Following on from the Bundesliga analysis and the Serie-A players, it's time to get stuck into players in La Liga. There have been very positive messages, with training resuming for a number of teams, testing in place and rumours of a mid-June restart. With that in mind, it's a good time to start the PEG (Price/Earnings Growth) analysis for players in Spain, again you can read more about PEG analysis in this blog post. Remember though, this is just my favoured valuation method right now, it's based on a trailing PEG, which means it's historical, and as they say in the stockmarket, past returns are no guarantee of future success. Also, if you are more risk averse, wait for definite confirmation of a restart and again, make your own, and be responsible for, your own trading decisions.
Once again, I'm starting with the Top-6 teams, flagging those players that have decent PEG's (Price/Earnings Growth) and could be worth watching ahead of a restart. My own strategy is to take a punt on a few of these and then probably top-up ahead of the start date, to take advantage of any in-play Dividends. Then I would look to re-invest some Dividends in those players – re-investing Dividends is a great idea, but it's also a good idea to keep some in cash for future value purchases – after all, Warren Buffett doesn't re-invest dividends at all, preferring to use the cash to purchase other value stocks, but I prefer a balance and FI is different to a traditional stockmarket as Dividend payments are more frequent, so it makes sense to plough them back in, providing the player is still providing value.
Again, all figures are from start of August 2019. Prices and figures correct as at the weekend (10th/11th May)
ARTHUR – 23yo Midfielder £1.55 – 3p in Divs with a 99% EGR gives him a PEG of 0.52 which is higher than ideal. Barcelona have reportedly been linked with selling the Brazilian or offering him in a sweop deal with Juventus' Pjanic but I read yesterday that may be ‘off'. I'd like to see a few more Divs, also is not a consistent starter and doesn't have Euro's. Remains to be seen if it benefits him to stay or leave at Barca but I'd think he may have more appeal as a definite starter elsewhere.
CLEMENT LENGLET – 24yo Defender £0.94 – 5p in Divs with a 110% EGR gives him an excellent 0.17 PEG. Actually a very good PEG for a young, central defender. Played in 7 of the Euro qualifiers for France, with one goal and looks sure to get a starting spot there. Played 19 games for Barcelona with 2 goals. His big problem is that he 7 Yellows this season with 2 Yellow-Red's – so discipline is clearly an issue and caused him to miss a few games. He is still young and clearly it's not impacted on him winning some Divs so far, but it could hold him back from holding more. There is a risk here, but it's offset by Euro's with France, a top-flight club and his clear potential.
LIONEL MESSI – 32yo Forward £4.91 – Worth a mention, despite the fact he has returned 85p in PB Divs and 85p in Media Divs, Messi doesn't have a PEG due to his negative EGR of -6% since the start of August and even further down from his £6.71 high back in late October. Clearly, Messi is a Dividend machine, but unlike Ronaldo, his price has been on a downward curve without signs of picking up. For that reason alone, the Div returns, for me don't make up for the drop in Cap App so I'd happily swerve, despite owning a few shares, bought at £5.15 and losing £2.40 but earned £7.10 in Divs, there will be a time when will offload when Divs don't compensate for the drop in Cap App, as also have to factor in ability to offload. I'm happy to wait for Order Books, take a small hit in the future, rather than waiting in long sell queues.
RAPHAEL VARANE – 27yo Defender £0.91 – 4p in Divs, 52% EGR gives a PEG of 0.44. Plays alongside Lenglet in central defence for France, but plays for club-rival Real Madrid. Is obviously a few years older, has 2 goals from 23 games in La Liga, 2 goals in 9 Euro qualifiers. Has a better disciplinary record than Lenglet but has have the earnings growth of his National team-mate. So, for me, I'd prefer the younger Lenglet but he certainly is up there in the La Liga central defenders, all depends whether you think Real or Barcelona may have a better/easier end-of-season and whether you think Real Madrid can overcome a 2-1 deficit in the Champions League against Man City.
RODRYGO – 19yo Forward £3.39 – 11p in Divs for the youngster but 45% EGR gives him a PEG of 0.68 which is a little high. However, I'd expect with more regular gametime and Divs likely to increase, his EGR will improve and the PEG will drop. He has been voted as one of the best youngsters in the World. 2 goals from 12 games in La Liga, 4 from 4 in the Champions League and is a player whose progress I am monitoring very closely. Not quite prepared to go in too large until I see more regular gametime, perhaps when Benzema hangs up his boots but is certainly worth a small punt I think, if not on current PEG but future potential.
