Welcome to FPL – Ralf Fahrmann

 

A goalkeeper seemed to be a priority at Norwich City this season, and they have picked up an extremely good one in a loan deal for Ralf Fahrmann (£4.5m). But what can he bring to your FPL side?

There is absolutely no doubting the fact that Fahrmann is a brilliant shot-stopper, and he’s not short of experience either.

At 30 years of age, the German has 196 Bundesliga appearances to his name, with both Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt, and has kept 57 clean sheets in that time.

However, last season he had his struggles with injury, which resulted, ultimately, in Alexander Nubel taking his spot as the first choice goalkeeper. As a result, Fahrmann made just 17 appearances in the Bundesliga, including one as a sub.

So what could possibly be so good about a goalkeeper in a promoted side?

The answer to that is saves. Fahrmann made 60 saves in his 17 games last term, albeit while only keeping 3 clean sheets.

So if he had been able to play all 34 games, with that rate of saves, he would have ranked inside the top 5 for saves in the Bundesliga.

Let’s put things into a points perspective; 60 saves in 17 games averages out at 3.53 saves per match, which would earn you, on average, an extra point every game this season.

This is also significant, given that his save count could be much higher behind a less structured Norwich back line.

As I wrote in the Norwich City team guide, Norwich shouldn’t be relied on solely for clean sheets, because of the way they often expose themselves at the back. So Fahrmann’s saves could end up being crucial for the Canaries, and his FPL totals.

Despite playing in Germany all his life, Fahrmann has actually faced a couple of Premier League sides recently, although it doesn’t make good reading for him in terms of results.

The first of these was in the group stages of the 2014/15 Champions League, where he helped Schalke hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, before being annihilated 0-5 in front of their own fans.

More recently, Schalke encountered Manchester City in the last 16 of last season’s Champions League. Schalke actually held a 2-1 lead at half time in the first leg, but went on to lose the match 2-3, and then ship 7 goals at the Etihad Stadium.

Certainly, Fahrmann will hope that Norwich get on better than that on their final-day visit there.

So we know, as tends to be the case with newly-promoted sides, that Fahrmann could be facing a lot of shots, and I believe that this, along with his low price and seemingly-guaranteed starting place, could culminate in him earning a lot of points in FPL this season.

A proven, experienced shot-stopper, and a major coup for Norwich City.

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