Today I sat down to review the January transfer window, with two things in mind.
First, which players who moved are worth watching at their new clubs for signs of performance quality?
We all know about the likes of Fernandes, Haaland, Suso and Bergwijn, which are covered in Scouting already. But are there any more under the radar moves?
And secondly, did any collapsed January transfers cause a price crash and open up good value?
Sometimes, particularly for well known players, that can be a good opportunity to pounce since those rumours are likely to come back in the Summer.
Or, for lower key players, we can add them to a watchlist and pick them up in a month or two if we don’t think they will do anything to get attention anytime soon.
Having a core of Full Season Fit players is important.
But so is branching out a bit with some longer term/great value picks which can be a bit more risky but also offer a strong potential upside.
That’s Cornerstone 3 of Key Strategy, and I’ll keep highlighting some good fits for that with these regular articles. I found a lot of players so I’ve gone for quickfire reviews of a wide range.
Moves to Watch
These players are definitely worth watching to see how they get on in the first games at their new clubs. And can even be worth punting on now if the price is right.
Not quite the transfer the hype peddlers had hoped for, but RB Leipzig are a decent club. Whilst it’s not Barcelona or Chelsea, he’s got a good chance of more pitch time here.
He’s one I’ve recommended in my wonderkid series in October at around £2, and at £2.59 and holding steady, he’s looking good.
The best thing about the hype kids with genuine potential is that they can go higher with good performances and FI scores. We’ve seen just over 50 minutes in the Cup for Leipzig, and he scored on debut and looked pretty good. One to watch for sure.
Also at Leipzig. I highlighted left back Angelino’s great crossing ability at City a few times this season. It didn’t work out mainly due to rotation, but he got close to making an FI impact when playing. Unfortunately a lot of his best performances came in cups.
Now loaned to RB Leipzig with an option to buy, if we see him get more minutes he’ll be worth watching as a potential bargain. Started a Cup match for Leipzig and got a debut assist.
Politano struggled at Inter but now at Napoli, with a cut price £1.08 price tag, he’s got some potential.
We’ve seen him only for 20 minutes so far, but he had a nice playing position on the wing and seemed to get forward.
In form, he has the baselines, goals and assists to succeed on FI. And Napoli is a good platform to do it (when they aren’t losing 10 games back to back, anyway).
Another I’ve covered in various potential player articles in the last 6 months or so. He’s taken a while to get going but it’s been a slow and steady rise from just under £1 in August to £1.44 now.
He’s got a chance of being worth that and rising higher. He is likely to have solid baselines, the question mark is whether he can really add enough goals and assists to make it count for something. We’ll find out in the coming games.
Before his disastrous spell at Milan Piatek was once an FI darling and next Lewandowski. He rose a lot amongst big club links, but has somewhat strangely settled for Hertha. This feels unambitious. And the price has fallen to £1.51 now, which is still fairly high for this sort of player.
He’s a good goalscorer but an awful performance player.
However, he is already off the mark in the first cup game and should have no problem getting minutes. We know he can be prolific, so he might be worth watching for at least a run of IPD and he gets plenty of minutes for Poland too.
Can is cheap because he’s had a rough season.
He might be a bit too deep. And he might get rotated. But for 95p, he should be a high baseline player and if you look through his history, he has had his sprees of goals.
Could actually be quite good value at 95p for a punt and will be interesting to see his playing position at Dortmund. And likely to play for Germany too – in Tournament football like CL or the Euro’s he’d have a much better chance of winning as a high baseliner.
Jacob Bruun Larsen
It will be interesting to watch Bruun-Larsen at Hoffenheim. I recall picking him out for a high potential young player article maybe a year ago now, but it didn’t really work out.
He was down at 75p then, £1.05 now. 40% is actually pretty good since he hasn’t made much of an impact at all, though it’s behind the rise in the market.
He’s been well behind in the pecking order at Dortmund, and limited in appearances. Still, he’s performance suitable, talented, still just 21, a Denmark U21 international.
If Hoffenheim offers regular minutes he could look a solid long term pick, especially after a recent drop from £1.18 to £1.05.
Raul de Tomas
The above 4 are all decent strikers who aren’t particularly performance suitable. But they are cheap, can return good IPDs and get attention with a good run of goals at their new clubs.
These players rose due to expectations of a move in January and then dropped in price when it didn’t happen.
Where the player is very popular, it can be worth signing them up now as a hold for Summer.
When they are a bit more low key, we can try and get away with waiting longer before buying, maybe until towards the end of March.
Also, as I go through this I think it highlights an interesting point.
Note how so many of these players rise in advance of the window, and how few come out of it with that price rise intact.
This is why I tend to do my transfer window business early, then sell in the build up to the window rather than waiting to see what happens in the window itself.
It’s much easier to profit from traders doing predictable things (like last minute transfer buying) than it is to predict the outcome of transfers, so I generally don’t even try.
Has taken a pasting due to a hoped for EPL move that collapsed.
Was at one time a hot property. Has been poor for performance at Atletico but if Old Trafford is where performance scoring goes to die, the Wanda Metropolitano is where they bury the corpse.
So I don’t hold that against him, he does have some potential.
Could actually be a smart move to pick him up on the way down with a Summer transfer in mind.
Isco is a great player with a lot of performance potential.
He gets rumours every window in recent times. He’s still just 27 but I can’t believe he’ll let this situation go on much longer. He should either get a move or become a Real Madrid fixture again.
