I have been a user on Football Index for over two years and have focused on these factors for deciding whether or not to purchase a certain player. I use this mainly whilst looking for medium/long term investment which may last from six months to years. This is probably fairly obvious stuff to a lot of experienced traders but for new users and growing ones, it will be a useful guide when looking for a good valued investment.
The player needs to be at the age where their prime years are ahead of them. This will benefit both media buzz (MB) and performance buzz (PB). Research suggests players reach their prime at 27 years on average. Therefore it is around the age of 25 where players often make big moves in order for their new club to have the prime years of their career for them. This means it could be a time where the media buzz capabilities of that player spike, in line with a big transfer. Coutinho was 25 when he made his £142m move to Barcelona, and Neymar was the same age when his record £198m transfer to PSG was complete.
If a player is younger than this age then that investment has a lot less risk associated with it. They have many years of potential links with other teams. Remember however that football trades have a 3-year expiry date, so if you were buying for a very long time be prepared to have to sell and re-buy that player within the given time window.
Any player close to or in their 30s has a short lifespan where they can expect to win dividends. This is the common age players begin to slow down and consolidate their legacies within their team or try a new risky venture for one last time. For this method, I would avoid players at this age to minimise risk.
Club and level
The better the team is, the more likely that they will win matches and hence a greater chance of winning PB. Being successful as well in European competitions is a great advantage, adding further chances to win dividends.
Ideally, the player will be in a competitive team, who are within the top half of their league. It is decisive for a player to maximise their chances of winning PB by competing in a winning team. Since 1st November only 6 PB winners have come from a losing team and this trend will continue.
Champions League & Europa League teams who are likely to reach the knockout stages is a massive bonus as they will be up for double & triple PB days with limited competition significantly improving the chances of good returns. However, rises in these players are hard to judge and many will have little value. Looking at which teams are competing in Europe and evaluating their chances of success will help to get a better understanding of the player’s value.
The name of a player can sometimes be overlooked for its importance in particular when it comes to media attention. However, this is essential. A single named player like Neymar gets bonus points as a great investment simply because his name will appear more frequently in articles. Since August 2017 Neymar has returned £2.13 in MB alone, and a reason why he is the most expensive player on the Index, with such a simple name along with his unquestionable football talent.
In comparison, players like Saul Niguez would be a more valuable player if his name was simply ‘Saul’. It would be picked up a lot more in MB and increase his value. Alisson is another prime example where one name leads to him winning 44p in dividends after his arrival to England, unheard of for a goalkeeper.
This also leads to a final point about the complexity of a name and how this could affect the player’s value. Kepa Arrizabalaga has an unusual name, which could lead to media simply labelling him as ‘Kepa’ for example. It is therefore unlikely he would ever win MB whether in the Top 200 or not and hence explains why Alisson is currently 220% more expensive than his younger opponent. This is not a defining point on whether a player is a good investment but is certainly worth bearing in mind.
Quality of the player
With the globalised football world we live in today, the best players will always get the attention of the biggest teams in the world. They have the most money and hence are likely that in time they will move on to one of these teams in the future of their career.
It is, therefore, more than worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons of a footballer and understand them as a player rather than a punt. It’s worthwhile watching a couple of matches featuring this player to get a better understanding of them as a player. Checking Twitter for opinions of the players and even articles going into detail about the player also helps to create a better judgement. They may also show the early stages of transfer interest.
Furthermore, websites such as Transfermarkt.com provide player information, positions they play, potential transfer value and when there contracts last till. This all helps to gather more information and build up a much better understanding of the footballer.
Overall this article has intended to show that a player will have a lot more potential for a rise if a number of aspects are covered. If they can compete weekly for PB, have the potential of MB due to transfer and performances along with years of football at the highest level ahead of them then you have covered all areas that make a solid investment!
Remember you don’t have to be right about a players career path to make money. You simply need a player that you believe other traders will likewise find value in. Over time for young players this is most likely, so patience and keeping an eye on prices often is key to making good returns.