I’m going to spend today looking at Ligue 1 with a focus on any lesser known talent. Hopefully I actually find some now I’ve said that.
I did a Ligue 1 preview just 3 weeks ago and that covers most of the obvious players. But there has been plenty of pre-season friendlies since then so that should give us some more clues.
Ligue 1 gets underway this Friday with Bordeaux vs Nantes.
We should also have had Marseille vs St-Etienne but because of positive covid tests this is postponed.
There is no suggestion this will impact more games at this stage. I think we may just have to get used to some games being called off like this. At the moment it feels like any suspensions will be local and temporary rather than having whole leagues get cancelled.
Things would have to go very south for that to happen. We never know though and the rule I had from the “Through Coronavirus” Key Strategy is still worth remembering.
Basically when buying a player I consider what would happen if there was no football for 6 months or more. Would that player still be around and could I wait that out if I really had to?
That’s one reason why players in the last year of their contract can be a bit ropey right now.
Anyway. Too depressing. That doesn’t feel likely. Let’s see what we can find!
A largely disappointing season but it finished well for Nice losing only 1 of the last 12 and qualifying for the Europa which is a huge boost. They’ve been busy with no less than 8 friendlies since 4th July to warm up.
They’ve invested in the squad and their ambition is for a much better season. With the Europa too it’s reasonable to expect Nice to be more FI relevant than they have been.
The star draw is Amine Gouiri who has left Lyon in search of first team action. I didn’t like that move much. But in hindsight it’s a masterstroke. Lyon missed the Europa and probably would rotate him. Nice qualified and he is set to be a first team regular.
3 goals and 2 assists in pre-season friendlies and he has a lot of minutes under his belt here. Looks solid and he’s a capable winner particularly with Ligue 1 the only show in town.
I’ve admired Gouiri for a long time and he’s progressing nicely in reality and in price. I was nervous about the move away from Lyon but it looks like this was the right call for his development.
Youngster Atal was once in hot demand on FI but was scuppered by a reclassification to midfield.
He has played every friendly as a right back and the plan is for him to spend the full season there. So if OPTA are paying attention he is a clear candidate to be reclassified to defence which is helpful for holders. In defence he would be much more competitive. (Edit: Actually during the course of writing this I see he *is* now listed as a defender! This must be very new surely?).
That switch is extremely helpful. Still, don’t expect wins every week but he does chip in with assists and that can be enough particularly with Ligue 1 the only league in play. And he’s the sort who will likely pick up big transfer speculation later on. £1.20 on the bid or £1.30 on the Blue Button looks very good to me.
The signing of Rony Lopes is what enables Atal to drop back to defence. He’s another player who was once a youngster in hot demand on FI that has fizzled out after failing to breakout at Monaco or Sevilla.
He only signed a few weeks ago and has not appeared in any of the friendlies. But it’s considered a coup for the club and he will be given his chance. Decent potential FI player, still just 24 and if he’s going to realise his talent this is probably his last chance. 78p on a bid is good – I suspect we could get away with waiting to see a game or two before deciding whether to jump in.
Lees-Melou is not sexy at 27 or indeed an FI world beater however he does have strong baselines and occasional goals and assists. The reason I mention him is that Cyprien is expected to move on and that is likely to mean Lees-Melou takes over more set piece duties.
With his current baselines that potentially makes him a low key consistent dividend contender in the Savanier mould, certainly whilst Ligue 1 gets a free run at things.
For a 62p bid that looks a solid punt and that is the sort of price you want for a modest performance contender – it’s only when they get past say £1.75+ it can start getting silly.
Khephren Thuram is one to watch. The latest of World Cup winner Lillian Thuram’s children to roll off the production line. Just 19 but he is getting significant minutes already. Nominally a deep player but he has bagged two goals in pre-season and he does get forward. Baselines really solid too.
49p on a bid! A real potential hidden gem that of course comes with all the game time / form risk that is par for the course with young players. In an ideal world this would be how we SHOULD speculate on the future of youngsters – starting cheap when the risk matches the price. Quite a rare thing to be able to do on FI. I like this one.
We’ll know the key men already especially with all the attention on them this week. With no European football next season hanging onto big stars is going to be difficult.
It’s a real blow to this team there is no two ways about it and it deprives us of a good source of potential targets. As per Key Strategy CL and Europa football is going to be crucial in my opinion.
However, it may give some young talents chance to shine even though the season is probably going to be a transitional one for Lyon. And if people oversell because of no European involvement then they can end up value anyway.
