Today I had a look at players that have had positive reviews in Scouting earlier in the season but haven’t hit the highs I had hoped for.

It happens. No matter how thorough our analysis is, we’re always going to run into some problem players.

We won’t get everything right. But fortunately, we don’t have to! 

As long as we keep up that good analysis we can usually cut off a bad trade before it does too much damage and overall, we’ll be doing just fine. 

But, underperformers can also offer good opportunities. 

When a good player underperforms, the price can get knocked down and it can offer good value when they hit a good patch of form. Brandt and Alcantara have been good recent examples.

I’ve listed 14 examples below with a summary of their season story so far and a verdict on whether I think they offer value going forward or not.

Like the transfers article last week, some of these players can help support site strategy as we look to fill out our portfolio with cheaper players beyond just the Full Season Fit core type.



Eden Hazard


Real Madrid

A disappointing season to date for Hazard. By the time he was down towards £4-£4.30 after the transfer in August, I thought this looked good for a premium season long hold.

Given his potential to succeed at Real Madrid and his full season fit with Euro 2020, I don’t think this was unreasonable.

But he started slowly, and just as he was showing his best numbers in November he got injured.

Verdict: A bit unlucky. Should be returning to action soon and is starting to creep up in price. 

Should be in demand for Euro 2020 and I think his poor season to date has kept the price well in value range given his potential. I’d expect a much better 6 months ahead.


Lorenzo Insigne



Quite a frustrating player this season as you can no doubt tell from the scouting reports. He has put up some big scores and won 11p in dividends but for him this is an underperformance.

His personal numbers have held up pretty well overall particularly more recently when he’s been scoring regularly again. But Napoli’s abysmal form has really held him back.

Verdict: So potentially strong for performance that I am willing to back him to turn things around at some point. Regular transfer rumours including to the EPL and his Italy involvement are good reasons to keep faith.


Andrej Kramaric



Started very well, rising from 96p in August to £1.78 by November after a run of goals following his return from injury. But went off the boil and a slow decline since to £1.24 now. 

Actually showing some good goal threat and performance numbers recently, though punching through at Hoffenheim is not always easy.

Verdict: Tricky. It’s depressing for holders if you have watched him drop from £1.78 to £1.24. But equally, it’s hard to say he is not good value for £1.24 as it stands. He is capable of performance wins, can return decent IPD, and still just 28 he often gets decent transfer links. And has Croatia involvement.
It feels a bit like selling now is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. But it’s a small spread so if I thought I could use the money better elsewhere it may be worth doing so.


Kerem Demirbay



At the season start, Demirbay, who had shown good numbers last season, at  going to performance suitable Leverkusen seemed like a great match up.

We were disappointed, his poor start dragged on and he took a while to find his feet. Leverkusen are also not the force they were last season.

Has actually shown much better numbers over the last 5-6 games, managing a 223 with just 1 assist. He is well capable of pushing over 250+ and he does have some reasonable goal threat.

I think we’ll see a few big scores from him yet.

Verdict: Unfortunately, it feels a bit late in the season to expect big profits here. Whilst his performance numbers look better lately, he doesn’t really have many late season reasons to hold him. I would say he is fairly priced though at £1.56 and he might be a good punt for Leverkusen’s upcoming Europa game.


Sergej Milinkovic-Savic



Savic deserves to be on the underperformers based on his on pitch performance. But actually, his price rise from £1.35 in pre-season to a high of £1.92 and drop to £1.70 now could be far worse. 

He is capable of a big score occasionally but I think they will be few and far between this season based on his numbers. They aren’t looking that great. 

Verdict: I would not be holding Savic hoping for big performance scores, though he may pop up with one. However, he still carries a huge real life price tag which could be around £70m. Could easily be the sort who flies due to picking up the right big transfer link one day.

And can still qualify for Euro 2020 through the playoffs. Those things may not happen but I’d only see him drifting down to £1.50 if so. Given a revived EPL link can push him to £2.50+ I think it’s a good bet.


Thorgan Hazard



Hasn’t had a bad season in reality with 5 goals and 9 assists, though for FI he’s occupying that awkward forward/midfielder winger spot. He’s a midfielder but doesn’t have the baselines to compete with the real midfield big hitters regularly.

The arrival of Haaland is likely to make life even harder and recent pitch time has been limited.

Verdict: Whilst he is fair value at £1.64 I can’t see many reasons to be holding at this moment especially with Haaland joining. If he reestablishes in the first team and has dropped in price further towards £1.50, maybe then. 

Or if we get to say April and he’s still cheap, he could be worth picking up for Euro 2020. 


Antoine Griezmann



Griezmann isn’t doing that badly but he’s hardly lighting up the Nou Camp either. Has won 14p in dividends which is ok, but less than I’d expected.

I expected more from him because for France his performance numbers are insanely good. Free of the shackles of Atletico Madrid at Barcelona, I thought he might replicate more of that there.

