In preparation for the start of the [Fantasy] Premier League season, we are going club-by-club [alphabetically] and previewing the new signings to give our take on their potential for fantasy stardom. Each player’s FPL price will follow their name in brackets.
If you missed Part I – Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton and Fulham – you can find the article here: Part I Preview.
Now let’s move on to Part Two:
Fabio Borini [8m] and Joe Allen [5.5m] are Liverpool’s two big summer signings as new manager Brendan Rodgers aims to rebuild the Reds back into a Champions League qualifier.
Borini is only 21 years old and has already scored for the club in competitive play – notching in the Europa League at Anfield this past week. He will certainly be overshadowed by teammate Luis Suarez [9.5m] but he should still score about 8-10 goals in league play this year, if his record last season at Roma is any indication. I haven’t seen much of Borini, but he’s young and confident – so if he earns regular starts, he could be a cheaper alternative to Suarez. With proven Premier League strikers Demba Ba [7.5m] and Darren Bent [8.5m] in the same price range as Borini, I would urge managers to stay away from the Liverpool youngster and invest elsewhere.
Joe Allen, however, could be an interesting selection. Will he replace Lucas in the starting XI or play a more central attacking role alongside both Lucas and Gerrard in a 4-3-3? For £15m you have to think that the GB Olympian will surely start on a regular basis. And at 5.5m, he could be an attractive fantasy target as a 5th midfielder. 4 goals and 4 assists last season for Swansea will be tough to eclipse with Gerrard and Suarez hogging set pieces, but Allen will contribute – and he won’t break the bank for fantasy managers.
II. Manchester City
Manchester City have not made any summer signings of note. That said, they are the reigning Premier League champions and we took a look at their potential Starting XI just a few days ago – so make sure to read up on Mancini’s men for the latest on Aguero and Tevez.
III. Manchester United
Shinji Kagawa [8.5m] and Nick Powell [5m] are the new faces at Old Trafford this summer. The Manchester United IPO failed to excite the crowds in finance this past week, but you can be sure that Kagawa, the former Dortmund superstar, will excite the club’s supporters.
At 8.5m, he is strategically priced just below FPL studs of the past Nani and Antonio Valencia, and equal to Ashley Young. Kagawa brings goals and assists, and can be played just behind Wayne Rooney in a central attacking role. The danger, of course, is rotation. Fantasy managers were left frustrated by Nani and Ashley Young at times last season, especially when they lost valuable playing time to Antonio Valencia at season’s end. Sir Alex is not afraid to chop and change, and if Robin van Persie ends up at Old Trafford, who knows how the formation will end up.
Kagawa is a major talent and with consistent starts will prove to be a fantasy force – racking up assists and bonus points, but his only slight danger is the competition for places in the side.
Powell is a non-factor from a fantasy perspective and the youngster won’t receive consistent playing time this season.
Newcastle haven’t done much in the off-season though they did try and capture Andy Carroll in a Steven Pienaar-esque transaction back from Liverpool. That didn’t quite work out.
Midfielder Romain Amalfitano [5m] came over on a free from Reims in France but the youngster won’t contend with the likes of star midfielders Cabaye [7m] and Ben Arfa [7.5m] when it comes to fantasy relevance. He likely won’t see much playing time, at least at the start of the season. Avoid him.
Norwich have been busy and they’ve brought in a few familiar names to strengthen the squad.
Michael Turner [4.5m] is a solid if not spectacular defender and be brings in loads of Premier League experience – having prominently featured at Hull and Sunderland in the past few seasons. Manager Chris Hughton will hope for a few goals from set pieces from the big man, but the likelihood of clean sheets won’t be sky high.
Robert Snodgrass [6m] is an interesting signing – the Scottish forward/winger is classified as a midfielder and scored tons of goals at Leeds in the Championship. He also contributed quite a few assists. How will he adapt to top flight football? 6M isn’t cheap for an unknown quantity but his name should be one of the first on the team sheet and he could just be up for the top flight challenge. We’ll monitor him closely in his first few fixtures and keep you updated here as well as on Twitter @NickyButt.
There you have it. That’s Part II of our look at the Premier League’s new summer signings and their potential impact on the Fantasy Premier League this season. Stay tuned for Parts III and IV later this weekend.