Caqueret is just 20 yet played every minute of their August Champions League run, performing well. He also started breaking through last season and should be set for a bigger role this campaign.
His CL and indeed entire FI scoring history looks poor but that’s a misleading picture. Much of last season he was rotated or subbed on, and in the CL Lyon set up to contain rather than dominate which they tend to do in Ligue 1. He is capable of much better than his history lets on.
In the best case he may develop as the next Aouar – which means occasional big scores and potentially playing himself into contention for big move speculation later on. There will be rotation and bumps no doubt but at £1.19 he looks a good pick to me.
Much is expected of 22 year old Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes too. He joined in January. Baselines solid. Goal threat pretty weak. Some assists likely. Not too dissimilar from Caqueret and similar potential.
However the price here is off-putting. He IPO’d way too high and this ruins the prospect of speculating on his development for anything like a value price. From his £2 IPO he is down to £1.50 on the bid and I’d say with Caqueret at £1.19 and not much between them it’s a no brainer if picking one.
Reine-Adelaide is at least worth watching. He didn’t exactly explode last season but if Lyon stars move on as expected space could open up for him. Goal threat must improve though. I’d stick him on the watch list and see what early season performances look like, particularly if people like Depay move on.
Also consider from the Ligue 1 preview:
Cherki (at your peril :))
A surprisingly good season for Marseille and maybe Villas-Boas is a genius after all.
The club are a bit of a mess in the backroom though and they haven’t strengthened at all really beyond minor signings. Unlikely they will – in fact they are more likely to sell.
Still, whilst it’s possible they could crumble under too many fixtures with a small squad they have a few decent players.
Thauvin the main man and given enough games he should remind (or educate) people about his FI quality. Friendly games look decent enough per minute. 1 goal (penalty) and 2 assists in 4 games.
Would seem like suicide for Marseille to sell him but they may be forced into it and I do not like these latest Aston Villa transfer rumours. Leicester is a bit better. But I’d like him to stay where he is.
At £2 he is undervalued at Marseille in my opinion. But that’s overvalued at Villa most likely. That’s an element of uncertainty neither Marseille or holders will want but there it is.
Payet has to be the punt pick of Ligue 1 for those with the balls to sign up a 33 year old. It takes a lot to get me into that age bracket BUT I would point out three factors that make this one attractive.
1) He has a huge recently signed contract to 2024. 2) He’s frickin’ brilliant for FI scoring at a time when Ligue 1 have a clear run and IPDs are boosted. 3) He’s cheap at 98p.
Friendly performances look decent too so no reason he won’t pick up where he left off. These trades aren’t for everyone but I would say nobody should say they couldn’t see it coming if he wins soon because it’s very likely.
The absolute cardinal sin with these trades is to buy after that predictable win. Either decide whether you are going to go for it now or stay away in my view. Most of the value in it is being willing to go for it without needing too much reassurance from a recent big score.
Benedetto could be a good IPD shout. 72p is reasonable and whilst he has not scored in pre-season historically he is a regular with 11 goals in 23 games last campaign.
Lille were largely disappointing last season from an FI perspective, Osimhen aside.
Expectations were high and an interesting psychological point to note is that when one player does really well on FI like Pepe did then the following season every youngster at that club is tracked heavily and people tend to be over optimistic.
The same happened to Monaco after Mbappé and that was largely disappointing too. It was Rony Lopes then and that was a miserable trade at the time. It’s taken two full seasons for him to come back around.
We can factor this in for the early optimism but also have to be sure we aren’t letting that bias cloud our judgement on what these players are really producing.
Lille finished strong and if the season wasn’t cancelled they could well have claimed a Champions League spot. The Europa is good though and arguably better for them with weaker competition.
They’ve lost Osimhen and Gabriel but they have replaced them.
The star signing is Jonathan David whose price has taken a battering as holders had hoped he was coming to the EPL. Lille is a decent move for him though where he should be a key player.
Promising FI prospect. We haven’t seen any minutes from him in friendlies yet but anything like his Gent form will see him challenge for dividends. £2.37 is still a relatively big price tag but I think it is warranted and he is a potential breakout star of the next campaign. (So many good targets right now and I’m still having issues freeing up enough cash to get all the ones I want. Good headaches to have I guess).
There is quiet optimism for France U19’s winger/forward Lihadji and assuming he is a forward he looks a solid prospect. Not on FI though so one to look out for at IPO. Should get some rotation minutes.
Similar for Botman a young centreback who has just joined from Ajax. Looks pretty good and if he starts cheap at IPO he might be one to look at.
