Welcome back to Part 2 of Transitioned Players. In Part 1 we took a look at the Goalkeepers and Defenders who have crossed ships to a rival team over the summer, in this edition we’ll cover the Midfielders and Forwards. Lets take a look.
Morgan Schneiderlin (5.5) – 14.2% Ownership
Since joining the Premier League 3 seasons ago, Morgan Schneiderlin has played a crucial role in the center of the park for Southampton, with his performances being noted by ‘bigger’ clubs in Arsenal and Manchester United. United beat the Gunners for the Frenchman’s signature over the summer, where he signed a four year contract reportedly worth £24m. Since Schneiderlin joined Southampton from Strasbourg he has scored 108, 84 and 90 points in his three season, far from anything to write home about. But for some reason a staggering 14.2% of managers have decided to select him in their starting squads… Schneiderlin plain and simply does not play a fantasy friendly role, often playing in the defensive midfield position that sees him focus more so on defending and setting up play rather than finishing it off. Manchester United have a fairly straight forward start to the season, facing Spurs, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Swansea in the opening month. Even despite their good early run Schneiderlin still does not present as a good option. While he will play a key role for the Red Devils come game day, that unfortunately won’t warrant selecting him in our FPL squads. Avoid.
James Milner (7.0) – 13.7% Ownership
James Milner was one of the big movers this summer, leaving the Blue side of Manchester for the Red side of Merseyside. Liverpool signed Milner on a free over the summer, after the Englishman was becoming no doubt increasing frustrated with his limited and irregular game time under Manuel Pellegrini. The move to Liverpool is a good one in my opinion, with Sterling now gone there is a vacancy on the right hand side that Milner could well be suited for. Last campaign he produced 107 points from 5 goals and 8 assists, which is fairly decent considering he only played 1749 minutes, with a lot of those from featuring off the bench. Milner’s best season in the Premier League came all the way back in 2009/10, where he scored 7 goals and made 12 assists for a total of 184 points. If he can get back to that sort of form at that price tag, he could become a very handy option. Liverpool have an opening month where they face Stoke, Bournemouth, Arsenal and West Ham, a fairly good draw if they can perform consistently. With Milner hopefully assured of a starting XI spot, he is definitely one to keep an eye on, even if it’s only on the watch list. In Liverpool’s first proper friendly of the season, in Australia against A-League outfit Brisbane Roar, Milner scored the winner for his first goal at his new club. Is this a sign of things to come?
Raheem Sterling (9.0) – 13% Ownership
In one of the most controversial moves of the summer, Raheem Sterling abandoned the ship at Liverpool in order for a move to Manchester City. It was a highly publicised move, with Sterling making it well known his dissatisfaction at remaining a Liverpool player this season and beyond. Sterling set City back £44m, a lofty figure given his age and lack of experience. However his potential and nationality is what really inflated the price tag. Last season Sterling produced his best season FPL wise, scoring 158 overall points from 7 goals and 10 assists. Sterling should have no problem cementing a spot in the City starting XI, facing the majority of competition from Samir Nasri and Jesús Navas, two players one would think he has the nod over. City have a decent opening month, coming up against West Brom, Chelsea, Everton and Watford, meaning the potential for points accumulation is high for Raheem if he starts well. The biggest battle Sterling faced last season was his inconsistency, often going weeks producing 2-3 point outputs, something incredibly frustrating from a premium option. Due to this I personally will be avoiding Sterling to start off with, at 9.0 he will need to show more consistency before I pull the trigger. Can’t hurt monitoring his performances however.
