Who to keep an eye on when assembling your 2019-20 Fantasy Premier League side
With the 2019-20 Fantasy Premier League having launched, managers are already eyeing up the prices of this season’s players – but who should they be looking at?
With price changes, an evolving transfer market and promoted clubs to consider, here are the things managers need to know at this early stage.
It will come as no surprise to see Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah commanding the highest FPL value at £12.5million, despite the Egypt forward notching 10 fewer league goals in 2018-19 than he did the season before.
Still classed as a midfielder, Salah earns five points per goal rather than four, as he would as a striker. His 22 league goals last season propelled him to the top of the FPL points-scorers list, and managers will surely bank on him in their millions once again.
Elsewhere, Raheem Sterling’s £12m valuation makes him the joint-second most expensive player along with Manchester City team-mate Sergio Aguero, both of whom will have a third consecutive Premier League title in their sights this year.
While established Premier League players will appeal to seasoned FPL managers, those who won promotion from the Sky Bet Championship could prove good investments.
Norwich’s Teemu Pukki will have attracted attention from some quarters after a stellar campaign in which he fired the Canaries to the Premier League with 29 goals and nine assists – at £6.5m he could prove the perfect third-choice striker.
Aston Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi, meanwhile, could offer value at £5.5m, the Dutch winger having registered five goals and six assists last season, and Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Norwood could be a snip at £5m having played 43 games in the Championship last year.
Every year players defy their values to over or under perform, but the game’s price structure always catches up with them the next year.
Liverpool’s flying full-backs, for example, have both had their prices increased to £7m to recognise the threat they have provided on the flanks, accumulating 25 FPL assists together in 2018-19.
But it is not all price rises – Alexis Sanchez began last season with a value of £10.5m at Manchester United, but a return of just one league goal has seen his price drop to £7m, while Harry Kane has dropped from £12.5m to £11m after an underwhelming 17-goal campaign.
The transfer market
Of course, in the real world the transfer window remains open, so managers setting their teams will need to keep a close eye on players looking for a move elsewhere.
Plenty will be aware of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m), for example, whose move to Manchester United is almost complete, while Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira (£5m) has been linked with a move away from the Premier League altogether.
Chelsea’s two-window FIFA transfer ban, meanwhile, may play into the hands of FPL managers looking for guaranteed starters, with Willian and Pedro at £7m both far cheaper options than Eden Hazard, who left for Real Madrid earlier in the summer, would have been.