We may see Alfredo Morelos join which is a strong rumour at the moment. Not a brilliant FI player but may be a great goalscorer and if people get all sad that he’s not going to the EPL pouncing on him looks a good idea.
Benjamin André is an option for the restart. On soft days with limited games he can easily win. A key player for Lille in the middle and still just 29 so his 24p bid price is a bit of a joke. Good for those who like a cheeky punt option.
I often see Yazici and Soumaré getting attention. Really isn’t much to them beyond “they are young and play for Lille and remember Pepe right?”. To be fair Yazici has hit purple patches of form but it’s been a long time since he scored.
Timothy Weah will be hoping to make a come back after a very long period out injured. Should be back in contention for the restart. It was around a year ago he last played and the numbers are really very promising. Still just 20 and 92p on the bid we should not write him off. I think we can wait to see a game or two before diving in but he is one to watch for sure.
Also consider Renato Sanches, and Ikoné from the original preview. Sanches the better performance pick, Ikoné is more about dropping on a decent transfer.
I can’t do a Ligue 1 preview without PSG but most of the big hitters are well covered already. No reason not to expect another strong season the successful squad is largely staying together.
There aren’t that many exciting youth options. Aouchiche was the best of them but like many PSG products he has left to seek first team action elsewhere.
Navas is a solid option between the sticks and with another goalkeeper surge on the market it’s worth being aware that people clearly have zero idea what they are looking for in keepers yet. We’ve got to be really wary of chasing risers here.
If keepers are rising sharply you can bet rats will be attempting to flip them and they often work around social media campaigns with “magic spreadsheets” that predict the winners that are often ropey. If success on FI was as simple as sorting a spreadsheet everyone could do it and you’d never find value.
Some of the weakest (but youngest and high profile) are rising predictably but the real value is elsewhere.
Here’s one at just a 68p bid particularly with the CL upcoming although he is a slight injury doubt for this game. Buying today makes you eligible for up to 5 games at increased IPD payouts. Solid choice.
Sarabia is underrated at 75p on a bid or even at his £1.07 Blue Button price. He’d be a good player to have going into Ligue 1 as the main men may get a rest after CL exploits. Pitch time is the only thing holding him back from regular competitive scores really.
He managed 14 goals and 8 assists last term and if FI traders didn’t notice it was because 7 of those goals came in the cups, and he was frequently subbed on 60-70 minutes. It’s a good punt for the Ligue 1 restart and picking him up at 75p -90p there is plenty to win and little to lose here.
I’ve covered the key PSG players plenty this week for obvious reasons. Neymar still a great premium option. Di Maria for the brave but until he sews up a contract it’s a risk. Marquinhos solid. Icardi has been in poor form but should feature heavily next season now Cavani has moved on and I’d be happy to take him into the restart especially after the over pessimistic price drop on the bid.
Mbappé is the one I consider overpriced but it’s also very easy for him to get attention in a CL final. And to win with a period of limited competition ahead so if holding I’d probably hang on a bit longer.
A miserable campaign for Monaco which got a bit better towards the end. They are rebuilding under a new coach Nico Kovac formerly of Bayern. Really bloated squad full of bang average players. Plenty should leave but primarily the mediocre ones we don’t worry about anyway.
Ben Yedder and Golovin the key men, as per the first preview. I’ve given Ben Yedder enough love recently but he genuinely is one of my favourite players.
With players like this you can quietly pull in so much profit over a season by timing the trades right. He’s currently on another upswing as Ligue 1 returns which is so predictable it hurts. Except it doesn’t it just prints money.
Willem Geubbels will be hoping for a better season. Much was expected of the France U19 forward last year but he was riddled by injuries. He’s featured in 3 friendlies in July/August scoring one and getting regular chances. Promising at just 98p. He’s puntable now but equally you can probably get away with waiting to see a game or two. Probably.
Gelson Martins can improve too. He’s shown wonderful stuff at times particularly early when he first moved. But he fizzled out and then got an enormous ban for pushing a referee. He’s now eligible again. Appeared in a friendly last week and the numbers are decent and he got good chances to score.
However he is an awkward winger who should really be a forward and it’s hard for him to compete with the big hitters in midfield. Encouragingly he has not played the awkward wing back role for a while which hurt him last season and hopefully this ends under the new coach. 70p is good value particularly early on when he can win with soft scores and bag IPD.
Some may be tempted by a romantic punt on Fabregas. I wouldn’t. He has looked to be slowing down a bit and may not be a key player this term.
