Introducing RoE – Return on Experience or Old Footballers Have Dividend Potential Too

The Introduction

I’m @BuzzingPaul. I tweet daily Performance Buzz (PB) predictions and snippets of PB data that I find interesting on #FootballINDEX. Check my timeline and feel free to follow me if this sounds of interest to you.

I have been a @FootballIndexUK trader since 28th Nov and am excited to collaborate with @footballindexed. Football Index Edge is both a great PB data source and is also at the forefront of insightful research and simulations that are released as part of regular blog posts. I would like to extend my thanks to them for inviting me to blog. They offer free and paid for membership options, I highly recommend checking them out, if you haven’t already.

The Challenge

Football Index Edge have run performance buzz simulations based on the last 3 seasons of fixtures partnered with each player's historic data to determine an estimated score and variability for each player for every game day. They have then used these scores to estimate each player’s expected dividend return per season. You can find out more about the latest simulation here.

One takeaway I got from the simulation is that older players are considerably undervalued in the current market.

On the back of their analysis, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to highlight those experienced players that:

  • have performed very well historically

  • whose PB output is unlikely to substantially diminish

and hopefully, those that, in turn

  • can give a decent dividend return for their level of experience (RoE).

The Definitions

  • Experienced = aged 30 or over

  • RoE (Return on Experience) = Simulated PB dividends / Price at time of Simulation

  • Peak Score = Percentage of scores that exceed the average positional treble PB winning score (Def = 184 ; Mid = 214; Fwd = 214)

The Caveats

Football Index Edge’s methodology does not consider the most recent transfer news; any injury news or any selection clues from the most recent friendlies.

These should be covered by using manual filters. Remember past performance isn’t always an indication of future performance. So please supplement the findings below with your own research.

The Players

Iago Aspas

Simulated RoE: 33.81%

DoB: 01/08/1987

Club: Celta Vigo (since 2015)

Average PB: 95

Max PB: 245

Peak Score: 8.7%

PB Wins: 3

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A nice place to start. Iago Aspas should be a name familiar to you all. Since joining Celta Vigo he has scored 55 goals in 101 games and each season his goal output has increased.

He ranks as the 10th best forward in my own  PB ranking system and 6th  best in the Peak Score rankings adopted by @FootIndexLDN in his recent articles. He's also the 3rd best forward for percentage score over 200.

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Celta’s transfer window has left most of last season’s squad intact. Borja Iglesias and John Guidetti have made permanent moves away from Celta this summer and have been replaced on the wage bill by Sofiane Boufal.

Antonio Mohamed becomes Aspas’s 3rd manager at Celta and may throw some doubt over Celta’s prospects. But Aspas has strong output across the board and I expect a dividend return at least on a par with last season.

Max Kruse

RoE: 20.02%

DoB: 19/03/1988

Club: Werder Bremen (since 2016)

Average PB: 88

Max PB: 227

Peak Score: 4.5%

PB Wins: 1

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Max Kruse offers a much cheaper route into the experienced forward market. He has scored 21 goals in 52 games since joining Bremen from Wolfsburg.

My rankings have him as the 40th best forward and he has achieved a peak score in approximately 1/20 of the games he has played.

The return of Claudio Pizzaro to Bremen for a 4th time, alongside the signing of Davy Klassen should fill the void left by Thomas Delaney’s departure to Dortmund.

Bremen’s manager Florian Kohfeldt returns for a second season and I’m hoping that his team can provide Max Kruse with the foundation he needs to return one treble PB, a dividend payout that would represent a wonderful RoE.

Whilst Kruse is inferior to Aspas in every department, he is closer to IPO price and so feels like a marginally less risky investment.

Aleksander Kolarov

RoE: 15.84%

DoB: 10/11/1985

Club: Roma (since 2017)

Average PB: 130

Max PB: 235

Peak Score: 17.6%

PB Wins: 4


Aleksander Kolarov is both one of oldest players on my list and the one I am most excited to share.

He ranks 6th in my PB rankings and scored above the average PB winning score in 18% of his games last season.

Roma have had an exciting transfer window (the Malcom hijacking by Barca included). The additions of Javier Pastore, Justin Kluivert and Ante Coric show ambition. More importantly for us, academy prospect Luca Pelligrini (19) looks to be the only back-up left sided defender, so the Kolarov monopoly at left back should continue.

Whilst it would be naive to expect another Champions League semi-final run. Eusabio di Francesco’s second season in charge should provide the perfect platform for Kolarov to match his 4 PB wins from last season.

Filipe Luis

RoE: 13.26%

DoB: 09/08/1985

Club: Atleti (since 2015)

Average PB: 133

Max PB: 191

Peak Score: 10.0%

PB Wins: 1

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Filipe Luis is both the oldest player on my list and the one with most chequered recent injury record. He spent 139 days injured last season, 48 days of which was due to a fractured fibula that he returned from at the World Cup.

In spite of this, last season  he managed 20 appearances and earnt 22nd place in my defender rankings. He returned an average winning PB score in 1/10 appearances.

Atletico Madrid have invested in youth this summer with the additions of Thomas Lemar, Rodri and Gelson Martins. World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez  remains but should continue as back-up across the left back and centre back positions.

Diego Simeone continues unabated as the best defensive manager in club football. I’m sceptical about how Lopetegui will adapt at a Ronaldo-less Real Madrid and Barca had enough luck when they narrowly missed out on going undefeated in the season just gone. An injury free run and another long European adventure for Atleti make me hopeful that Filipe Luis should return more dividends than the simulation expects and a huge RoE.

Alejandro Gomez

RoE: 12.46%

DoB: 15/02/1988

Club: Atalanta (since 2014)

Average PB: 106

Max PB: 231

Peak Score: 3.4%

PB Wins: 2

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I have had a strong affinity to Alejandro Gomez ever since he was the first player I tweeted about in November 2017. Since his arrival at Atalanta he has scored 32 goals in 128 appearances and dominates all of their set pieces.

He ranks as last season  28th best midfielder and has historically scored above average PB winning scores in about 1/30 occasions.

Atalanta has had an unspectacular summer transfer window. The sum total of which should lead to a similar starting XI next season.

If Atalanta can secure Europa League qualification again under the tutelage of Gian Piero Gasperini I’m confident that Gomez should return a couple of dividends and a respectable RoE next season.


Irrespective of Football Index Edge’s simulations, a quick scan of player prices indicate that older players are undervalued when compared to their younger counterparts. At Lyon, Bertrand Troare (22) is £1.87 whereas Willem Geubbels (16)  and Amine Gouiri (18) cost £1.69 and £1.65 respectively.

Those traders who have been on the platform longer than I have will remember the Zlatan crash after his Europa League injury. Perhaps the market is still over-reacting to this fall? Maybe one day it will be more obvious when a player becomes old; or when a player is no longer considered young.

Until then, I am certain that older players will return a significant amount of PB dividends. Inevitably, this will lead to capital appreciation. I strongly believe as the season progresses there will be a fundamental shift from non-playing and expensive youngsters to the best older and cheaper PB players.

Hopefully, this blog gives you some ideas who these players may be. Or at least, makes you aware of the profit potential in RoE.