TONI KROOS – 30yo Midfielder £3.26 – 31p in Divs is quite incredible and an EGR% of 185% gives him a PEG of 0.06, the best of the Real Madrid squad. He is one of the few players I'd worry less about, with regards to age but it still has to factor into decisions. Scored 3 goals in 5 games during Euro qualifying and will probably feature in the squad but has perhaps less longer-term growth potential. However, he is up there with some of the elite 30-somethings, if not quite having the media buzz as a Messi or Ronaldo but the PG speaks for itself and puts in consistently good performances for club and country. However, well off his highs of £4.96 back in November, and perhaps an indication of a move into youth over proven, older performers so I'm happy to swerve.
DANIEL CARVAJAL – 28yo Defender £1.32 – 8p in Divs, EGR of 115% gives him a respectable PEG of 0.14. Touted as one of the best right-back's in the World and is probably playing close to his peak age. Played in 4 Euro qualifiers for Spain and likely to make the full squad next summer so could be worth holding, at least until then with such a decent PEG and an EGR that is not likely to change too much. Could be a low-risk punt but again off his £1.71 highs.
CASEMIRO – 28yo Midfielder £0.78 – 8p in Divs with a EGR of just 37% means he has a PEG of 0.26, but that is still pretty good for a defensive midfielder. Has 3 goals in 25 games in La Liga, 1 goal in 7 Champions League appearances, so perhaps lacks the attacking qualities of other midfielders but it's still pretty good and he plays for a top-flight squad. His contract does expire next year, but he has been the most used player by Zidane and they will surely want to hold onto him. If you had to choose between him and Kroos, I'd probably go with Kroos over the next year or so, but again, we have to take into account age.
MARTIN ODEGAARD – 21yo Midfielder £3.71 – 2p in Divs but a huge 274% EGR, again showing how popular the younger players are, but the PB returns are low, giving him a higher PEG than 0.68. For me, will need to produce more PB Divs to justify that rise, but that is entirely possible for one so young. 4 goals and 5 assists from 23 games and played in 8 qualifiers for Norway. His EGR is big, largely because he is a young players, and people are looking at future Divs. I'd like to see a few more Div returns to justify that price growth, but clearly he looks a big talent and his loan period ends in June 2020 and could be an option to slot in at Real Madrid, especially with rumours that Luka Modric has been linked with moving Stateside. However, there is also a chance he could stay at Sociedad for another year or two as he develops, without that pressure of playing for Real Madrid, and for me that would be a decent option. Looks solid to rise and return future Divs.
ALEXANDER ISAK – 20yo Forward 2.24 – 3p in Divs with a 108% EGR means a PEG of 0.69, again similar comments apply to Odegaard, in that he is a young guy, needs to either produce a few more Divs or rise in price a little for his PEG to come down a bit. He has been linked with Barcelona, has 7 goals in 27 games, 3 goals in 10 games for Sweden in the Euro's, for which he looks a certain starter. He was excellent when nabbing 2 goals and an assist, when knocking Real Madrid out of the Copa Del Rey in February and that will have attracted the attention of Zidane, who has been linked with signing the youngster. To me, he falls into a similar boat as Rodrygo, but is getting a lot more gametime and could be a worthwhile youngster to get involved with, regardless of his higher than ideal PEG.
PORTU – 27yo Forward £0.70 – 8p in Div returns, an EGR of 59%, means a respectable PEG of 015. Again, he is closer to 30 than 25, which seems to be a theme in holding back some players growth rates but you can't argue with the Div returns. 7 goals and 8 assists from 24 games, and is an attacking midfielder/winger, so gets a boost for me. However, closer to 30 than 25 in terms of age and for a less fashionable team. However, I was reading that he is one of the fastest players out there with a Max Speed of 34.4Km/h, has 60 sprints on average per game. This is a player that scored 20 goals over 2 seasons for Girona and looks a value punt at just 70p.
MARC CUCURELLA – 21yo Defender £1.30 – 8p in Divs, 191% EGR makes him the only Getafe with a PEG less than 1, at the 0.09 mark. I was recently reading his profile on the excellent Scouted Football handbook and suggest he is well worth adding in. Recent news suggest the loanee left-back/midfielder will be recalled by Barcelona. He could be due a position change at some point, but for now, his Div returns with EGR is excellent, as well as having youth on his side. It's hard to say what a move back to Barcelona will do for him, but either way I can see his price increasing in any scenario. He could also be an outsider for the Euro's for Spain but that's less likely. For me, he is definitely one for now, a young player, already earning dividends, already playing for a Top-5 side in La Liga, whether staying or leaving.