A surprising Champions League spot for Rennes. The first time in the history of the club. It’s going to be tough to repeat those heroics. They aren’t brilliant for performance scoring but there are a few good options.
Martin Terrier is the most exciting. Under used at Lyon and then hampered by injury last term he has come in search of regular football. He was considered a very promising prospect for France and this season could be make or break.
He’s certainly started pre-season well scoring twice this month vs Nice and St Etienne. Nice goal vs Nice (sorry) and the second notably was a penalty. Unclear whether he is now the taker but regular taker Niang was on the pitch when he took it so maybe. I liked him last pre-season but his campaign was miserable. This is looking much better now he should be a first team regular. And the 97p bid or £1 Blue Button price is value.
Raphinha is a good player too that I’ve tracked for a while on the site. Pre-season numbers are ok and historically he is impressive. Not quite the secret he used to be at £1.60 but I think that is solid value for a 23 year old who could have a good season followed by big club speculation.
From the original preview you could also consider Niang or Hunou as IPD options and Bourigeaud or Tait as cheap low key performance contenders for the limited competition ahead.
Best of the Rest
Chouiar, a 21 year old Dijon Forward, is a popular social media pump and carries the price to match, though it has dropped a bit in recent months to £2-£2.19. Currently a forward on FI although the playing position to me looks plumb midfield which is a concern.
Could go either way because as a forward he’s a contender but if switched to midfield he’ll struggle. And that does feel likely here if OPTA are paying attention.
He’s missed any friendlies with a minor injury although this shouldn’t stop him starting as far as I can see. His numbers are decent but Dijon are poor and would do well to avoid relegation so the prospects of regular wins are very limited.
As a point in his favour he is quite eye catching and this is helpful for suckering in punters who buy players based on youtube highlight videos.
I think it’s a reasonable choice but it feels like one of those trades that could go either very well or pretty badly. It’s difficult to talk myself into it when there are so many trades out there right now that scream easy profit. Holders will want to monitor him closely if they go for it.
Valon Berisha, 27 year old midfielder who has just moved to Reims may be responsible for my worst loss of all time. But if things change we shouldn’t hold that against him.
When he moved to Lazio from Salzburg he was really promising. Huge baseline numbers in Austria and bags of goals and assists. On paper the perfect performance player. Then reality took that paper and shredded it. He never really got a chance at Lazio and was always out of favour.
If we see him return to anything like what he did for Salzburg or still does produce for Kosovo we may have a surprise package. And because he’s a Lazio flop he’s available for 36p which is stunning. However we’ve only seen one friendly on him at Reims so I’d give it another game or two at least.
He is expected to be a key player though and Reims are in the Europa. People also may remember the name due to him scoring a brace against England last October.
Habib Diallo at Metz has some promise, though we may see him leave and he has Spurs rumours. I quite like it at 85p or even £1.05 Blue Button. He may get interest if he moves to the EPL. And if he doesn’t you have a perfectly good IPD striker at Metz who bagged 12 goals in 26 league games last time out.
Aouchiche is going to get plenty of attention whether it goes well or badly for him. I picked him out of the usual dross of overpriced and weak IPO picks back in January in an IPO review article. He was one of the better prospects and at the cheapest price – proving FI have zero idea what they are doing on pricing. They just price on hype not ability.
He very quickly aquired a social media cult following and every so often the cult drop on a good one probably by trial and error.
A player of enormous potential in reality and on FI. I put him at for potential in my ratings and I do not give those out easily I’m a tough marker. However the move to St Etienne is… risky. All he had to do at PSG was come off the bench and score where as now he has a lot to do from a small club without European involvement this term.
Pre-season evidence is mixed. He did score and he only played 2 halves of 2 games. Involvement numbers are down though as is passing accuracy and that’s going to hurt if it continues. Even Messi would struggle at a smaller club so it’s a question mark.
£2 is a reasonable price though and particularly taking him into the restart when competition is limited I think that’s fine. I am comfortable doing that since I’m pretty sure if he’s looking poor I’m going to notice before most people and I can always trade him in.
The cult are often slow to drop the players they love after all.
Original Ligue 1 Preview
I’ve included the original Ligue 1 preview below for ease which was written 3 weeks ago. If there are any well known players you think are missing above, it’s probably because they are here already and not much has changed.
A very attractive side that tick every box. Strong performance side playing weak teams most weeks. CL in August and for next year too. What’s not to like?
