Welcome to a wrap of the transfer business that was conducted during the final couple weeks of the window. It was relatively quiet up until deadline day, but as always things took off. Here’s an update of my projected XI for each team, plus some brief thoughts on those fantasy relevant newcomers.
Note that these projected XI’s will not be 100% accurate and there will be some short term injuries not accounted for, they are only a guideline!
Arsenal dipped into the market on deadline day, buying a much needed striker but also leaving some crucial gaps in their squad in the holding mid and defensive roles. With Giroud out for 3 months Welbeck should get an extended run up front. Walcott looks about 3 weeks away from returning, he is a lock when fit. It will likely leave Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere to battle it out for the central midfield slots, and I honestly can’t separate them. Ozil is well out of form, confidence and ideas, but he’s also being played on a wing. That won’t last much longer. I expect Cazorla to start next week so we’ll see what his preferred central mids are. There’s no denying that playing Ramsey at CDM would be a gamble, but he’s struggling for form at the moment. Something will give, either Rambo replaces the old men in Arteta and Flamini who are largely ineffective in a holding role, or one of him and Ozil bench. Wilshere deserves a run in the first XI with his form and potential, I reckon this is his season. I think Ramsey prefers having the play in front of him, his self control would be the biggest test. It’s a real wait and see prospect.
In defence, yikes. Chambers will fill in for Debuchy whilst injured, leaving Arsenal with basically no defensive coverage (Monreal) if any further injuries occur.
Nothing of much relevance here, I expect them to shift to a 4-3-3 once Benteke returns, with Agbonlahor and Weimann either side of him. No major signings that will be fpl relevant, don’t expect their defense to keep this up either.
There was one very relevant deadline day signing for Burnley, with George Boyd joining from Hull for a club record fee of almost 3 million pounds. This may not sound too relevant, but he is actually a striker at heart who was played out of position at Hull. Burnley didn’t pay a club record fee just to have him bench, so you can be pretty sure he will start. With news that Ings may be out with a hamstring, whilst Vokes is on the sidelines, there is a great chance he will get a run upfront. Now don’t get me wrong, Burnley are horrible going forward and he’s not going to set the world on fire, but when you see his price you will realise why he’s so tempting. At 4.4 he represents the perfect M5!
Michael Keane has also joined from United, I suspect that’s because they’re not sure Duff will get through a whole Premier League season at his age. Having said that, I can’t see the partnership of Shackell and Duff being broken anytime soon with only 1 goal conceded in their past 3 games.
As always, Chelsea’s midfield will be subject to rotation. At this stage it looks like Schurrle has the nod over Willian and Ramires on the right flank but rotation makes it almost impossible to select him. Hazard operates from the left. Azpilcueta is also starting over Felipe Luis and doesn’t look like shifting in the near future. Costa is a god.
Zaha is a great signing for Palace as he returns to the club which built his reputation. He is definitely one to consider at 5.4 with the lack of cheap midfielders available, but he will be painfully inconsistent. I’d avoid that category all together. McArthur was also signed from Wigan, but isn’t fpl relevant. Gayle is likely to make way for Chamakh when Palace feel they need a physical presence up front.
Finally a club that’s predictable! They’re lining up almost exactly how we expected them to, Atsu is yet to get a look in and he seems more like back-up rather than first team material. Stones is getting a run at CB ahead of Distin, but I wouldn’t go and select him. A settled team is often a successful team. Eto’o will have to wait for Naismith’s form to drop before he gets a look in.
Now here is a team that did some deadline day business. Abel Hernandez is definitely one to watch, but I think 7.0 is over paying. Ben Arfa could be gold if he gets his act together, but I’d like to wait and see proof of that. With guys like Ince, Brady and Ramirez pushing for selection, there’s no shortage of competition. There’s certainly potential for them to push into the top half this season!
The 2 key men in Leicester’s squad are positioned upfront, and that is exactly how they are lining up without too much competition to put their spots under threat. Ulloa is certainly looking deadly. The big deadline day signing for Leicester was the scoop of Cambiasso. Leicester’s defence has actually been pretty solid considering their opposition, he will only sure things up further at CDM. Once Albrighton returns to full fitness the wing slots are up for grabs, with King and Schlupp currently occupying the roles. Neither are relevant however.
Liverpool can go two ways with their line-up. A simple 4-3-1-2 with a diamond in formation in midfield as shown, or a 4-3-3 playing Sturridge or Balotelli up front with Sterling and either one of their pacey wingers. Lallana would likely slot in behind the striker. Henderson and Gerrard are locks. Moreno and Manquillo both look solid signings and should nail down the right and left back roles. Most of their squad is fairly settled, I’m just not convinced by Balotelli. I think he will work better with Sturridge beside him (Currently out for 3 weeks), he was poor against Villa. One thing is for sure, Sterling is a vital part of the squads success and benefits from a central role.
City showed last week against Arsenal that they are willing to re-shape their formation when playing away to a member of the top 4. In that case Dzeko/Jovetic shifts to the bench and Aguero plays a lone role up front, making Dzeko’s job security poor. Aguero, Silva and Toure the locks when fit. As expected they are rotating their full backs, whilst Kompany is the lock in defence.
Check out my conundrum last week for further details on how I think United will line up long term. For those wondering, Van Gaal said even if he wanted to play 3 at the back, he couldn’t due to injuries. I’m not sure the system that worked so well against QPR will hold its own in the long run. Van Persie or Mata the men in danger, to be honest at the moment RVP is probably the one making way to allow for Rooney and Falcao up front. With Herrera’s great performance on the weekend, it looks like he will provide direct competition for Mata.
Gouffran replaces the injured De Jong who is out for the foreseeable future. Not that it’s relevant at the moment, they are pathetic. Can’t defend for their lives, and Riviere up front is an embarrassment. Guy can’t finish to save his life. Avoid.
It’s hard to tell at the moment, but it looks like the 3 at the back system could be thrown out the door. Either way Vargas (watchlist) and Austin should be the front pairing, and as far as relevance goes that’s about it. I think QPR are almost certainties to drop, no team cohesion, just like in 2012/13. How they even managed to come back up still baffles me. Money isn’t always the answer, Arry.
The Saints seem to be employing a 4-3-3 formation, with Tadic and Ward-Prowse (Thanks to Long’s injury) likely to provide the width around the main man Pelle. Davis, Cork and Schneiderlin make up the midfield 3, Wanyama is back up. Defence is pretty settled, all round a solid team! No big signings to mention.
No new signings of note for Spurs, a big disappointment for them. With walker out for an extended period of time Dier should get a good run at right back whilst fit.
What can I say about Stoke. Average? Overrated? They’re my opinions anyway. The right wing slot is anybody’s, and Wilson is shockingly keeping Huth out of the starting XI. That’s about it.
Aside from Cattermole getting a start over Giaccherini there’s not much of note from our original lineup. Wickham is close to having a goal burst in my opinion. He can’t go much closer than he has so far.
Swansea are preferring a formation with one striker, usually a 4-3-3 with Sigurdsson in behind the striker. No deadline day transfers of note here, they’re chugging along nicely. Dyer is obviously
Almost nailed it! Morrison and Wisdom are currently getting the nod over Gamboa, I’ll be shocked if it remains that way. No transfers of note here either.
Valencia is definitely the one to watch here now that he’s finally fit. How about that strike against Hull. Sakho has also joined from Metz, certainly one to consider at just 5.5 if he can hold his starting spot. West Ham are certainly looking better going forward!
So there you have it, hopefully this will be a good guide for each teams line-ups until January at least. I certainly hope this helped!