It’s silly season once more! Everyone loves a transfer rumour almost as much as a shiny new signing but even though the temptation is to go early on new names, none of us want to spend a high draft pick on a flop!
Here, we will go through all of those tempting new names in the hope that we can separate the Salahs from the Carrolls and the Brunos from the Verons!
🔴 Taiwo Awoniyi – Nottingham Forest – Forward 🔴
Nigerian powerhouse Taiwo Awoniyi has been signed to lead the line for Nottingham Forest in their first season back in the big time. Keinan Davis was Forest’s main striker in the Championship last season but Awoniyi should be a considerable upgrade judging by the 15 goals he scored in the Bundesliga last season.
“Bundesliga Tax” will be the accusations levelled at that statistic! However, the likes of Sancho and Haaland have achieved their own impressive numbers for the mighty Borussia Dortmund rather than Union Berlin.
Expected Draft Position – Round 7/8
This may seem higher than expected but a guaranteed starting centre forward should be taken in the first half of the draft, even if they aren’t proven in the Premier League. If you can get an elite forward in and back him up with a decent midfield, Awoniyi should provide enough value as a FWD2/3. If he performs close to how fellow countryman Emmanuel Dennis did for Watford last season, he’d be a bargain at that stage of the draft.
🔴 Fabio Vieira – Arsenal – Midfielder 🔴
Fantrax’s new high upside punt has arrived in the form of talented midfielder Fabio Vieira. Despite only starting 15 games for Portuguese champions Porto last term, Vieira managed very commendable figures of 6 goals and 14 assists and will look to immediately challenge for a starting place at Arsenal.
He has fierce competition in his position, however, with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and maybe even Raphinha if you believe the rumours all fighting over three positions behind the main striker. Can the lightweight but technically gifted Vieira make a Luis Diaz style transition into English football?
Expected Draft Position – Round 10-13
Vieira’s draft position all depends on starts (of course) as when he does play you’d think he will score like an elite midfielder. Arsenal’s new man looks like someone who will be rostered by the end of most drafts due to his exciting nature but I’d only go in for him once my team is all set. Round 10 is probably at little steep at this stage but he’s probably worth it if you draft Martin Odegaard high up.
If you get him, the question is whether you can entice the owner of Odegaard into a deal. With Europa League football on the menu for The Gunners, more rotation will be needed which could see Vieira get the odd start. An injury or two to the regulars early on would make things even more interesting.
🔴 Darwin Nunez – Liverpool – Forward 🔴
Liverpool’s reponse to City’s Haaland capture comes in the form of the clinical Darwin Nunez (who now carries the added burden of replacing Sadio Mane). The Uruguayan speedster hit 26 in 28 league games for Benfica last term but, more impressively, 6 in 6 in the Champions League.
A sharp display in both games against Liverpool caught Klopp’s eye and Virgil Van Dijk’s reference that Nunez is one of his toughest ever opponents ensured he ended up in Liverpool red this summer. Any centre forward that plays for this Liverpool team is likely to score goals. Plenty of goals.
Expected Draft Position – Round 2/3
Like Haaland, Nunez is going to go early in this summer’s drafts. Doubts over guaranteed playing time and his adaptation to the Premier League should give managers some caution but I’d be amazed if he survives until the start of round 3. If you get a solid, risk free first pick then grabbing Nunez in the second shouldn’t be a massive risk to you.
⚪ Rasmus Kristensen – Leeds United – Defender ⚪
I hadn’t heard much of Rasmus Kristensen before he signed for Leeds but rumour has it that he could be a ghost point magnet. “Think Liam Cooper but at right back” is what I’ve seen from someone on Twitter in recent weeks!
If this is true then he’s well worth a punt later on in the draft if you have room to hold on to a defender. The legendary @DraftLad’s spreadsheet states that Kristensen averaged an extremely impressive 9.3 ghost points per game in the Champions League last season, paying for one of the competition’s “weaker” sides.
Expected Draft Position – Round 11/12/late round flyer
If Kristensen can nail down the righ back position (which he should) he should tally enough ghost points to be a decent defender. If you can grab him as your DEF3 and bench him through some tough fixtures then he should be a decent squad player in your Fantrax lineup.
🔵 Julian Alvarez – Manchester City – Forward 🔵
You’re bound to hear the term “the New Aguero” plenty of times in relation to City new boy Julian Alvarez this season. The Argentinian youngster caught the eye recently before even pulling on the sky blue shirt as he scored six times in a recet game for River Plater.
No one really knows what the immediate future is for Alvarez and a loan move may be on the agenda for the 22-year-old. However, Pep may deem him talented enough to be thrown in at the deep end. The signing of Haaland may make that difficult, however. Cup minutes looks like the most likely outcome.
Expected Draft Position – Round 12/13
Treat Alvarez a bit like Ferran Torres when he first arrived. Undoubtedly talented but it’s diffcult to see how he immediately slots in. Draft him late on if you can afford the roster spot and have other City players or be quick on the free agents pool when those rare starts come along.
