Let’s see how market prices have moved since the last update in May.

Key take aways from this analysis.

  • Defenders are recovering nicely after their severe end of season dip. Opportunities remain in this area provided the defenders have performance quality and are cheap. My personal view is that without unusually high goal threat they will struggle and I will be selling any that fly in price before the season even starts.
  • A trend shift is clearly underway, with money coming out of the handful of hyped transfer targets and spreading more evenly into a wider selection of strong performance players who traders are optimistic on for the new season. This has played very well into site strategy so far as we shifted out of hyped transfer trades into value performance players at a good time.
  • Even though lots of performance players have started rising already, it still feels like there is scope for many of them to rise further at the end of June and in July. By mid-July I will consider cashing out some of them, particularly if my pre-season Scouting leads me to think they may decline from last year.

Quick Recap on Guide Prices

If you know what site Guide Prices are, you can skip this section.

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. 

Pricing Changes

On Trend Known Strong Player Average:

  • Defender: 90p > 1.10p 
  • Midfielder: £1.80 > £1.80
  • Forward: £2.45 > £2.00 (don’t be alarmed – see Forwards below). 

Off Trend Known Strong Player

  • Defender: 65p > 75p
  • Midfielder: 95p > £1.05
  • Forward £1.30 > £1.30

New: Media Modifier: x2 to x3 (explained below)


Last time out, defender prices had dropped significantly as the season ended. That makes a lot of sense given that 99% of defenders struggle for Media even if they get a decent transfer.

In preparation for the new season though, this has reversed for quite a lot of players in recent weeks and defenders have bounced back a bit.

Many of those off trend decent performance defenders who were down at 65p to 75p 4-6 weeks ago can now be found at 80-90p.

Beyond that, they need something special like a transfer rumour or a particularly strong dividend history to get them much further.

Last update after they fell in price I said that the dip could be a good opportunity to pick up value defenders in preparation for the new season. This ended up being true. But I also said we should only pick up the very best value defenders that were well under Guide Price with performance suitability. 

The reason for that is I remain down on the actual performance prospects of even some of the best defenders unless they have unusually high goal threat. The reasons outlined in my members What’s wrong with defender’s article? remain relevant. 

So, if you can find a strong performance defender with a Key Strategy Cornerstone 2 trend fit in the 50-80p range it can definitely be worth picking them up in anticipation of them pushing towards £1.10 by the new season. That’s a great % profit.

However, I am much more likely to sell defenders who reach a high price in pre-season rather than wait to see how they actually do. 

The only thing that may make me reconsider is if some defenders benefit from any changes to the performance scoring system.


On trend midfielders have not really changed in average price in the last month. However, there is a significant change in terms of which players are considered “on trend”.

Strong midfielders who had no transfer speculation could have been found anywhere between 75p and £1.10 4-6 weeks ago. 

To be pushing £1.60 to £2.10 at that time a midfielder would have needed a strong transfer rumour or significant hype due to a youth trend fit or similar and that remains largely true.

However, that gap is closing and we are seeing strong players rise in price on the basis of anticipation of the new season with no transfer link or over hyping required. Alcantara and Parejo are the obvious examples. But you can see it for plenty of others like Coman, Gnabry, Ruiz none of whom have transfers but are rising nicely. 

Midfielders who traders will be optimistic on for the new season can be reasonably expected to push up to that £1.60 – £2.10 price bracket. Without hype, it will probably be more towards the lower end of that range in the £1.60 to £1.80. But many strong midfielders are still significantly below that so there is opportunity here.

I think that trend should continue for the rest of June and July and it is exactly what I was banking on when formulating the site Key Strategy. A good sign.


Last time out on trend Forwards, being by far the most popular category, grew in price significantly. These were usually young, talented and hyped forwards with good transfer speculation at around £2.20 to £2.45 for really strong media trend fits.

In the last 4-6 weeks, many of those players with extreme transfer speculation have dipped strongly as the hype fades a bit, the reality of transfer trading bites, and people shift money instead to performance players rather than transfer speculation. 

There are still a handful of examples of players like Jovic, Pepe and Kean who can sustain these prices with enough expectation or hype. But by and large, with the trends shifting in favour of performance and away from transfer speculation, an average price for a good Forward now looks significantly lower than it did. 

That does not mean that the market now sees forwards as less valuable. It means that because the trends are moving towards performance rather than just transfer speculation, there is a much wider selection you can consider to be “on trend” now and that brings the average price down. 

Money is spread more evenly across the Forwards category, rather than being concentrated in a handful of hyped transfer picks. Lots of good performance Forwards without transfer speculation that last time were “off trend” are now coming on trend, and pushing up from around £1 towards £1.50 and higher.

That brings the average price of what can now be considered an “on trend” well known forward that will enter the season with optimism more towards £2.

For off trend Forwards, who are known to be good dividend returners but don’t have many hype factors or are older (27+) you can pay anywhere from 90p to £1.40. I think particularly with big goalscorers who will have IPD optimism, there is value here in older players.

The new increased IPD’s only came in late in the season, but it was notable how significant they were. It didn’t have time for people to fully realise that in my view though. I think the larger IPD’s will help elite older player’s hold more value next season.

As I have mentioned a few times in this weeks Scouting, I think a lot of really strong older goalscorers under £1 should do quite well and could enter the season with optimism. Early season is the best time to hold older players with a full season ahead of them. I just wouldn’t keep them much beyond October.

Media Modifier

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. 

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.

Final Thoughts

We are bang in the middle of a trend shift away from Summer/transfers/media towards new season/performance. 

What is considered “on trend” has been shifting and we have seen many performance players without any transfer speculation who just a month or so ago were cheap and off trend gradually rising in price and becoming on trend once more. 

In the last Guide Prices update I said:

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.

This happened particularly for forwards but also midfielders too. This is why in the site strategy I set Cornerstone 1 (take profits from transfer/media holds that have risen sharply in May) and Cornerstone 2 (by early June latest have the bulk of portfolio made up of players from the site strategy selection criteria). 

By doing this, we should have taken profits from players at a high and reinvested them in good time to strong value players who have risen in recent weeks and that should have netted us some nice gains. 

The strong shift towards performance is actually coming a week or two earlier than I thought, probably because of the lack of huge transfer stories so far and particularly strong optimism for the new season generally. 

This trend should continue into the rest of June and July and I expect many players to continue to push up in value provided traders have reasons to be optimistic  about them for the new season.

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