Despite a relatively quiet midweek for most Premier League clubs, big football news has been on the lips of many this week. Whilst spygate continues to rumble on, news of Harry Kane’s ankle injury has got tongues wagging. What does it mean for the Premier League and perhaps more importantly, what does it mean for your fantasy football team?
It is of course a big blow to Tottenham. Not only is Kane their talisman and top goalscorer but partner and usual replacement Heung-Min Son is off to the Asia Cup. Kane’s ankle injury is expected to keep him out until early March. That leaves a considerable gap for Tottenham to plug but also means you have £12.5m to play with if you have the England captain in your FPL team. The possibilities are almost endless. An early March return against Arsenal would mean missing 6 game weeks, so I’m ruling out the prospect of hanging on to him. Here are five potential options for you to consider.
1) Marcus Rashford (Man Utd, £7.5m)
Rashford’s popularity in FPL has soared in recent weeks and his value has risen from £6.9m since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed. If you don’t already have Rashford, now is the perfect time to get him. Home games against Burnley and Brighton are coming up but Rashford’s goal at Wembley last weekend shows he can do it in any game. His selection also bring the benefit of a spare £5m to spend elsewhere on your team. Depending on how your team is currently setup, that should be enough to open up an upgrade to one of the premium midfielders, such as Salah, Hazard, Sterling or Sane.Embed from Getty Images
The only possible drawback with Rashford is game time. He surely has the striker spot nailed down at the moment but there is a chance he will be shifted to a wide position to accommodate Romelu Lukaku later in games. At the end of the day though Rashford is playing like a premium priced striker but for ridiculously cheap. Get him now whilst it is still a bargain as his price is only going one way.
2) Fernando Llorente (Tottenham, £5.6m)
Logically, Fernando Llorente should find himself in the Tottenham team now. However, he’s been afforded 36 minutes of Premier League action all season and it’s the middle of January. It’s fair to say Pochettino hasn’t really favoured the big man this season. A hat-trick at Tranmere in the cup at least showed he can still do it but that was against League Two defenders. With Son, the usual Kane replacement, away on International duty for a number of weeks you would expect Llorente to get his chance, but it isn’t a guarantee. There’s every chance that Lucas Moura or Dele Alli will be deployed furthest forward with Llorente used as an impact substitute.Embed from Getty Images
Tottenham have a good run of fixtures which makes the situation more frustrating. FPL managers will be looking for some attacking Spurs coverage as they face the likes of Fulham, Newcastle and Burnley but it might be worth seeing what Pochettino comes up with first to avoid disappointment.
3) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal, £11.3m)
Another option is to swap one North London striker for another. Aubameyang has had an impressive season and is near the top of the scoring charts. Arsenal’s form has dropped off a little in recent weeks but he still has 4 goals in his last 5. His guarantee of minutes make him a good option but as we saw against Liverpool, sometimes he is not in the game if Arsenal aren’t playing well.Embed from Getty Images
To add to that, Arsenal play Chelsea and Man City in two of their next three. Due to his price being at the premium end it might be worthwhile waiting for a few weeks before bringing Aubameyang in, though he is a fine alternative in the long term.
4) Sergio Aguero (Man City, £11.2m)
Aguero has been an FPL favourite ever since he arrived in the Premier League. Even with the threat of rotation from Pep Guardiola, he has scored consistently and has showed few signs of slowing down. Man City are off to Huddersfield on Sunday and FPL managers will doubtless remember the 6-1 mauling they handed out back in August. With Huddersfield parting company with David Wagner this week, it’s hard to see them getting a positive result this Sunday. Therefore it only makes sense to have Man City attacking coverage for this and their next game against Newcastle.Embed from Getty Images
The problem here is that whilst Aguero has been ill in recent weeks, Gabriel Jesus has stepped in and done an excellent job. Seven goals in three games is tremendous form, even if the opposition has been lower league in two of those games. I couldn’t say with any certainty which striker Pep will prefer, or he may field both as he did in August. It may therefore be better to purchase a cheaper striker and bring in Sane or Sterling to ensure your Man City coverage, unless any team news comes out in the press conference on Friday.
5) Danny Ings (Southampton, £5.5m)
As an early disclaimer, Ings is expected to return from a hamstring injury this weekend. He will surely be back sooner than later and his price coupled with Southampton’s fixtures make him a viable option. Everton, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Cardiff comprise Southampton’s next four games so if he is fit, he should be incredible value. If you don’t want to gamble on his fitness, Nathan Redmond has been playing practically as a striker and is valued as a £5.2m midfielder. That would allow you to invest in a more pricey striker at least.Embed from Getty Images
In the OffsideRulePod League, there were some very similar scores across the top of the table. Leader Derek Smith can thank captain Salah for 22 of his points but has both Son and Kane in his side, so he has some selection issues ahead.
Good luck with your teams this week and I will be back after the FA Cup 4th Round.