Next in our new ‘player value’ series, we ask: With a chance Lacazette could operate as the number 9, is Aubameyang worth £11M if deployed on the wing?
One eye on the past – based on the long-term, he returned an average of 4.3pts per game (goals, assists & bonus points) – which is very healthy versus our value for money target of 3.9pts per game (5.9 including appearance points).
More significantly, he missed 20% of the games during this period because of rotation, so his medium-term points might be more relevant – which were a massive average of 6pts per game. His rotation centred around Wengers preparation for the Europa League (where Aubameyang was ineligible to play).
We’d assume that this season, both Aubameyang and Lacazette will start – this has left people questioning whether he will play left wing (and Lacazette as number 9) – and more specifically, will his returns diminish if out on the left?
What we can tell you, is that in his last ten games he played three on the left – versus Newcastle (1 assist), Burnley (2 goals, 1 assist & 3 bonus pts) and Huddersfield (1 goal & 2 bonus pts) – and while these aren’t exactly top-drawer opposition, it is a phenomenal average of 7.7pts per game (goals, assists & bonus points – 9.7 with appearance points) – so there is no evidence that his returns will diminish.
One eye on the future – our algorithms are predicting that Arsenal will score only 1 goal in four of their opening fixtures and 4 versus West Ham in GW3 however, in GW4 they play Cardiff, who are new to the Premier League, so you might feel there is more potential here than our algorithms are predicting.
However, take a look at Aubameyang’s stats versus similar opposition. After the opening game versus Man City he has a history of 0.8 to 2 big chances involved-in per game and an actual goal involvement of 1.2 to 1.5 per game – which is all reflected in his influence numbers, where we are forecasting a 97% chance of goal-involvement in each of his opening five fixtures (yes – including the opener versus City).
Finally, we cannot forget that Arsenal have a new manager this season, so we are entering into the unknown. It is unlikely that Arsenal will score more under Emery (such was their attacking prowess under Wenger), and there is a risk they will score less, but only time will tell.
What to do? – the evidence suggests that we shouldn’t be concerned about whether he plays number 9 or left wing. If he moves into this season at even 75% of what he has shown he is capable of, he will still be value for money at his £11M price tag – so clearly there is the potential to smash our targets.
The one watch out is the new manager impact – if you find a player who you think can score similarly, playing under managerial consistency, go for them – else Aubameyang looks like a must-have asset.
FPL Tip: it is right that you take heed of the alarm-bells in FPL communities (like a player likely to change position) – but do your research and determine whether there is evidence to support the speculation.