Fresh Blood: Best Of

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It’s been asked for on twitter, and when twitter calls, Seags answers. Today I’ll round up my Top Five fresh blood picks for the year, and induct them into the 2012 Fresh Blood All-Stars. This article has been requested by @team_muz , so all of you reading this take note…. ask, and you shall receive!

Firstly, a roughie/smokie type I’ve been looking at intensely. Steven Davis (5.0) has been signed from Rangers on a free after the ‘Gers dropped from the top division of the SPL. The man is an orchestrater in the midfield, notching up four goals, and thirteen assists last campaign in Scotland. He’s had PL experience before, at Villa, and should seamlessly slot into the Saints’ lineup. Won’t fire immediately at the start of the season, given their dodgy draw, but after the first month he is my tip to bolt. Watch him seriously as an alternative to Noble and Guthrie.

Coming in at #5, A guy that everyone should recognise. Eden Hazard is a gun. Twice winning Ligue 1 player of the year… despite being only 21. Priced at 9.5 he’s not cheap, but it’s a fair reflection of what the guy can do. Will start as a CAM for Chelsea, but unfortunately for him, his scores will largely reflect Torres‘ form. If El Nino decides to put his finishing boots on, Hazard will be in for a LOT of assists. If not, Hazard could be relying solely on goals. This, coupled with the fact he has no prior PL experience, is the reason he appears lowly at #5. Don’t get me wrong though- he will be a gun, it’s just a matter of how long it takes him to settle.

#4 belongs to our dear friend Jaaskelainen. A 4.5 Keeper with PL experience (over 500 games of it) and a guaranteed start week in week out? He jumped off of the sinking Bolton bandwagon and found himself at home with the mighty hammers. He represents the safest pick you could possibly wish for at a bargain price, with Federici currently nursing a rib injury and Begovic not completely guaranteed to start over Sorensen. So if you want a player who is a safe  bargain GK pick, who won’t toy with your emotions by texting you flirtatiously some days, then ignore you others, lock him in. Will be a solid pick.

#3 also belongs to a bargain pick, this time in defence. Fabio represents tremendous value and by looking at QPR’s list, he represents a marked improvement on their alternative left-back, Traore, who struggled with the defensive duties last campaign. QPR should improve on their clean sheet tally this year, as their defence looks more settled with the reinforcements gained from Nelsen, a PL veteran. Although QPR have a horrid 3 weeks of Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham in a row, the draw soon clears up and Fabio starts looking like he will be a fantastic bench warmer/starter (depending on fixtures). Lock him in.

Splitting the top two was hard, but I’ve decided that #2 deserves to go to Shinji Kagawa. Sir Alex has been lathering the dude in praise ever since his switch from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. Let’s get one thing straight. He can play, and seriously well. At 8.5 I’d suppose you should expect that, but he is incredibly quick, comfortable with the ball at his feet, and can thread passes through impossible gaps. He’s starred so far this pre-season, scoring and assisting seemingly at will. He is what is missing at Manchester United. For too long Rooney has been relying on balls from Carrick, now he’ll have top quality delivery from the classy Japanese international. Expect a very healthy return from Kagawa, (consequently Rooney too!)

Drum roll please….. I think you all know who comes in at #1 , and is therefore dubbed the Inaugural Fresh Blood Champion. The man starred in the Premier League during his short stint at Fulham, scoring 6 goals since joining the club in January. A clinical finisher, potential penalty taker and he looks likely to lead the line at his new club too. Pavel Pogrebnyak is a lock. Just do yourself a favour, put him in your team and throw the key as far away as you freaking well can. Coming in at 5.0 , he’s underpriced. Massively. Not sold yet? He plays twice in the first game week. Given Jason Roberts‘ suspension that carries through from the Championship from last year, his spot is under no threat whatsoever.

So there you have it. My top 5. I figure a few honourable mentions should also be made. Sigurdsson is expensive, but he should score well providing AVB plays him in a CAM rather than a CM. Michu is another player who looks like he could slip into some form- Swansea have done well to snap up the bloke that finished 9th in the La Liga scoring chart last year. A creative midfielder who will slip straight into the void left by Sigurdsson you’d imagine. Clyne, at 4.0, is a potential bargain. Provided he plays. Given that he’s young, I’m reluctant to lock him in just yet, but with the potential to play on the wing as well as right-back, you’d be mad not to consider him. Naismith  is another signing who looks like he could seamlessly slot into Everton’s lineup and reunite with his old Rangers strike-partner JelavicMladen Petric is another mid-price/cheapy to consider, especially if he translates his 4 goal pre-season into the first game week. The signing of Pienaar has also just been approved, so he’s also another to watch out for, as he was dynamic in his loan spell with them after January. Guthrie is also another cheapie to monitor at Reading who will play and score solidly.

As per usual, questions/queries/anything else, tweet me and I’ll tweet back whenever I get the time.


8 comments on “Fresh Blood: Best Of

  1. toasted1961

    Would you put Shigawa ahead of Valencia? Would save 0.5 but I am already taking a punt with HAzard.

    I will start with Pog and trade to Petric in GW2 or 3

    I have Clyne and McCartney at 4.0 each as bench warmers. Is is worth getting Fabio and spend the extra 0.5?

    I have Guthrie ; is Davis worth it for the extra 0.5 if he is a bench warmer?

  2. Muz Begovic

    Thanks tseagrim great write up just what I was looking for I’m sure others will find it handy. I have or have considered a number of the players mentioned. Michu has just come onto my radar as a smokie…

    • tseagrim Post Author

      my smokie was either Davis or Michu… so you aren’t far off the mark mate! Oh and call me Seags. Tseagrim is what my mother calls me (or would if she was on Twitter)

  3. FiveStar

    Running Torres, Teves and Rooney up front currently, but what you say about Pog is very tempting. I would save a lot of money by going Teves > Pog that would allow me to go Michu > Silva thus keeping some Man City attacking power. Only thing about Pog is if he fails hard, it will be extremely though to get him out of the team, hmmm

    • tseagrim Post Author

      I know exactly what you mean. I’m so worried that if I leave him out for a gun then he’ll score 10+ points and everyone else will be advantaged!

      • FiveStar

        Yeh I definately like the balance in my team with just to two big hitters. Graham or Pog is who im going tossing up between now. I like Swanseas fixtures a lot more than Readings (apart from the DW). What do you think? I feel as though Graham is the safe choice, but Pog could explode. The extra 1.0 also means I can go Torres > Aguero GW3. How has Pog gone this preseason?

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