Welcome to the weeks wrap of Fresh blood, with plenty of fresh meat making its way to the Premier League in the past 7 days. They all talk themselves up, but how will they fare in their first season of EPL action? There’s some big names amongst them so let’s take a look!
Gayle (5.0) 1.0%
“It doesn’t matter how you find the pot of gold Brian, only that you beat the Leprechaun”. Stewie does it again. Forget the fact that he’s an unknown prospect from a newly promoted side, the upside to this bloke is massive. His rise to fame has been rapid and it has culminated in a transfer fee of 4.5 million pounds to Crystal Palace, a club record. He has far more potential than blokes like Anelka and Graham in my opinion. Here’s a quote from Ian Holloway about his excitement at the new signing:
“He’s got an opportunity now to go and enjoy his football and I think he’ll score goals at Premier League level, goals from certain people just keep happening, it doesn’t matter which level you start at, they just keep happening. I think the way he plays, the boy moves like a top player. It’s now about helping him deal with the top level against top defenders. My chairman went in with a brief – don’t come out of the room without getting him – and I’m thankful. He’s given us a goalscorer of the future in our team right now, which is priceless.”
They key word? Goals. He scored 59 goals for non-league Stansted during 2010/11. He was shipped out on loan in 2011/12, notching a further 42 goals for the season. He was then purchased by league 2 outfit Dagenham, scoring 7 goals in 18 appearances before being loaned to Peterborough, scoring another 13 goals and 6 assists in 29 appearances for the Championship outfit. He has carried his goal scoring prowess throughout every League he has joined and if he can replicate that form even slightly, he should be a fantastic back-up striker at just 5.0.
He is likely to be handed the lone role up front with his keen eye for goal, and should be a crucial player for Palace if they are to survive. Certainly game time looks fairly assured with Glenn Murray out injured for the foreseeable future. Did I mention he should be on spot kicks as well? Definitely consider him, they also have a very favourable home rotation with Hull, something I will look at more in depth next week. A rotation between him and Koren is certainly viable!
Cornelius (5.5) 1.4%
Here’s another club record signing by a newly promoted team! The new TV rights deal is certainly coming into play. Cardiff have splashed out 8.5 million for the tall forward described as a real ‘target man‘. While game time should be no issue, I’m not sure he has enough goal scoring potential to be a solid pick for our first XI’s. With 18 goals in 32 appearances for Copenhagen he does have a goal sense, however I wouldn’t be surprised at a debut season tally of around 10 goals. Whilst this is nothing to scoff at I think 5.5 is slightly expensive for a bench warmer and I wouldn’t have him starting. Hold fire for now.
Tonev (5.0) 0.5%
Tonev has been kindly priced at 5.0 which brings him right into contention for our fifth midfield slot. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder arrives at the midlands on a three-year-deal for a fee in the region of £2.5m. He is likely to occupy the advanced midfield role is Villa’s 4-3-3. He could just as easily gain the role ‘in the hole’ if Lambert opts for a 4-2-3-1. 7 goals in 54 appearances at his previous club does put a dampener on his appeal. Whilst I don’t expect massive returns from Tonev, he should be solid bench cover with job security not an issue. I’ll pass for now, but if you’re after a DGW differential then this could be your man.
Giaccherini (7.0) 4.2%
Selected in 4.2% of teams the former Juventus midfielder has certainly caught fpl managers attention. Whilst his past history is nothing outstanding (4 goals and 6 assists in 40 appearances for Juve), a move to Sunderland and some regular game time could be exactly what he needs to lift his game to another level. With Di Canio likely to field both Altidore and Fletcher up front, it is suspected that Giaccherini will occupy the left wing position. To be honest I expect to see similar returns to guys like Johnson and Sessegnon. All are priced at 7.0 and with a tricky opening home schedule, I’d be holding fire on the Italian winger for now.
Jovetic (9.5) 2.3%
Now to the big guns. Man City have splashed the cash on some big name strikers this transfer window, only heightening the rotation headaches for fpl managers. While 2 would be enough for most sides, City are rolling with 4! Pellegrini added to his forward options by getting Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina for a deal in the region of £22m. I’ve seen a lot of this guy on FIFA, but how good is he really? 27 goals and 11 assists in 58 appearances over the past 2 seasons show the signs of a promising young striker, but nothing spectacular in fpl terms. There’s no doubt he’s a class act. He is very flexible and isn’t restricted to just goals, capable of moving out onto a wing and delivering assists as well. His flexibility could bode well for his game time, although a lot of questions must still be asked. He is a good chance of playing wide left or right, but I can’t see him being named down the middle. I can summarise his prospects by saying this. Job security is an issue already, however the fact that he’s quoted by saying “I aim to score 15 to 20 goals in all competitions this year” is concerning. All competitions… And those predictions are usually optimistic. That’s what you’d be looking for solely in the EPL from a forward priced that high, so it’s a pass for me.
Negredo (9.5) 4.1%
Manchester City’s second purchase does certainly grab my attention from an fpl prospective. The 27 year old striker arrives at the Etihad on a four-year contract for a fee initially believed to be in the region of £16m, with an extra £4m in add-ons. He is 27, so he has a hardened body and has experience at the highest level. Not only will his strong body adapt naturally to the Premier League, but he also scored 25 goals and 4 assists in 36 appearances in the Liga BBVA last season. That’s the 4th highest behind Messi, Ronaldo and Falcao. Not half bad. He should also be on penalty duties when starting, yet another positive. However the key words were “when starting”. Dzeko is in incredible pre-season form and if he stays at Man City (which is looking likely) then these 2 will probably rotate. Whilst his potential is massive, the threat of rotation is all too large for me. He will certainly have his moments, and if Dzeko leaves then get on board! However that does not seem to be the case and I expect to have another season of
Mancini Pellegrini headaches.
Hooper (6.5) 3.6%
Finally I get to Norwich’s second big signing of the summer. The 25 year old striker was snatched up for what looks to be a bargain price of £5m, with his incredible goal scoring record certainly eye catching from an fpl perspective. What, he’s only 6.5?! Some in depth analysis is certainly required here. His record of 63 goals and 24 assists in just 95 league appearances for Celtic is spectacular, no denying that. But how will he adapt to the EPL coming from the poor old Scottish league? His 4 goals in the Champions League put that concern to bed, he has proven he is capable of scoring at any level. The next question that must be asked is game time. How much of it? Hughton is almost certain to roll with a 4-4-2, pairing Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (Now formally known as RFW) in a front 2. The 2 strikers look set to create a deadly combination, and while separating the two is a hard task, I am hopeful of consistent playing time for both. So which of the fresh blood do we choose? In Hooper’s second pre-season match for the club he bagged a double, wasting no time in getting to know his new teammates. His kinder price tag of 6.5 definitely has him ahead of RFW at this stage, and he must be considered for our starting XI’s come GW1. The striker options are endless, and he is not to be passed on! Watchlist for sure and monitor his pre-season form, I certainly like him!
That’s it for today, expect to see me kick off some midfield player analysis in the coming days and a final round-up of all the fresh blood to come! Not long to go now, cheers!