He hasn’t really though. The goal threat is decent but he doesn’t show anything like the involvement or creativity he does for France.

Verdict: Euro 2020 saves him, given his relatively kind £2.61 price tag for such a high profile player who has performance potential. I’d expect him to be a top performer at Euro 2020 and I think people will fancy him ahead of the tournament.


James Rodriguez


Real Madrid

A player of huge FI potential but has never had the consistent starts to realise it. One of those special players that can have the goal threat, all round game and creativity to attract performance points like a magnet.

But. Not when on the bench, and not particularly when played in deeper midfield like he has been for Real. And not when he’s injured as he so often is these days.

Verdict: No compelling reason to be holding right now. If his price gets battered any further, picking him up in hope of a good transfer link or with next season in mind might be a good shout, but I wouldn’t be thinking of that for at least a couple of months.




Bayer Leverkusen

Something of a forgotten talent at Leverkusen, his minutes have been extremely limited this season so it’s no surprise he hasn’t made much impact, apart from 1 good goal in November. Not the season I had hoped for!

He is still just 19 though, and currently top scoring for the Brazil U23’s away on tournament duty. He’s got strong potential performance suitability though whether he settles at Leverkusen, possibly next season, or gets a transfer to another club.

Verdict: Looks excellent long term value at £1.34 but be prepared to dig in. It could require a 6 month hold at least. Or, look to pick him up in a couple of months.



Leon Bailey


Bayer Leverkusen

Another strong performance player in hiding at Leverkusen. Has seen heavy rotation, scored an important goal recently vs Dortmund. 

He looks good when he is on the pitch, but he has seen heavy rotation this season which has held him back. That will likely continue. 

Verdict: For £1.60 he looks great long term value for a player who could get a big money transfer come Summer and gets EPL links. But like Paulinho, I suspect patience will be required.



Federico Chiesa



Very strong young player who is already a first team regular for Italy. 

Mostly poor when playing for Fiorentina but he shows enough to suggest that at a bigger club like Inter or Juventus he could be a contender, especially when played wider.

Over the season it’s a steady rise from £1.68 in August to £2.27 now, a decent result already. But hasn’t delivered in performance scoring. But I generally expect that at weaker clubs.

Verdict: Still offers good value at £2.27 given the good transfer prospect and with Euro 2020 on the way. 



Reiss Nelson



A good potential player and I’d hoped he would get a chance under Arteta. He did, and played quite well. Should be back before long after injury.

As per Scouting I said back in mid January he was on the clock as a player without a real full season fit. He’d need to deliver sooner rather than later to maintain confidence. The injury has worsened that and he’s down from £2.04 to £1.89 since that last review.

Verdict: I rate him as a good potential performance player, and his trend fit is excellent if he can get firing. He’s leaving it late in the seaosn though and would likely need to pull out a very big performance to arrest the decline. 

At this stage, I’d probably wait and see, picking him up if he dips towards £1.65 or so with next season in mind. Or, he could change my mind with an excellent performance or two.


Nabil Fekir



I warned early on that he was way overpriced at Betis and his price has been savaged since, way down to £1.68 now.

He’s had a bad season on FI but he can be very performance suitable. Has scored 2 fantastic goals recently, catch the one vs Eibar 2nd Feb you won’t regret it.

People compared him to Lo Celso when he went to Betis. I didn’t like that comparison because the whole point was Lo Celso was cheap when he started, then earned a bigger price through good performances.

Fekir was starting expensive, so that didn’t make sense.

In the end, he may be the reverse Lo Celso. Started expensive, and became better value.

Verdict: Now that his price has tanked and levelled out, it could be a good time to pick up Fekir on the off chance he gets a good Summer transfer link. Just speculation but this always felt like an odd move to me and not a long term destination.


Ross Barkley



How times change. 

It was only in pre-season Barkley was my current site darling. Available for 78p in April/May 2019, he had an amazing pre-season and showed his performance strength. I had high hopes. 

Others caught on and he flew to £1.90 which is a huge early profit. And he even looked good for England.

But then he fell out of favour, and that looks even worse now Ziyech looks set to come and add more competition. Speaking of Ziyech, my quote from last week’s transfers article has aged well!

“One to sign up sooner rather than later if interested.”

But I’ll tell you a secret. This happened so fast I hadn’t gotten around to following my own advice on this one. I basically hate myself.

Verdict: Looks bleak for Barkley right now. But we are still talking about probably Chelsea and England’s best performance player when on the pitch. No that’s not a joke!

Does look like being moved on the Summer, so it largely depends on where. I can’t see it being another big EPL club, it would likely be a step down which could be bad. Back to Everton or something might be ok, he has strong performance suitability.

A wait and see, and I think whether he is included for England in the pre-tournament warm ups will have a big impact. We’ve got those games coming up at the end of March which will refocus minds on Euro 2020 players.

I would also consider punting on him if I saw him starting a Champions League match. But possibly not against Bayern.

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