Fabian Delph (5.5) – 1.6% Ownership
In the biggest move of indecision and disloyalty Fabian Delph finally agreed to leave Aston Villa, signing for Manchester City despite saying he was happy at Villa only days before making a U-turn and joining City. The central midfielder signed at Manchester City on a five year contract for a reported figure of £8m. This move really frustrates me as a natural for both these clubs because at the end of the day it’s a pointless signing for City and one which will ultimately ruin Delph’s career. Going from a key player at Villa, Delph will become nothing more than a bench warmer at City and someone who raises their English player nationality by a measly +1. After joining up with his City teammates in Australia a few days ago Delph made his debut in front of 99,382 people at the MCG. In arguably the biggest act of Karma, Delph didn’t even last out the first half, succumbing to a hamstring injury and being substituted early in the game. He is now under an injury doubt for the game against West Brom on the opening day of the season which makes our decision on selecting him easy… Not that there was anything to consider anyway, with a top score of only 97 in 6 seasons of Premier League football. Hope you have a warm ass Fabian…. You’re gonna need it.
Tom Cleverley (5.5) – 1.5% Ownership
After a disappointing career at Manchester United, Tom Cleverley spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, scoring 81 overall points from only 3 goals and 0 assists. Fast forward a year and Cleverley has moved away from United permanently, landing at Everton on a 5 year contract for free. Cleverley has never been a strong accumulator of points from an FPL perspective, only having a top score of 81 points (2014/15 campaign) having been in the Premier League for 5 seasons. For some reason 1.5% of managers have selected Cleverley in their initial draft for the upcoming season, a staggering amount considering his lack of ability to score worthwhile fantasy points. Another factor detracting from picking Cleverley in our teams is Everton’s opening 8 games. The Toffees face Watford, Southampton, Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Swansea, West Brom and Liverpool in the first two months of the season, a horrific run of fixtures. Points will be hard enough to come by judging from this set of fixtures, let alone Cleverley’s already apparent inability to score… It’s a no brainer for me. Thanks but no thanks Tom.
Christian Atsu (5.5) – 1.1% Ownership
Having spent last season on loan at Everton, the Chelsea-owned Christian Atsu has once again been shipped out on loan, this time to the newly promoted Bournemouth for the upcoming season. Atsu had a very disappointing debut season in the Premier League, only playing 113 minutes and managing just one assist for the entire season. Atsu will be very much hoping to redeem himself after last season and show the competition what he is truly capable of. There is no doubting he has potential, but the 23 year old simply needs more playing time to be able to show what he is capable of. Now at Bournemouth, Atsu will be hopeful of playing a key role for the Cherries this season, unlike last season at Everton. Bournemouth has a fairly straightforward introduction into the Premier League, facing Aston Villa, Liverpool, West Ham and Leicester in the opening month. Priced at 5.5m Atsu could be tempting to many managers if he can produce some quality performances. I certainly wouldn’t be starting with him, but if he can show some glimpses of good form in the opening month he may well come into consideration for a spot in our teams.
Marco Van Ginkel (5.5) – 0.8% Ownership
As a result of Asmir Begovic signing for Chelsea over the summer, Marco Van Ginkel went the opposite way on loan for the upcoming season. Ever since signing for Chelsea in 2013, Van Ginkel has had very limited game time, being shifted out on loan to Milan last season and only featuring 11 minutes in his debut season in 2013. Now at Stoke, Van Ginkel has the potential to get some consistent game time in the Premier League. At 5.5 however, there is not much worth considering for this unknown prospect in fantasy terms. Due to the fact he does not play a fantasy friendly, along with his unknown job security, you would be a brave manager to select Van Ginkel in your starting squad. As a result of this he does not come into consideration for my team, and I highly recommend everyone else does the same. Sorry Marco.