Either of those is fine, so at £1.64, coming off a drop from £1.94 this looks good to me now for patient traders.
Traoré was bought heavily in December from 85p to £1.20, then crashed back down to 92p after an EPL move collapsed.
No reason that link can’t resurface later, he’s cheap, and whilst you are waiting there is a chance of an occasional performance win, he’s better than he has shown this season when in form. Getting plenty of chances just not putting them away.
Donny Van De Beek
A small drop of 14p after January. £1.99 looking pretty good value, which I was going to compare to the same price as a Happy Meal but I am shocked to discover that has gone up to £2.79. Inflation is a bitch.
Young, decent performance suitability, near certain transfer rumours come Summer to good clubs, Holland squad, Europa League. Reasonable price that has just dropped a bit.
Not much to dislike here. Solid choice.
A sharp rise ahead of January, but then savaged as no move materialised.
You’ve got to be careful reading too much into weak league statistics, most of the time they do not translate to the bigger stage.
But, the stats are very impressive for goals, assists and overall involvement. As long as the price is right, we don’t have to worry about that too much.
But if going for it, we want to be on it before some social media account or another points out the number of goals and assists and declares him the Ukrainian Messi.
There is enough to say he’s got performance potential. He’ll get transfer rumours most likely to decent clubs, and he’ll be at Euro 2020. He does lack the Europa league but at £1.39 I think he’s got good potential for a patient hold.
Only question for me is whether you can wait another month or so and get a greater drop because he doesn’t have the Europa etc so no immediate reason he will get attention.
Another little Messi, this time from Argentina. I’m sick of all these future Messi’s clogging up my reviews to be honest. Once there are enough for every club to have one it won’t be special anymore.
Sharp rise ahead of January, then a drop after when the move did not happen.
Quite similar to Tsygankov above, he’s got real performance potential and a good chance of a big Summer move.
Again, with no immediate reason he should get attention, it may be possible to stick him on a watch list and look to pick him up in a month or two rather than now.
21 year old Russia starlet, again rose in advance of the window but then dropped when it didn’t happen.
Not a great performance player. But a good young striker and likely to be getting Summer transfer links to good clubs, and should see pitch time for Russia.
Another good candidate but again it may be worth waiting a bit longer on him, he doesn’t have the Europa league so no reason he should get attention anytime in the next month really.
24 year old Right Back. Seems to always get decent rumours ahead of transfer windows, he’s started heading down in price after January.
A performance suitable full back, and they are actually quite rare. We had the mania for “flying fullbacks” but as we have seen, this was very overstated and traders ended up holding some really weak players following this.
Grimaldo is a potentially good one though and he does have the Europa coming up too. 89p is reasonable for a player who could easily £1.20 or so with the right move.
A long anticipated transfer, it’s likely the rumours come back again come Summer. EPL Links are still going on, so the price has actually come back up slightly already after the fall.
He’s a very performance suitable player. If he goes to a good performance club, he could be excellent for FI. £2.16 looks decent value.
A well known player by now and has the Europa League coming up (though currently injured so he may miss the first game at least). One to sign up sooner rather than later if interested.
Neres has had his weeks as the most in demand youth player particularly around March last year. It’s been horrible for holders since, though.
Failed transfers and injury have depressed the price over a long period, knocking him down to £1.67 now.
He is still expected to transfer though, and will probably return from injury with enough of the season left to play himself back into contention.
Has good performance suitability too and I’d be optimistic for him at a good club.
No Euro’s but he does have the likely transfer, and for that price that is fine. It’s never tough to sell good young Brazilian’s when they start doing well anyway.
I think this is the exact right moment to pounce on a good young player who gets overhyped and then faces problems.
The price slide puts people off. Many don’t like buying a player who has been falling.
Which is exactly what makes it makes it great value when you see reasons why that price can turn around in the coming months.
One of the biggest on again off again transfer stories.
Actually has some performance suitability if he could eventually join a good club.
One to watch for a continued dip, and very likely to get a rise again ahead of Summer. May be able to get away with letting the price fall a bit further, though, he’s unlikely to be winning and getting attention at Palace.
Another one that is almost certain to be anticipated again ahead of Summer. He’s taken a beating after the move fell through again.
Whilst he’s a good player, and potentially performance suitable at a good club, I wouldn’t back him somewhere like Everton as per the January links. But in advance of the window, that over optimism for any EPL move can be exploited.
The price has crashed and it may be possible to wait a little longer. But I’d be surprised if this wasn’t getting attention again towards Summer.
One of the most frustrating players on FI because he’s so close to being great yet never quite making it.
Still, he’s taking a price dive to £1.71 and he has always had big links come the Summer, sometimes to the EPL.
Pretty good value still for a chance of an occasional big score, a big Summer transfer with a huge price tag and a chance of qualifying for Euro 2020 through the play offs with Serbia.
Another one time hot prospect, he’s crashed in the last month with nothing happening for him in January.
But he often gets huge links including to Liverpool.
As a midfielder, he probably doesn’t have the baselines to be a big contender on FI, unless he is switched to forward.
But with the hype, that may not matter.
Probably one we can get away with leaving for another month or two and sticking on the watch list.
Other Potential Transfers
These players haven’t really dropped after January, but I think they remain good Summer transfer targets at reasonable or better value.
Rodrigo de Paul