It’s a good time for a look at the Summer transfer window as we get towards crunch time. Those will he won’t he sagas will start to conclude and we want to be on the right side of them. 

I’ll start with an explanation of my philosophy on transfer trading, then we’ll get into some quickfire discussion of a wide range of transfer targets.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Philosophy of Transfer Trading

It’s a simple fact that most transfers come to nothing, and most players won’t get the exact move traders may hope for. 

It’s very hard to predict which moves will go ahead, even for the best pundits in the business. 

So, naturally, betting on the outcomes of transfers in themselves is going to be losing trading. We don’t really have an edge when trading this way. 

Even with lots of effort spent on research we generally don’t know any better than your average well informed person whether the transfer will actually happen. 

You may get the odd person who thinks they “feel it in their bones” when a move is on but er.. I don’t trust my money to things like that.

I only trade when I’ve got a clear advantage. So how do we get one?

Two ways.

Firstly, we generally want to do our business very early, before most people are even thinking about a transfer window. This is why I heavily populate the Transfers section of the site months ahead of time.

(Note: we are currently in a rare situation where the low bids available make transfer buys even now viable in some cases.) 

If you go and look at the Transfers section now – you can see that most of these players are indeed linked with moves now – and much of this was written in February and in some cases November. That’s the time frame in which we should have been preparing for the Summer window. 

So for example, go and click Sancho there and you can see me suggesting in February he would be a good hype hold in the build up to Summer. Pretty obvious. But I also said to beware of “the only way is up crowd” and not be too greedy and I’ll cover this more in the specific players below.

Point is – it’s vastly easier to predict general speculation than it is to predict a specific move actually happening. It’s even easier to predict the behaviour of short termist traders who can be relied on to pile in late when gossip about a desirable player kicks up closer to the window.

So this is advantage one – aim to profit from predicting transfer speculation and the short term thinking of other traders. 

Do not bet on the specific move happening. And do not pile in late in the actual window or just before it and be the mug that is getting exploited.

At that point, you take on all of the risk of the move falling over for the least potential profit. It’s awful trading. Yet you’ll see it all over social media as the “next trend”.

The second advantage we can get is making bets that are very hard to lose

There are some players who have a good transfer link but are not totally dependant on it. 

Out of this season Bruno is the obvious example. Did I know he was going to United? Of course not. But I knew he was quality and likely to get big move speculation. I signed him up early and in large quantities.

I set myself up for a jackpot which happened to come off. But the key point here is that even if the United move didn’t happen he would likely have got some kind of good move. And he was young enough that if the move didn’t happen it wouldn’t be a disaster to hold him into a future window.

Bruno is an unusual example because almost all of the time I will sell when the transfer hype and speculation reaches fever pitch. On that day when Twitter is raging about him being a “must buy” and the price is flying that will generally be when I am taking profit. People tend to get too excited and pay too much.

Bruno was a rare case that I held and didn’t sell as hit £5 or so. I didn’t know for sure he would be a performance success at United but I was sure enough to bet on it based on my analysis. He’s special.

This is an example of a time we can bet on transfers. We want to put ourselves in situations where we can hit a jackpot move but if it doesn’t happen it is unlikely to result in a major loss.

We do this by getting a reasonable price in the first place, and ensuring that the player remains a valid hold even if they stay at their current club or move to a different big club than hoped for.

With a big chance to win and a very low chance to lose we are putting ourselves in a strong position. It’s very likely to be winning trading.

Compare that to the late comer who pays too much for a popular/hyped player and is reliant on that one specific move to happen. He’s put himself in a situation that is hard to win, returns relatively little even if he does, and has a chance of falling over for a big loss. Abysmal trading.

So that’s my philosophy and approach to transfer trading that has worked for me time and time again. 

It’s a unique feature of FI that often the highest potential profits come at the lowest risk. If you know what to look for, anyway. And we need to be exploiting that rather than just following the social media crowd.

Now it’s time for the fun stuff. Let’s look at some players. I’m not going to cover every transfer out there but I’ll cover a broad range which illustrates my thought process on transfers at this point. 

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

The Blockbusters

Jadon Sancho

You have to start here as this is almost certainly the story of the Summer. 

My view on Sancho this season was he should be avoided early on but he was good as a transfer/hype hold from January. 