Neymar the obvious main man and an obvious beneficiary of the dividend increase and Team of the Month. After long periods injured I am not sure people quite realise how strong he is. I expect him to be challenging pretty much every game.
The only thing he lacks is Nations League and Euro 2021 but that is forgivable, particularly in early Season with so many positive things ahead.
As per recent months I remain of the view that he is one of the best Premium holds around and one of the few who really justify the money paid.
The other star draw Mbappé is more tricky. His recent injury is a short term blow but at least if PSG progress he has a chance of making the Semi Final.
For FI purposes he isn’t actually world beating. What concerns me is that he is barely getting his head above water at PSG. That’s about the easiest platform you can possibly get for performance purposes.
The problem holders have is that whilst he will almost certainly improve with age, that inevitable move to a bigger stage comes with problems. A tougher league will hurt him as he is unlikely to be smashing in 2-3 goals with the same regularity.
He’s far from a no hoper in fact he has promising signs. But the price assumes success so even if everything goes right the value isn’t brilliant. I don’t think it’s an awful hold and there is always the chance of hitting a jackpot like an unexpected Liverpool move.
I would pay £7-8 but I think for £10+ this is just too obvious and there are too many question marks to be paying top dollar for my taste.
Icardi is looking fantastic value at the £1.50 mark, and those very generous IPDs are a turbo boost. He can easily return 4-5 goals over 5-6 matches when in form, and he is in form a lot. An obvious IPD target still at a decent price. I like this pick a lot to take into the new season.
Di Maria is such a strong player and this time last year was one of my most profitable picks. A year makes a big difference for an older player though so we can’t always just repeat our same old tricks we have to adapt constantly.
With a longer contract he’d be an easy yes but as things stand it is set to expire in 2021. The gossip is he intends to stay. I’d be wary of signing him up before an extension was agreed.
However. At just £1.07 after this generous dividends announcement it is tempting. It would not be outrageous if he returned 30-40% of that value by late September in dividends I jest not.
And yet traders are always going to be twitchy on a player like this so any kind of injury or rotation and you could be in trouble. If you are going to buy Di Maria then now is the moment but this is one for the advanced traders who are comfortable with some risk.
Marquinhos the clear pick at the back. He slots into midfield often enough to win but probably not often enough to get himself reclassified. £1.53 or up to £1.60 is clear value for a consistent challenger at this age.
Navas is a capable keeper coming in at in my ratings, so he’s in my top 10. Without much competition in the coming weeks and a budget 61p price… that’s solid value especially with a clean sheet promotion on.
Those are the big hitters. There are some others who are in with a chance.
Sarabia has been improving in 2020. His main problem is that most of his goals have come in the Cup and have gone under the radar. He has scored 3 and assisted 1 in PSG’s friendlies this month though.
In truth he looks a bit lightweight in the midfield category but given his goals and assists output and the limited competition on the way, his 95p bid for a short term punt over 4-5 weeks looks solid to me.
A better case for Verratti can be made now that TOTM exists. You can see him nicking a TOTM slot particularly early on and he can win with limited competition. For under £1 he’s another decent short term punt. I think there are better targets out there though. Even with TOTM we should not get over excited for high baseline players – they are still going to get trashed by players who score.
Marseille have been fairly quiet on FI this season outside of Payet’s occasional heroics. With CL football next year, and the return of FI friendly Thauvin, we may hear more from them.
Thauvin has been injured for much of the season, and returned just in time to see the season suspended. It was possible to make a tidy profit on him regardless as traders, somewhat predictably, buy injured players sometimes more than ones who are playing.
In Ligue 1 friendlies this month he’s scored and assisted 2 in just over 90 minutes, so he shows signs of picking up where he left off. Very capable performance player and my rating is high yet not unreasonable.
Certainly, he looks a great player to take into next season and we can evaluate how he is getting on after the big injury. France minutes are a bonus and moving the Euros helps him. Could be a big year if he establishes for France and possibly plays his way to a big transfer by next Summer.
Payet has got interesting again. 33 he may be. But he just extended his contract by 2 years until 2024, accepting a massive pay cut to keep playing. That’s 4 years away.
He also happens to be brilliant for FI. Better even than Thauvin I would say. Very interesting with Marseille in the CL this year. In this months friendlies he’s already scored and assisted in just over 90 minutes.
With the dividend increase and IPD promotion, plus that whopping contract… I actually really like the pick despite the age. If you are picking him up for 90p on a bid he can very easily return much more than that in dividends over a couple of seasons.