Christian Benteke (8.5) – 29.2% Ownership
With all the cash in the world thanks to the Raheem Sterling move, Liverpool decided to fork out the majority of it on Belgian International Christian Benteke. Benteke has joined Liverpool for £32.5m on a ‘long year contract’, which shall see him at the ‘Pool for the distant future at least. Upon arriving in the Premier League in 2012 Benteke has lit it up… When fit at least. In his first season Benteke scored 19 goals and made 4 assists for a total of 166 overall points, really making a name for himself at Villa. Next season was a difficult one for the Belgian, suffering an Achilles injury which hampered his season, only managing 10 goals and 2 assists from a touch over 2100 minutes. Last season Benteke showed glimpses of his best, but once again little niggling injuries interrupted his season – meaning he only managed 2378 minutes for the campaign. In those 2300 minutes however, he did score 13 goals and made a further 2 assists, for a total of 127 overall points. Now at Liverpool the future is certainly looking bright for Benteke. With Liverpool in desperate need of a brute force up front after the sale of Luis Suarez last year, Benteke can certainly fill that void. At his best Benteke is capable of banging in hat tricks on the regular… its just a matter of keeping fit. Benteke will certainly be ahead of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli in the pecking order, it’s just a matter of whether he can knock off Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge for that number one striker role at Liverpool this season. If he can, at 8.5m he certainly should be worth considering. Liverpool face Stoke, Bournemouth, Arsenal and West Ham in the opening month which, definitely gives Benteke a chance to get his Liverpool career off to a hot start. He’s by no means a lock, but is certainly one to watch over the pre-season to see how he settles in. Could be a cracker signing for Liverpool.
Danny Ings (7.5) – 11.1% Ownership
In a similar situation to Kieran Trippier, Danny Ings leaving Burnley is another result of their relegation from the Premier League last season. Liverpool took advantage of this, signing the Englishman after his impressive debut season in the Premier League last season. In a team struggling week in week out, Ings scored 11 goals and made 4 assists for a total of 139 points. This was even more impressive considering his starting price tag was only 5.5m at the beginning of last season. Now a more notable player in fantasy terms, and the fact he has joined a bigger club, Ings now comes in at 7.5 for the upcoming season. After unsuccessful seasons from both Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli, plus the ongoing injury concerns surrounding Daniel Sturridge and even Christian Benteke, Ings has the potential to lead the line at Liverpool this season. If so, there is certainly an argument that he can only improve on what he produced last season at a bigger club that will be more competitive and have better service for the lethal finisher. Liverpool face Stoke, Bournemouth, Arsenal and West Ham in the opening month of the season, giving Ings the best possibility of scoring well early. If Ings can capitalise on this early run he may well be a very good option for our forward line. However due to the abundance of options up front for Liverpool I will at very least be giving it a few weeks before I make a decision, plus it will give him time to adapt to his new teammates and their style of play.
Radamel Falcao (7.5) – 5.7% Ownership
After a highly anticipated move to the Premier League last season, Falcao simply performed poorly for the Red Devils. Falcao only managed 1288 minutes last season, producing 76 points from 4 goals and 5 assists, an output well below his best considering his 52 goals from 68 appearances at Atletico Madrid. Fast forward a season and Falcao will be hoping to put last years abysmal season behind him where he will now ply his trade at last years Champions Chelsea. However things are already looking gloomy for the Colombian International, having been handed Chelsea’s haunted number 9 shirt, previously warn by flops in Fernando Torres, Franco Di Santo and Steve Sidwell. All jokes aside, Falcao simply cannot come into consideration for our teams…. Just yet at least. Priced pretty evenly at 7.5m to be fair, Falcao will be behind Diego Costa and arguably Loic Remy for the lone striker role at the Blues, meaning he will be battling for minutes. As a result of Mourinho’s love for the 4-2-3-1 formation it really only leaves room for one striker, and after his fantastic debut season last year, Diego Costa will seemingly have that sewn up for himself. One thing however that Falcao does have on his side is runs on the board… During his time at Atletico Madrid Falcao was one of the best strikers in the world, reflected by his reported transfer fee of around £40m to Monaco. However after suffering a ruptured ACL in 2013 it has been strongly suggested he has well and truly passed his prime, despite only being 29 years of age. If Falcao can get anywhere near where he was during his time at Atletico Madrid then he will be simply irresistible for our FPL squads, but for now he cannot come into consideration. Keep an eye on his progress however.
Well that wraps up the analysis of the Midfielders and the Forwards that have swapped Premier League clubs over the summer. Good luck with the rest of your pre-season prep, feel free to comment any questions in the comment section and RMT thread. Cheers!