Good Young Players

These are a group of what I consider to be good young players with good prospects on FI. 

I’ve stopped short of calling this batch “wonderkids” but they are still high quality and can be profitable trades.


Ander Barrenetxea


Real Sociedad

I didn’t put the Sociedad 18 year old into the wonderkids article yesterday. But I was close. 

His stats are just good enough to say he’s got potential, 3 out of 5 stars perhaps more if you are optimistic about him developing very well. 

My main issue with him this season so far has been the price, after a January Copa Del Rey scoring spree (mostly vs soft teams!) he ballooned to £2.28 which was way out ahead of itself.

Out of the limelight though he’s fallen back to £1.86, a hefty drop of 42p from his high. 

Closer to £1.50 he’d be a slam dunk no brainer as a long term pick who probably only needs to score to rise. 

£1.86 feels just within value range. But given how saturated the youth end of the market is at the moment it’s probably as low as we’re going to get him.


Nadiem Amiri


Bayer Leverkusen

Amiri hasn’t made a splash for a while, managing just 1 goal this season.

As a central midfielder this may be expected but he has been on big scoring sprees in the past and he has regular goal threat even now, it is actually surprising he hasn’t put more away. 

Over 10 games from April to July 2019 he scored 7 for example. 

He also got his first full cap for Germany late in 2019 which hints at how well he is regarded.

He will likely need patience particularly because he still gets rotated. 

But his baselines are good and his goal threat is there. That means he can be one of these young players who pops up with a huge score one matchday and people will wonder where he came from. But it’s very possible.

Given the budget price tag at £1.21 (dropped from £1.46 just in January) I think he’s a very solid long term pick.





Another player I’ve featured regularly on the site. He has not got the hoped for Real Madrid move. But the move to Benfica is really not a bad one.

We know how often traders go through phases of buying ineligible league players. 

And I’ve been picking him out for a reason he’s got decent performance suitability. If he starts well at Benfica it won’t be long before those transfer rumours get going as Portugal is, realistically, a selling league.

Still just 21 which I think is a nice age. I’d expect him to be vying for a starting place at this stage. Yet he’s got so much time ahead to look for a move.

This trade may be a touch too early for many and I don’t expect to see a mad rush to Pedrinho in the next month or two. 

But for a patient trader, or one to stick on the watch list for later, his £1.20 price makes him a solid choice.


Mason Mount



To rewind on Mount, I was optimistic in pre-season between £1.50 and £2. The discussion then was whether it would be Mount or Barkley who would get the No 10 role.

After great pre-season performances, Barkley if I recall was my most profitable player of that May to July period last year. Fascinating how quickly things move on.

I thought Mount might have potential in the number 10 role based on historic stats. And I tend to give young players a small benefit of the doubt on the assumption that they can generally improve.

As Mount started games in August, he was all the social media rage and the player nobody could say anything against. But I was getting pessimistic. It was becoming clear that Mount’s numbers in those games were just not good enough.

Because I knew this and most didn’t, I was able to cash him out for a nice profit whilst the majority were still all misty eyed about him. 

What followed was inevitable and ugly. The shine wears off. The relentless poor scores mean that even the hardcore pumpers can’t do it with a straight face anymore. And the true believers who swallowed the hype realise all too late. The price collapses. A high of £4.01 becomes £2.56 over months. And all totally avoidable if you know how.

But, after all that, the fundamentals of why I liked him in the first place are still there. He’s young. English. Has the right sort of role where he can potentially be a relevant FI player. And we can reasonably expect him to improve. 

He really won’t have to do much to get buying from here, he may just rise in anticipation of a new season alone. So if you are ever going to pick him up now is the moment after his price has been savaged.

It may well be that by next season he’s not actually got any better. But I’ll know that sooner than most and it will be in the Scouting section. And we may get lucky and he does actually improve, then we can hold a bit longer.


Dani Olmo


RB Leipzig

A transfer hype story that did not drop on the desired move to a huge club. But RB Leipzig ain’t bad.

So far he’s been introduced slowly with limited minutes. So his performance scoring record looks bad and this may be part of the reason he’s dropped substantially – £2.60 to £2.14 now. 

Under the surface though the numbers aren’t bad at all. He could do well at Leipzig and traders are generally favourable towards Leipzig players who look anything like decent.

