I’ve spoken about FiveYards before but today I want to focus on their latest offering, a new free-to-play global game, which they’ve launched for the Euros via this rather fab video:
The premise of the game is simple, and ties into the vision and the mechanics of the main FiveYards platform. From a list of 50 players, handpicked by the FiveYards scouts, you have to choose the five that you think will increase in value the most over the duration of the tournament.
The player’s value is set by the FiveYards scouts, based on real world factors and taking into account the player’s expected future earning potential on FiveYards. Players ‘earn’ Performance Pay on FiveYards for games they start and win, for scoring goals and contributing assists. How much they earn depends on which league or competition they are involved in.
If you’ve not played FiveYards before it might take you a minute or two to get your head around it but it’s pretty intuitive and is explained in the rules as follows:
Player values on FiveYards track real world values pretty well and, in simple terms, you’re really just looking for the five players that you think will shine the most during the tournament and might draw attention from scouts from elite teams.
There are prizes for the top 20 entrants but only small amounts as it’s a free-to-play game (the top prize is £400). This is more about playing for pride and a fun way to add another dynamic to the tournament, with no financial commitment (and little effort!). I’m in!
The list of 50 players features a lot of household names so it’s less about finding a complete hidden gem and more about working out which diamond can be polished up the most. The four things I’m considering when looking at the list are:
- How much is the player? If a player is already highly priced, they’d need to do something pretty spectacular to see their price move, whereas lower priced players have more room for growth and less chance of dropping in price.
- Where does the player currently play? If they are already at an elite club then a transfer may not improve their value whereas if they are at a feeder club in a lower league/division, a transfer could significantly increase their worth.
- How old is the player? Older players are likely to depreciate in value by the nature of having less games to play and less potential opportunities ahead of them.
- What position does the player play in? FiveYards performance pay is heavily weighted towards goals and assists so attacking players are inherently more valuable.
Taking those factors into account, as well as the Euros schedule ahead of them, I’ve settled on these five players:
Nikola Vlašić £34m
Vlašić ticks a lot of boxes for me and I’m sure a price rise is around the corner for him. Currently plying his trade at CSKA Moscow, he’s just had a stunning year and was named footballer of the year in Russia last December. He’s certainly come a long way since leaving Everton in 2019.
He’s only 23 years old so has plenty of room to appreciate in value, and is a nailed-on starter for the Croatian team so should have ample opportunity to show what he’s capable of. The Russian league isn’t eligible for Performance Pay on FiveYards so any rumours of a move to one of the big five leagues would add significant value to his price.
Croatia should have enough fire power to get out of the group, giving Vlašić some additional games to catch the eye of scouts.
Donyell Malen £29m
Malen is a hot favourite of mine and I can’t ignore him for this price although I don’t expect him to feature much in the Euros as there is plenty of competition for starting spots in the Netherlands team.
The £29m price tag reflects that he’s currently playing for PSV in the Eredivisie, another league that isn’t eligible for FiveYards Performance Pay. We know PSV is a feeder club for the elite teams though and I can’t imagine that an offer from a big club can be far away for the 22 year old, so that’s enough for me to back him, even before we see what he does at the Euros.
He’s got two goals in eight international games so far. If the Netherlands cruise through their opening games, I could see him getting a start, and perhaps a goal, in the third group game.
Manuel Locatelli £20m
Italy are one of the favourites for the tournament and have a team packed with stars. Locatelli is still finding his feet internationally and may struggle to make an impact but, for just £20m, I’m willing to take a risk on him.
The 23 year old plays as a central midfielder and often progresses into the final third, sometimes chipping in with a goal or assist. He was one of the best players in the Sassuolo team last season, instrumental to their success, and has already attracted the eyes of scouts in the Premier League. Serie A is a low paid league on FiveYards so a move to another league would be likely to increase his value, particularly as Sassuolo narrowly missed out on European qualification.
Given the form he’s in, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some minutes on the pitch for Italy and this should only serve to increase the rumours about him moving to a bigger team.
Alexander Isak £53m
Isak is my most expensive pick of the five and probably the biggest risk too but hey, you’ve got to go out on a limb sometime, right?
Sweden have a tough task ahead of them in a group that also contains Spain and Poland, and will be without their main man, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has been ruled out through injury. This feels to me like a chance for a new star to emerge up front and a huge opportunity for Isak to show what he can do on a big stage.
Isak ticks the box for age as he’s only 21 years old but, unlike some other youngsters, he should start every game. He’s been in red hot form for Real Sociedad recently, scoring 17 goals last season, which has already pushed his price up a little. If he can carry that form into the Euros, I think it might force some of the FiveYards scouts to revise their valuation upwards a little.
Yusuf Yazici £22m
Yacizi had a breakthrough season domestically with title winners Lille and is an underpriced gem for £22m.
Turkey are many people’s dark horses of the tournament, with the potential to go deep into the competition, and I expect Yazici to be one of the players that makes the difference for them, even if he doesn’t start every game. He’s got an eye for goal and has shown he can deliver on the big stage, scoring two hat tricks in the Europa League last season. Yazici will have opportunities in the Champions League next year, and that means extra Performance Pay too.
Also drawing me to Yazici is the rapid dismantling of the Lille squad. Although unsettling for the team, this may lead to him having more chances to shine next year, having largely been used from the bench up until now.
So those are my choices for the Euros but who are you going to pick?