Whilst you’d generally sell at some point you can actually make a case for just holding him into retirement for this money. The main risk you run is that career ending injury. So this isn’t for everyone. To be fair though he is not a particularly injury prone player, having missed just 26 games in the last 5 seasons.
An interesting trade and for the brave traders I like it. If we see him winning and rising to £1.20-£1.40 in the next few months I would not be at all surprised.
I would not underestimate Benedetto either given the IPD promotion. He’s 30 but he has scored 11 goals this season which tend to come in clumps. Available on a bid for just under 60p? Solid value as a short term pick to take into the restart.
Outside of those there isn’t much interest.
Rongier is the sort of player that a Twitter spreadsheet warrior might try to sucker some into because he has some decent stats and a high average score. It’s very unlikely to come to much though. He is capable of a very occasional win but nobody will believe it will happen again anyway.
Sanson is in a similar vein – decent goal output but he is just a bit lightweight. Actually with Ligue 1 facing little competition you could make a short term case for him. But I wouldn’t hold too long.
Rennes don’t have many worldbeaters as you’d expect, but there are some good prospects and occasional winners.
Raphinha is up there. 23 year old forward, performance suitable. Should get occasional big scores.
The main reason to hold would be a likely future big club transfer rumour. Not expecting it this Summer but maybe next. In the mean time he is a solid hold and the £1.60 mark is a decent price for a patient trader.
Martin Terrier has recently moved here from Lyon. He’s a player I was optimistic on in pre-season last year but he has endured a very difficult year of rotation and mostly poor form. There were bright spots but unfortunately for any remaining holders by January they mainly came in the cups so did not register on FI.
It wasn’t long ago he was considered one of France’s brightest young things so it will be worth watching to see if he can rejuvenate his career at Rennes. 80p on a bid is decent value but I would probably wait to see a few games and see how he gets on.
Niang, 25 year old striker at just 64p with 10 goals this season is a solid short term IPD option for the restart.
Those looking for a cheap long shot punt may like Flavien Tait. He is capable of a win every so often and with limited competition he may nick one at the restart. The 27p bid price is slightly ridiculous for a 27 year old decent player and whilst he is no world beater he only needs to win once or even just get a couple of goals to return a big percentage of the layout. A fun one.
In a similar vein Bourigeaud, 26 year old midfielder is also well capable of a few big scores per season. Not usually that exciting but with limited competition and the budget 38p price tag it’s really hard to argue against it if in the market for a good punt.
Camavinga. One of the hype buys doing the rounds off the back of “100 best wonderkids for Football Manager” and the like. Should be a high baseline player but as an FI prospect it looks very, very bleak.
He’s far too deep to be a regular challenger. He’d need a dramatic reshaping of his style of play. You can ride the hype with it at risk of the transfer falling over. But to me this is just a bad bet at this price. Lots of ways to lose and not many ways to win.
Not a huge range of options at Lille but there are a few.
Renato Sanches has shown his quality as per Scouting this season and has delivered a very tidy profit for holders. He’s shown his quality consistently in 2020. His numbers do look very good and I expect occasional challenges, but not all the time. He’s in my rankings which is good but not great.
Earlier in the season when people were down on him and you could get him under £1 I liked him. But the £2 fee now is basically fair value. He might be a good one to have for the restart but I’d probably move him on and consider holding again closer to a transfer window next season.
Bamba used to be a big deal and was expected to fill Pepe’s shoes. He hasn’t. A goal drought going back to August and just 1 goal all season makes him very hard to recommend.
Ikoné is more promising and as covered yesterday he has a shot at a big transfer, possibly to Dortmund. For the money it’s a decent bet because you can take him into the restart hopefully for some IPD and if you drop on the transfer you might do well from it.
Osimhen is almost certainly Napoli bound where he may be worth considering if he drops further in price. Beware the hype kid transfer. When they don’t get the destination people hoped for it tumbles down fast. Napoli are a good club and we may see goals but his performance credentials are very weak.
I might pay £1.50 for him but no more. Long way to fall from his high of £2.86 and this is another example of why I don’t gamble on weak transfers.
Gabriel Magalhaes is Manchester United and Arsenal linked right now. Decent enough but as a Centre Back it’s going to be very hard to actually succeed at those clubs in this scoring system. An 85p bid isn’t terrible but… this feels uninspiring at this stage.
Soumaré picks up some hype kid interest but nah. Unlikely to ever be FI relevant outside of some initial media hype. Price crashing. Deservedly so.
A few interesting options at Nice and their recent inclusion in the Europa thanks to PSG’s cup win is a boost for them.