I’m pretty happy with that. August to December was stale for him at a time when many other players were gunning ahead. Relative to the market it was a bad hold for this period.

But by January I thought he would be a good hype hold up until Summer and he has doubled in price. I didn’t think he would do that well, but some sort of decent rise was near inevitable as shorter term thinkers tuned in. 

So what now? 

I’d have cashed this out months ago and not even thought twice.

Once you start getting to £13+ the risk/reward ratio is just all kinds of wrong

The media promo helps him a bit for sure and there is no doubt going to be plenty of dividends for media purposes. But you pay a lot for that.

Longer term the performance potential is more questionable. He’s not a Bruno. He’s not so exceptional he can be near assured of punching through at United. He might, but he has a slight FI awkwardness, Man United are not a brilliant performance club in general, and he has to do so much to justify the money paid. Tough ask.

When it comes to the risks – there will always be a certain percentage of holders out there who will seek to cash out on the transfer happening. Even if that is just 1 in 5 holders and you believe the rest who are “holding for the career” it’s still likely to cause a drop. Lots of people do this on autopilot and don’t even think about the longer term at all and you’d need everyone to co-operate not to rock the price. It’s unlikely.

Secondly for these very high profile players imagine if something goes wrong with the move and suddenly everyone wants to sell in the Matching Engine. It’s a horrific potential scenario. It’s so under the spotlight that any bad news will not go unnoticed. This is an awful risk to run. 

And even if everything goes right how far is he really going to get from here? Most of the rise is long gone. What’s the dream scenario? £18 and a dividend spree? Maybe a 30% gain. Not bad. But a lot needs to go right. 

If viewing Sancho in isolation you might talk yourself into that. But we aren’t just thinking about Sancho. We are thinking about how best to use our money in this market

We are in a situation where lots of players are sitting at extreme value. They could well double in price or more and they come with significantly less risk of a loss. 

In this scenario – I cannot think of a single reason why a rational trader would shoulder the risk of something going wrong with Sancho for the prospect of a lesser gain.

The only reason a rational person might is if they weren’t aware of the better value out there and needed an obvious target. 

If holding I might stick in to get a few dividends but as long as you hold you are the mercy of a bad headline. 

I liked this trade in January and if you can take a £7 player to £13+ you are going to be very happy. But we never want to become the “true believer” who really falls for the hype.

Risk: Very High

Profit potential: Low/Medium

Verdict: Sell whilst people are still keen to buy, possibly staying in to hoover up a week or two (tops) of media dividends if holding.

Kai Havertz

A much trickier decision.

Havertz has been something of a site darling as we tracked him since way back when hardly anyone knew the name.

But everyone does now. And we can’t give blind loyalty to our players they always have to justify the money we pay. 

£6.70 at his high, £6.30 now or £6.12 the current Red Button price.

Much like Sancho, there is a decent chance of strong media here. And like Sancho he has a chance of being performance suitable. The main difference here is the price you pay. And that counts for a lot.

Chelsea can be a decent performance club. Players like Barkley and Loftus-Cheek are capable of shining. But it is also full of disappointments – players who people would natural think are obvious fits but perform poorly. Mount and Abraham the obvious examples.

So I’d be confident with Havertz based on history but I’d need to see him in a Chelsea shirt to really say for sure.

I still rate him and am optimistic on his prospects. But £6+ players have to do a hell of a lot. A real beard stroker.

The clincher for me isn’t transfer related at all. He has the Europa next month and that could be very lucrative as Leverkusen have a good chance of going far.

Imagine a scenario where Havertz is pulling in media for transfer gossip and also smashing Europa dividends a few weeks from now. That feels worth sticking around for for holders.

If not for that, I’d probably cash in.

If we do hit a spell of hype for him in August I would probably take the chance to take some profit. Then, we can sit and observe him in Scouting in pre-season friendlies, potentially returning to him if the signs are positive.

Risk: Medium

Profit Potential: Low/Medium

Verdict: Hold for the Europa in August then consider selling if he gets hyped. If he goes quiet… I certainly wouldn’t take less than £5.75 he can be held into next season either at Chelsea or Leverkusen.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Major Transfers


Interesting one to discuss.

A real quality player and he has proven that many times recently, his win spree will be fresh in people’s memories.

Could well get a cross EPL move to Arsenal. That would be very media worthy at a good time for it with the promotion.

