If you missed Part One, you can find that here. Part One starts with a strategic look ahead and discusses the importance of Euro 2020 to the story of the coming season. This reflects the early preparation I set out as part of the site Key Strategy.
But for Part Two and beyond, let’s get straight to the players!
Defenders: Schulz, Halstenburg, Ginter, Sule, Tah, Kimmich
Midfielders: Kroos, Havertz, Brandt, Goretzka, Gnabry
Forwards: Werner, Waldschmidt, Reus
Market and Player Assessment
Lots of players to cover here because it is quite an unsettled side with lots of rotation and a lot of potential quality. They don’t currently look as strong as they used to although I think Germany will always carry optimism into tournaments on reputation.
Starting with Kimmich who is pretty much set as a midfielder for Germany. He keeps switching between there and right back for the club and this makes me nervous for holders as he is at risk of being reclassified, if not for the club, then possibly ahead of the Euros. Against a soft team he can put up a very big baseline from midfield but he is only exceptional if playing in midfield whilst still classified as a defender.
Whilst he can still score big vs a soft team like Northern Ireland (where he got 245 although would have been beaten comfortably in either category that day) he will likely struggle vs tougher opposition come tournament time, as shown with his 82 vs Netherlands. No doubt about his quality but it’s a lot of money to pay and the reclassification risk is a big headache.
Schulz is having a bit of a nightmare and he was one I was keen on in pre-season when transferring from Hoffenheim at just 65p. He made it to £1 but has now fallen back to 70p. He looked the nailed on left back for both Dortmund and Germany but is now challenged for both spots. He has been rotated at both levels and both players who came on for him have scored which has compounded the problem. Has shown some decent stats when playing and he is well regarded so I would be surprised if he did not continue to start games and back at 70p there is appeal there again. My worry is that Hakimi/Halstenburg keep battling Schulz for pitch time at both levels and it could end up wrecking the prospects of all 3.
Ginter started both which is good to see. I do not expect regular big performance scores from him, but he is line for a future big transfer possibly in Summer. Has the passing ability to succeed on FI at the right big club. Patience will be needed but at just over 50p I think long term holders will like this one.
Sulé and Tah are unspectacular but both very capable of wins, Sulé being still good value at close to £1, Tah a touch expensive which I have been saying for a while and he has had a major slide from over £1.50. If that continued more towards £1 he would get interesting again.
Kroos is never far away from a very big score. If we have one criticism it is not enough goal threat, though having penalties for Germany is helpful here. Real Madrid need to improve a bit to really push him on I feel but I expect Kroos to be a very consistent high scorer and he will have the punch to push above 300 in the tough midfield category. £1.70 solid value and you can see him being in high demand come the tournament, possibly sooner if he hits a 300+ score which he is very capable of doing.
Only sub appearances for Havertz but on a per minute basis, he looked his usual performance friendly self when on the pitch. As mentioned in Scouting in pre-season I felt the price had got far too high even though I was his biggest fan this time last year when he was around £1. I followed him all the way up to a huge profit but sometimes the price just gets too high once everyone jumps on the band wagon. That looks the right call and traders are getting frustrated in recent weeks. If he starts the next games for Germany I’d expect good scores and optimism, but the slide could continue if he starts from the bench again. Great player, just too expensive. May be of interest again if the slide continues.
This was ok from Brandt although no fireworks this time. Started vs Northern Ireland but only came off the bench vs Netherlands. I remain optimistic on him and once we see him settle at Dortmund he is capable of getting the big scores that will attract traders back to him after his drop from £2.15 to £2. If we have seen him starting consistently for Dortmund in a month’s time, and we see him start the next qualifiers in October, he should be shaping up nicely.
Goretzka was injured and not playing but it is worth mentioning him as he is likely to figure when back and has been looking good for Germany in recent games. That injury has kept him out of the limelight so far this season but his pre-season stats are excellent for Bayern and the price slide makes him attractive.
Gnabry was the star for Germany scoring in both games. Looked very dangerous although in a striker’s role didn’t quite deliver spectacular performance scores. Looks better for Bayern. Mixed because whilst the mediocre scores may turn some off, if he continues looking like a key player for Germany his £1.65 price tag will be very appealing later on. And there are domestic reasons to hold him, he’s got quality.
Werner looks settled as a starter but worryingly was hooked off around 60 minutes for Havertz on both occasions. No goals this time and he was very quiet vs Netherlands but looked dangerous vs Northern Ireland. Not brilliant performances although I think he will get further chances in the next qualifiers, and the thought of a big Summer transfer and Euros involvement should keep traders interested in this throughout the season.
