How to find the most valuable young players

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

In just one year, Jadon Sancho has increased in price from under £1 to over £7 and you only need to have been on Football Index for a few months to know how much money can be made from buying good, young, players early on.

There are still plenty of opportunities to buy young, upcoming, players and if you can successfully find a young player at a relatively low price then the returns you could see could be massive. There are also many considerations, especially in regards to risk, when buying young players which is discussed further below.

1. Use the Youth Player Database

Some of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a youth player is age, position, team, if they are in PB league, the nationality of the player, PB scores including how proven they are in first team football and if their team has a strong media pull.

All of these conditions can be filtered by using the Youth Player Database to find players which stand out and you can click into the player's name for further information. Often price will then be the most important consideration and will help determine how risky the trade is.

In general I would suggest that Country (If English they will often be more expensive), PB scores and MB club are the three most influential factors on a youth player's price. However, there are also players who will stand out due to their performances in a non-pb league or for their country (Either first-team or youth team) and will increase in price partly due to speculation of a transfer to a PB league. For example, Joao Felix last season and Erling Braut Haland this season amongst other players.

2. Follow Youth Player's progress

If a player is not playing in PB-eligible games then you can still track their progress in various ways to decide whether they are worth buying. The Youth Player database can help with this. For example, you can use the youth player database to quickly find all 19 and under players which may be of interest. If a player stands out from the Youth Player Database then you can give the player a quick google search and it will come up with their stats from this season for whichever team they have currently been playing for including youth sides. It can also be useful to use transfermarket to check on a youth player's recent stats.

Many youth players will not increase in price straight after scoring in a youth game, so sometimes it can be wise to follow youth games and purchase youth players (If they are well known) after a strong performance and goal before they increase in price. For example, James Garner of Manchester United has increased 50% this month partly due to scoring 4 goals in 3 Youth games.

My favourite method of finding Youth Player's is to go and watch them myself whether that is attending the game or watching online. Tickets for youth games are often very cheap and also some games will be streamed live online so it is worth looking out for. If I do find any player's that stand out from watching these games I will make sure to post about them on the site for premium members! Last season I bought Eric Garcia, Joe Willock, Rayhaan Tulloch, Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher after watching them play in youth games and all of which have more than doubled in price since I bought them.

However, this can be very time consuming and so another method that I often use to check on the progress of youth player's is simply by searching for their name on twitter. I know this may not sound like the most reliable method, but, often you can easily find twitter accounts sharing their analysis and comments on player's performances having watched the relevant youth game. This can be a very quick, easy and free method of getting an update on a player's performance.

Sancho's PB Scores - Index Edge

If the player is in a PB league then there will be plenty of free resources for you to use for further information on the player, such as Whoscored, TransferMarket and SofaScore. For PB scores, I recommend using Index Edge as the data on PB scores is in a format which makes it very easy to understand and they have millions of data points which can be used to make well informed decisions.

To help find high PB scoring, young players I will be sharing with you each month a list of players under 23 that have hit the highest PB scores and highlighting the key players from this list.

3. Look for young players with high PB scores

Mason Mount scoring for Chelsea

Victor Osimhen (+79%), Mason Mount (+68%), Jadon Sancho (+21%), Sergio Reguilon (+48%), Nordi Mukiele (+75%), Martin Odegaard (+52%) and James Maddison (+37%) are all examples of players 22 and under that have hit PB scores over 180 so far this season (30/08/2019). The increases in price of young players with high PB scores has been incredible and it shows the benefit of buying quality young players as often all they will need is one very good game to rise similar amounts to the players above.

The main difficulty to this is that many of these players increased significantly during the game and so unless following the match day rankings during the game, it can often be too late to get on these players. Having said this, all of these players (with the exception of Sergio Reguilon, the oldest of the group) have risen further after their first high scoring PB game, so perhaps it is not too late, especially if they are able to hit a second and then third high PB score etc.

However, it is important to note that these increases in price may be further influenced by how it is the start of the new season under a new PB matrix. Once player's average PB scores over a reasonable amount of games is discovered, price increases off the back of one game may not continue to be so high.

Key Considerations

Rhian Brewster is yet to make his Premier League Debut

Risk - Some youth players carry more risk than others and this will depend on their current price and how proven they already are. For example, Mason Greenwood and Rhian Brewster are currently some of the most expensive players on Football Index having played a limited amount of first-team games. However, they also arguably have the highest ceiling in terms of the price they could reach as they are attacking players for high scoring MB clubs and are English. This is a much more risky trade then buying much cheaper youth player with proven PB scores or a player that already has a strong record for earning dividends.

PB Scores - The better a youth player's PB scores are, often the less risky it is to buy them as long as they are not already very expensive. If they are young and have proven high PB scores then often they will increase further as more traders start to notice the player's ability and PB scores and buy them.

Position - is also also important to consider in regards to youth players. Many high PB scoring, young defenders will be less than half the price of attacking players at the same age with similar PB scores. This is partly due to having a lower ceiling - the most expensive defender is currently (30/08/19) £3.32.

Foden increased in price on his debut and then increased further after his first goal

Price - Many Youth Player's price will shoot up in price and you may feel like you have missed the boat. However, many continue to increase further, if you trust a player will go on to become one of the best, then sometimes it is actually best to go ahead and buy them despite the player already increasing in price. Young, high quality, well known, players will often increase at each milestone in their career. For example, English player's will often increase when they make their first-team debut, get their first goal, then get an international call-up etc. However, once all these milestones have been reached and if the player does not continue to make the step up to the next level, it is likely the player's price will drop.

Comparing a youth player's price to an older, more proven, player who plays a similar role and has similar characteristics such as the country and team they play for can also be useful in terms of considering the ceiling of the player's price. However, you will also need to factor in media pull from younger players including transfer speculation and the way in which your hold may be more valuable in 3 years time which is explained further here.

In conclusion, there are plenty of opportunities to make large profits from buying young players and you can use the resources mentioned above to help you find stand out players. I will also be creating further content highlighting youth players based on their PB scores which should really help you pick out the players which actually have underlying value in the form of returning future dividends.


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