TRANSFER specialist Stefan Ince (@Stefanh17) shares his thoughts on the current To Stay/Go markets available ahead of the January transfer window.
January 2019 Transfer Window Best Bets
“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.” – George Soros.
If you don’t know who George Soros is, he is considered by many to be one of the most successful investors in the world. He’s also very outspokenly anti-Donald Trump, so the guy knows what he’s talking about.
Swap ‘investing’ for ‘betting’ and Soros’ quote is my gambling mantra. You could even make an argument that betting is an investment, it’s basically the same thing, with an open market where risks are available to back or lay.
Sure, most gambling takes place in the immediate short-term, but there are lots of markets for longer-term bets too. If you, like me, have spent years of your life absorbed in football, why not see it as a means to make money?
I know very little about investing in the stock market, so why risk money in something you don’t know a huge deal about?
Most gamblers are looking for a fun instant hit, a big immediate pay-out that will put the cherry on the top of a great weekend – I’m extremely risk averse, I don’t cross the road without checking three times and I play the long game.
I started a betting group with a couple of friends two years ago on the premise that three heads are better than one, and if we all agree on a particular bet, then it’s probably a good idea. We slowly build up our funds with very safe bets and use the winnings to go on football-based holidays.
I fully expect a lot of readers to laugh this article off, but profit is profit and if you can get £100 on each recommendation, then that’s still a potential circa profit of £100, which is not to be sniffed at in anyone’s book.
If you see it as a relatively short-term investment that will yield a juicy interest rate, rather than comparing it to the usual prices you will see when logging-on to your favourite betting app, then it starts to make more sense.
So instead of odds of 1/6 (1.17), try and view it as a 17% interest rate. The actual Bank of England interest rate has been ridiculously low for a number of years now, so there’s no reward for saving money these days.
If you have a large betting pool to play with, these kind of bets can make a very sensible addition to your portfolio. Diversifying your portfolio with a mix of risky and safe choices is basic investment advice.
Anyway, on to the bets. These prices will put a lot of people off, so please look away now if the above justifications does not tickle your fancy. Unlike the summer window, there are no transfers that the bookies expect to happen, so unfortunately, no over even-money recommendations in the To Stay market this time…
It looks highly likely that Manchester City will still be competing on four fronts come January, and although young Phil Foden has only been used here and there, Pep Guardiola will not be keen on losing bodies prior to a potential quadruple tilt.
David Silva and Fernandinho will need more rest at their age, so I expect Foden to start more games in the cup competitions, and perhaps even the odd league game around crunch time in the Champions League.
The decision has already been taken to keep him this season, and City make long-term strategic decisions with their assets, not rushed calls, so I think a January loan is unlikely.
More likely is if no significant breakthrough is made this season would be a season-long loan next season, possibly to one of City’s feeder clubs.
I would be amazed if Real Madrid let one of their most experienced players leave in a time of crisis.
I think he’s overrated, but he’s still performing at the same level he was a few years ago, so I can’t see Madrid prioritising an upgrade that could force a move just yet.
I simply cannot see which club he would move to. SkyBet only have Man City as a potential destination at the minute and Real Madrid won’t sell to the Champions League favourites.
The implied odds suggest a 12% chance of him leaving, but they should be much lower in my opinion.
My old favourite Malcom is in the gossip columns again, despite finally completing a move away from Bordeaux in a summer that feels like it’s only just ended.
His insomniac/workaholic agent has been touting him around to anyone and everyone, and he clearly has a few friends in the media who are happy to act as his mouthpiece and keep his client in the news.
It’s the usual suspects he is being linked with, but I can’t see much substance to back it up with, as none of the sides linked are in need of a player in his position.
He’s not getting any game time at Barcelona, so he is probably keen for a loan, but could easily end up at a club not on SkyBet’s list. A loan back to his former club Corinthians at 25/1 might be worth a nibble for the brave.
Everything considered, he’s too much of a wildcard, so I’m happy to swerve.
He obviously wants to leave Manchester United, but it won’t happen in January.
Additionally, the Spanish giants don’t have the funds to be spending hundreds of millions any more, which is what it would take to prise the stuttering Pogba away from Manchester.
If you’re feeling extremely risk averse, then bets on Edin Hazard and Mohamed Salah to stay at their respective clubs are also as near to a sure-thing as you will find.
I’m already invested in Hazard and Pogba to stay, and their prices dropped within a couple of days, so time is of the essence to get your bets on.
Just hitting a good streak of form and commanding a first-team spot ahead of Alexis Sanchez, and with Ed Woodward already refusing to sell him in the summer, I see no reason why he would change his mind now.
Back the Frenchman to see the season out at Old Trafford.
January 2019 Transfer Window – Phil Foden to stay at Manchester City (1/3 SkyBet)
January 2019 Transfer Window – Marcelo to stay at Real Madrid (1/5 SkyBet)
January 2019 Transfer Window – Isco to stay at Real Madrid (2/15 SkyBet)
January 2019 Transfer Window – Paul Pogba to stay at Manchester United (1/8 SkyBet)
January 2019 Transfer Window – Anthony Martial to stay at Manchester United (1/6 SkyBet)