In the following article, we assess the Premier League’s newest and most exciting arrivals. We look at the stats behind the transfers and how these arrivals may fit into their new clubs. We also discuss their fantasy prospects and which of their new teammates are set to benefit the most.
It’s that time of the year again, then, when silly season moves up through the gears. Big name movers, little-known gems, agent PR tactics, click-bait headlines – we all know the drill.
Whilst a belated Euro 2020 has been busy stealing our attention for the last month or so, the transfer window has been steadily gaining momentum as the new season approaches.
Now just a month away, the big question is: which signings may grab our interest, in our desperate attempt to get one over on our mini league rivals? Let’s take a look at five key transfers so far.
Jadon Sancho (Manchester United) – probable MID – price TBD
Although not yet officially announced, the long-running Sancho-to-United saga appears to finally be at its conclusion. And that looks like great news for FPL managers.
Last season, the pacey England international made 26 appearances for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga (two from the bench), finding the back of the net on eight occasions and clocking up a goal every 259 minutes.
Where he may perhaps shine brightest is on the assist front, having racked up 11 in the league last term. That’s 19 official league goal involvements in 26. No yellow or red cards domestically, either.
According to Understat’s data for last season, Sancho’s shots per 90 minutes came in at 2.25, while key passes per 90 stood at 2.89. The winger outperformed his expected goals (xG) and expected assists (xA), totalling 6.75 and 8.24 respectively. His xG per 90 was 0.29, and his xA per 90 was 0.36.
His stats including the Champion’s League and DFB-Pokal total 38 appearances, 16 goals and 20 assists. Just the one yellow.
Predominantly a right-winger, Sancho has the potential to thrive in United’s front three and could represent a great alternative to the popular Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) pick – especially if it saves a couple of million in FPL currency. Of course, you’ll have to be brave in the face of a likely-astronomical effective ownership.
Caveat: having got all the way to the Euro 2020 final with England, it’s possible Sancho will not be thrown straight in at the start of the season. One to keep an eye on over pre-season.
Could also benefit: Bruno, Rashford, Greenwood/Cavani.
Emiliano Buendía (Aston Villa) – MID – £6.5m
Villa set out their stall early in the transfer window, snapping up Buendía for £34.5m from newly promoted Norwich City. Last seen in FPL back in 2019/20, the winger notched one goal and seven assists across 2458 minutes in the Canaries’ doomed season.
The Villa new boy clearly learned a lot from that initial Premier League stint, helping himself to 15 goals and 17 assists in 39 Championship games last season. For comparison, his previous year in the same league (2018/19) saw him collect eight goals and 12 assists in 38 appearances.
This time round, however, the expectations are higher.
Villa had a strong season last term, finishing 11th and pulling off some truly remarkable wins against various traditional big boys (7-2, anyone?). They also performed well while having to deal with that Jack Grealish (£8.0m) injury (you know – the one that Dean Smith was always super clear and open about).
If they can keep their main man, an attacking trio of Grealish, Buendía and Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) is a mouth-watering one. And, with Emi priced nicely at £6.5m, he could be a great avenue into those attacking points.
Even if Jack makes his way elsewhere, the Argentinian’s ability to play on both wings, as well a number ten, will ensure he’s a threat regardless.
Could also benefit: Watkins, Grealish, Cash
Patson Daka (Leicester) – FWD – £7.5m
Signed from RB Salzburg, the 22-year old Zambian joined Leicester City early in the window for a reported £23m. While it seems unlikely the striker will walk straight into the starting eleven – especially with Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.5m) in red-hot form at the tail-end of last season – he is certainly one to keep a close eye on.
Daka has drawn comparisons to Cameroonian legend Samuel Eto’o, the move would turn out to be quite the coup for Leicester if he can get close to emulating the former Barcelona frontman.
Last season he absolutely smashed the Austrian Bundesliga from his center forward role, scoring 27 times in 28 appearances and clocking up seven assists. That’s 72 minutes per goal in the league. While there’s no guarantee it will transfer into Premier League form, that’s a mightily impressive season for the former African Youth Player of the Year.
For now, with the likes of Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy (£10.5m) and Harvey Barnes (£7.0m) in the team, there’s plenty of selection fraudulence lurking around the corner. But if he can cement a regular spot during the season? He could be a fantastic option at 7.5.
Could also benefit: Barnes, Vardy, Tielemans, Maddison
Michael Olise (Crystal Palace) – MID – £5.5m
A fan favourite at Reading, Olise recently signed for Palace in a deal worth around £8.4m. An attacking midfielder with the ability to play out on the right, the Eagles’ new boy is an exciting addition to the talents of Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m), Eberechi Eze (£6.0m) and Christian Benteke (£6.5m).
Last term, 19-year old Olise made 44 appearances for The Royals, contributing an impressive seven goals, 12 assists, and earning rave reviews from fans in the process.
To say Palace were uninspiring last season would be putting it rather lightly but, under the fresh management of Patrick Vieira, they could develop into a much more FPL-relevant entity with the quality they have up top. Or not – who knows?
But, priced at just 5.5m, Olise could prove to be a solid budget pick if he cements his place in the team.
Could also benefit: Benteke, Eze, Zaha
Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool) – DEF – £5.5m
It’s fair to say Liverpool were hampered by defensive injuries last season, losing Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m), Joe Gomez (£5.0m) and Joel Matip (£5.0m) to long-term injuries. Despite those woes, the Reds eventually managed to secure Champion’s League football again and proceeded to strengthen their back line.
Enter Ibrahima Konaté. Signed from RB Leipzig for an estimated fee of around £36m, Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful the right-footed centre-back can help push the club back towards that watertight defence of their title-winning season. He made 14 Bundesliga and 6 Champions league appearances last season, contributing a goal in the process.
With the injured group yet to be given a return date, Konaté could be a good short- or mid-term option if your budget won’t quite stretch to a Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) or Andy Robertson (£7.0m). When everyone’s fit it has been suggested the France U21 starlet will compete with Gomez for the second spot.
So, keep an eye on the club’s pre-season line-ups and injury news.
Could also benefit: TAA, Robertson, Allison
Billy Gilmour (Norwich) – MID – £4.5m
A solid loan signing for the newly promoted Canaries, Gilmour (£4.5m) will add some steel to the heart of the midfield. Expected to play a decent number of minutes, he’s unlikely to bag too many points – but if you’re after a £4.5m bench fodder, he is a decent pick. He’s also expected to play alongside a traditional CDM – so may end up having a little more assist potential than the traditional 4.5s.
With many clubs yet to make their moves due to Euro 2020, we can expect plenty more key movers over the coming weeks. Will Manchester City be successful in their rumoured pursuits of Harry Kane (£12.5m) and Jack Grealish? Will Chelsea’s interest in Erling Haaland or Romelu Lukaku materialise into a transfer?
For now, it remains to be seen. Happy tinkering.
More to come
We hope you enjoyed our first look at the key fixtures of the 2021/22 Fantasy Premier League season. We have plenty more planned for pre season and will be publishing advice, team reveals and strategy guides right up until the big kickoff.
Be sure to keep your eyes on the FPL Connect twitter page for all our latest releases, this season promises to be our biggest yet.