Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Marcus Rashford is an obvious investment to anybody familiar with Football Index. He has been sat in the Top 200 for consecutive seasons and currently lies in the Top 10 most valuable players on the Index.
But does he provide good value for money?
Currently sat at £6.93, Rashford offers almost every aspect of an investment that any trader could wish for. There are often illogical outliers scattered throughout the index where speculation and hype has outweighed proven talent or performance. Wonderkids have been the taste of the season. We've presented our views on The Wonderkid Bias before and won't beat that same drum here - largely on the fact that Rashford is no longer a Wonderkid. He ticks far more boxes than any other 22 year old on the index. Investing in Marcus Rashford at sub £7 justifies every penny. We rarely make such statements.
So, what are these so called 'boxes' that he ticks. What justifies investing in Rashford?
Manchester United are the most reported club in England, and therefore the most likely to yield media dividends. In April, the first mid-season month with no PB dividends, media was the money maker on the index. Manchester United boasted Rashford and Pogba in joint 4th place for media dividend ranking that month (£0.28 each). Ighalo pipped 10th place (£0.11). Then speculation on Dortmund's Jadon Sancho moving to United contributed to his Top Spot in Media Rankings (£0.54). Harry Kane was also rumoured to United - he was second in the Media Rankings in April (£0.36). Old Club Legends, Rooney and Ronaldo, both were in the top 10 too, 6th and 9th respectively. In summary, Manchester United provides masses of media attention to current players, prospective players, and legacy players. United will be in the limelight of English Football no matter what ups and downs they face - controversy feeds media, as does success. United's most concrete asset right now is Rashford. He's a United Academy Graduate and as it stands is a one-club-player. The media will always turn to Rashford for as long as he's at United.
Not only is Rashford the 8th most expensive player on the index, but he's also the 8th greatest yielding Media Winner this season. His 225 media mentions (10880 points) in the last 3 months is a good indication to go off. In fact, it's firm numerical proof that he is a media dividend contender. It's not speculation, but a history of winning dividends. The only younger player above him in in this ranking is Sancho, whose impeccable timing of a world-class season has seen him rise to heights of £13.56 as the King of the Index. However, Sancho is nearly twice the price of Rashford. Both have huge potential for media, but you'd question if Sancho is worth twice as much right now over a three year investment. Not to say Sancho isn't worthy of being King, but is Rashford really only half the value of Sancho?
Rashford is one of England's Poster Boys. Up to now, Rashford has been a key figure throughout all International Football. His transition from a central striker to a winger will likely provide further media attention and speculation as to where he will fit going forward. One thing for certain is that he'll be in the National Squad should he stay fit for the foreseeable future. He's already made 38 caps for England, scoring 10. There are fewer options with such a depth of experience already. I'm sure every fan doubts he'll slide out of England's set up during a 3 year investment. When International Football is in the media, Rashford won't be far away.
His style of play and role at United provides good PB. Attacking players do better on the index. Young attacking players do best. A simple scroll through the Top 200 will confirm this trend. His PB average this season hits 3 figures, despite United not firing on all cylinders. The index is partial to a punt on the next big thing, whilst leaving those already up there in the dark. Rashford isn't the next big thing. He already is established - somehow this has undervalued him if anything. He's not moving anywhere, so there's less hype, perhaps he's supposedly not getting any better? But a look at his stats over the last two seasons paints a vastly different picture. He's still incredibly young, and is scoring at a rate as good as the rest of Europe's elite (ok, Haaland is perhaps an exception for now - but even his xG is starting to come down to a human-rate). Furthermore, he's still clearly improving each season.
Rashford stats 18/19:
33 PL games
2.5 shots per game
1.3 Dribbles per game
2.5 Bad Controls per game
Rashford stats 19/20:
22 PL games
3.3 Shots per game
2.0 dribbles per game
2.0 bad controls per game
With United improving and looking to add depth to their change creation, Rashford will likely start to rise in PB ratings. United are currently a Europa League side - yet Rashford sits at £7. If they find themselves in the Champions league over the next 3 seasons, Rashford will almost certainly have a higher PB average on the basis that his team are overall more dominant.
