When it comes to transfers, FPL managers usually wait until the last minute to move players, in order to get the most up to date information from pressers or on potential injuries that could limit playing time. This weekend’s injury to Harry Kane dealt Spurs a huge blow, as their favorite “Son” has left for the AFC Asian Cup. The other injury that has sent ripples through FPL, the loss of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who finished the game but came up lame with a knee injury that will keep him out for a month.
Let’s rewind to the days leading up to game week 22. After taking in a week’s worth of news and opinions, the decision was made to roll the FT and run out the same starting XI in a 3-4-3 formation. Unfortunately, 50 points didn’t bode well, was one over the weekly average, but not enough to salvage a green arrow. Sunday I missed most of the Spurs, Man United game and missed the injury until after the fact. Kane’s injury made my transfer decision easier this week. The fact I don’t own TAA meant I could make the necessary moves to get a player I have been targeting for the last few weeks.
Was I wrong to transfer Mo Salah out after game week 14? When I looked at this question a few weeks back, the answer was no. I had made 39 points when this transfer was made. Looking back he’s posted five double digit hauls and just two blanks, while Kane has ticked on with consistent returns. For the players I added, the move felt right at the time. However moving forward the Kane injury is a big blow for FPL and more importantly Spurs.
I’ve been holding h £3.0 ITB, waiting to make multiple transfers to improve my squad. While Aubameyang was on the books to be moved a few weeks back, he hit for a goal, which gave him a reprieve. After no attacking returns last week against West Ham, the decision was made. Kane would stay, Aubameyang would go. The Kane injury impacts that decision, as he now becomes the fall guy that allows me to reinvest in Salah.
In order to make make room I look at Paul Pogba (£8.5), Felipe Anderson (£7.3) or Richarlison (£6.9). Moving Pogba would allow me to pick up Leroy Sane (£9.6) next week, but lose Pogba, who’s been hot against some cream puffs in recent weeks. With the impending return of Ben Mendy and BGW27 for Man City, I’ve decided to hold Pogba and look at one of the other two midfielders.
Some will lay claim to the 18 shots Richarlison has posted over the last six weeks, bested only by Pogba. However the more telling stat, just one goal. Maybe I still have it in for the Brazilian, since he’s been a bust on my team, now owning him a second time. After a comparison of their stats, Anderson holds a decided advantage over Richarlison. If you put much into xG, Richarlison has posted a 5.70 compared to Anderson’s 4.12. I don’t so this doesn’t factor into my decision.
The bigger risk is that 66.8% of the top 1000 managers own Richarlison, compared to just 36.8% for Anderson. Looking back on the Brazilian’s second half of last season, he failed on the pitch. Call it what you will, fatigue, failure on the part of Marco Silva, but he wasn’t worth owning. Could that be happening again this season? He’s posted just one goal in his last four games. Some will say he was unlucky not to net twice last week, but no attacking returns is a telling stat. Richarlison out, Salah in, as Anderson will retain his starting spot for now.
The second transfer, which I feel lucky to have after rolling last week was going to be used on a new forward. Much like the midfield decision, this one is already made for me, based on form and fixtures since “Ol’ Gunnar” took over. Yep, I am talking Marcus Rashford, not fond of him as an FPL asset, but much Pogba, you can’t argue with nine attacking returns over seven weeks with three double digit hauls. On the season, seven goals and seven assists now have him on 86 points for the season, still at an affordable £7.5.
Undoubtedly, my team is stronger with these two transfers, based on the fact Kane is injured and Richarlison has been anything but consistent. These are also the “popular” transfers, as Rashford has sen 476k bring him in. You know that means he will blank this weekend, right? FPL managers are also jumping back onto Salah, as he’s gained 185k managers as of this article.
Last week was a mixed bag with the players I selected. Angus Gunn failed to get the start, which now calls him into question at £4.3. Johan Berg Gudmundsson, after starting the last two games, was flagged and injured, as he didn’t play. Sol Bamba finished on 8 points with a clean sheet and two bonus, while Troy Deeney played 90 minutes, but didn’t return any attacking points. As for the weekend, if you are in need of help or don’t want to do the lemming thing and follow the crowd, here are a few options for game week 23.
Neil Etheridge (£4.6/TSB 10.3%)
Even though his ownership has now cracked the 10% mark, many FPL managers went cheap last week and ended up losing Vincente Guaita to ingury. Etheridge, on the back of a 10 point performance travel to St. James to take on Rafa and the Magpies. Newcastle has lost three out of four and scored just three goals in their last six games. Not a high powered offense and look for the Bluebirds to take points away from home.
Joel Matip (£4.9/TSB 0.3%)
Based on the injuries Liverpool have on their back line, Matip should make his way back into the starting XI. Liverpool host Crystal Palace, a team they defeated in GW2, 2-0. I look for domination from the Reds and very few chances from Palace as Liverpool continue roll on defensively.
Samir Nasri (£5.5/TSB 1.4%)
Time to take the Hammers new players, Nasri, as he picked up an assist last week and looked quite sharp in the midfield. West Ham play a poor Bournemouth defense that continues to leak goals, 14 conceded in their last four games. Could be a good fixture for Hammer assests!
Shane Long (£4.7/TSB 1.9%)
The fact there are no healthy options at So’ton and Charlie Austin is out of favor leaves Long as the best Saints option going forward. They host Everton, who haven’t looked good on defense, even though MANY will point the fact they posted a CS last weekend. Marco Silva has a terrible track record, 4 clean sheets in the last 33 games he’s managed. Long could be viable option for a few weeks as So’ton have a good run.