Strong enough to challenge at Arsenal but the lack of Europa football for them is going to hurt, unless they can win the FA Cup this weekend.

31 he may be, nearly 32 in fact. But it is also likely he has another 2-3 years to run at the top level whether that is Chelsea, Arsenal or another big club. And he is priced to match that risk at £1.04 on a bid.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: A valid option to buy. If he stays at Chelsea that’s good. A move to Arsenal is better for media but losing the Europa is a blow. I’d consider buying if Arsenal win the FA Cup and secure Europa. Or if he gets a new Chelsea contract of at least 2 years.

Thiago Alcantara

Another interesting one as he was set to stay at Bayern and becoming increasingly settled in the team with strong performances. But he decided he wants a new challenge apparently and looks very likely to leave.

On the surface this felt like bad news – where better than Bayern for him? Not many places. If he had a full season there he’d be very likely to smash the dividends.

But Liverpool rumours persist and that brings a media angle. He is also the sort of player who could win performance at Liverpool which would be a rare thing and very attractive.

If the Liverpool move doesn’t happen he very likely goes to another big club. There is almost no reason you would buy Thiago unless you wanted him to play his natural game which is very performance suitable – so it’s unlikely he would move anywhere where he will become uncompetitive.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium

Verdict: A good buy at the £2 bid or near enough. He can do very well in multiple different scenarios and there aren’t many credible ones where he does very badly.

Jack Grealish

One of those trades you have to know when to put down.

At £2.50 or so I liked him, even though that was a relatively big price for a small club player. He has real FI potential and a great trend profile.

But as this got to £5+ in February? 

It’s a really bad idea to hold a player or worse buy at that kind of price when they are so dependant on a very specific move that may fall over. 

Yes it may happen and he could do very well at Manchester United (though it is not a sure thing at all he is no Bruno. In fact even if he moves he’s likely a rotation player.) but that’s not the point. We never want to gamble purely on the move actually happening because most links fall through.

It’s losing trading overall even though you will get an occasional win. If this behaviour is part of your general trading game it’s going to hurt more than it helps.

Having profited from the hype/speculation it is best to take your profit before it has a real chance of falling over, and whilst others still see reason to buy because they are hanging on hoping for the move.

If he does move and the price settles down and he really does look worth the money you can always buy then. We never need to fear missing out because there are always opportunities out there.

Risk: High

Profit Potential: Medium

Verdict: Was a good buy at £2.50 or so as per Scouting. £5+ with so much that can go wrong? Not worth the risk when better value is available.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

He’s long been rumoured to get a bigger club move. Current rumours are Manchester United (who isn’t linked!?), Chelsea, and PSG.

This would be a big fee move likely upwards of £60 million that could make a media splash.

Has underperformed for much of the season but improved in 2020. Could get much stronger for FI at a more dominant side he has the right style. 

Lazio securing European football for next season plus his Serbia status make him a decent hold anyway. 

And the price is right.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Starting at just £1.43 on a bid this is a good bet. He’s worth that if he stays at Lazio so it’s difficult to lose. And if he hits a big EPL move getting him to £2 would be very achievable for a big profit.

Fabian Ruiz

Transfer rumours have cooled in recent weeks as Barcelona and Real Madrid prioritise other targets. 

A high potential FI player who has been underperforming this season. Napoli had an awful season early on and whilst they have improved in 2020 Ruiz’s goal threat has dropped off. Capable of much better though whether at Napoli or a bigger club. 

And with Napoli securing European football and his likely role for Spain… at just 24 he’s hitting his prime and should be good for long term holders.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: A player you can hold with a long term view but you never know – he might drop on that big transfer rumour this Summer and rise fast. 

That feels like a longshot at the moment as the gossip is quiet – but when it doesn’t cost you much to bet on the longshot it’s fine to do.

Donny Van de Beek

Good young player with 3.5 out of 5 stars in my ratings for performance potential. Frequently linked to big clubs including the EPL. 

Has been told he can leave this Summer and the chances of at least further big rumours before the window is out are quite high. And it should be a big club move when it happens.

One you could have got much earlier and risen to a very tidy profit as per Transfers. But even now at £2.12 on the bid that is good value and even if the move doesn’t happen you can keep holding him for the next window.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: One of the few transfer trades you can stay in or even buy now without taking on huge risk. You might hit that jackpot move, but if it doesn’t happen, not a big deal for the money you pay.

