Tuesday is usually State of the Market day but it will be worth waiting for FI CEO Mike Bohan’s question and answer session this week first.¬†

We don’t have an exact day/time for that but I’ll cover it Live assuming I am around and to be honest it’s lockdown so where else will I be!? ūüôā Do send some questions in when that starts either via DM or email.

Today I’ll do something a little different.¬†

This month L’Equipe released their “top 50 under 20” – their round up of some of the best young players in world football.

I don’t take these lists too seriously but they have their uses – they might bring a few new players onto the radar or remind us of a talent we had forgotten about.

These lists can be interesting and generate some hype. And following hype may get a trader so far, at least when the market is in the right mood. But for the best results we need to know which of them are the real deal.

With the CL/Europa in full swing and those tantilising Gold Nights not far away, I suggest the focus should remain on securing a good foundation of such players who are a strong fit for the months ahead. And having Euro 2020 in the locker won’t hurt either.¬†

I’d suggest for most people around 60-75% of the portfolio in this “Core” area in current market conditions.¬†

But that still leaves a good 25-40% for use in other areas such as real wonderkids and some hidden gems. So let’s have some fun and look into those today.

L'Equipe Top 50 Under 20

Here is the full list via¬†L’Equipe.

I am guessing members would prefer the highlights, rather than a full review of all 50!

I will highlight in bold where the player looks strongly FI suitable and could be a good pick with a 3-12 month hold in mind (based on my assessment of value and trend fit too).

1. Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
2. Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes)
3. Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax)
4. Pedri (Barcelona)
5. Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
6. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
7. Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht)
8. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
9. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
10. Myron Boadu (AZ)

11. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
12. Nuno Mendes (Sporting)
13. Harvey Elliott (Liverpool)
14. Mohamed Ihattaren (PSV)
15. Youssoufa Moukoko (Dortmund)
16. Josko Gvardiol (Dinamo Zagreb)
17. Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
18. Thiago Almada (Velez)
19. Yunus Musah (Valencia)
20. Noni Madueke (PSV)

21. Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge)
22. Jeremy Doku (Rennes)
23. Ilya Zabarnyi (Dinamo Kiev)
24. Kaio Jorge (Santos)
25. Becir Omeragic (FC Zurich)
26. Filip Stevanovic (Partizan)
27. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
28. Kamaldeen Sulemana (Nordsjaelland)
29. Adam Hlozek (Sparta Prague)
30. Anatoliy Troubine (Shakhtar)

31. Benoit Badiashile (Monaco)
32. Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
33. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
34. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Rubin Kazan)
35. Gabriel Veron (Palmeiras)
36. Moises Caicedo (Brighton)
37. Christos Tzolis (PAOK)
38. Michael Olise (Reading)
39. Ander Barrenetxea (Real Sociedad)

40. Aster Vranckx (Malinas)
41. Fabio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
42. Matias Arezo (River Plate de Uruguay)
43. Leonidas Stergiou (St-Gallen)
44. Nicolas Raskin (Standard Liege)
45. Aaron Hickey (Bologna)
46. Alan Velasco (Independiente)
47. Arnaud Kalimuendo (Lens)
48. Lassina Traore (Ajax)
49. David Strelec (Slovan Bratislava)
50. Rayan Cherki (Lyon)

Let’s have a look at some of those more unusual names that we don’t come across too often in routine Scouting or in the recent wonderkids series etc.

Yari Verschaeren - 19 - Anderlecht

Real FI Potential

3.5/5

Trend Fit and Hype

3.5/5

This young Belgian is no stranger to a transfer rumour, mentions of “the next Hazard” or a “FM2020 top wonderkids” list for that matter.¬†

That is probably why he has been up closer to ¬£2 on FI in the past. Yet today can be picked up potentially as low as, wait for it… 24p! More likely at 30p or so, once the bidding is done.

The odds of a decent move are likely and all it would take is for an EPL link to appear closer to Summer and buying anywhere near 25p could bring a very tidy profit indeed.

There is hope for genuine potential, although I am a little wary of Belgian league statistics which tend to make players look better than they are. If my 3.5 stars are wrong I suspect they might be a little too generous. 

But I’ve been generous because with him in an ineligible league for now, that’s unlikely to matter. And the numbers are decent, just not mindblowing.

We should see him for Belgium at the Euro, perhaps from the bench but even a goal from there could pump the price in a tournament atmosphere. For the money there is very little to dislike here.