Youcef Atal is a highly rated young player who was once heavily favoured on FI on social media AND by me too. He looked really strong but his reclassification to midfield by OPTA really killed him off. He was playing as a wing back in defence which was a big advantage. Now he is firmly at Right Back but he is a genuine RB so the goal threat is gone too.
I can’t recommend him for likely big scores but it is possible that a big transfer comes along one day. Sometimes when traders get disappointed they oversell and this may be the case here. Picking him up for £1.09 on a bid with a long term view is not a bad shout.
Amine Gouri is a strong prospect I like. I didn’t love the move away from Lyon but now that Nice have Europa football I am coming around to it. He has a much better chance of playing at Nice afterall. Very high potential player and he can win even at Nice.
It will need patience but I think anyone picking him up for £1.43 as a high potential youth player with a season hold in mind will end up happy.
Cyprien has his fans and he tends to come out of spreadsheet based analysis well. But I’ve never been keen. Price has been stagnant for a long time. Whilst he is capable of a win he is very penalty reliant whilst also relying on big transfer rumours for his price.
This is a paradox. If as a holder you get lucky and hit the right transfer to a big club what happens? Is he walking into a big club and snatching the ball off their established big hitting penalty taker? Almost certainly not. So your occasional winner just became a very, very occasional winner. That’s bad.
Coupled with the high price it’s no surprise to me that this price has stagnated for so long and the bid price is low now.
Dolberg is not normally of interest – he is fairly awful for performance purposes. But with limited competition and a huge IPD promotion he looks decent for £1. With 12 goals this season and consistent high threat scoring is not a problem he has. Could return a nice IPD haul so taking him into the restart is not a bad move.
Lyon are a strong performance club boasting big hitters like Depay so seeing them out of European competition would be a blow. They do have a credible chance to make the Europa and a lot depends on this weeks Cup Final vs PSG.
They also have the CL in August as a short term boost but away at Juventus is a tough ask. They do take a goal advantage into the game though so it is no sure thing for Ronaldo and Co.
I did a full review of Lyon just yesterday in the CL preview so I will paste that here for convenience but if you read it there is no need to do so again.
Depay should be fit and is the obvious main man. Really high quality player as readers will know. The big downer on him is a very likely lack of European football next season. He may well move to get that and the delayed transfer window helps him as he can prove fitness.
He’s back amongst the goals already in Lyon’s recent preparation friendlies and looking as strong as ever.
A little tricky but I would say yes, £4.23 is decent value for such a high quality player. Best to have a long term view in mind and consider any transfer a bonus.
Dembelé scored in the friendlies too and he has a big stage to shine on. Transfer rumours have cooled but they are still possible. Wouldn’t be a priority buy right this moment but if holding I’d stick with him for the price.
Aouar is always a contender. Can win. Has other reasons to hold him including the expected big transfer. Could break into the France team. Price has dropped recently well into value range. Not a hard decision to call him a solid choice.
Cherki signed a contract extension scotching any EPL transfer rumours. But that’s no bad thing at least at Lyon he might play. Does look FI suitable but still just 16 and £4+ is just silly. Raw social media hyping in play. If holders get lucky and he scores in this game you can always get a boost but I just don’t think it’s a particularly good bet for the cash.
At the bargain end we have Cornet and Traoré as valid options, either of which are capable of a win. Both value right now actually as the sort of player who has been slayed by the Matching Engine. But that overpessism may well bite those who are too gloomy and sell too cheap – these are good players for what you pay.
I would go for Traoré as the punt right now as he is cheaper and has some low key EPL rumours. He’s a punt sure but for around 50p not a bad one. Cornet I’d watch from the sidelines since he may permanently find himself as a wingback which is bad news for him. But back as a normal winger I’d be optimistic so one to watch.
Ben Yedder at Monaco is a consistent IPD favourite and I’ve been able to trade in and out of him a few times over the season for big profits. If a player like this is starting at £1 or so then getting them to £1.20 or £1.30 is a huge profit. And on the way you can collect big chunks of IPD too.
I think one of the mistakes people make on FI is thinking that every trade has to be sexy. You are more likely to make 30% on Ben Yedder at £1 than you are in many popular but already highly priced players.
He’s such a consistent goalscorer and only 29. It’s such low risk for the chance of a huge gain especially with the boosted IPDs on offer. He’s even scored and assisted in a warm up friendly already this month so looks like picking up where he left off.
