, and the general “feel good” factor around the player.
Guide Prices should therefore not be taken too literally but are best thought of as an anchor or a marker in the sand.
I use them when considering whether I am paying too much for a player or not. If I think I have found a good player, but the market is not aware that player is strong, how much will they pay when they learn what I know because he gets a couple of PB wins or similar?
Or, am I holding a player that doesn’t really have much further to rise in the current market?
There is a Guide Price given for a perceived strong player who fits the market trends, and a Guide Price for a strong player that does not squarely fit the trend and has very few hype factors.
When Media is involved, you can often double or treble the Guide Price in the case of a player reaching a Neymar/Pogba/Ronaldo level, or even those rumoured to be “the next” one of those. This is included as a “Media Modifier”, explained at the end.
On Trend Known Strong Player Average:
- Defender: £1.10 > 0.90p
- Midfielder: £1.80 > £1.80
- Forward: £2.20 > £2.45
Off Trend Known Strong Player
- Defender: 75p > 65p
- Midfielder: £1.05 > 95p
- Forward £1.65 > £1.30
New: Media Modifier: x2 to x3 (explained below)
A bad month for defenders both on and off trend.
Even well regarded on trend defenders can struggle to hit 90p now, down from £1.10 not long ago.
And the off trend but good performance defenders with no particular reason to hold them in the Summer can often struggle to hold 70p, with 65p being more of an average.
Apart from a select few like Maguire (who has a decent chance of media transfer speculation) and some exciting prospects like Atal, defenders are really struggling to gain traction.
This makes some sense at the end of season since only rarely do defenders get any major media outside of a big name transfer. It’s a long old wait until they become relevant again.
You also have the big outliers Kimmich, Van Dijk and Trend Alexander-Arnold. All of whom are struggling under the weight of their massive price tags and look set for a dive.
Kimmich is a classic example of how data services can lead people astray. Such services can be useful for some things but if you don’t understand why someone has strong historic performance scores you will never know if that reason has disappeared before it is too late.
If this continues, it could be an opportunity that makes defenders more relevant when buying players in pre-season as it could create value where quality and reliable performance defenders are available very cheaply.
The more down the market gets on them the more likely that is. But it may be set to get worse and I will not be rushing to buy any defenders right now unless I see a player well under off trend guide prices with performance suitability and a credible transfer to a big EPL club.
On trend midfielders have risen during April but have started coming back down again in May and are pretty much where they were a month ago overall.
If this sounds a bit odd as it did to me initially, it is often that different midfielders are filling those higher priced slots and have risen rapidly and that is why such big profits have been possible despite prices now heading back to where they were on average.
You can find good midfielders with a decent trend fit anywhere between £1.60 > £2.20 and still at a rough average of £1.80 as they were last time.
Prices were pulled up in late April by those with strong transfer speculation.
But, as I have been saying in State of the Market and the new Key Strategy, the reality of transfer trades is starting to bite. People are seeing losses holding onto transfer hype too long and rightly getting more cautious.
This is why Cornerstone 1 of moving on overpriced players in the site strategy is so important and for the really overpriced players it should be done sooner rather than later.
Players who haven’t risen so much and remain at a reasonable price we can be a bit more comfortable holding throughout May if we wish.
For off trend but quality performance midfielders they have come down a little bit in general.
They had already taken a beating in close season and I put them around £1.05 on average last review. That has fallen a bit more and it is now possible to pick up good midfielders anywhere between 75p and £1.10, with Alcantara the only real outlier due to his well known high quality.
Forwards, being by far the most popular category, have grown significantly if they are on trend. Last update they had an average price of around £2.20 and that is now £2.45.
However, for the off trend forwards, generally with little summer transfer speculation, they have dropped substantially in price. They were in the £1.65 area, now you can pick up decent quality forwards for under £1 in some cases. On average, a well regarded but off trend forward will be around £1.30 now.
£2.45 (on trend) to £1.30 (off trend) is a huge price gap when you consider that actual performance quality and dividend returns from the start of next season can often be equal between the categories.
This is true of all the player categories but it is particularly strong for the forwards. This is why the site Key Strategy is what it is.
We will make our money during the course of the current Key Strategy because those prices particularly for the off and on trend forwards are going to get much closer together.
During May with site strategy, as we offload the highly priced currently on trend forwards and replace them with the off trend forwards who should rise in late June and July, we are setting up really well to avoid a drop and get a gain instead.
Media players are a law unto themselves so I discount them when thinking of the above averages. However, it’s still helpful to think about.
Where you have a slam dunk, top tier media returner like Neymar or Pogba, you can safely treble or even quadruple the on trend price for their position. So, Pogba is currently well over 4x my on trend average price for midfielders. Sancho, because people apparently believe he will hit a Pogba level of return in the next 2-3 years if he comes to United, is hanging out at just over 3x average on trend value.
As a broad generalisation, it’s fair to say that for a player who is expected to one day match the returns of a Neymar or Pogba (the next…”) you can often x2 or even x3 the on trend price for that position. Maybe in rare cases 4x but I’ll say 2-3x as an average.
Overall, it’s clear that the site trends which are largely unchanged with a few tweaks since February were correct and that is why the last Key Strategy worked.
In fact, the site off-trend players have continued to tank hard so it’s a good job we were out of them if following site strategy.
However, we are in a transition phase and we are definitely seeing the prevailing trends (performance to media) starting to fade away.
Some performance players have not yet finished dropping though so we shouldn’t fully pull the trigger on hoovering up all the performance players just yet.
There will still be big spikes for players who do get a serious media story but people are going to get burned by the many more that don’t come off and be more reluctant to pile in as we get into the Summer.
As per the Key Strategy and the predicted trends for July in that article, I expect the focus will gradually start to shift towards performance and many of the players currently listed as “off trend” will slowly start becoming very much on trend by July.
This is why we are performing the transitions outlined in Cornerstones 1 and 2 in the new Key Strategy.