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Understanding the Market

Written by ClaretMatt

People join PEN for lots of reasons but I think if we’re all honest the thing that keeps us here is the transfer market (and Baz’s eloquence).  When you’re give your first team and budget and handed the keys to the door of the PEN Transfer Market it can all seem a bit overwhelming – some close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears and yell “Lalalalalalalalalalala”, others rush in offering 40m for some Scottish bum whose career is in the toilet (in other words, all of them) and… well there’s little in between at first which is why PEN staff kindly volunteer their time to Mentor the new guys, helping them fend off the sharks and snake oil salesman. 


Still, even for an experienced Mentor the market can be a crazy and unpredictable place with prices seemingly changing for no reason quicker than your missus’ mood.  With this in mind, stuck on a train with nothing but a laptop and wifi to entertain myself (your missus having got off at the previous stop) I decided to do a review the Season 12 market so far and see if all the twatfacts (or whatever they’re called) banded around and accepted as gospel are actually true.

The widely accepted twatfacts as I understand it (being a prominent member of the twat community) are as follows.

1.       Young players are worth more than older players

2.       Wing backs are worth the least of all positions

3.       Strikers are worth the most of all positions

In this first article I’m going to address twatfact #1

1.       Young Players are worth more than older players

Chief amongst the twatfacts which is why we see so many transfer threads proclaiming loud and clear that the player for sale is “Young”, a “Wonderkid”, “U21” etc.  People love a young ‘un (just like your dad) and they pay a premium for it, right?

The data from Season 12’s market so far suggests this is in fact, fact.


As you can see in the above table players under the age of 23, on average, sell for more than older players in the same rating category.  However, the gap is maybe not as pronounced as would be expected between the U23’s and the 24-29 year olds in the 78+ rating dataset, a mere 1m difference.

Were there any positions that bucked the trend?  Quite a few actually if we delve down into the facts, 24–29 year old AMFs, CMFs, LMF/RMFs, CBs & LB/RBs in some rating categories actually go for more than similar rated U23s. With CMFs bucking the trend in both the 78+ and 74 – 77 OVR categories.  This could be evidence of the famous “Name Value” that’s whispered of in dark corners of the PEN market before you get whipped round and bent over.

Ofcourse the fact that young players cost more could just be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I’m worse than any for chasing and hoarding a piece of fine-young-PES-ass, doing my bit to keep these prices so high but if you take a step back and look at it objectively then are you actually getting value for money?  I look at the players I’ve made my biggest profits on and actually it’s the older players that bring in the moolah.  I signed Falcinelli (25), Daniel Torres (27) and Manu Garcia (30) for a combined 34m and sold them for 75.5m when they were a year older, I haven’t seen anything like that return on a young player because the initial outlay is so high.  And if you consider that the lifespan of a PEN cycle before another reset is around the 5 year mark then are you ever actually going to see that 17 year old become a superstar?  Would you not be better buying a player that will be going in their peak years (usually around the 27 – 30 year old mark) by then?

And my response is “Ofcourse…. But that Wonderkid… SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”

Next week I address the final 2 twatfacts and publish my market analysis in full…

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