While we wait for the appeal to take place there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be discussed. Diego Costa. It’s been a rough ride owning Costa hasn’t it? Injuries, lean spells, lack of assists and BPs… Now he’s probably gone and got himself a holiday and we’re left to pick up the pieces. A lot of us will have a big decision to make. If you’ve had him all season, you’re going to lose money if you dump him now. But can you afford that much cash on the bench? Are you really doing that well? Fortunately I’ve only had him for a little while so he’ll be out faster than a bad curry. But to whom do we trade to? Let’s consider the alternatives, but I will preface it with a warning. There’s not much out there…
A sneaky sideways trade would normally be the most common way out of this mess, but as you’ll see there’s not a lot of standout options apart from the one guy a lot of us already have;
Aguero 12.5m – We all know what he’s capable of so for those without him, and have the cash to splash, Aguero is by far the best option. Some will say you can get by without him but I’d prefer to rely on POD’s elsewhere than go against the grain without this bloke. He played a full game last GW against Arsenal so you’d think he’s good to go. A pissed off, although weakened, Chelsea this week however will be a huge test but it’s smooth sailing after that. Takes captaincy options out of your hands when he’s flying.
RVP 12.2 – For a player in this day and age to come out and admit that he’s played shit this season (not his exact words), is really refreshing. Whether he’s able to do anything about it is a completely different proposition. Actions speak louder than words pal. For a striker who’s had recent back to back 260 point seasons his 112 last season and 84 so far this campaign is horrible output for a 12m+ asset and should not be an option right now. Surely it’s a coincidence that his lean spell has occurred just as he’s started to go grey? If you see him dye his hair, get on.
Sturridge 11.1 – You’re going to need a serious set on you to take on this risk as he’s only just started training after a 5 month lay off. When he’s on he will score you as many points as you want, but it will take some time to get fit and then find his touch again in the quickest league in the world. He is vital to Liverpool’s chances of doing anything of note this season, but don’t expect him to be rushed back and risk writing off the rest of the season.
Roondog 10.7 – Not the FPL god he once was unfortunately. Since he’s been pushed back to play a deeper role his point scoring potential has taken a huge hit. If I’m honest I wouldn’t even pick him if he was a midfielder right now. If we’re looking for positives, he does tend to perform when United win (7 of his 8 goals have come in wins), and their fixtures do look great?
Falcao 10.5 – It’s universally accepted that he’s not the player he once was and even in a team laden with attacking talent he’s not producing the end result his massive wages warrant. Going forward there’s a good chance of direct rotation with RVP and the potential for United to dip in the transfer market could hinder his chances even more. Is United where strikers go to die? Looks like Moyes did leave a legacy after all…
If you’re not looking at bringing back Costa any time soon then you could do a lot worse than having a gander at the slightly cheaper options, and using the leftover cash somewhere else. There could be some legit options here;
Lukaku 8.8 – Pros; Great goal scoring record prior to this season. Everton are more likely to score than not. After being dropped a few weeks ago he has looked much better in open play than before. They’ve convinced the gaffer to play a bit more direct occasionally thus playing to his strengths. Eto’o is gone. Cons; Goalless in 9 EPL games…
Giroud 8.2 – He was just starting to get his act together before copping that red card! After missing 9 through injury, he was drip fed back into the first team which culminated in scoring 3 in 2 games and 19 points before the enforced lay off. He had just come into calculations. Cue a -2, 2 games off and he sort of had to start again. His first full game, all season, was his last against City where he scored and collected 8 points. And you know what… I reckon he’s a really good shout! They have Villa at home, then the goal packed derby against Spurs then Leicester and Palace. Arsenal even bought a defender! Talk about feel good factor.
Dzeko / Jovetic 7.9 / 7.8. Grouped these two together because they’re both equally unimpressive and irrelevant. If either was doing anything worthwhile City wouldn’t have had to splash out 35m on Bony. They’ll be kept on until the end of the season then sold to the highest bidder. Or loaned to Hull/Palace.
Pelle 7.8 – Southampton have definitely revitalised themselves over recent games after a very lean spell, unfortunately Pelle hasn’t. A closer look at their recent wins you’ll notice a much, much lower shots on goal count than during their barnstorming start to the season which doesn’t bode well for Pelle.
Benteke 7.6 – Unless Aston Villa find a way to put that ball into the back of that net, then Benteke shouldn’t be anywhere near our teams. Their inability to score is unaffected by fixtures too so don’t think an easy run will help. Not that that they have one with Arsenal and Chelsea to come!
Remy 7.2 – If you think Remy will be the direct replacement for Costa, over Drog, for these 3 games then he could be a great short term option. Most times he’s been given a chance this season he’s looked pretty good. With the freedom of knowing he’s going to get minutes, even for such a short time, he could relax a bit and do a job for Jose?
Carroll 6.9 – Unabashed fan of the big man over here. Since coming back from injury he’s looked fit and hungry and has popped up for a few goals. West Ham look even better when he’s leading their lines. But, he will send you to an early grave when he misses open goals from 10 yards out…
If you know me by now you’ll understand my hatred of cheap strikers. I’ve only just now bowed to pressure and jumped aboard the Kane-train due to pure weight of goals and form. For the interests of giving you the most options possible, here are the cheapies putting their hands up;
Austin 6.5 – Charlie has been a relative revelation this season with 13 goals in 20 games but he has slowed a bit recently with just the 1, against Burnley, in the past 4. Maybe that’s harsh but you need to look for signs of downward trends in fad players, and with my already dubious opinion of cheap strikers it is a concern that his early season goal scoring antics won’t be recreated in the second half.
Gomis 6.5 – Added him just in case I’m asked… Bit of a confusing situ here? One week he says he wants to play for the big boys, the next he’s being linked with West Ham… No disrespect intended! Still, while he’s at Swansea he’s at least an option as their main striker. Up to now he hasn’t been able to budge the impressive Bony from their first XI, but Man City have helped out with that little problem. He’s got his chance now to show everyone how good he thinks he is, including prospective buyers. Hasn’t shown anything so far in the minutes he has been afforded so he’s coming from a long way back in our considerations… Swansea have a fair kitty to replace Bony though? Watch out if they get Rhodes, he’ll go alright in this team.
Kane 5.9 – This guy will be in England’s next squad. He has to be! He’s that good. Barely missed a step since he was introduced into the team via preseason friendlies, the Europa League then the EPL. The worry is Spurs’ penchance for buying strikers whenever possible but surely he deserves a chance to be the main man for this club?
Ings 5.7 – Nearly everything good for Burnley happens because of Ings. Whether it be scoring or assisting, he’s the man… Burnley have averaged 2 and a bit goals in their past 4 games so do know how to score, but their upcoming games are rough. Away to Sunderland, then home to Pulis, followed by United and Chelsea… He may not even be there come the end of the transfer window with a few clubs sniffing around. Even if he stays, transfer speculation can seriously effect form even for the best of them… Too hard basket.
Berahino 5.5 – Could be the key that unlocks Pulis’ latest success story. Has a bit of Roondog about him (the Everton version) and has the ability to become a decent knock off in time… West Brom won’t score a million goals though so you really are banking on him being the sole attacking point scorer for the next few.
So that’s my 2 cents deposited. For the record, I like Aguero, Giroud and …….. a big gap to Remy as a punt before Sturridge gets back to form. Costa won’t be coming back into my team this season that’s for sure!