Waldschmidt made the squad which is great news in itself as a young player I’ve tracked through Scouting back from the Under 21 Euros articles in Summer. Did not make it off the bench this time though. I still like him at £1.41 because of immediate club IPD prospects, potential involvement in coming qualifiers and the prospect of a big transfer come Summer.
Reus started both and as usual has some good stats but never seems to deliver. He’s a bit of a puzzle because you would think with these stats he would do better more often but he never seems to. When I’m unsure of a player I tend to just stay away although he will always be interesting to watch for signs of improvement.
Midfielders: Jorginho, Verrati, Sensi, Barrella
Forwards: Chiesa, Immobile, Belotti, Bernardeschi
Market and Player Assessment
Emerson will have interest after some good scores and displays for Chelsea. He has been decent at Chelsea, showing inconsistent goal threat so far this season. But for Italy, I was less impressed. Did manage an assist but overall involvement was weaker than at club level plus he only started one game not both.
Jorginho tucked a penalty away and managed over 200 in both games yet never really threatened to win. It’s a prime example of how tough midfield is now and 250 is the mark we want to be looking for before getting impressed. He also makes a ton of passes but without the supporting stats like crosses, dribbles etc it leads to some underwhelming scores. You have to work hard to find the really good players these days it is not obvious from just a few headline stats like passing.
Verrati is fairly similar to Jorginho in that I can see 180-200 scores coming fairly often but it will probably be only 2-3 times a season he does much more.
Sensi has been a popular social media pump in the last month or two, and not entirely without reason. If spotting this down at 80p after his move (I didn’t, to be honest) you’d say this was fantastic. At £1.70 now the value looks a bit questionable. Capable of a win for sure but not too often.
Started one game for Italy vs Finland and came on from the bench in the other game. Played well for Italy and FI wise looks very similar to replicating his solid average PB scores from club level. He’s going to need do better than the 160’s in the coming games to maintain this level of optimism, though.
Barella has had his phases of pumps and dumps in recent months too. I’ve long thought him over priced. Back towards £1.20 now after some big dips it still isn’t brilliant given how deep he is. However, the new scoring system helps him out because of his assist potential and other decent stats like long passes. I expect an improvement and he looked good vs Finland with good overall involvement and a decent chance to score. I’d need to see more regular goal threat to be excited but he certainly looks much better after the scoring system change and is worth watching.
Chiesa has future star quality although this was a quiet couple of games for him. Most disappointing is the lack of goal threat. Involvement numbers were decent for a forward but pinned back by being subbed in the final 30 minutes of the game both times. Did manage 1 assist. All up in the last 4 games for club and country he has created 10 chances which is excellent. Overall, with a starting spot for Italy near guaranteed and a big Summer transfer likely, he looks very good value to me at £1.82.
All it would really take is a stand out performance in the coming qualifiers and he would be in demand once again, and he is capable of that as many will recall from his Summer Euro U21 performances.
Immobile carries his good domestic form into the internationals, starting versus Finland and scoring. Also created two chances. Did not result in a great score, but Immobile is more an IPD player with the occasional big score in him which for the money we pay is just fine.
Still at just £1.19 I think that remains good value. I said the same in scouting back in July when he was a rock bottom 74p so obviously it’s not quite that good now. But it’s still solid. The only issue is rotation for Italy where Belotti is challenging for his spot, so we will have to see how that goes in the next qualifiers.
Speaking of Belotti, he is another I have had my eye on from pre-season scouting who has flown recently. Just 72p during pre-season scouting and £1.29 now. I still think he offers solid value. 2 goals for Italy vs Armenia and he is really staking a claim. Came off the bench and went close again vs Finland too. Limited performance suitability but still at just 25 with a possible big transfer in him, strong IPD prospects, and Italy involvement now I still like him at the price and think he could reasonably go towards £1.50.
I used to think Bernardeschi could be an excellent FI player. But I was probably wrong. He has all the potential ingredients given overall involvement in the match, big goal threat and assist potential. But, the man can’t finish. He gets so many good chances for club and country and hasn’t scored since January. In fact, to find a goal eligible for FI? Just under a year ago in September 2018. It’s shocking stuff. If he fixed that suddenly then we could have a player on our hands but I am not holding my breath.
Typical Bernardeschi performance for Italy vs Armenia with good chances that were not finished though he did hit the bar. Did not start the next game. He is cheap and maybe if you really wanted to punt on a few goals eventually going in and people getting interested given he is a Juventus/Italy player you can sort of see a profit there. But you have to squint a bit.