Federico Chiesa

Huge talent and an Italy first teamer at just 22. He’s never going to show his ability at Fiorentina but it’s there. That big club move he needs could come this Summer.

He does pick up some left field Manchester United rumours which is obviously huge if so but somewhere like Juventus is much more likely. That’s just fine.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Available on a bid now at £1.78 this is great value and the Matching Engine has dropped some prices to a point where sometimes even shopping this late in the day can be worthwhile.

At this price even in the worst case scenario he is worth holding through into the next window anyway. Especially given the Italy involvement for Nations League in September.

Lautaro Martinez

Still likely to get speculation in the coming weeks. The price slide is starting though.

He’s always been a high risk trade as per Scouting and the price drop is not a surprise to me. He’s just bad for FI performance scoring.

When he plays well in real life he is still generally bad for FI so there is no real reason to ever adapt his game or hope he will improve for FI.

This is the exact sort of trade that you can be on early as the hype builds if you really want but you really do not want to be in too long. Because if it falls over you are not left with much – at Inter £2 would be pushing it for a fair price.

That’s why I tend to focus on good prospects who also have FI suitability – it always gives you that insurance policy because you aren’t solely banking on hype to carry the player.

Risk: High

Profit Potential: Low

Verdict: I’d never have been holding this, but if I did I’d have cashed it out as it spiked. If holding now I’d sell even for this wide-ish spread as it’s not worth the risk of the transfer falling over.

Ferran Torres

A likely Sané replacement and the move to Manchester City is a credible one. 

He’s not a player I’ve particularly followed this season. The primary reason for that is he looks pretty poor for FI purposes, even factoring in the limited minutes and that Valencia are not a brilliant outfit. 

No doubt City will improve him but he needs to improve a lot, and it’s far from a certainty. Particularly as a midfielder, he has a lot to do.

My view hasn’t really changed from April where I featured him in the “Good but Pricey” young players article. He was £2.90 then and I said:

“He’s the sort of player I’d buy heavily under £1.50 and avoid just as strongly when being pumped and getting north of £2.50 or so. Obviously, it would be nice if I’d gone for him sooner in hindsight but I didn’t and you can’t fix that now by plowing in late.”

That still feels right to me. Whilst this is great to pick up early, this is exactly the sort of player you do not want to be holding into the window itself.

If he moves to City, you may get some short term hype but you’ll also see lots of people taking profits on autopilot (“Sell the news!”). And you can’t hold him at City with huge optimism because his strength is questionable and the price is high to start with.

If the move falls over… you hold a high priced Valencia player with very little chance of winning and it’s a long time until the next window.

Risk: High

Profit Potential: Low

Verdict: If you can get something like this early, brilliant. I’d never carry this into the window and I’d sell before the move to ensure I can sell whilst some still see reason to buy.


An interesting one given his sky high FI potential. Really would be one of FI’s elites in a good team and playing regular football.

And the media potential is significant if he comes back to the EPL. And not just for the short term.

And yet he has an uncertain future and is therefore the sort of player who many traders want to dodge as they get used to the Matching Engine.

This may be too pessimistic. 

Despite the troubles, he’s still 28 and has years ahead of him. It’s almost inconceivable he will drop so far down the pecking order that he will end up outside of a big club.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Given the strong performance potential, the media potential and the bid price of £2.24… I like this. It’s the sort that most will want to avoid right now which is exactly what makes it value. 

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Under the Radar Transfers

Everton Soares

The sort of player that nobody cares about… until they do.

Currently in South America with Gremio he’s a Brazil regular and just 24 – hitting his prime years. 

An incredible £1.04 on a bid right now and you could wake up any day to a big club link and a good price rise.

He may actually be good for FI too, so potentially you could hold with confidence depending on destination, and may not need to exit on the transfer unless the price gets out of control.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: A good choice provided you are moving when the price is low and the news is thin on the ground. If the story breaks it is too late so you either need to decide whether you go for this sort of trade now, or be prepared to leave it alone if it does blow up later.

Jonathan Ikone

Sometimes rather than targetting the big move itself, the knock on transfers down the line can be worth looking at. If Sancho goes Dortmund need a replacement and a name in the frame is Lille’s Jonathan Ikone.