Christos Tzolis - 19 - PAOK

Real FI Potential

4/5

Trend Fit and Hype

3.5/5

Not on FI yet but he may be a priority IPO given the transfer links including to Manchester United (because no young player has really arrived until he gets that link!). 

Already a regular for PAOK and starting to make the Greek national side, too. 

Some of his numbers are very impressive. Not just for the goals (17 this season including 5 at Europa/Champions League level). He also has assists in the locker and a strong all around game. 

If he joins FI I’ll be very keen particularly if the transfer links stay alive. As long as FI don’t make the starting price too silly, it’s hard to pay over ¬£1 for a prospect in this market.

Myron Boadu - 20 - AZ

Real FI Potential

3/5

Trend Fit and Hype

3.5/5

Boadu has been a frequent inclusion when I delved into ineligible league players in the last 12 months or so. And for good reason – he’s got a solid goalscoring history and frequent big club rumours.¬†

He may have missed the transfer boat last Summer like many did with COVID going on, but give it 2-3 months and the gossip for Summer transfers will be well underway once more. 

He isn’t particularly amazing for FI scoring but the goals record is good and for an ineligible league player that can be enough. From just 24p to 53p the right link could see him bounce very nicely.

 

Noni Madueke - 18 - PSV

Real FI Potential

4/5

Trend Fit and Hype

4/5

A Tottenham reject now doing very well at PSV. He’s a fresh IPO from January and has been injured. Should be back soon, though.

Had he been on FI all season we have seen at least one deecnt score already with him scoring and assisting in the Europa vs PAOK in November. And that is no fluke, he has registered 8 goals and 7 assists this season. Looks a solid FI fit. 

England youth international too which always bumps the hype up.

You could argue that he is probably not the closest to a transfer, and a move this Summer might be too soon. And PSV are wobbling in the Europa and may go out.

He’s also 64p to 82p which relative to some others on this list is quite high.

However he looks the most FI suitable player in today’s reviews, with only Tzolis matching him for ability. Yet Madueke has a nicer trend fit being English.

A long term holder at 64p or thereabouts I suspect would end up happy. Shorter term minded folk may want to wait a bit but even if we do nothing now – we should remember the name.

Yunas Musah - 18 - Valencia

Real FI Potential

3/5

Trend Fit and Hype

3.5/5

Interesting story. Former Arsenal player, now at Valencia and breaking into the side gradually. 

He’s represented England at U18 but is also eligible for the USA and has represented them in two friendlies already. There is currently a tussle going on between England and the USA to see who he ends up playing for.

He’s getting a good share of minutes at Valencia this season. His FI numbers are actually pretty poor in La Liga but then Valencia numbers tend to be and I won’t judge him too harshly for that.¬†There are some England U18 games where he shows strong performance suitability which give cause for hope.

But at this stage it will be more about his development and hype and there is nothing wrong with trading on that basis provided we get the right price. And with no bid price at all it could be a bargain as a patient long term hold.

 

Micheal Olise - 19 - Reading

Real FI Potential

3.5/5

Trend Fit and Hype

3/5

Olise is picking up a bit of hype given his strong displays for Reading. Not on FI yet, but it would not surprise me if he was added as a priority.

The baselines are solid as a central midfielder for both offensive and defensive actions. Gets forward some too with 4 goals so far this season not to mention the 10 assists.

We always have to be a little wary of Championship stats but there is enough here to convince most he has potential. 

And that will be enough should he pick up a decent transfer link, or hit that annual wave of buying of promoted players from the Championship.

Fabio Silva - 18 - Wolves

Real FI Potential

2.5/5

Trend Fit and Hype

3.5/5

Silva arrived at Wolves with a lot of hype as their biggest ever signing at such a young age. And of course he came with a big price tag on FI too not far off £2.50 back then. Just 34p to 72p now yet closer to regular minutes than he ever was.

He hasn’t made a huge impact this season but remains well regarded within the club and should keep getting chances. Off the bench versus Leicester in early February he had a really good chance to score.  And then in the next game vs Southampton in the Cup he went close too. 

Really would not take much to get him pumping from a low price based on not much more than a good goal on Match of the Day.

Which is just as well, because whisper it, he looks like he will be poor for performance scoring. He would need to be knocking in 2+ to genuinely threaten a dividend win most days.

But there is nothing wrong with trading based on a little hype and expectation provided the price is right. And given he is still 18 with a previous ceiling of £2.50+ and well under 50p now? The price is right.

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