In this series, I will have my own personal say on how the potential transfer news of Sánchez and Mkhitaryan could effect the respective clubs they are linked with, as well as a deeper look at whether it’s such a good idea to be bringing Mahrez in to our FPL squads, given that the transfer window is still open
First of all, let me extend my thanks to all of the people who responded to my tweet asking for your questions, unfortunately, I will only be picking 3 from the bunch each week, unless I feel the article needs a bit more substance.
So, this week’s winners are:
- Paul Michael Jones
- Mr JWW
- FPL Fly
Mkhitaryan’s value at Arsenal?
A good question I felt, as a lot may well judge Mkhitaryan solely from what has happened at United, which isn’t an entirely representative view of him overall.
People mustn’t forget how good he was at Dortmund where, in the 2015/16 season, he scored 11 goals and bagged 15 assists in 28 appearances.
Of course we don’t know for certain yet whether the proposed swap deal for Sánchez will go through, but based on the following quote, it certainly looks to have a great chance;
“My favourite team is Arsenal. I like their attacking play and fast style. Moreover, Arsène Wenger puts faith in young players while demanding results at the same time. I like that and want to play there one day.” – www.goal.com
As a United fan, my own personal view of Mkhitaryan, is that he’s a confidence player, that is to say that when he’s feeling confident, he plays brilliantly, looks slick on the ball and is generally, a very good player however, if, for whatever reason, he’s not feeling confident, then he’s very poor – there’s little in-between.
Mourinho’s man-management is one that is expectant of his players, to perform to the required standard and is perhaps slightly more harsh, whereas Wenger, is a little softer in that regard and is more encouraging – this may suit Mkhitaryan better.
I believe because of this, as well as the contrasting styles of play at either club, that Mkhitaryan will do well at Arsenal and at just £7.6m in price, could provide fantastic value for us as FPL managers.
It’s certainly one to keep a close eye on.
Sánchez at United v Agüero…
Lots of reports suggest that United are close to landing the Chilean, so it’s perhaps time to at least consider a plan to bring him in at some point.
I think Sánchez at United could be a real game-changer, as without Mkhitaryan providing the creativity and spark he was earlier in the season, the responsibility has near enough all fallen to Pogba, but with Sánchez in there too, it would add another avenue of creativity and spark, and as we saw earlier in the season, United were brilliant when they had both Mkhi and Pogba firing on all cylinders.
When there was just one of them, United were much easier to defend against, as they could isolate the creator (be it just Mkhi or just Pogba), but if Sánchez was in there too, it would be a nightmare and daunting prospect for opposition defences to stop.
Lingard or Mata would be the ones to suffer, as I think Sánchez would likely operate either behind Lukaku, or on the right wing.
Agüero in this Manchester City team, sadly, isn’t the Agüero of old.
In Pellegrini or Mancini’s team, he was the focal point of their attack, they played to him and most of their play ended up with the ball at Sergio’s feet before it inevitably found it’s way into the back of the opposition’s net, but it’s not like that with Pep.
In any given game, one of Silva, Sterling, Agüero, KDB or Sané could hit big, there’s just so many ways they can score now.
Not only that, but Pep told us that Jesus would be back (2/3weeks) much sooner than first anticipated and when he’s back, it’s not even worth consideration at his price in my opinion, as Pep will rotate them as he has done throughout the year.
So for me, Sánchez wins this one hands down.Embed from Getty Images
Mahrez – a no-brainer?
The infamous FPL Fly popped in to remind us all that Mahrez actually wanted to leave Leicester in the summer and with us currently being in the middle of the January transfer window, he’s asked us whether it’s actually such a good idea to be bringing him in right now?
As he’s suggested, the rumours surrounding a Mahrez move are very, very quiet.
This alone would make me feel much better about bringing him into my FPL team, but not only that, he seems generally happier at Leicester under Puel, this was confirmed not too long ago by Puel himself;
“I can only say the same thing – there is nothing new about him. He is a valuable player for us and I want to keep him. I have no problem with him. He works hard in training and is enjoying his football and he is playing very well. After that, it is just speculation.
Last week, for example, he was said to be signing for another club – and all this speculation. I am happy he is staying here and he has a super attitude. If you saw the training session this morning he was smiling and enjoying it. It is amazing.” – Leciestermercury.co.uk
So that seems pretty conclusive, but what about his prospects going forward?
Fixtures get a big tick, with only 3 difficult games coming in their last 15.
Form wise, he is on fire, so there’s no issues there, but what about value in comparison to similarly priced players?
In terms of PPM (points per million spent), he’s (15.0) only beaten by Doucouré (17.9), Groß (17.8), Salah (17.7), Sterling (16.5), Richarlison (15.8), Mooy (15.2) and Choupo-Moting (15.2) – so of the players in his price bracket, only Sterling betters him.
Whilst he betters similarly priced players for value, this does highlight that there are still other options out there, much cheaper than Mahrez, that can provide better value.
The other thing that worries me about Riyad at that price, is how many efforts on goal he has, the type of goal he scores and how often he gets good goal-scoring opportunities, so I’ve had a look at the stats for some other midfielders worth consideration in and around his price to compare, measured over the last 6 gameweeks;
- Arnautovic – 15 goal attempts and 6 big chances
- Alli – 15 goal attempts and 3 big chances
- Son – 18 goal attempts and 4 big chances
- Lingard – 16 goal attempts and 3 big chances
- Mahrez – 10 goal attempts and 1 big chance
As you can see, his stats aren’t bad, but what they show, is that he doesn’t get those good goal-scoring opportunities as frequent as the others are getting and 3 of those 4 other players mentioned, are cheaper than him in price.
So, in terms of not bringing him in because it’s the January transfer window, I wouldn’t worry about that, I think it’s safe based on the manager comments and the lack of speculation around him however, I do think the above stats provide food for thought when it comes to his performance overall, suggesting that 1. there are potentially better options around and 2. that we might see a slight regression in his FPL returns.
I’m not saying definitely not to bring him in, he’s a great FPL asset and has proved that so far this year, just that he perhaps is over-performing right now and that might regress, given that a lot of the goals he has scored this year have been either outside the area, or excellent finishes from a difficult situation.