To help a few traders weigh in on the investment, here's a list of criteria that we believe build a player's value. This isn't a hunch - this list is what has moulded the Top 200. Not every player needs to tick all these boxes, but generally speaking, they tick the majority. The more boxes ticked, the more established/stable Top 200 player. Players that only tick a few of the boxes who sit in the Top 200 are either dropping in value or are riding speculation such as future transfers.
Age under 25
'Superclub' AKA Deep pockets, historical giants or title contenders.
European Football (Top 6 side)
At least one season at the very top
Stats Improving year-on-year
>75% Starting Eleven over the season
PB Average above 100
Rashford = 101 during 19/20
PB Max above 230
Rashford = 247 in 19/20
Previous PB Winner (not speculative)
Rashford £0.11 this season
Previous Media Winner (not speculative)
Rashford £0.28 this season
Transfer Speculation to BETTER PB/Media Club.
These factors justify a price in concrete form. Transfer speculation is not a certain factor for a rise in value as it depends on the status of the prospective club - only when the transfer has occurred can you really identify what the players value is worth. When players transfer, their price can crash or rocket as a result of the concrete move. Transfer speculation in general only shines light on the positives unless a player is a) moving away from a successful club in the premier league. Or b) Moving to a non-pb league, largely occurring at the end of their careers.
When you look at the exact situation a player is currently in, Rashford finds himself in the ultimate slot in English Football - Manchester United's first choice forward. For the vast majority of wonderkids out there, this is the top goal for the investment. It is the Utopian vision. There are fewer opportunities to rise higher, particularly if United are able to establish a Champions League presence in seasons to come.
Rashford has very few boxes left to tick, but many years ahead to exploit them on the index. If United are able to capture form upon return of the Premier League, he'll continue plugging away as a PB and MB winner. As mentioned United are looking to bring in further creative reinforcements, suggesting their PB overall as a team will increase. Furthermore, his year-on-year improvement will keep plenty of traders intrigued by how good he could become. There's a possibility that Rashford will follow in Rooney's footsteps in becoming a club legend and National icon should he develop at his current rate. He's already bagged 41 premier league goals and netted 10 for England aged 22. Despite the fact it's still early days, indications lean towards Rashford being a core part of the future of both club and country.
It's rare we produce such biased articles, but it's incredibly difficult to pick out reasons why Rashford is overvalued.
There are risks that we'll try to shine a light on.
1. He's had injury issues. This is not a serious matter now, but it's a long way to fall from £7 should injury plague his future. However, this risk is something that every investment on Football Index should consider. Rashford is not significantly injury prone for a player of his age and experience.
2. United are not a concrete European team. They are highly likely a Europa League side next season and are just 3 points behind a Champions League spot. Should the 19/20 season finish with United outside of a European spot, the Rashford investment takes a toll.
3. United are looking to bolster their attack. They've lacked a dominant goal threat whilst Rashford has played largely down the wings. Ighalo is older, but not exactly a world-beater, whilst Martial is as equally experienced as Rashford. There's a chance that United will look to bring in another big-name goalscorer or chance creator. The players brought in to help reinforce the squad could exceed expectations. If an experienced striker, Grealish and/or Sancho arrive, whilst Martial, Ighalo or even Greenwood outperform Rashford, the 22 year old could be benched due to competition. You can judge how likely this is though - it's a risk, but not exactly a threat.
4. The only other risk that gets a mention is another consideration that applies to the entire index and not Rashford-specific. A market crash. Players of highest value have the farthest fall.
Take home message
The reason we've named the article 'The Model Investment' is relatively easy. Marcus Rashford is an investment that offers safe value for money. His age, form, club, country and potential are an ideal match for Football Index. Jadon Sancho is a player that has hit new heights, unexplored territory on the Index - for some he's been the most lucrative investment of a lifetime. But unexplored territory offers risk. It is a very long fall from the top. Bruno Fernandes, the Silver Medalist in the Top 200, is another great box ticker - though the style in which he rose to £9.70 is perhaps one that rode some hype following his transfer. He's a fantastic player no doubt, and time will tell if he justifies his worth to new traders investing in him at his current buy price.
But Rashford, well, he offers so much for a price that still has scope to grow. A clear path upwards and shorter peak to fall from. It's hard to argue he's overvalued. It's easy to see him rising. It's difficult to see him fall. If every trader shares that perspective, Rashford's value is only heading in one direction.