As discussed in State of the Market yesterday with IPD swept away (and FI strongly indicating they are against all the wild short termism of recent months) we haven’t had such a clear strategic direction to head in for quite some time.
I think the premium and core player end of the market has all the factors in it’s favour to rise first and rise strongest in the coming weeks and months for the reasons I outlined yesterday.
So let’s find some that are particularly undervalued!
I primarily use my “True Value” concept for this. This is a rational value based on my assessment of the realistic dividend potential of players using my star rating system.
So for example, a strong player who cannot reliably win media could comfortably command a £3.75 price tag in the existing dividend structure if they are under 25 years old. (Assuming of course, that I am right about the ability of that player in the first place and nothing changes along the way which we monitor weekly through Scouting).
That same player at at over 31 however would dwindle to around £1.75 as we factor in age.
And for the real premiums with a mix of performance and media potential we could pay £12 comfortably for the real deal’s at Under 25, and even up to £16 whilst remaining reasonably rational and content with a modest 10% or so annual return (although that seems hard to believe given prices right now).
However as that premium player ages (and most peak at 25-30) we’ll start to come down sharply when factoring in age – I wouldn’t be paying more than £7.20 to £9.60 once that player is in the 28-30 range (Unless I believed there was a short term factor that might lead people into overpaying).
Interestingly, I made these price estimates without factoring in IPD at all. So, if that IPD prize pool is redistributed in a way that even mildly favours Core players (And it’s kind of hard to see how it wouldn’t) it is likely that my current True Value figures are too low.
That’s a somewhat mind blowing thought given where we are with current prices – but it does highlight the potential profits available if the market settles and confidence returns.
For the purposes of this article though I won’t assume any additional dividends are coming the way of Core players yet and just stick with my existing True Value assessments. Any increase is therefore a bonus. And it’s not like we even really need further incentives at current market prices.
And we’re also still recognising the nervous state of the market – I’ll be targetting big potential profits that have longer term value should things take a shorter term dive again.
Value Premium and Core Players
Jadon Sancho - Borussia Dortmund
If you are going to hop on that “Sancho train” now is the time – when he’s down.
As per Scouting he’s hugely improved lately and sits on my Explosion Imminent list right now. A win could feed hype easily and as we head towards Summer it seems hard to believe that traders aren’t going to be tempted in by those Manchester United rumours, particularly if that combines with Euro 2020 hype building.
If the transfer falls over the price could collapse, but as I was at pains to highlight at the time, this is a major problem when at £12 – £15. It’s not so much of a problem now at around £5. Even if he stayed at Dortmund he is not an outrageously overpriced hold at that price.
And that risk of a transfer collapse is currently far away – it would be unusual if that Summer rumour was shut down this early in the game.
But if holding and did see a price rise back towards £10 and that hype was getting out of control as the transfer window approached – I’d be taking that profit everytime just as I discussed last year.
And you may have to do that slightly earlier than usual as given there was such a spectacular example of why that was the right decision more people may try it this time.
I’d also be wary of holding in any early life at Manchester United. Whilst he is good at Dortmund lately, there is no guarantee that Sancho is going to be a world beater on the wing at United, it’s a dodgy slot under current management.
After a big period of negativity the £5 mark is fair and he has a much higher ceiling than that. And if the transfer collapsed etc holding at Dortmund for £4-5 would be no disaster.
Jack Grealish – As per Scouting Grealish is competitive even at Villa and like Sancho has those juicy transfer rumours to feed off. Plus his England prospects have improved markedly after the last round of internationals.
Very fair price for him right now and at 25 with performance ability that could improve at a bigger club (and is decent now) plus media appeal it’s attractive.
Phil Foden – As per Scouting Foden has high FI potential although in wider roles we aren’t seeing the best of him. Still very young though and at the current £2.65 to £3 price I think a patient trader will end up very happy.
Curtis Jones – Has been doing great to get so many minutes this season and in Scouting I am noting elite level performance numbers and he’s only just getting started. Very high potential player that could be one of the most valuable FI players should he establish in the Liverpool first team inside the next two seasons.
Bruno Fernandes - Manchester United
If looking to pick up a premium from the top 10 we can consider Bruno to be a deserving King of the Index. And many King’s have worn paper crowns in the past. Bruno has earned his spot.
