Fresh Blood

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Although the transfer window is still wide open there are a lot of player movements that concern us as fantasy coaches. Will a new player adapt? will they hog set pieces? Will they flop at first sign of a tackle?

Our man Seags is going to cast his eye over each of the premier league clubs new fantasy relevant additions, today he starts with  Arsenal and Aston villa.


Arsenal have made the two signings so far this window, both forwards, in Giroud (9.0) and Podolski (8.5). Both look like viable options for your team, dependent on one thing. RVP. If he goes, Giroud looks like the man who would slot in to the lineup and hopefully pick up where Robin left off. With Van Persie gone also, the potential is for Giroud to step up and take spot kicks, with no other Arsenal player being overly comfortable with the duty.

Podolski however, I expect to have a lesser role in the team. He is a fantastic footballer, as he showed last year in the Bundesliga (albeit playing for a relegated side in FC Koln). He would mainly be utilised on the left side either as an attacking midfielder or a winger. Problem with this is that he will have competition for spots with Gervinho and the recently nationally capped Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also plying their trade down the left. That said, I do think Podolski is the best of the three, although I expect his minutes to be shared significantly. Probably not worth the asking price.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa are a tricky club to gauge at the moment, especially seeing as they have only played the one pre-season match under their new manager, Paul Lambert. They have made three relatively low key signings so far, in Matthew Lowton (4.5), Karim El Ahmadi (4.5) and Aussie Brett Holman (6.0).

Lowton, a 22 year old right back signed from Sheffield, looks to be more of a project player at this stage, as Villa’s defence is probably their strong point at the minute, with the likes of Warnock, Dunne and Collins performing cohesively together last season. It’s a pass for me, as there are better cheap options as defenders.

El Ahmadi, a defensive midfielder signed from Feyenoord, also fits the mould of Lowton in the fact he seems to be a project player. Also, his preferred position as a defensive midfielder immediately puts me off, as they are the Prestigiacomo’s of Fantasy Football. Again, I’ll pass.

The one player at Villa Park who is slightly relevant is Brett Holman. Mainly deployed as a right winger in the Dutch league last year, he is reasonably priced at 6.0. Again, the problem with Holman will be his job security. Villa have a perfectly good winger on the right in Marc Albrighton (5.5), and with the possibility of Gabby Agbonlahor (7.0) playing on the left, his playing time looks like it may suffer.

If Lambert opts to use his preferred 4-4-2 formation however, this could see Agbonlahor deployed as a second striker and Holman get an opportunity on the left. If he plays, he will score well, so monitor him over the pre-season.


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