2019 has flown by and, somehow, Christmas is less than two weeks away.
It’s been a big one for men’s football. Liverpool won the Champions League after 14 years, Manchester City retained the Premier League, Barcelona continued their recent domination of La Liga among others.
For the most knowledgeable of fans, these moments will have been about more than just a team winning a trophy. Football Index traders will have been paying close attention to goings-on across Europe in order to maximise their profits on the stock exchange.
The aim of Football Index, which makes it so unique, is to buy whatever rising stars you identify on the cheap and hopefully selling for a profit as their stocks increase – if you’ve made the right call. Profits can also be made through ‘dividends’, where players earn points awarded based on Opta stats and media mentions.
The different ways of earning profits make it even more important that you sign the right players at the right times, if you want to maximise your return. So, if you were to receive a £100 Football Index voucher for Christmas, what would be the best way to put it to use?
We asked Craig Rennie for his Christmas Football Index wishlist and the Football Index Elite aficionado began with a warning of who not to buy.
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While the Premier League will roll on over the Christmas period, with fans able to complement their festivities with top-level football, many of Europe’s other leagues take a winter break. This, Craig explains, could see stocks in certain players drop off as traders turn their focus on England.
Craig told Squawka: “Who would be top of my Christmas wishlist? It’s actually a tough question and although I have a list as long as my arm with potential players I’d like to add to my portfolio, I’m also very aware that many top leagues outside of the Premier League are due to enter their winter shutdown period in the next few weeks and I feel there will be an inevitable drop off in a lot of top European players as people move their money back into the Premier League.
“That said, this narrows my list down somewhat, although finding good value players in the premier league is often a difficult task as they are in the spotlight every week and it’s by far the most popular league for Index users.”
So, focussing on the Premier League, where should you put your money? Liverpool may be storming clear at the top of the table but you might want to go one team down the league table.
“My first inclination is to look at the in-form teams and Leicester fit the bill perfectly having won their last nine games in all competitions,” Craig adds.
“Their talisman Jamie Vardy plays virtually every minute of every game and at £1.86 is a pretty solid buy for any portfolio, especially for the in-play dividends for the first 30 days that you hold him.
“Leicester have no fewer than eight games over the Christmas period (Norwich, Everton, Man City, Liverpool, West Ham, Newcastle, Wigan and Southampton) and Vardy is bound to have a big say in the majority of them. Besides Vardy, they have an array of talent at their disposal and I wouldn’t put anyone off buying Harvey Barnes, [Youri] Tielemans, [James] Maddison, [Ben] Chilwell or Ricardo Periera.
“However, the one that’s caught my eye in the last few weeks is Kelechi Iheanacho, who has been in a rich vein of form scoring two and setting up two in his last two games.
“He is still only 23 years old and must come into Brendan Rodgers calculations during their hectic fixture schedule. At £1.20 I feel he is still a good value hold despite his recent price hike.”
Brendan Rodgers’ side are currently second in the Premier League and in a prime position to finish in the top four. But if Leicester don’t tickle your Football Index fancy, and you’d prefer to position your funds elsewhere, Craig has another suggestion that may be slightly more surprising given their start to the season.
Craig continues: “Away from Leicester; Man United have finally found their feet with impressive wins over Spurs and their Manchester rivals with Marcus Rashford (£4.99) proving his worth with some top-class performances of late.
“The return of Paul Pogba seems imminent and with this is bound to cause a resurgence to his current price (£5.94) and a fair share of media attention. Pogba was as high as £7.57 in July/August and a return to his best form could see him climb back to them figures.
“So without being greedy, my list to Santa this year would have to include Vardy, Iheanacho and Pogba and I would hope to see a nice return on these by the new year.”
You have to be 18+ to gamble. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org. Player prices accurate at the time of writing (15:15, 12/12/2019).