Fresh Blood

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There is a stack of new midfielders to grace the Premier league this season, however are any of them viable fantasy options? Let’s find out!

Schurlle (8.0) – 3.1%

There is no doubt this bloke has the potential to be a fantasy star, however there is one thing we must consider before getting too excited. Chelsea have a plethora of options in midfield, and Mourinho has already guaranteed the places of Hazard and Mata in the team. Schurlle will therefore fight it out for a position wide right, a role he is not accustomed to, or up front. The second option would obviously raise a few eyebrows, however I expect to see a couple more signings before the transfer window closes. Oh yeah then there’s the trio of Lukaku, Ba and Torres. Ridiculous. He has gone at a approximately a goal every 3 games throughout his career, cutting in from the left. These are great figures and mean that he will have to be on our watchlists, however with Hazard likely to take his preferred position and a probable rotation with Moses and Oscar, I wouldn’t be touching him just yet. If you’re after a Chelsea mid look no further than the Mata/Hazard duo.

Navas (9.0) – 7.2%

The first thing that caught my eye was his price. 9.0 is a hefty tag to be slapped on an unproven player, no matter how much potential. He has to compete with the likes of Coutinho and Silva to get a spot in our teams to even begin with. Then I looked at his stats last year. No goals and 6 assists from 36 league appearances. My decision is pretty much made already, I wouldn’t touch him with a 20 foot pole. If you’re desperately after some of Man City’s attackers with a kind early run, Silva has to be your man.

Fernandinho (8.0) – 2.5%

Fernandinho is basically a poor mans Toure. Well a rich poor man, if that makes any sense. He should be a fantastic get for City, playing as a box-to-box midfielder, hopefully freeing up Toure for the upcoming season. Don’t let him suck you in again, however. Fernandinho plies his trade as a deep lying midfielder, meaning we must over look him for as an fpl option. We were expecting him to come in at a price of around 7.0, similar to Paulinho. This would have grabbed my attention. However 8.0 is a lofty price to pay, and when you consider the amount of value in the mid-price bracket running through midfield this season, you have to pass on this one.

Paulinho (7.0) – 14.6%

Now we can finally get down to an option worthy of considering, and has obviously been a popular pick at 14.6% ownership. But will he be worth it? He is often touted as a box-to-box midfielder, however he is very capable of surging runs into the box and has a keen eye for goal. In his last 2 seasons at Corinthians, he scored 16 goals and assisted 12 in 58 appearances. Not half bad. Quite a few people believe he is likely to sit on the front end of a 4-3-3, however I don’t think this will be the case. When AVB used the 4-3-3 system so effectively at Porto, he had the midfield 3 constantly rotating, making it harder for the opposition to contain. He would be no better off than a guy like Dembele. If AVB was to stick with the 4-2-3-1, then it is highly likely he will be paired up in the holding midfield role. While I think he has great potential, he won’t suddenly light the premier league on fire either. He could end up with similar results to Moussa Sissoko. He’ll score goals and at times look unstoppable, however I doubt scoring consistency will be one of his traits. A pass for me.

Wanyama (5.0) – 10.5%

His budget price tag is making him a very popular pick currently, selected by over 10% of the competition. However he is priced at that level for a reason, his role is not totally suited to fpl. Standing at 6ft 2 and built like a boxer, he can be considered a very similar player to Yaya Toure. Both scored 6 goals in 32 appearances last season, both play a deep lying midfield role and both can be described as midfield powerhouses. However aged just 22 and in his first season of epl action, I can’t see him producing returns like Toure for a little while yet. He will be a solid pick and job security will be no issue. However if you’re after a Southampton midfielder, Lallana and Ramirez are both priced at just 6.0 and will be fielded in the front 3 in Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1, whilst Wanyama will be fielded in the deeper pivot with Schneiderlin. Lallana especially looks tempting. Having said that, if you’re just after a 5th mid then he should be a very solid option, just not starting quality in my opinion.

Van Ginkel (6.0) – 0.6%

An option for the future, that’s for sure. He is built strongly and most likely suited to a deeper role in Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 formation, if that is indeed what Mourinho intends to use. His goal scoring record is nothing to scoff at however, bagging 8 goals in 33 appearances last term. Regardless of where he may or may not play, there is one massive issue. Job security. Chelsea’s embarrassment of midfield riches is… Well, embarrassing. He will most likely get some decent game time ahead of next year’s world cup, however there is no way you can pick him in your GW1 line-up. DGW or not, he certainly won’t play both games. Pass for now.

Fer (6.0) – 0.7%

Finally I will take a look at the Dutchman Fer, who recently joined Norwich for an undisclosed fee. Here we have YET ANOTHER 6 ft 2 box-to-box midfielder, who will most likely play a defensive minded role in the Norwich midfield. If you’re after a budget option then look no further than Snodgrass (6.5), who should be on most set-piece duties and will lead the attack in midfield. Whilst Fer’s addition will be very beneficial to Norwich’s defensive prospects, his value as an fpl option does not match that of some other options around that price tag. Yet another pass for me.

Well there you have it, the midfield additions to the epl so far. It seems like coaches have not been happy with the number of goals conceded last year and tall, strong box-to-box midfielders look the go. Schurlle and Navas aside, I don’t see massive scoring potential anywhere. Even then those 2 don’t hold either good value or good job security. I’ll be sticking with mostly premiums in my midfield, but more on that when we research all the midfield options in a final player analysis. Until then I will bring you another installment of fresh blood either tomorrow night or Wednesday morning. Cheers!

@MattCraigDT

@FPLaddicts

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