The new season is finally upon us! We have waited eagerly all summer, kidding ourselves with the mild kick we received from euros fantasy football and watching Premier League teams splashing millions on new recruits. All hope to be the next Leicester and at the very least not the Aston Villa of a he 16/17 season.
The surgeons have reconvened (check out the latest pod if you haven’t yet) with the usual mixture innovative genius and loyalty to supported club blindedness! Either way the latest installment throws up some great ideas and food for thought for the new season.
The BPL manager is always faced with a dilemma at the start of the season. The more expensive stars may be considered “must have” but who can we select cheaply to accommodate them within the £100 million spending cap and still get a bang for our buck? Here are 3 potential gems that will help you balance a £13 million Aguero, £6.5 million Bellerin or £10 million Hazard.
Andre Gray – Burnley
Lots of hype around Grey being this seasons Callum Wilson, at least with the hope he does not get injured in the first 6 games. Great boasts a strike rate in the lower leagues since 2012 of around 50%, scoring 88 goals in 176 games. The hit man will guarantee minutes up top and has the qualities to scare any premier league deference. A snip at 6.5 million and 11.5% ownership at the time of writing so plenty of room to grow in price if he kicks of with a goal. Swansea at home with the recent loss of Ashley Williams is a favourable fixture. This is a followed by Liverpool at home, who still do not look assured at the back and a Chelsea side who have not exactly resolved their defensive problems with summer signings.
John Stones – Manchester City
The most expensive defender in England finally makes his move to City. Long awaited and drawn out, Guardiola finally get his man who can play from the back. Then uninspiring Mangala, fragile Kompany and growing in stature but less than assured Otamendi means Stones potential for a starting place is almost assured. At 5 million he is a bargain way into a city defence that faces Sunderland at home, Stoke away and West Ham at home, all games where clean sheets are very achievable. Is rotation a risk? Possibly under Pellegrini but Guardiola likes a settled back 4 (think Puyol and Pique) and his team to build from defence.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United
It sounds bizarre to include the worlds most expensive player in a bargain basement discussion, but at 8.5 million that is exactly what Pogba May turn out to be. Going forward he has the likes of Martial, Rooney and Ibrahimovic to provide for and has a hell of hit on him to come up with a goal. Pogba scored 8 times and made 12 assists in the league for Juventus last season and already knows the culture of the English game. If you are a bonus hunter he also picked up 8 man of the matches so could be a magnet for points. United look a dangerous animal this year and with Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull to start, offer plenty of potential value for managers.
Do these players feature in your teams? Tweet us at ff_surgery and tell us what you think and if they work out for you! New pod is set to drop next week reviewing the first weekend of BPL. I’m off now to procrastinate over my captain!