Updated: Jul 29, 2020
A short exploration into how club, country and listed position justify a players value on Football Index.
All traders with over 10 minutes of experience on Football Index will have learnt that player value is somewhat of a mystery. There is a cocktail of confusion being served when traders argue that a player is valued inaccurately. The combination of trends in finding the next megastar whilst buying to actually earn dividends mean the Top 200 looks almost random to new traders. Media Buzz is a vastly misunderstood phenomenon that very few prospective youngsters win, whilst old favourites such as Paul Pogba can dominate the headlines with a sniff of a rumour or some training ground antics. All the while, PB dominants this season such as Josip Ilicic barely hit £2 in value despite big returns in PB dividends. Then you must factor in newly IPO'd players are listed at prices far higher than players in previous seasons. Trent Alexander Arnold was once valued at 30p per share and had to increase up past £2 through traders buying shares in him. Bellingham was IPO'd at £1.95, meaning only a handful of traders were holding shares when he reached £2 in value compared to the hundreds of traders holding TAA at the same price. If you're already confused, don't worry. This all just goes to show it's a minefield when you try to understand why a player is valued at their buy price, and how they even got there.
In this article, we'll simplify focus on three basics that dictate a Players Value. They aren't the only things to focus on, but they are the stable facts that you can observe when viewing a player profile.
All of these factors can be considered concrete. There may be speculation surrounding a players future, which always plays a big part in the player valuation, but the absolute cemented fact is that every single player on football index can be considered by 'Club X, Nationality Y, Position Z'.
So how do these basics justify a higher price?
Club is a massive factor in Football Index. Firstly, a successful club will have a greater PB average, on the basis that more goals scored have more assists, more possession means more passes, fewer goals conceded means more clean sheets, and ultimately a better win ratio. It explains why the PB average of Liverpool's starting XI is double that of Norwich.
Secondly, media attraction of each club. Journalists will follow a success story, a controversy, a standout player - but CRUCIALLY they will write what the readers want. If more readers are interested in the top of the table than the middle, more articles are written in accordance with the interest. Furthermore, if more fans follow a 'big club' than a small club, the media will lean towards the big one.
Take a token example through Instagram; United have 35m insta followers, Wolves have 1.1m. That's over 30x more people interested in Manchester United than Wolves. They both play Europa League football this season, and aren't dissimilar in standings and performances. To play on this example, if Diogo Jota was at United do you think he'd still be the same price as he is now at Wolves? If Sancho was linked to a move to Wolves instead of United, do you think he'd be the same price as he is now? You get the idea.
On the very flip side of this, it's also worth remembering sides being promoted and relegated. If a side goes down, there's a chance their top players could be on the move -Jack Grealish and Todd Cantwell easily come to mind right now. This obviously feeds into the bigger picture of 'transfer hype', but ultimately the clubs could retain their stars if they weren't likely to be relegated. On the promotion front, players doing well in Championship sides that are facing promotion, take Benrahma at Brentford, are also somewhat inflated in price on the basis that they will become Premier League players. If Benrahma was in a mid-table side there's a chance his value would be lower.
Nationality is also a core factor worth considering. The Football Stockmarket is an English Platform dictated by English media, so international football will naturally focus on England. There is far more media speculation surrounding who will start for England (Rashford, Sancho, Sterling, Grealish etc) compared to France (Nkunku, Fekir, Mbappe, Lemar, Greizmann etc). A player from a relatively mediocre national team may struggle for PB in international tournaments compared to those who play for a more dominant national team. European players are usually more valuable than say, South American, as the Euros are both PB eligible and more reported than the Copa America for example.
If we were to judge the value hierarchy in the most basic form it'd look something like this:
Top European - French, German, Spanish, Italian
Mid-tier European - Portuguese, Netherlands (talented squads but domestic leagues not PB eligible), other British
Top South American - Argentina, Brazil
Remaining European Sides
African / Asian / Remaining Americas / Oceania
Obviously Portugal boast Ronaldo and Bruno, and are European Champions. Mo Salah is from Egypt. Messi comes under 4th Tier Nationality. We get it. There will be exceptions that are justified by means OUTSIDE of their nationality. But if you were to take Nationality as an isolated factor, the value inflation across the index would look something like this.
Position is the last of the basics that plays a pivotal role in a player's value. The index breaks positioning for PB dividends into just three categories; Defender, Midfielder, Forward. This makes it very difficult to identify what a good PB candidate in each category looks like.
Football Index favours attacking football.
Sheffield United have the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season, yet their recent opponents Aston Villa sat in 19th have scored more goals than them this campaign. Sheffield players have won £0.12 this season in PB dividends. Villa have won £0.20. A simple stance to take, but it proves the point.
Baring in mind attacking play is favoured, we've split the three categories into various roles that will help you to understand which ROLE is a good PB candidate, rather than which listed POSITION is. Next to each player is the average PB score for this season (correct as of Friday 19th June).
