The January transfer window: what a great idea. Let’s never get rid of it.
As a season begins to stagnate, there’s nothing like a new signing to add life and excitement. Admittedly, the Premier League title race is over but thousands of fantasy football leagues around the world are just starting to get tasty.
However, for draft managers the prospect of losing a star player is just as daunting as it is for Juergen Klopp and Arsene Wenger. As Klopp lost his Brazilian magician this week, so did many of us. Millions playing the official game will simply wave goodbye to Coutinho and browse the market before adding another midfielder of their choice (Jesse Lingard apparently). For us draft managers, we are forced to plug the gap with whatever’s left, meaning the Coutinho’s Brazilian brilliance will be replace by Chris Brunt or Ainsley Maitland Niles.
Suddenly, waiver priority matters again with those that have clung on to their top priority refreshing the gossip columns daily to see who is going to drop into the Premier League player pool.
But some of us have learned from previous Januarys and realised the likes of Islam Slimani and David Luiz are often the pick of what falls backwards through the window. Doesn’t matter, there’s still a way of getting some shiny new players.
Lurking at the bottom of the scoresheets are players angling for a move to reignite their respective Premier League careers. It’s time to give them a spot on your roster as they look for a new kit to wear.
Draft fantasy football is about being one step ahead. Here’s how you do it.
Daniel Sturridge – Daniel Sturridge is one of England’s great mysteries of the past decade. Undoubtedly blessed with unbelievable ability, Sturridge can be a match winner on his day and had the season of his life as the other “S” in the formidable “SAS” strike partnership.
This week, the England striker has told Jurgen Klopp he wants to leave Liverpool. Are Liverpool fans bothered? Oddly, not in the slightest.
Sturridge’s greatest weakness is that he’s made of wet tissue. He’s always on the treatment table and when he eventually finds some fitness his desire to play football is often questioned. Regardless, a move will make him an incredible fantasy asset once more.
IF (it’s a big if) he stays fit and finds a club willing to take a gamble, he will undoubtedly hit 10 or more goals in the second half of the season.
Worth a gamble? Absolutely.
Theo Walcott – Daniel Sturridge part two. Theo Walcott has become Arsenal’s greatest scapegoat in recent years (along with Iwobi, Ozil, Mertesacker…) and 90% of the Gunners fan base have been justified in their criticism. His end product seems to have regressed, particularly this season, and he now finds himself behind Sanchez, Lacazette, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck and Giroud in the pecking order. Long list.
But this time last year, Walcott was one of the hottest strikers in the country. At the turn of the year he’d surprised everyone with 11 goals to his name, a total that would eventually be concluded at 19 for Arsenal at the end of the season. Less than a year ago!
It’s crazy to see how far he has fallen in Wenger’s estimations and his Arsenal career is all but over with Everton and Southampton ready to pounce.
With over 100 goals in his club career and at the age of 28, Walcott is not done yet and will be a great addition to whatever team he joins.
He may even be playing out of his skin with the outside chance of a place on that plane to Russia in the summer…
I picked Theo Walcott up two weeks ago in one league. Could be gold, get him in.
Danny Ings – One of the unluckiest men in football. Injury after injury has seen his dream move to Liverpool turn into a nightmare.
There’s no doubting the striker’s quality but it’s hard (impossible) to see him toppling any of the fab three at Anfield to get himself the starting spot he deserves.
Having said that, Ings is very much a “Klopp type player”, meaning he may be looking to play his way into that side eventually and a short term loan move may be the way to do that.
Stoke City, Newcastle, West Ham and West Brom are all rumoured to have shown an interest in the Englishman. None of them possess an inform striker.
Ings has shown he can mix it at the top level after hitting 11 goals for newly promoted Burnley in his and their debut Premier League season.
Hard working, quick and deadly, Ings would be a great addition to a mid table squad in the Premier League.
Jonjo Shelvey – I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of this one but I wanted to write about someone who isn’t a striker.
It sounds like a deal with West Ham is almost done and David Moyes appears to believe he can be the one to finally get the best out of this mystifying mercurial talent.
On his day, Shelvey can pick apart a defence with one pass (see assist v Liverpool this season) a when he’s in architect mode is a joy to watch.
Sadly, he slips into stupidity mode and gets sent off all the time.
If your midfield is short then he’s worth a gamble as he possesses set piece taking and goal scoring/assisting potential.
I won’t be doing it though.
What a grand name. In all honesty not a lot of us know anything about Nkoudou but I have a feeling we may get the opportunity following his loan move toBurnley.
Clearly viewed as one for the future by Pochettino, Nkoudou will finally get his chance to prove what he can do in the Premier League.
The 22-year-old bagged his first Tottenham goal in the Champions League last month, one of his 13 career goals so far.
What we do know is that he is lightning quick and hungry to impress. In a Burnley side that lacks pace he could be a great asset.
Michy Batshuayi – I was very surprised to hear that Antonio Conte has said that Michy Batshuayi can leave if he pleases this month, along with David Luiz.
In all honesty, the Belgian hitman hasn’t done a lot wrong. He’s actually managed seven Premier League goals for the Blues, despite only being picked to start three times.
Despite his impressive goal tally of 90 for a man of 24, Conte just doesn’t trust him and he may be on his way.
West Ham were heavily linked with a move for him in the Summer while Everton are linked with every decent, out of favour striker.
If he moves within the Premier League, I think he’s a must have.
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