FPL: Five deadline day signings assessed

Manchester City took advantage of their double game week to go top of the Premier League on Wednesday. Their win over Everton brought the curtain down on an extended gameweek 25. Already, it is time for fantasy football managers to turn their attention to another round of games.

At least game week 26 is just a single set of games. The only extra point to consider is that next game week Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea and Brighton will all not have a fixture. Any move for players from those teams should be considered a one week wonder! It will start to get very complicated around week 31, but we’ll worry about that when the picture becomes clearer following the FA Cup 5th round.

This week we’re looking at five players who moved on deadline day. Some of them may offer a cheap route into your FPL team whilst also acting as a differential due to low ownership.

1) Miguel Almiron (Newcastle, Midfield, £6.0m)

Newcastle’s record signing slots into the FPL game as a £6m midfield option. Almiron arrives with a glowing reputation having been selected in the MLS All Star team for both 2017 and 2018. A creative type, Almiron typically plays as a number 10 but can also operate as a winger. It seems likely in Newcastle’s current 5-2-3 formation that Almiron would operate as one of the two attacking midfielders behind Salomon Rondon. Newcastle are the second lowest scorers in the league – though you could argue that is what Almiron has been bought to alleviate.

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The Paraguayan did not have International clearance to feature against Tottenham last weekend but with that issue now resolved, he should debut away to Wolves on Monday night. The MLS season finished in November so quite how match fit he is remains to be seen. Home games against Huddersfield and Burnley follow for Newcastle and it might be worth seeing how he slots in against Wolves before deciding if you are to add to the 4,393 owners Almiron has already picked up.

2) Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace, Forward, £6.5m)

Batman returns! One of the later moves of deadline day saw Michy Batshuayi sign for Crystal Palace on loan, curtailing a spell at Valencia. It seems a perfect fit on paper – Roy Hodgson has been crying out for a striker all season and now he has a very good one. With competition from Benteke, Wickham and Ayew it’s not a cast iron certainty that Batshuayi will start every week, but he’s got to be pretty high up the pecking order.

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The Belgian was afforded just 8 minutes last weekend, appearing as a late substitute in the win over Fulham. During those minutes he managed to provide the assist for Jeffrey Schlupp, so his points to mintue ratio is outstanding right now. With Zaha and Townsend potentially lining up on either side of him, that is a front three with a lot of potential and it is worth keeping an eye on how it develops. 19,512 FPL players have already decided he is the way forward but if you can hold on until week 31, the fixtures for Palace look a bit rosier.

3) Denis Suarez (Arsenal, Midfield, £6.5m)

Arsenal’s midfield is a bit of a mystery. Guendozi and Torreira have both excelled in front of the back four but Ozil, Ramsey and Iwobi have all vied for the position further forward. Whilst a book could be written about the pros and cons of those three, Suarez comes in on loan from Barcelona. as a brand new option.

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He made his debut from the bench against former club Man City last weekend and on the face of it it’s hard to say where he will line up with any certainty. At £6.5m, he is a little bit pricey to take a punt on so unless he starts tearing it up I would say there are better options in this price bracket. However, with Huddersfield, Southampton and Bournemouth as Arsenal’s next three fixtures it is certainly worth having some Arsenal cover.

4) Peter Crouch (Burnley, Forward, £4.5m)

23,981 people have already jumped on the Crouchy bandwagon. That may be down to his substitute appearance last weekend where his 14 minute cameo saw him cause carnage and win a very late penalty. That assist might be a sign of things to come but sadly, so is the number of minutes played.

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It seems to me that Sean Dyche wants to use Crouch as a game changing option. There’s nothing wrong with that, he’s clearly still an effective weapon in the right circumstances. £4.5m is as cheap as strikers come so if you’ve gone for a pricey midfield and attack combo, Crouchy is as good an option as any to fill your bench with.

5) Lazar Markovic (Fulham, Midfield, £5.0m)

The biggest surprise of deadline day was that Lazar Markovic was still a Liverpool player. Claudio Ranieri swooped at the very last moment to bring the Serbian to Fulham to boost his midfield options. At £5m, he is extremely cheap but where does he fit in?

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We have no real clue how far up the pecking order Markovic will be. Another January signing, Ryan Babel, is only £0.5m more expensive and seems to be a certain starter from what we’ve seen so far. Fulham are struggling at the wrong end of the table and don’t have the most appetising fixtures on the horizon, so I’d probably swerve Markovic for the time being. The 532 FPL players who already own Markovic are braver than I!

In the ORP league, those who picked captain Aguero on Pep roulette came out of this week very well. Thankfully, I was one of them and it was enough to overhaul Derek to take the lead.

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That’s all for this week but I’ll be back in two weeks when the Premier League returns following the FA Cup break next weekend.

You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798

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