I’ve always rated Olmo. I was wary as he started getting hyped as with transfers things can (and did) go wrong. 

It’s an important example to remember this – and it’s why I favour transfer players who are actually good at performance scoring. If Olmo only relied on hype for a Barcelona move holders would be in dire straights. But because he’s got quality, he can do well at RB Leipzig even though it wasn’t the hoped for move.

Good players give us more options and will do better in a wider variety of circumstances. And we need that flexibility now more than ever.

After a price drop and away from the hype I’m much happier with this trade and I think he’s got real potential to do well next season.


Dejan Kulusevski



Still at Parma, but Juventus bound at the end of the season (Whenever that may be!).

He’s got some decent numbers although there is a lot of uncertainty. Will he get a regular place in the Juventus line up? And given his versatility, we don’t yet know how exactly he’ll be used.

He’ll need plenty of goals and whilst he is capable that depends heavily on how he is  played. Even Dybala can struggle to compete with Ronaldo at times. And Dybala is top class.

However, a bit like Mount above, this uncertainty can be handled with good scouting of his first games. If he looks like a no hoper we can dip out, if he looks solid, stay in.

He’s well regarded and I think when a football calendar is constructed,  there will be plenty of interest in a good young player starting life at Juventus. Especially after a price drop from £2.58 to £2.05 now.


Daniel James


Manchester United

I’ve been a Daniel James sceptic all season and I was right to be. Traders needed their heads examining to be buying into the hype up to £3. There was no evidence for it, only hope and social media chatter.

It’s a justified severe decline from £3.15  to £1.84 now.

And, that happens to also be the time when moving for them can be sensible.

I’ve still got some doubts about his performance suitability. He’s got the right sort of playing position, does get some chances, creates some too. But general involvement is well behind where it needs to be as a midfielder.

But all that said, he’s still a young Man Utd winger and is  now available at £1.84. I think an important point to note about my trading that may not always be obvious is that whilst I attach high importance to performance quality, I am also not too inflexible on it provided the price is right. 

He can see buying purely on the basis of anticipation for a new season. And pre-season, or the remainder of this season, will give us a chance to evaluate. It may be that as a young player he can improve.

If not, we can move him on, hopefully with a profit if people have bought in anticipation of the new season. 

I would however wait a bit longer on a player like this though, ideally until a spreads lockdown is lifted. We don’t want to be caught holding a questionable player at a time we can’t sell.


Dominik Szoboszlai



A good young player and the Salzburg connection helps. Traders do remember things like Haaland and then become more inclined to buy players coming from the same club.

Szoboszlai has some good numbers despite going off the boil in 2020.

He has performance potential provided  he is used in a forward role. Baselines are good enough but he’ll need better than average goal threat for a midfielder. There is enough there for real optimism until proven otherwise though. 

The main issue here is the price has remained stubbornly high at £1.75. This may be because of an Arsenal transfer link which is now fading and a  move to a good Serie A club is being talked up.

I would not buy him now but rather if and when the Arsenal link collapsed and ideally he would drop to £1.50 or so. That would make him good value if going to a decent Serie A club where we can hope for performance success.


Emanuel Vignato



Currently at Serie B Chievo but will start the next campaign at Bologna in Serie A.

This 19 year old midfielder is still mainly under the radar of most, yet still £1.67 which shows how hard it is to find any kind of promising young player really cheap these days – they pretty much all get bought regardless of ability!

All we can do is find the ones with genuine potential.

Vignato has that. Goal threat. Creativity. Solid baseline numbers. 

Bologna aren’t the best club but he should at least get minutes there. And it’s done no harm for players like Orsolini. 

A decent long term hold and has dropped a bit from his high £1.75 to £1.67 now which isn’t a huge discount but at least it’s a stable price that hasn’t been pumped recently.


Abdulkadir Omur



Promising player featured a few times this season, he’s struggled with a very bad injury this campaign.

Back fit now though, unfortunately he was just getting going as seasons started getting cancelled.

He’s got everything we look for with huge  involvement in play, goal threat, assists etc. Solid potential and he is often linked to decent clubs. Also plays for Turkey which will remain a factor now the Euros have moved. 