Having followed him keenly from early Lisbon days, we know a lot about him and he has proven why I rated him so highly many times over now. All we need from him is to maintain his existing level so we aren’t asking for a great deal or gambling on a big transfer etc.
Involved in all major competitions ahead including Euro 2020.
Not many. As with any player, we are monitoring through Scouting to ensure that he maintains his levels. Losing penalties if it ever happened would be a blow but as reported in Scouting – his open play goal threat means this isn’t an all or nothing situation.
At £7.12 to £7.65 he may be FI’s most expensive player but given he could be covering £12 on current output levels I don’t think any trader looking for a premium addition to the portfolio should be shy of paying £7-8.
Should rise (or fall) naturally with the market and betting on premiums is usually tantamount to a bet on the rise or fall of the market.
For all players I’m offering alternatives but Bruno is currently peerless amongst the premiums in terms of undeniably justifying his place at the top.
I would say Neymar is the most similar as a solid hold that should justify his £4.65 to £5.04 with absolute ease, provided you are comfortable with the injury record. I’ve reviewed Neymar in depth in Scouting recently.
Harry Kane - Tottenham
It may be a good time to have Kane onside in the build up to the Euro 2020, especially if he benefits from any new win mechanic.
The appeal of Kane for media as we head towards Euro 2020 is obvious. People are very short sighted and simply getting in early whilst the price is suppressed has an obvious appeal.
In performance terms, he’s ok, but is frequently beaten by slightly more FI suitable players. If only there was some kind of mechanic that rewarded 2nd or 3rd place or scores over 200…?
It’s possible. It’s a small bet on the outcome of the announcement here but I don’t think a reckless one because even without this help the current price would be reasonable.
Spurs also have a tasty Europa R32 match up on the way and could go far in that competition.
He is far from the world’s most suitable FI player and will usually need more than just 1 goal to get over 200. But he can be explosive and is also adding a lot of assists this season. As things stand he’ll often fall a bit short but any new mechanic that lowered that bar slightly could help him a lot.
For the current £3.50 to £4 there are a lot of positive factors in his favour with the Europa and Euros on the way. Obvious media appeal. Still just 27 with years ahead. And just a plain old obvious name traders (and new traders) are just going to want if the market recovers.
Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling. I think these two could also rise nicely for very similar reasons to Kane – particularly if any new mechanic lowers that winning bar a little which would be a big boost for them.
Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City
Hasn’t won in a while, but his underlying numbers are strong.
He’s a performance powerhouse no question. But City’s mixed start to the season by their high standards plus some basic bad luck has kept KDB off the winning podium.
With his numbers though it seems a matter of time before he brings home a dividend again.
City have a kind CL R16 game vs Gladbach and De Bruyne should also be in demand for Euro 2020.
At 29 we’re having to start chipping a lot off his price ceiling. As an understated chap he doesn’t really get a lot of media, but he gets a little bit.
At the £3 mark at his ability level and age we’re getting strong value in normal circumstances. It is not however outrageously good value – and that level of value is available in other areas.
However, given the kind Europa schedule and with Belgium Euro 2020 favourites I think KDB has some good tailwinds. I don’t think it would be difficult to see him at £4.50 to £5 with some dividends along the way, at which point I would consider selling.
Toni Kroos – Another FI powerhouse who has shown that lately with consistent wins. Any new mechanic that lowers the bar further could really help him clean up. Undroppable right now in his form and £1.50 to £2 is very cheap. Favourable CL match up plus Germany involvement for the Euro.
Hakan Calhanoglu - AC Milan
Having spent a long time as a player that might have made me look slightly crazy as I highlighted FI potential that didn’t quite show, he’s been demonstrating why I rated him this season. Most experienced traders by now seem aware of his quality.
He’s a very strong performance player, competitive already and any new mechanic particularly tiered PB would really benefit him.
AC Milan are a good side but he may get a Summer transfer, Manchester United frequently linked.
Turkey will be at the Euro and have winnable games vs Wales and Switzerland. And Milan have what should in theory be one of the most one sided ties of the Europa R32.
Not many. A bit of risk around that transfer but that is some way off most likely and more likely to be positive than negative.
Really just a case of monitoring his existing performance levels.
He’s £1.54 to £1.91 and a rational trader would have little issue paying £3.50+ for him at current performance levels under current win mechanics.
Marcel Sabitzer – As per Scouting reviews he’s getting very close to big scores lately and he’s great value. Also often gets EPL transfer rumours.
