Activating the first wild card ahead of GW3 allowed me to roll my free transfer headed into the first international break, providing more options when Premier League action returns. This was the strategy employed last year out of the break, as I look to improve my squad. Thoughts of Sergio Aguero are stirring in my loins…again, given defensive clean sheets are down this season to start, budget seems to be the buy for the back line to free up attacking budget.
I suspect 12-15% of FPL managers have activated their wild card during the international break, however I continue to fondle two transfers looking ahead to GW5. Confidence is high out of the break, as I like the structure of my starting XI, rolling out a 3-5-2 in the last three weeks. Based on RMT tools, Aguero doesn’t appear to improve my chances when compare to holding Harry Kane. Teemu Pukki also draws concern, as the Canaries host Man City. If their game at the London Stadium was any indication, Pukki could be very quiet this week. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has started to sneak into my thoughts, as Arsenal play a very poor defensive team in Watford.
If Aguero is a real consideration, then I must cut a £5.5 starting defender, Oleksandr Zinchenko, who would be dropped in favor of a £4.4 defender, which is a very short list; Frédéric Guilbert, Kiko Femenia or Craig Cathcart. None of which I really want on my squad, let alone in my starting XI. While I’ve been budget out of defense and into attacking players, there is a point where I feel I don’t want to compromise my defense into a complete budget shit show, as there could be a turn around in clean sheets and those premiums will start to show more promise.
Arsenal have some tasty fixtures, starting this weekend at Watford and home to Villa. That’a combined 14 goals conceded by these clubs, both in the relegation zone, which could put Aubameyang at the head of the list. However, the more tinkering that takes place, the more options begin to come to the forefront. Dropping Kane and running with the moderate priced forwards give you better opportunity at goals, than running with the premium option. While I like the fixtures for Kane, Aubameyang and Aguero over the next four weeks, it could be Ashley Barnes and Seb Haller entering the picture, shifting the formation from a 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3 for the next stretch of games, should these three forwards remain in form.
After just one goal in the last three games with Kane, there is some frustration ahead of this weekend, as Crystal Palace come to town playing some good defense. It feels right to jump on the Arsenal winger, as Watford and Villa are both struggling, as Aubameyang is third for penalty touches (21) and 4th for attempts (13). Barnes has numbers comparable to Aubameyang but better than Kane.
Not wanting to back any defensive changes and taking a risk that AWB starts, John Lundstram will be my first bench substitute. The midfield is strong, as I continue to keep an eye on Mason Mount, who could potentially be the next midfielder I would consider moving out, but as of now I’ve been pleased with him game play since coming in on the wild card in GW3. Chelsea still have a home clash with Liverpool, which then turns to a sea of green.
With all the considerations holding two transfers, the decision moving forward will be seen as a bit premature, but in the long run could pay off, especially if some of the premium forwards struggle this weekend. While I wanted Kane to start the season, it seems time to move off him, based off his recent numbers and form and look to bring in new talent to help improve my starting XI.
This week with a 3-4-3 formation on my mind, I’ve decided to drop Kane and Connor Wickham in favor of West Ham’s, Seb Haller and Chelsea’s, TammyAbraham. This is a two-for-one, as I get two starting forwards for the price of Kane and leaves me with £0.8 ITB that will be used for a future upgrade.
With defenses still suspect, I will hold the remaining budget until we see more consistency in defensive returns (not attacking). AWB could be on the short list but feel there is a bit more value in hold Zinchenko and Keane for the time being. It’s quite possible to add a fifth, playing defender to increase the bench depth, possibly adding rotation with Lundstram and/or Cantwell.