The problem here is that with such a long injury, and robbed of the opportunity to prove fitness, he may miss the transfer boat this season.

But, at a strong value price of £1.16 I think this is good for a patient trader.


Exequiel Palacios



I’ve flagged  Palacios up for a while in various young player and transfer articles in the last year. 

He got his move to Leverkusen and I’ve got to say his numbers there have been much better than I expected.

I’m not sure many have noticed yet because his three best games were a January friendly, a cup game and a league match vs Augsburg. 

Only Augsburg was scored on FI. He managed an impressive 195 without goal or assist. And it’s no fluke.

Near elite levels of involvement in play, but intriguingly adding a bit of goal threat too. And creating chances. He’s a bit Alcantara-esque.

These are early numbers of course, we’ve only seen a handful of games. But looking at his historic stats at River Plate, what we are seeing isn’t unusual and there is a reason I was picking him out in the first place.


£1.54 solid value and he has dipped a bit from £1.69.


Rhian Brewster



A year ago I couldn’t discuss Brewster without being sick in my mouth. 

He was pumped by the same likely lads who brought us CHO and will be pumping Haaland etc now. 

It doesn’t surprise me at all that Brewster has been dumped from £3.72 to £1.93 nearly a year on. It’s deserved.

Things look a bit better though, it’s always just a long journey for these overhyped kids back towards being anything like a sensible trade.

He’s had a good loan spell at Swansea, scoring 4 in 11. And he may well get a loan out next season, the talk being a smaller EPL club. That would be a good way for him to get attention.

The problem Brewster has always had is that he is a bad performance player. We can’t expect performance wins out of him unless he’s knocking in 2+ the matchwinner. 

But for a player of this profile (young, English and expected to play for a big club) we can be a bit forgiving. There is media appeal there if he can score regularly and that’s worth something. 

If his fortunes change and we see him get a decent loan and the prospect of football or even talk of some more Liverpool minutes I can see Brewster bouncing back at this point. 

There is nothing stupid about buying this sort of player even if they aren’t very performance suitable. 

It’s just stupid to follow into them when they are being hyped on social media and rising.

The better traders just buy them when they are unpopular and the butt of jokes. 


Ryan Gravenberch



Another youngster who has been over hyped in the past, though not to the same extent as others. 

Turning 18 soon and has no shortage of big club links.

Does have some performance potential and by now we’ve seen some senior minutes rather than just youth stats. He should be a strong baseliner with a high average score. The question mark is whether he has any end product to add to that.

Encouragingly, for a central midfielder he has shown some goal threat and assist potential. Maybe to 3 out of 5 stars or 3.5 out of 5 stars levels playing regularly in a good team.

Has dropped recently from £2.41 to £2.16 now. That’s still kind of pricey even after that discount. 

But I like it a lot more than I did. He’s got more senior minutes under his belt and is closer to real football and a potential big move than ever. 

We may wake up one day to find he’s got a huge transfer link and risen sharply. If not, another season at Ajax (and probably playing next season rather than from the bench) doesn’t do him too much harm. 


Rafael Leao


AC Milan

On 6th January I highlighted the improvement in Leao. He’s had his spells as FI’s hype kid of the week in the past and it was a while before the trade actually looked sensible.

He was just £1.28 then and showing good numbers. He had some really good games In January rising sharply to £1.71. Then it all went a bit wrong. He was heavily rotated and went off the boil, not really doing much with his limited minutes.

He’s still very much part of the long term plan at AC Milan though and he’s shown some promising numbers at times. Still just 20, a bit of inconsistency is expected.

Back down to £1.37 again I think he looks well back in value range


David Brooks



Brooks has been kept mainly out of sight due to a very unfortunate injury. But he’s back now. Or as back as anyone is.

And he’s a player with real performance quality. It’s a shame he isn’t English or he’d have a much bigger premium.

I am not expecting a transfer this Summer. But if we saw  him back playing for Bournemouth he can drum up interest again, and the rumours may come in later windows.

He is also capable of an occasional big score even from Bournemouth, and that’s a testament to his quality. 

His goal threat and assist potential is strong for a midfielder and particularly at a bigger club one day, his baselines should improve and he could be a regular performance contender.

This is one for the longer term patient holder and with that  in mind I think he’s a solid bet at a reasonable price.

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