Hello all and welcome back to the blog. I though that with the PB leagues running down to their conclusions and with that the French Challenge Portfolio slowing up a little I would begin to focus a short fortnightly (or so) post on who, from the French side of things, is buzzing in the media and on the Index. With that I will also try and add some of my own thoughts and perspective on the buzzers along with a little analysis….I want it to be short and snappy! In addition, I will take a look every now and then at some young prospects or value picks who I think will be buzzing before or when the new season comes back around.
Price: £2.43 (7 day change +20.79%)
Summer MB Divs: 5p
Grizzy. I had mentioned after Atleti’s calamitous defeat to Juventus in the UCL that I was almost certain Antoine Griezmann would leave Atletico at the end of the season. He wanted one last shot at a title or the UCL with his beloved club but also, according to multiple decent sources, regretted not moving to Barcelona last summer when it was all signed and sealed. He was being criminally underutilised by Simeone and the whole club felt like it needed a refresh. And so here we are. However, it now does not appear to be as simple as Griezmann waltzing into Barcelona and signing on the dotted line. He annoyed the club last summer with his antics and thus they are proceeding cautiously. Further, he absolutely loves creating drama and buzz. If only he’d come to the Premier League!! PSG, Bayern and Barcelona all appear to be in the running. This could well drag on.
Here’s my take. Barca are still clear favourites. If he joined them he’d be freed up to play the attacking football he excels at. Partnered with Messi and Suarez or more excitingly with Messi and Dembele he’d be a creative force. Yes, he’d lose some if not all free kicks, penalties and corners. This is a loss for PB but not the biggest loss. I still think he remains a PB force but his MB chances also increase. At PSG he would be a PB force. He would compete with Neymar for set pieces. He would also help increase Mbappe’s productivity, if that were even possible! His MB appeal would remain about the same as it was at Atletico if a little elevated after a big transfer and being back in France. At Bayern, he would be his most PB productive. He would face little competition for penalties and direct free kicks. He would also be part of a PB machine. His MB however, would drop below the level it was at Atletico.
Price £7.74 (+3.45%)
Summer MB: 5p
I have a funny feeling Pogba will be in the blog a lot this summer. I wrote about him in my very first Summer Proofing blog. You know the back story. I think that this is a saga that drags on all summer. The agent, his wage demands, Madrid being busy elsewhere, Barcelona interest. At this stage I still believe he stays at Manchester United. He was at the new kit launch! However, things can change quickly. Best case is that he stays at United having been the subject of a summer long tug of war. However, my view is a little different to the prevailing view should he join Madrid. I tweeted out a while back my list of players who transcend football. Neymar, Mbappe, CR7 were on that list, so too was Pogba. Wherever he goes he attracts media interest. I also think that, surrounded by better players and under a much better manager his PB chances remain high. As such I think he would suffer an initial price drop upon confirmation of the transfer but would slowly rise again. I am not saying he would reach his current price anytime soon, but his drop would not be a permanent one.
INCOMING BUZZ QUICK HITS
Florian Thauvin £1.50 (+0.2%) – Quiet at the moment but will leave Marseille this summer. Wants European football. Milan, Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have shown an interest recently. PB performer this season in a dreadful team.
Nabil Fekir £2.56 (-2.25%)– Classic. However, with David Ornstein seemingly confirming that Liverpool are out of the race it leaves Fekir open to other offers. For me Tottenham, Atletico and Bayern are looking for a Fekir-esque player. Indeed, the Evening Standard dropped a Fekir to Spurs tip only yesterday.
Moussa Dembele £1.26 (+18.62) – Linked with Manchester United and as such his price has flown! Not sure Lyon let him go this summer. However, were a huge bid to be made they’d struggle to turn it down. Prolific goalscorer, underrated in his build up play. Big future no matter this summer’s outcome.
Marcus Thuram £1.00 (-3.95%) – Guingamp are confirmed as relegated to Ligue 2. Thuram is their best player. His dad (Lilian) wants a Premier League move. And there have been links to Spurs and Arsenal. However, a move to one of Ligue 1’s big guns would be for the best. Lyon or Marseille or Lille would fit the bill. He’s pretty expensive on the Index right now but has the potential for a Nicolas Pepe-esque break out should he make the right move over the summer.
BARGAIN OF THE BLOG
This will normally be the domain of a few individual players who I think should and maybe will go big next season. However today I am here to provide you a service. That is to tell you to invest in Goalkeepers now. They are criminally undervalued on the Index. Think of the returns you can make from a keeper like Bernard Lecomte both in season and in the off season. In season he keeps a clean sheet and makes 1p per future on his circa 25p price. There will also be an accompanying price rise and not often such a dramatic sell off as they are cheap. Buy GKs to hold and top up regularly to recover the IPDs. Also, if they play on single game days like French teams often do they are in with a shout for PB.
I genuinely believe, like Jay Hall said on Twitter the other day, there is a market correction coming with all Goal Keepers but especially the cheaper ones. If you are on them now, then you will benefit hugely. My tips for French Goalkeepers are:
Benjamin Lecomte: 24p, 11 clean sheets. Leaving Montpellier this summer and Marseille seem to be circling as are Roma.
Mike Maignan: 29p, 14 clean sheets. If he stays, he will be in Europe with Lille. If he goes it will be to a much bigger club. PSG reject now has PSG circling once more.
Hugo Lloris: 33p 12 clean sheets. Possible MB next season. Has been one of the best keepers in Europe statistically. Under priced compared to Ederson, Allison etc.
Albin Lafont: 34p 7 clean sheets. Party to Fiorentina’s complete collapse this season. However, he remains one of the best if not the best young GKs in the world. Will leave Fiorentina at some point.
The season review for the French portfolio is due at the end of this month. As part of that I will also take another critical look at my Summer Proofing strategy. Then I will drop he next Who’s Buzzing post. Until then enjoy the summer madness!!