MARCOS LLORENTE – 25yo Midfielder £0.73 – 4p in Divs but only a 21% EGR means a poor 0.87 PEG, so will need to rise a little in price to become tempting or an increase in Divs. Scored a brace in the Champions League win over Liverpool but prior to that had just 1 goal in 18 appearances in La Liga, operating as a central/defensive midfielder. It's unknown what will happen in the Champions League and they also need to hold off Valencia to nail down a Europa League spot for next season. Will keep a watching brief for now.
THOMAS PARTEY – 26yo Midfielder £1.36 – 4p in Divs with an EGR of 160% gives him a PEG of 0.21 and with recent transfer rumours, he is picking up some Media too, which could see a rise in his EGR if that continues. He has also been linked with a swop deal for Liverpool's Oxlade-Chamberlain today and could be another of many swop deals we see over the coming weeks and months. His PEG is pretty good and I'm happy to take a small chance on him.
OTHER PLAYERS OF NOTE
DANIEL PAREJO – 31yo Midfielder Valencia £1.84 – A huge 51p in Divs, with an EGR of 52% gives him a PEG of 0.13 BUT he is quite far down on his £3.23 at the end of October. Falls into a similar bracket as Kroos, Ronaldo, Messi and co. in being over 30 but returning decent Divs, with a lower EGR and far less media and no Euro's. This is a tricky one, but I'd probably just skip and take the hit on it when he wins.
SERGIO REGUILON – 23yo Defender Sevilla £0.92 – 3p in Divs with a 254% EGR gives a PEG of 0.20. Pretty good EGR and a young player who operates as a left-back. Not quite returned the Divs yet but has been linked with Tottenham, Arsenal and PSG – as a replacement for Kurzawa. His loan period ends in June 2020 from Real Madrid, I expect a move sooner rather than later so could get some media, but unlikely too much. A move to the premiership could be a plus for him, in PB terms, depending on where he goes, but again is a defender so not really fitting in my radar.
MUNIR EL HADDADI – 24yo Forward Sevilla £0.99 – 21p in Divs with an EGR of 51% gives a PEG of 0.09. Barcelona reject who has been doing OK at Sevilla but has struggled a bit with form recently and spent a lot of time on the bench. Quite far down off his high of £1.41 and remains to be seen if he can retain that level of form and get a starting spot when football returns. Sevilla are still in the Europa League but hard to say if he will be getting regular gametime, but he is still young, so definitely one to keep an eye on.
RODRIGO MORENO – 29yo Forward Valencia £0.95 – 3p in Divs with an EGR of 63% gives a highish PEG of 0.50. Known as Rodrigo, but only has 2 goals from 21 appearances for Valencia, they are out of the Champions League and he is closer to 30 now, so he doesn't really hold much appeal for me. Has not dropped too far off his £1.19 highs back in January, has been linked with Arsenal and Barcelona, which largely led to his rise in January, but can't see that panning out so it's a no for me.
GERARD MORENO – 28yo Forward Villareal £1.13 – 13p in Divs with an EGR of 239% gives an excellent PEG of 0.04. 11 goals in 25 games is an excellent hit-rate with a scoring frequency of 188 minutes. He also has 3 goals in 3 Euro qualifiers for Spain so is likely to lineup there and be part of the squad, having only made his debut at 27. Last 6 months though, he is off his £1.60 highs and it's hard to see a continue in that growth rate going forward at 28 years.
DIEGO CARLOS – 27yo Defender Sevilla £0.79 – 8p in Divs with an EGR of 120% gives a decent PEG of 0.08. Put in a few good performances towards the end of last year and has fairly consistent PB scores. Will get Champions League next season, in all likelihood, with 3rd places Sevilla so is definitely of interest but a central defender again so not really on my radar, with preference for younger players.
One thing that has been notable to me, is that there are far fewer La Liga players that appeal to me, outside of the ones above that I've given a positive mention to, perhaps an indication that they have a slightly larger age group, or perhaps a bigger group of younger players that have yet to earn Divs and maybe that Div winners are concentrated amongst a smaller population of players and perhaps not quite so spread out. I have not performed any analysis to confirm or deny this, but it's perhaps worth bearing in mind when looking for players to add to the portfolio there.
Anyway, any comments or questions welcomed below, next up on my analysis is the Premier League, who have today (May 11th) been given the green light to start games from June 1st. That seems a bit optimistic to me but I'll perform the analysis through the week.