Hello and welcome the second edition of Transitioned Players. In the first edition we took a look at the Goalkeepers and Defenders who have jumped ship, now its time to look at the Midfielders and Forwards. Will they get the game time they’re after? Lets have a look…
Gylfi Sigurdsson (6.0) – 7.6%
We start things off with a transfer that has me really excited, so much so he’s a valid member of my team! Gylfi Sigurdsson has made his move back to Swansea after spending two years at Tottenham. When previously at Swansea Sigurdsson enjoyed his playing time and squad role and this was evident in his 7 goals and 5 assists. Once he made the move to Tottenham he struggled for regular first team football, only registering 1235 and 1276 minutes in both seasons. The thing that has me excited about Sigurdsson’s move is his massive scoring potential, notching up 8 goals and 5 assists during his time at Tottenham, even despite often finding comfort in the leather bench seats. There is no doubt Sigurdsson will be given the game time, its just a matter of if he gets his favoured attacking midfield spot or whether that will be given to teammate Jonjo Shelvey. I think Sigurdsson has shown he deserves the spot but whether Garry Monk will have the same opinion is yet to be determined. In his first pre-season game for Swansea Sigurdsson scored a brace off the bench including a spectacular free kick, adding yet another string to his bow. At his price you can’t go wrong with selecting Sigurdsson, he will shine given the game time and that should only result in points scored. Lock and load.
Steve Sidwell (5.5) – 5.8%
After Fulham’s relegation from the Premier League last season, Steve Sidwell has jumped ship to Stoke with his intention clearly to remain at the top flight of English football. During his time at Fulham his scoring output increasingly rose from 34 to 83 to 126 points per season, largely thanks to 12 goals and 5 assists. He has now moved to the defensive minded Stoke City but I don’t see his scoring output continuing to increase and therefore become a solid option in Fantasy Premier League. At 5.5m I can’t see much value in investing in Sidwell, much better options at the 6.0m mark. Pass for me.
Adam Lallana (8.5) – 3.7%
Next up is another move that has me quite excited; also another ship jumper from Southampton to Liverpool, and that comes through Adam Lallana. Lallana made the move from Southampton to Liverpool over the summer after a terrific season at St Mary’s, registering 9 goals and 9 assists, totalling for 178 overall points. Lallana shone for Southampton last season and thus attracted the attention of many of the dominant clubs in the top flight of English football, eventually signing for Liverpool. Lallana’s stocks certainly have risen since he made the move to Liverpool, largely off the back of the extreme difference in quality at Liverpool compared to Southampton. With the likes of Sturridge, Sterling, Gerrard, Markovic, Coutinho and Henderson all around him there will no doubt be an increase in chances created and hopefully finished. Unfortunately Lallana has succumb to injury over pre-season and has damaged his knee, unfortunately meaning he will miss the start of the season. The FPL website says he is expected to return on September 20 but I’m not sure how legit that is. Due to his injury he simply cannot be selected, although once he returns he should be monitored extremely closely, will be back to his dominance of last year.
Gareth Barry (5.0) – 3.2%
Next up is Gareth Barry after completing a permanent move to Everton from Manchester City. Last season Barry went to Everton on loan and performed admirably, unfortunately due to his defensive minded position in midfield this doesn’t translate into FPL points. Defensive minded midfielders, although extremely important to their respective teams, don’t historically score well enough to warrant selection in our teams. Last season Barry notched up 7 goals and 2 assists for an overall score of 126 points. Whilst not the worst in the game, there are much better options out there for 1.0-1.5m extra. Another pass for me.
Robert Snodgrass (6.0) – 2.7%
After two not so great options in terms of FPL we arrive at a player who starts to represent some value, even if his percentage selected by doesn’t suggest so. Robert Snodgrass has made the move from the relegated Canaries to Hull City over the summer with the intention of remaining at the highest level in England. During his time at Norwich Snodgrass presented himself as a solid option, particularly during his 2012/13 season in which he registered 6 goals and 9 assists for a respectable 152 points. Unfortunately he couldn’t back up his efforts last campaign, largely due to niggling injuries, as Norwich slumped to relegation. Snodgrass will be locked in at Hull but it’s just a matter of whether or not he can replicate his 2012 form. If he can get back to his efforts in 2012 Snodgrass will provide great value, priced at a low 6.0m. Until I see his performances early in the season I will be giving Robert a miss, instead favouring newly transferred Sigurdsson. One to watchlist though.
Jake Livermore (5.5) – 2.3%
Next is another player who spent a season on loan and enjoyed himself so much he’s made a permanent move, this time its Jake Livermore. Livermore went through Tottenham’s youth system and eventually made his first senior appearance in the 2011/12 season. During this time Livermore managed just the one assist for 37 overall points. Having struggled to break into the Tottenham line up Livermore joined Hull City on loan last season and started to show potential through registering 3 goals and 4 assists. While not fantastic statistics Livermore proved to be an instrumental player in Hull’s line-up, slotting in at central midfield. Due to his position and lack of scoring output Livermore doesn’t pose as such a great selection, it’s a pass for me.
