Silly season is about to get underway once again thanks to the re-opening of the transfer window. With clubs given cash to splash (ie. Newcastle United), we can expect plenty of movement over the next month or so which will spark the inevitable FAAB war in many Fantrax leagues.
In our January Transfer Tracker (updated after each notable transfer) we analyse the potential new stars arriving in the Premier League, advising which ones to go for and which you’re better allowing others to go for.
Dejan Kulusevski – Tottenham – Midfielder
- Busy attacking player who should be heavily involved in attacks when on the field
- Ghost points through dribbles and key passes to be expected
- Unlikely to start straight away with Son, Kane and Lucas the preferred three. Will have to play his way into the lineup or hope for system change.
Verdict – Don’t use a high waiver claim unless you already have Lucas Moura
Rodrigo Bentancur – Tottenham – Midfielder
- Experience at top level with Juventus
- Expected to start alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and should provide a solid base of points through tackles and interceptions
- Not a fantasy asset to get excited about – similar output to Hojbjerg, very limited upside
- Likely to be a deep lying midfielder with limited involvement in attacking play
Verdict – Avoid
Christian Eriksen – Brentford – Midfielder
- A former Togga/Fantrax gem. Lots of Premier League experience.
- Should dominate set piece duty
- Good ghost points expected, mainly through key passes
- Exactly what Brentford are missing – a top class number 10
- Concerns over playing time due to health – not played football since cardiac arrest in EURO 2020 match vs Finland. Won’t be rushed in and may be several weeks until he is a regular starter.
Verdict – 100% worth the punt if you can afford to have Eriksen waiting on your bench for a while. Will be a big hit once fit but this will take time.
Wout Weghorst – Burnley – Forward
- Goals – His last four seasons in the Bundesliga consist of the following: 2021/22 – 18 apps, 6 goals; 2020/21 – 34 apps, 20 goals; 2019/20 – 32 apps, 16 goals; 2018/19 – 34 apps, 17 goals.
- Guaranteed starter
- Double gameweeks coming up for Burnley
- Aerial threat – stands at 6 foot 6, perfect for Burnley
- No Premier League experience – the Premier League is generally a big step up from the Eredivisie and Bundesliga.
- Burnley don’t create many chances. Service from Dwight McNeil and Ashley Westwood is set to be good but he won’t see as much of the ball as he did at Wolfsburg
- Tough early fixtures after joining Burnley bar a potential debut at home to Watford
Verdict – Definitely worth the claim if you need a starting forward. Unlikely to hit those numbers he’s had previously but will definitely be useful.
Luis Diaz – Liverpool – Forward
- High upside – plenty of goals and assists expected in attacking side
- Ghost points through key passes, dribbles and shots on target
- Experience at top level in Champions League
- 14 goals this season
- Playing time likely to be very limited – will be back up to Sadio Mane on left wing and will most likely only get a handful of starts this season
Verdict – Let others overspend to get him in if necessary. Won’t be first choice this season but will be gold when he does play. If you have Sadio Mane you should look to get Diaz in.
Bruno Guimaraes – Newcastle United – Midfielder
- Guaranteed starter
- Should score solid number of ghost points through tackles and dribbles
- Should also pick up his fair share of key passes
- Four assists in half a season at Lyon
- Low upside due to deep lying midfield position
- No goals this season
- Creativity will be limited due to Newcastle’s low possession stats
Phillipe Coutinho – Aston Villa – Midfielder
- Former Premier League star – proven at the top level
- Good ghost points – key passes and shots on target should be a regular occurence
- Set pieces – likely to share corners and command direct free kicks
- Steven Gerrard – If Anyone can get Coutinho back to his best, it’s former team mate Gerrard
- Fitness – Coutinho has proven to be injury prone over recent year
- Lack of match sharpness – Bar a short spell at Bayern Munich, Coutinho has barely seen first team action since leaving Liverpool five years ago
- Competition – With record signing Emi Buendia also competing for that left wing position and Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore all competing for the forward positions, any poor runs of form could see Coutinho miss out.
- Is he the player he was at Liverpool? Time will tell…
Coutinho is a gamble, no doubt about it. But I’d be surprised if we see a bigger transfer in the January transfer window unless Newcastle persuade a big name over or is Dusan Vlahovic gets his big Premier League move. I’d part with the majority of my remaining FAAB to secure the signature of the Brazilian star.
Kieran Trippier – Newcastle United – Defender
- Set pieces – Trippier’s best attribute. He will get the lion’s share of right footed corners and free kicks, both direct and indirect
- Open play crosses – Accurate service for the likes of Joelinton and Callum Wilson when fit. Assists and key passes should be on their way for Trippier.
- Defensively sound – Should bring an improvement to Newcastle’s back line and will pick up tackles and interceptions himself.
- Newcastle’s defence – Regardless of signings, this isn’t a quick fix. Newcastle’s defence has been awful and will continue to concede over the coming weeks. Trippier may not return good points instantly.
- Newcastle’s attack – Without Callum Wilson, Newcastle’s attack relies solely on Allan Saint-Maximin who isn’t great in the air. Trippier’s good service still needs someone clinical on the end of it to put those chances away.
Kieran Trippier’s name and reputation as an attacking full back will probably lead to Fantrax managers overpaying to secure his signature. I’d be prepared to use a small amount of my budget to get him but tread carefully…he’s joining one of the league’s worst teams right now…
Nathan Patterson – Everton – Defender
- Attacking full back
- Everton currently playing with wing backs – likely to come in at RWB
- Likely to pick up defensively points through interceptions and tackles
- Everton’s defence
- Unlikely to start straight away
- Inexperienced – Patterson was backup right back at former club Rangers behind James Tavernier
Not one to get excited about. I wouldn’t spend any FAAB on Patterson. He’s likely to be a useful streaming options in favourable fixtures against teams that Everton are likely to be on the front foot.
Vitaly Mykolenko – Everton – Defender
- Everton’s system – currently playing with wing backs, meaning Mykolenko is likely to start his Everton career as a left wing back.
- Should be a guaranteed starter with Lucas Digne’s Everton career all but over.
- Will look to get forward.
- Experienced international defender who will get crosses in the box and defend aggresively.
- Everton’s defence.
- Will be nowhere near the standard of Digne as a Fantrax asset – no set pieces.
- Not likely to score well without a goal or assist.
I prefer Myklolenko out of the two new Everton full backs. I still wouldn’t use much FAAB to get him into the squad but he’s likely to start every match and comes into the Premier League ahead of some unscheduled double gameweeks and some friendly fixtures for The Toffees. Worth dropping a few FAAB to get him if you have some cash to burn.