Federico Chiesa – Rapidly becoming a key player at Juventus and is well in contention for wins. Just a great value, solid pick up as per Scouting.
Lorenzo Insigne - Napoli
Had a long “nearly man” period in early season where the underlying numbers were very strong but it wasn’t quite coming through. But lately, they very much have.
He’s one of the best performance forwards on FI. Napoli’s mixed form make that a little erratic. But he’s very competitive already and he’d benefit very strongly from any mechanic changes that lowered the scoring bar.
Napoli have a strong Europa R32 fixture vs Granada. And Insigne will be at the Euro with Italy.
Not many, certainly at this price. He’s 29 with a contract until at least the end of next season (discussions about renewal recently). So that age knocks a bit off his value.
At £1.24 to £1.51 I consider this a steal. A rational market more in line with true value would be putting Insigne at £2.50 at minimum.
Thiago Alcantara – Again, a top tier performance player but at the older age range. But with a long contract, a top Euro 2020 team with Spain and whilst RB Leipzig is a tough R16 CL game Liverpool will be expected to win. We have not seen the best of Thiago but his numbers suggest he is every bit as strong at Liverpool as he was at Bayern.
Antoine Griezmann – Seems down and out at times but this is as much to do with the short term mindedness of traders as anything else. He can still win at Barcelona as he proved last week and is a big ticket for France at Euro 2020 too. At current rock bottom price of just 66p to 84p I think he covers that comfortably whether at Barcelona or elsewhere.
Memphis Depay - Lyon
Not quite showing the exceptional level he used to as per recent Scouting but he remains competitive at Lyon.
Well in range of wins at Lyon. Has a potentially good move on the table possibly to Juventus or Barcelona most likely at the end of the season which could combine nicely with optimism for him as Holland’s leading man at Euro 2020.
Not many, still just 26. He’s playing below his potential right now yet is still in contention. He’s fine at Lyon, a move to Juventus or Barcelona probably only improves him.
Fantastic value at £1.48 to £1.74, with the only dampener the lack of European competition this season. But you don’t always need to tick every box, just enough. Euro 2020 gives a nice late season reason to hold.
Serge Gnabry – Under performing lately and in this market that has smashed the price from nearly £5 6 months ago to just £1.29 to £1.61 now. He’s just 25 and unlikely to be going anywhere. Likely regains form at some stage and this could prove an embarassing undervaluation that we look back on and smile.
Paulo Dybala – Selection issues and recent injury keep the price down. But fundamentally he’s a very strong player for FI purposes. Whether he does sign at Juventus and become the key man Juve say he is or moves on elsewhere it’s hard to see him not justifying a meagre £1.28 to £1.46.
He could be £3-4 at Juventus with ease… and in the event of a fairytale EPL move could take a place amongst the premiums in the £7-8 range if holders are lucky.
Raphael Guerreiro - Dortmund
As per Scouting recently, Guerreiro continues to showcase some of the best FI relevant defender numbers on the platform despite a change of coach.
One of the best defenders on FI who is competitive already, and should we see scoring changes that lower the winning bar he could benefit very nicely.
Dortmund have been in poor form and yet Guerreiro still hasn’t been too far away. If Dortmund improve back to their usual level he can do even better.
Has a winnable CL game vs Sevilla. And he features for Portugal at the Euro too.
Really not a lot to dislike or worry about beyond the usual monitoring in Scouting to ensure he maintains his level that is true for every player. Still just 26.
£1.15 to £1.40 is a steal. Rationally speaking he should be at least £2 and amongst FI’s most expensive defenders.
Angelino – Very strong fit for FI scoring, almost unfairly so as a defender. He is so far advanced he is by now almost unarguably a winger. So there is a risk of reclassification. However y’know what – he’s so strong that he could compete in midfield. I think he’s value despite that risk at just £1.25 to £1.46.
Ben Chilwell – As per Scouting Chilwell shows top tier performance numbers at Chelsea – though he has been a recent victim of Chelsea’s dip in form. This brings the price down yet that dip probably doesn’t last forever, with Lampard or without him. Also has a strong claim on the England spot. Value at £1.37 to £1.56.
Theo Hernandez – Another defender who is a clear cut above the rest due to his superb goal threat and assist potential as covered over in Scouting. And still just 23. AC Milan have a strong Europa R32 fixture. Surprisingly, he is yet to make his France debut. In this form, how can they not give him a chance?