Also at Monaco we have Gelson Martins, who started brightly at the club but faded a bit. He is most in the news lately for pushing a referee and getting a big suspension which should be lifted for the new season. A shame because he was showing really nice numbers in 2020. He is a capable winner and certainly can return some IPD.
That ban was costly for holders but the negativity has gone overboard – a bid at anything close to 60p looks good value to me, certainly to take into the restart and evaluate.
Alexander Golovin is a decent player and never far away from a transfer rumour. Had a particularly good spell in October/November, reaching £2.63 off the back of good displays. In Scouting at the time I thought that had got out of hand.
But then a long goal drought has sent him down to £1.99 or £1.80 on the bid. That looks much more sensible with occasional wins and a big transfer in mind later on. And Russia will be at the Euro of course. I note in a friendly this month he finally scored and the goal threat in general has been decent despite no competitive goals in 2020.
Looks much better value and you want to be buying a player like this when the spotlight is off them.
Malang Sarr is a decent young prospect as covered in my Under the Radar article in May. Not brilliant for FI but he does have fashionable passing ability as a CB and that can mean big transfers are inbound. He has let his contract run down and is the subject of bidding including from Arsenal as a free agent. On a 71p bid that’s not bad.
Teji Savanier has been a poster boy this season for the dangers of bad analysis. Bad analysis is sometimes worse than no analysis at all. At least the guy who hasn’t done any analysis won’t stubbornly clutch his spreadsheet and insist things will turn around. Bad analysis can give you unwarranted confidence.
Savanier comes out of lots of spreadsheet metrics well but the reason he was able to get above £2.60 was a failure of common sense mixed with social media pumping. Performance Gods do not play for Monpellier. And these kinds of sense checks need to be made when considering tempting numbers that are served up on social media.
However. If you are looking at him as a cheaper player who can win occasionally that’s fine. Because he can be an occasional winner. If you pick a time when the price is right he’s a good option. £1.40 really isn’t bad for a player who can, on his day, put up a very big score and clinch a Gold Day. The danger is believing the hype and paying too much for him, so if he does get a decent rise a holder would probably be best served by cashing in.
I knew I was missing someone. Aouchiche!
The 18 year old midfielder is now at St Etienne after he rejects PSG to get first team football. Bold. And potentially quite annoying for holders. At PSG all he’d really need to do is come on and score. At St Etienne… he has a tougher task because he’ll need to impress week in, week out.
We’ve yet to see numbers on him for St Etienne. But we can say that his PSG senior and youth numbers are very special.
For most players I’d consider a career step like this to be a hammer blow. But Aouchiche is so strong that he could win even from St Etienne and playing every week may be no bad thing for him. For youngsters with weak ability playing lots of games can be the worst thing because it exposes their weakness.
Aouchiche may just be good enough to push through anyway. Clearly, if holding, selling a few months ago would have been ideal as the price has dipped. But that was tough in this market.
As things stand, I think taking £1.77 for one of the best looking FI prospects feels cheap. I’d re-evaluate once I’ve seen some games at his new club.
Ligue 1 also offers rich pickings in the cheap IPD market. Which given Ligue 1 will get a long run as the first league to restart with the IPD promotion still active could be lucrative.
Denis Bouanga at St Etienne is a good one. Consistent threat , 13 goals in all competitions this season. And just 74p on a bid.
Andy Delort at Montpellier comes in even cheaper at 41p on a bid or 52p Blue Button. 12 goals in all competitions.
24 year old Guirassy at Amiens. 9 goals this campaign, including 4 in his last 4 matches. 66p on a bid or 88p Blue Button.
Leicester veteran Slimani, who was on loan at Monaco, could be of interest. He is getting Spurs rumours (less appealling since he could get benched a lot) but also Marseille and Lille.
Interestingly Slimani is a big victim of the season being cancelled because his numbers looked fantastic for Monaco. He is a strong IPD player but he can also win performance in general. So if he ends up at a decent Ligue 1 outfit I’d be very interested for around 50p on the bid.
Habib Diallo at Metz. 25 years old. 13 goals this campaign. 83p on a bid or £1.05 blue button.
And finally Adrien Hunou at Rennes. 11 goals this season, including 2 in his last game in March. Just 39p or 48p on a bid.
With just one goal returning 5p for these guys, they can be clearing 5-10% of their value with just one goal. They’ll get 5 big match days to do that.
The better strategy may however be to buy them early and consider selling after the first game rather than waiting for the entire 30 day window though – plenty of people will be targetting them most likely. So the only advantage you get is to buy first and sell first.