Football Index Return on Investment Analysis of 2018

It’s a very exciting time for Football Index users and for Football Index itself as a platform. With the start of a new year, it is important to look back at what has happened in the last year and what we can learn from that for the year ahead. A new year also sees a chance for new ideas, and it is great to begin a partnership between myself and footballanalysis.com. Football Analysis offers a place for all football fans to take a closer statistical look at a player’s or team’s performance as well as a specific section for fans of Fantasy Premier League and Football Index. And all of these stats and articles are available for free!

In this article, I will be looking at some of the trends that we have seen on Football Index in the past year and hopefully, offer some advice on how this could influence the trends for the next year.

Return on Investment (ROI) is a metric we can use to compare the profitability of holding various players on the platform. This article looks at all the players who you were able to buy on Football Index at the start of 2018 and it analyses each player’s ROI (this includes both their price change and the dividends they won). For example, if I had bought a player at the start of 2018 for £1 and he increased to £1.88 and won £0.12 in dividends, my ROI would be 100% on that player.

% Return on Investment by Player in 2018

There were some huge ROI figures on the Index last year. In fact, there were 202 players that had a 100% return in 2018, meaning that they covered their own value and the trader essentially doubled their money. If you look at the top risers, there are a few trends that we can notice.

  • Young and transfer ready
  • Underestimated
  • Streets ahead in their dividend grouping

Luka Jovic at the top of this table encapsulates all three of these trends. The 21-year-old Serbian forward is currently nearing the end of his two-year loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, where he has been on fire. So far in the 2018/19 season, he has scored 18 goals in 22 games in the league and in Europe.  With his loan coming to an end, there will be a great chance of a move away from his parent club Benfica, with Manchester United rumoured to be interested. As a young Serbian in Germany with only 3 international caps, he was not well-known at the start of 2018. His price only started growing as he began to find the back of the net with more and more consistency.

This applies to all of the top players on this chart - Sancho is young and was underestimated in Germany, Pepe is young and transfer ready and was underestimated at Lille and Kimmich is young and the top defender for PB.

If we reverse the chart and look at those who have the largest negative ROI, there are once again some clear trends that we can observe.

  • Transfers to non-PB leagues
  • Older and not playing
  • Transfer in 2017 that didn’t work out

When we look at the top 2 players, we see the largest drop-offs of 60+%. Rooney and Ibrahimović were near the top of the Index at a point before Matchday Dividends as they were stars of the Media Rankings. Their respective transfers to the MLS meant that they became no longer eligible for Matchday dividends and now also don’t have the same media draw as before. Players like Wilshere and Evans moved clubs, are in the latter stages of their respective careers and haven’t been given the game time required to sustain a high price. Meanwhile, Lallana has tried to fight back from a string of injuries but he doesn’t look close to making Liverpool’s starting XI.

2018 % ROI Distribution

Following on from what was discussed above, this graph lets us see how widely the players are distributed. With the median at 16%, this means that half of the players who were tradable at the start of 2018 have achieved an ROI of at least 16%. Interestingly, the average is up at 46%. Therefore, if you owned every player on the Index you would have seen a return on investment of 46%. The Upper and Lower Quartiles are also interesting to look at, with the lower quartile at 2% and the upper quartile sitting at 61% growth. There are a lot of players at the lower end of the market who rarely move in price so if you are looking for a benchmark to compare the performance of your portfolio against the market in 2018, I would suggest the upper quartile of 61%.

Age vs ROI (Price Change + Dividends)

Looking at this graph, it is easy to see a clear correlation between age and price growth. Put simply, the younger the player, the greater the chance the player has of a price rise, with the line of distribution for 18 and 19-year olds falling at greater than 100%. Also, interestingly, there is not a single player under 21 who made a loss in 2018. Furthermore, a number of the older players who have seen rises are goalkeepers – they have increased in value due to the clean sheet in-play dividends for goalkeepers. Some players that go against the pattern are Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric, who saw a good percentage price growth because of their extensive runs in the Champions League and World Cup which led to Modric winning the Ballon d’Or. Ramos’ price has also been helped by now being the penalty taker at Real Madrid after Ronaldo’s summer exit.

Dividends vs Price Change

This graph is also fairly easy to get to grips with. The correlation tells us that the more dividends a player earns, the more his price will increase. Those that have earned few dividends but have seen huge price increases are all incredibly young. Those that have earned a decent number of dividends but not grown in price are mostly older players or at the top of the market. Harry Kane and Antoine Griezmann are two examples who have earned more than £1.40 in dividends but have only increased between 20 and 30% in price. Alexis Sanchez earned a significant number of dividends, but his price was already extremely high due to his transfer saga last January.

PB Average vs ROI (Price Change + Dividends)

This is another graph with a strong correlation that many traders will have already assumed. The greater the PB average, the more the player will have increased in price. Those that fall below the line are typically players who have fallen out of favour at their club during the year. For example, Nicolas Otamendi was Man City’s main PB dividend returner in defence last season, but this season he has struggled to get into the team, so his value has decreased heavily since the start of the 18/19 season. Another example that appears at the bottom of the graph is Jonny Evans, who at the start of 2018 was linked to several of the top clubs. Over the summer, however, he moved to Leicester where he is now a backup to Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan and therefore his price has dropped.

ROI by Position

When looking at this graph, it is important to look at which position types are the best for ROI and then to look within each category. This allows us to compare when we are looking at two similar players in terms of other statistics or who have different positions within the same team. This may make the decision of who to choose slightly easier. One very encouraging sight from this graph is that the lower quartile of each position is positive, meaning that there are fewer than 25% of players in each position who would have lost you money in 2018.

Quite clearly from this graph, it has been a good year if you own a lot of forwards with averages of 81% and 51%. The only average which is higher than 51% outside the forwards is in attacking midfielders and wingers - the most attacking role within the midfield.

In defence, the greatest rise is from the full-backs - the most attacking players within the defence position. An interesting rise has come from the goalkeepers who obviously have been given greater earning potential as they can now win in-play dividends through clean sheets.

By looking at these graphs, there should be opportunities to learn from what has happened so far in 2019. It is all about looking at these yourself and using the trends that I have picked out above and finding a player that fits as many of them as possible. Best of luck and onwards and upwards in 2019!

Follow me @Comenzum on twitter and go to www.footballanalysis.com for more great statistical coverage.

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