This January transfer window has been awfully quiet beyond the last few days of manic last minute buying by the clubs. Still, now that the window has officially closed, it’s time to cherry pick which fantasy players you should be looking out for to boost your fantasy squad!
1. Daniel Sturridge – WBA (loan)
Marry a club struggling to score goals (3rd lowest scoring rate in the Premier League this season) with a proven goalscorer (0.38 goals per game in the Premier League against all appearances) desperate to make it to the upcoming World Cup squad and you will likely have a very motivated player having a decent amount of game time to prove his worth. Sturridge has always been an excellent finisher of the ball and it’s important to note that his goal stats are based on a slightly biased fact that 80 out of his 194 appearances in the league come from the bench, so he’s one of the more affordable fantasy striker to consider adding to your squad.
2. Theo Walcott – Everton (£20mil)
Another player desperate for game time in order to have a chance of making the World Cup squad, Walcott comes into a relatively rejuvenated Toffees side looking to climb further back up the table. With the expensive assembled squad seemingly finally looking to turn the corner, Walcott looks like a very affordable fantasy football midfield option given that he has historically been able to make use of his pace to score and create goals. He has already scored 2 goals and contributed 1 assist in his last 2 outings for the Toffees since joining.
3. Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool (£75mil)
Whilst the early signs post the transfer does not appear to be very encouraging, the world’s most expensive defender will probably need some time to gel with the rest of his teammates and if it does help Liverpool shore up their defence, you are potentially looking at a relatively cheap fantasy football pick who will more or less be guaranteed 90 minutes of game time whenever he’s fit.
4. Patrick Bauer – Stoke (£5.5mil)
He has already started the last five games for Stoke City and provides a good defensive alternative for his value. Stoke are on the up since the appointment of Paul Lambert and has already taken 2 clean sheets from his last 2 games.
5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal (£56mil)
One of the most talked about transfers this winter window, speed demon Aubameyang joins a new look Arsenal attack with Mkhitaryan and a committed Ozil. Whilst pundits still think that Arsenal has not solved their defensive woes, but the same can be said of Liverpool anyway and that’s not stopping Salah from being one of the best fantasy picks this season. Aubameyang’s has a proven scoring record and relies very much on his skill and speed to score which is not that dissimilar to the way Salah plays, so he might be one of those that you will have to end up taking no matter what price he’s at.
6. Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City (£56mil)
Man City’s own transfer record signing for a defender, Laporte actually joins the potential champions having not played a single game of international football for France. With Guardiola having loaned out Mangala and having doubts over Kompany’s fitness, it seems like Laporte and Stones will be jostling with Otamendi for a place in the centre of their defence. He has already started his first game for the Blues and has gotten a clean sheet for that along with an impressive all round performance, so it might be better to get him now before his stock rises!
7. Andre Ayew – Swansea (£18mil)
It seems like the Swans have the knack of buying back players that they have sold. After buying back Wilfred Bony earlier this year, the Swans made a transfer dateline signing of Andre Ayew for him to reunite with his brother Jordan Ayew. Given that Andre has actually been chipping in with a decent amount of goals and assists in his past 2 seasons in the Premier League, it remains to be seen if this will be second time lucky for him with the Swans. He’s available for a good value for a midfielder and sometimes play in a more advanced position anyway, so will be an alternative fantasy pick to take.
8. Islam Slimani – Newcastle (Loan)
1 of the rare signings that Toon Army fans have to contend with for this winter period. It seems to be a same old story each year with gaffer Benitez pleading for more funds to boost his squad, but yet owner Mike Ashley seems very reluctant to invest more money and is caught up more with the prospect of selling his ownership for a profit. However, it’s evident from the first half of the season that the area that Newcastle needs to reinforce the most is in the attacking department. With Dwight Gayle and Joselu both having very poor returns from their starts as strikers, Newcastle needs a bigger target person that can convert the chances created by the midfield. The addition of Kenedy to their midfield will also help create more chances, so if Slimani gets a decent run of games which he never received at Leicester, he might actually prove to be one of the better value attacker fantasy buys for the remaining season!
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