Jack Colback (5.0) – 0.6%
In amazing circumstances Jack Colback made the move from Sunderland to arch rivals Newcastle United over the summer. In what was a devastating move for Sunderland fans, Colback joined their biggest rivals in the hope of more success. During his time at the Stadium of Light Colback didn’t ever really trouble the scorers, only registering 4 goals and 4 assists during his 5 seasons in the Premier League. This lack of scoring is largely off the back of his defensive minded position in central midfield. Colback is a holding midfielder who doesn’t tend to move in the latter half of the ground, instead favouring a position in the heart of defence and midfield. Having said that, Colback did have his best season to date last campaign, registering 3 goals and 3 assists for 86 points. Due to his position however I can’t honestly suggest Colback as a good selection. While he’ll be an important player for Newcastle he won’t impact FPL as much, it’s a no from me.
Kieran Richardson (5.0) – 0.3%
Another player who is seeking game time in the top division after playing for a relegated team is Kieran Richardson. After Fulham were relegated last season Richardson made the move to Aston Villa to stay in the Premier League. During his time at Manchester United, Sunderland and Fulham, Richardson never proved to be the best of options in terms of FPL. Richardson has a career high of only 95 overall points, making this selection query a rather easy decision. Plying his trade predominately down the left flank, Richardson will be competing against new teammate Gabby Agbonlahor, meaning he could find it difficult to register consistent game time. Due to the level of uncertainty surrounding his selection and his lacklustre scoring it’s a no from me.
Joe Cole (5.5) – 0.2%
Next we have a legend of the Premier League, good old Joe Cole. After leaving Chelsea in 2010 Cole struggled to perform as consistently as he did when at Chelsea. Since his departure he has only registered 8 goals and 2 assists, something hardly to get excited over. During his peak Cole registered 144 points during the 2007/2008 season thanks to 7 goals and 6 assists. Unfortunately since then inconsistency has seriously crept into his game. Last season Cole seriously struggled to consistently front up, only featuring 749 minutes. At 32 years of age Cole isn’t getting any younger meaning backing it up week in week out won’t come easy. While he should be assured a spot on the right hand side at Aston Villa Cole still could pop up with the odd goal or two. Unfortunately us FPL managers require a bit more than ‘a goal every now and again’. At 5.5m there are better options out there. As much as I love you and thank you for your efforts at Chelsea, it’s a no from me. Sorry Coley <3
Craig Gardner (5.5) – 0.1%
To round out the transitioned midfielders we arrive to Craig Gardner after making his move to West Brom from Sunderland. Last season Gardner experienced a frustrating campaign, constantly finding solace in the leather seats on the bench. Last season Gardner only managed 772 minutes played resulting in a poor 36 overall points. At his peak Gardner only managed 104 overall points from 6 goals and 2 assists meaning he wasn’t even the most solid of performers when getting game time. At 5.5m he’s rather expensive considering last years abysmal season. For just 0.5m extra you can select far better options in Sigurdsson, Snodgrass and Anautovic.It’s a no from me.
Romelu Lukaku (9.0) – 17.3%
And so we arrive at only one of two strikers who have jumped ship for the upcoming campaign, and the first comes through the Belgium beast, Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku completed his permanent move to Everton during the week as the two clubs finally settled on a figure, reported around £28m. Lukaku has spent the last two seasons out on loan at both West Brom and Everton respectively. During his time on loan he has established himself as one of the greats for the future, amassing 32 goals and 16 assists. This astonishing display somehow still didn’t get him favoured by Jose Mourinho, with the Special One having one last crack at Lukaku before he left, saying he was never motivated at Chelsea. The extent of this is unknown and to be honest I reckon it’s just Mourinho starting some controversy for the sake of it. Lukaku has proven he can be a very relevant FPL player, registering 159 and 168 overall points during his two loan spells. Now he has completed his move permanently I am only predicting bigger and better things from Lukaku. At 9.0m he is more expensive than previous seasons but he should well and truly justify his selection. A great option.
Ricky Lambert (7.5) – 11.0%
The second of only two strikers who have jumped ship comes through Ricky Lambert, another Southampton player joining Liverpool. It really surprised me that Liverpool signed Lambert after Suarez left, he doesn’t really seem like a like-for-like replacement. Since his reappearance in the Premier League Lambert has certainly proved he can perform well at the elite level, registering 28 goals and 19 assists for a combined 366 overall points. It helped his cause that he was on penalty and free kick duties during this time, something that won’t be the case whilst at Liverpool. Since Loic Remy failed his medical at Liverpool the Reds have gone and signed Divock Origi from Belgium, although he won’t join the Reds til 2015. He will certainly be behind Daniel Sturridge in the pecking order but it will be a wait and see whether Lambert gets a somewhat decent run or not. Due to this level of uncertainty and Lambert’s increasing age I’ll be giving Rickie a miss regardless.
Well that wraps up the Transitioned Players series for this pre-season. The second edition was a rather dour affair, with the majority of the players either holding midfielders or unworthy of our selection. Now that I’ve finished Transitioned Players and Most Popular my attention will shift to Around the Grounds. Until then, cheers!