Let’s bring it back! It was requested that we begin by taking a look at some of the new faces to be gracing the premier this year, and it makes sense. Who are all these new names you’re reading! Are they any good? Do they look like good value and what is their fantasy potential? All questions to be answered here. We’ll also take a look at some of the fresh blood from each of the promoted sides in due time.
Over the course of these articles I’ll try and get to every new arrival who I believe to be fantasy relevant, or at least a poorly popular choice! Doing it this way rather than team by team allows me to write up on each new player as they arrive without having to go back and edit! Today I’ll cast an eye over a few of the forwards…
Bony (8.0) – 15.6%
Swansea have shattered their record transfer fee to bring in the Ivory Coast striker, and the stats clearly show you what they paid €15m for. Goals. He scored 31 of them in just 30 appearances in the Netherlands top division last season, as well as 8 assists. Whilst we can’t expect those kind of returns, it clearly shows he has massive fantasy potential. Priced at just 8.0, he has the potential to be an absolute steal. The question that must be asked is, how will he adapt to the English game? Just by looking at him you can tell strength clearly plays a big part of his game, so the rougher climate of the Premier League shouldn’t be an issue. In fact it looks like he plays the perfect game to have success in England, a country where he has dreamed of playing ever since he became a professional. His all-round game should fit Laudrup’s style of football perfectly and will slide harmlessly into Swansea’s 4-2-3-1 formation upfront. A few tough fixtures early on will provide a good test, will you be willing to start with him? Personally I’m all over him, a 20 goal season could definitely be on the cards. If you’re on the hunt for a mid price forward and want to take a slight risk, Bony could be your best bet.
Van Wolfswinkel (7.0) – 8.5%
A transfer that has received less plaudits is that of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel. Norwich had a gaping hole upfront last season and it showed in their pitifully low goal tally. So it’s no surprise then that they’ve broken the bank and tripled their record transfer fee (€10 million) to bring him in. Once again it’s obvious why, goals. Going at almost a goal every 2 games throughout his whole career he certainly knows how to find the back of the net. He will be playing a lone role up front for Norwich and has stated his intent to get off to a flyer and get goals on the board early. After seeing relatively unknown forces in Benteke and Michu thrive in their first season in England last year, Wolfswinkel sees no reason why he can’t do the same. And I agree with him. A 15-20 goal season is certainly a possibility, and after a very successful Europa League campaign last year he’s proven that he can do it against quality opposition. I like him at just 7.0, and if you’re looking to go with a few mid range options in the forward line then I like what I see here.
Aspas (7.0) – 4.7%
Quite a few people have jumped on the Aspas bandwagon, however I am not really convinced. Yet. Compared to Bony and Wolfswinkel, his name isn’t half as good! Oh yeah, he also only managed 12 goals in 33 games in the BBVA last season. Whilst the other 2 weren’t competing in one of the big 4 leagues, the lack of goals is still a problem. He is a more versatile forward, and with Sturridge likely to take his place upfront, a role on the wing could be likely. That’s the wrong kind of OOP player. What would increase his output in the EPL? The fact that he is at a top club. The newly promoted Celta had no chance against European’s big guns, however at the reds he should certainly be on the winning side more often than not. Job security is a slight worry, however his versatility should mean plenty of playing time. If Suarez does indeed leave then we have ourselves an option. However, at just 2.0 more Sturridge should be a lock in their line-up, is it worth saving the extra 2.0? I don’t think so. Personally I’m after somebody with a clear role and solid job security. Compared to Bony and Wolfswinkel, Aspas can’t offer that. If you’re after a Liverpool forward then Sturridge is where it’s at.
Altidore (7.0) – 3.7%
Yet another power striker from the Eredivisie. His goal scoring record is solid, however it was only last season that he came to life, notching 23 goals in his 31 appearances for AZ. His lack of goals at international level is also a concern, with just 17 goals in 60 appearances. He should be paired upfront with Steven Fletcher, so picking which one of the two will be the most prolific isn’t easy. However if I had to pick, I’d suggest Fletcher will be the better goal scoring option. Compared to the other new forward arrivals I like Altidore’s prospects less. However that doesn’t mean we should wipe him of our radars completely, so see how he starts off the season before considering jumping on.
Anelka (5.5) – 15.6%
Here’s one for the fpl old schoolers. Anelka has played for 12 different clubs. Yes, 12. Why is that you probably ask? Read between the lines. He had one great season partnering up front with Drogba when Chelsea went on to win the EPL, but other than that his history isn’t outstanding. A goal every 3 games is nothing to scoff at, but nothing to get excited about either. With Shane Long likely to keep leading the Baggies attack which was so successful last season, and plenty of new signings still expected, I see Anelka as only back-up for if Odemwingie jumps ship and Clarke can’t nail another decent transfer to replace him. A good budget option, seeing as alternatives are not exactly staring us in the face. An uncertain no for me to begin with, perhaps we’ll have a better idea towards the end of the transfer window.
Deulofeu (6.0) – 2.7%
Finally, it’s time to take a look at the prospects of Barcelona’s wonderkid. On loan at Everton and just 19 years old, his potential is massive. However he is just 19, and the Premier League is no place for the weak. Yet to gain a senior start for Barca, my answer on selecting him to begin with is clear. Don’t. With virtually no experience of first-team football, it’s likely he’ll be eased into the fold over the first couple of months. Perhaps once the January wildcard rolls around if we’re after a budget forward, he may come into our thoughts. However as a first up option, the answer is a definite no.
That’s it for today! Expect some more fresh blood to be posted in the coming days. On a sidenote our classic league code has been updated, so for those that couldn’t join, my apologies! We are also after a few more writers for the upcoming season, those interested can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org