Ikoné has hardly lit up FI scoring, but to be fair Lille have had a relatively poor season by the high standards of the previous campaign.

But based on his numbers he’d be in with a chance of demonstrating some decent FI potential at Dortmund.

For just £1.22 he looks a decent bet. He’s only 22 and has plenty of France minutes under his belt already. 

If he did move there is a potential big upside and for the money it’s not a disaster if he stays put either given Lille are in the Europa. 

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Ticks the boxes for a decent transfer trade at this stage. Good potential outcomes are on the board but if they don’t happen it’s no big deal.

Andrea Belotti

Surprising he is still available at just £1.15. In this form with 7 goals in his last 10 there is some of these juicy boosted IPD’s left in him in the final two games for Torino in Serie A.

He has blanked in the last 3 granted but he is getting good chances and more goals should flow.

He also has a potential big transfer at just 26 years old and he regularly gets big club rumours. 

Also an Italy regular. 

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Again ticks all the right boxes. You can hold him even if stays at Torino for those IPDs which should still be boosted by the time the new season rolls around. And for his Italy involvement. And if you do drop on that big move it could be a very strong gain.

David Neres

Neres has had his days as the hype kid of the moment on FI. And not without good reason. His numbers look fantastic and he could be the real deal at a good club.

He seems destined to move. The rumours have gone quiet now but if they don’t return this Summer they almost certainly will later on. 

And Ajax will be playing European football next season so that is a chance to shine.

We haven’t had a wave of ineligible league buying for a while – people have had other priorities recently. But once or twice a season this mania does take hold and it’s a good idea to have 2-3 of the better ones already rather than playing catch up.

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Likely requires patience but at a starting price of £1.40 for a high quality potential player at just 23… easy decision at this stage. If you drop on a big transfer soon fantastic but a patient hold would be fine too.

Viktor Tsygankov

Another ineligible league player it’s been easy to forget about in recent months.

Just 22, his Dynamo Kiev stats are very impressive certainly for goals and assists. These are the headline stats that most people look for. Going deeper… it’s a bit more questionable. 

The numbers are good but you have to take weak league stats with a grain of salt. He may end up being a little lightweight but the vast majority of people won’t know that.

He’s a highly rated young player and if he hits the right transfer link he could fly from £1.10. 

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: It’s a good price and a good time to pick him up. Depending on destination I’d review whether I really wanted to keep him but he should get significant interest if moving to an eligible league.

Rodrigo De Paul

Not a household name but I’ve covered him for a long time on the site due to his high potential. More recentlty, he’s gaining traction after a succession of big scores. 

If he moves to Juventus or Milan I don’t expect it to rain media. But his quality is such that I would seek to hold longer term. 

If he can do what he does at Udinese, a bigger club and European competition could really let him shine. 

Risk: Low

Profit Potential: Medium/High

Verdict: Not the bargain he was in early season Scouting but £2.22 on a bid is still a fair price. If he gets a move and a price bump brilliant – but if not – he is so strong he can do well from Udinese anyway as we have seen.

Wilfried Zaha


It’s easy to get bored of this one because this move has done the rounds for 2-3 windows now. And that’s probably why the price has dropped to £1.70 on a bid.

He’s still just 27 though and at a good club he could do well for FI. Whether that is Arsenal or Spurs who knows. Everton may not be a bad option either.

It should get a fair bit of media at least initially too.

Risk: Low/Medium

Profit Potential: Medium

Verdict: I quite like it although other options are more attractive. The move looks more likely than ever since the price is no longer astronomical. If you dropped on a really big club move it could result in a very tidy profit. 

And he’s still young enough that it’s not a disaster if he stays – the rumour mill will likely come around again later.

Alexis Sanchez

Not one I expected to be including if you’d asked me a few months ago. But Sanchez has played his way back into contention as an FI option.

Form has been incredible and Inter are keen to sign him up for another season. That feels quite likely.

Not exactly a transfer but if there is more certainty ahead for Sanchez he could make a mockery of his £1.16 price tag.

Especially with Inter having a good chance of a run in the August Europa League that impact could come sooner than most think.

Risk: Medium

Profit Potential: High

Verdict: Older players are always high risk but he’s shown really strong numbers and the price is right to match that risk. The Europa League in August is a big short term draw as with IPD and so many Gold Day’s he could do really well.

I’d say yes if we see the loan extended as expected.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019
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