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.
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.