Note - the role does not reflect their ability or media potential. A transfer, tactical shift or change of manager can change what they offer in PB thus influence how good the investment opportunity is both through MB and PB potential.
Best PB Forwards
Chance Creator - Messi 182, Werner 109,
The most valuable role on Football Index. Players that can both score and assist are gems on FI. Goals and assists are of great PB value, whilst key passes also contribute to good scores. A player that can play with the ball at his feet and dictate both the chance creation and finishing of a play are worth investing far more than any other player on the pitch.
Prolific Scorer - Lewandowski 137, Immobile 119
Someone that can just score goals, week in, week out. Rallying up a big goal tally can contribute to great PB scores without having to play a part in defensive organisation or even chance creation. The media also tend to flock to goalscorers.
Aggressive Winger - Neymar 196, Ronaldo 158
Ball to feet. Take players on. Successful dribbles, passes/key passes, crosses and shots can be accumulated from the wings.
Worst PB Forwards
Hustler - McBurnie 49, Poulsen 54
Great work ethic, pressing and defensive organisation all tally up to 0 in PB. A forward that doesn't score many goals isn't a great investment. A forward that doesn't score, create chances or beat players on the dribble is a poor investment.
Poacher or Targetman - Abraham 60, Calvert-Lewin 54.
Forwards that can score but fail to link up particularly well in the build up aren't all that lucrative. Both young English forwards exampled here are top scorers but are yet to show creative edges or prolific goal tallies this season
Best PB Midfielders
Creative Midfielder - De Bruyne 184, Sancho 123, Bruno Fernandes 165, Ilicic 142.
Goal scoring, chance creating maestros. They, much like the chance creating forwards, offer assists and goals, but often average more passes per game too. Some could even play as second strikers. This makes them highly desirable in your portfolio to win PB dividends.
Play Dictator / Deep Lying Playmaker - Kimmich 184, Verratti 148, Thiago 156, Rodri 133,
They don't need goals or assists to their name to post respectable PB scores, often making them less expensive than the more obvious chance creating players. Nonetheless, their PB is racked up through passing, interceptive play and ball recoveries. Kimmich has regularly posted 200+ without contributing more than an assist in a game, which goes to show it isn't all about goals and assists in the PB matrix.
Set Piece, Box to Box - Kroos 187, Pjanic 130
Players that don't stand out at the offensive end, but get stuck in all over the park whilst offering some flair from set pieces tend to score highly. Kroos is the highest avg PB midfielder this season despite his stats in goals and assists being a fraction those by Jadon Sancho - who's averaged far lower.
Worst PB Midfielders
Non-prolific Widemen - Harvey Barnes 70, Daniel James 78, Thomas Lemar 46, Lo Celso 67
The issue with investing in wider players for PB reasons is that they cannot score as highly unless they are highly aggressive. Playing out wide means they see less of the ball, meaning fewer passes, ball recoveries and interceptions. Unless they're demanding the ball and beating their defender to whip a ball on or get a shot off, they often struggle to average good scores compared to the central midfielders.
Defensive Holding - Can 77, Billing 73, Dendoncker 66
Some defensive midfielders offer good PB on the basis that they are deep lying playmakers. The more traditional holding midfielders however, struggle to rack up a good PB score compared to those that sit further forward. All though they are able to break up play and rack up a good number of passes, very few end up as key passes, and there's nothing spectacular on offer if they aren't seen going forward all that much.
Best PB Defenders
Attacking full-back - Alexander-Arnold 169, Alphonso Davies 136, Carvajal 145
The best PB defenders on offer are those that create chances. The full back for highly offensive teams now play roles overlapping as wingers. This often means they are the primary source of crosses and assists. Teams courageous enough to send full-backs flying down the flanks are often solid at the back, so clean sheets are still on offer in addition to the offensive chances they create.
Goal Scorers - Sergio Ramos 137, Marcos Alonso 135
A defender that can get on the score sheet whilst also putting in all the defensive duties is obviously attractive. It's a big PB score for a player that can play out from the back, keep a clean sheet and score a goal.
Ball-playing Commanders - Thiago Silva 131, Virgil van Dijk 170, David Alaba 151
Passes. A PB point per pass on FI means players that command from the back and are comfortable on the ball are solid PB scorers. They average good scores consistently, so are often at the right end of the PB match day rankings on days where defenders haven't had much luck going forward.
Worst PB Defenders
There's simply not enough in it to justify Goalkeepers winning PB. It's more luck than skill on a day where they are leading the ranks on matchday.
Anchors - Michael Keane 72, Vestergaard 61, Savic 80
The defenders that are capable of putting in a decent effort at the back but can't string together many passes or offer a goal threat at set pieces often aren't in the running for PB. They offer little creativity, and if they can't keep a clean sheet their PB scores tend to be well below par.