So, it’s back. FPL is back, and it’s all change in terms of positions for some incredibly prominent players.
Here, I’ll go through the main players you’ll need to be aware of who have changed positions from last season, and the main benefits of picking them in their new positions over their old ones.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m, MID)
So, let’s start off with the big one. Thanks to playing mainly off the left of a 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation since Mikel Arteta took the reigns at Arsenal, the club captain has been reclassified for this season.
And the Gabonese international has already proved that a switch to the flank won’t dull his goalscoring numbers, with 22 last season being the second best in the league, one behind Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy.
In fact, this matched his goal total for the 2018/19 season, when he was one of 3 winners of the Golden Boot.
And with some rumours suggesting that other clubs are interested in Alexandre Lacazette, Aubameyang could end up playing as a striker anyway.
However, as he is a midfielder, there’s a simple benefit. More points for his goals. Maths done by @WGTA_FPL in his “Talisman Theory” article (and also by FPL Poker Player) suggest that Aubameyang would have finished just 3 points short of Mo Salah’s total for last season, if he was classified as a midfielder.
That surely means that, at £12.0m, Aubameyang is a no-brainer premium midfielder. But you all knew that anyway. Let’s crack on to some others.
Diogo Jota (£6.5m, MID)
Now this could be a hard sell, I’ll admit, especially after a paltry 7 goals and 1 assist in the Premier League last season, but there are certain things to remember about Wolves’ assets.
Firstly, they don’t have European football to contend with next season, which could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the likes of Jota, who is in one of the few positions where Wolves tend to rotate.
Then there’s also the fact that, despite playing much more frequently as a left winger, Jota is still deployed as a second striker at times, playing just off Raul Jimenez, which is sure to raise his appeal.
There often isn’t much rhyme or reason to which games Nuno Espirito Santo uses a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3 in, but we’ve all seen Jota’s deadly effectiveness as a second striker; proven by the 18/19 season, which made him an FPL forward in the first place.
In that season, he played 19 games in the more central forward’s role, scoring 8 times and assisting 5 to help Wolves to 7th place.
And while it’s not the Premier League, Jota did score 2 hat-tricks in 2 games while playing in the Europa League. One was against Besiktas (3rd in Super Lig 19/20), while the other came against Espanyol, (8 points adrift at the bottom of LaLiga).
In both of those games, the Portuguese international started on the left wing, once again showing that there is still plenty of goals in him, no matter where he plays.
At just £6.5m for an attacking player playing in a side competing for Europe, there’s not much not to like about Jota’s new midfield position.
Anthony Martial (£9.0m, FWD), Mason Greenwood (£7.5m MID) & Marcus Rashford (£9.5m, MID)
After a season playing as Manchester United’s first choice striker, Anthony Martial swaps positions with the man who played on the left, Marcus Rashford.
And both have also had their prices raised, with Martial’s price rising by £1.5m, while Rashford’s is up by £1.0m from the start of last season, meaning that Rashford is priced at a total of £2.0m higher than Martial was at the start of last season.
If they can replicate their goal and assist tallies, they’ll both be well worth the money, with both hitting 17 goals last season, while Martial’s 6 assists was just one short of Rashford’s total.
All the signs point to Rashford being the better pick of the two, despite the £0.5m difference, but there is another big factor to consider in the Red Devils’ attack.
The emergence of Mason Greenwood as a consistent starter after lockdown has seen the teenager priced at £7.5m, and changed from a forward to a midfielder in FPL.
Greenwood seemed to nail down the starting berth on the right side of midfield for United, ahead of Welsh international Daniel James, and scored 5 goals in the last 8 games of the season, all of which he started.
Greenwood totaled 10 goals and one assist throughout the whole first team campaign, which is still a very good return for a mid-priced midfielder, who started the season at just £4.5m as a forward last season.
Of course, he isn’t as proven as Rashford or Martial, but he is certainly a player who looks as if he could make a lot of contributions for a price which is relatively small, compared to his teammates.