🔴 Diego Carlos – Aston Villa – Defender 🔴
Having seen him in the Europa League for Sevilla on plenty of occasions, Diego Carlos could be one of the best under the radar signings of the summer. He could also be a monumental disaster thanks to plenty of rash decision making. Either way, he should be entertaining.
It’ll be interesting to see if Carlos can dislodge one of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa with both having their critics in recet months. In terms of Fantrax production, his all action defensive style may lead to some decent ghost point scores. Villa’s defence will have to improve considerably to make him a genuine defensive asset though.
Expected Draft Position – Streamer
I wouldn’t bother drafting Diego Carlos unless Villa’s opening fixtures are very kind. Even then, we are unsure of the starting centre backs.
🔴 Boubacar Kamara – Aston Villa – Midfielder
Manchester United were reportedly chasing Boubacar Kamara as their defensive midfielder this summer but the highly rated Frenchman clearly fancied the chance of linking up with Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa. The 22-year-old is a talented footballer but not one to get excited about as a fantasy football prospect having scored only once and failing to provide in assist in any of his 31 starts.
Expected Draft Position – Streamer
Do not draft. If it looks like he’s going to be decent for tackles and interceptions then look to stream him as a MID4/5.
Brenden Aaronson – Leeds United – Midfielder
Jesse Marsch is expected to bring in some of his old boys as he starts to make the Leeds United team his own and all action midfielder Brenden Aaronsen is his first signing. The American is reportedly versatile and can play across the midfield positions and as of yet it is unclear where he will lineup for Leeds. Much of his value depends on exactly that.
Expected Draft Position – Round 13/14
I’ve seen/heard comparisons to Mateusz Klich which, if true, should encourage you to stay clear of Aaronson to start with. Definitely a “wait and see” kind of player but worth a punt if you’ve secured the core of your roster with four or five rounds left.
🔵 Deniz Undav – Brighton – Forward 🔵
Could the prolific Deniz Undav be the long awaited clinical striker that Brighton have been missing? The end of the season saw Graham Potter seemingly lose patience with long term favored option Neal Maupay. Danny Welbeck was the first choice when a recognised striker was deployed but it’s rare that the former England man can stay fit for long.
Undav may be the latest to audition this time around and his stats suggest he knows the way to goal as he plundered 26 goals last season. Time will tell whether he can adapt to the demands of the English game but you can’t argue with the numbers!
Expected Draft Position – Round 14/15
Much will depend on Undav’s pre-season as to whether he claims a start place straight away or has to bide his time and wait for an opportunity. If he’s on fire in those early friendlies then a late round pick could be on the cards.
🔴 Fabio Carvalho – Liverpool – Midfielder/Forward
Rumours suggest that the transfer of Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool was all wrapped up in January. Fulham, however, will have been grateful to see him stay in London for the rest of the Championship season as he starred in their thrilling promotion campaign.
The Portuguese wonderkid his 11 goals and assisted a further 7 as Fulham stormed the Championship. Carvalho isn’t one to eye up for your Fantrax rosters this season but the 19-year-old has everything you could think of that would suggest he will be a huge player in the future.
Expected Draft Position – Late round flyer/Streamer
As previously suggested, Carvalho isn’t one to draft this season. The best you can do is keep an eye on lineups and have the fastest fingers to pick him up for those rare starts!
🔵 Erling Braut Haaland – Manchester City – Forward 🔵
It’s finally happened: Manchester City have their centre forward and he’s arguably the best they could’ve grabbed. Erling Braut Haaland is their chosen one and he’s going to score goals.
Undeniably, with Kevin De Bruyne supplying the bullets the Norweigen is going to bag goals in the Premier League and is set to be a FWD1 in all Fantrax leagues this season. It’s going to be hard to turn down the chance to own a player that had more goals than appearances last season!
Expected draft position – Round 1
Erling Braut Haaland will go off the board in the first round and despite the big build up he’s just had here, you shouldn’t be too disheartened if you miss out on him.
There’s every chance Haaland bangs in 30 goals this season and ends as the top scoring Fantrax forward but he’s far from risk free. No one is rotation proof at City and Pep loves to bed new singings in slowly (Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish are prime recent examples). His ghost points may not always be what you need from a first rounder while Haaland’s injury record early in his career makes ugly reading. If he falls to you at the turn in round 1, it’s impossible to ignore him but I wouldn’t be reaching for him in the top 5/6 overall.
Ivan Perisic – Tottenham Hotspur – Defender/Midfielder
Call me weird but the signing of Ivan Perisic excites me much more than that of marquee arrival Erling Haaland. Having casually followed the Bundesliga and Calcio A leagues for a little while now, I’ve always been curious as to whether the Croatia international would be a top Fantrax asset as his end product is consistently brilliant. We will get an answer this season!
As long as he nails down that left wing back spot (which he almost certainly will) then we could see an elite asset, even if he is classed as a Midfielder (early signs are that he will be) as he will be expected to fly forward to support the attack while mucking in with some defensive work.
Expected Draft Position – Round 3-6
Perisic could go anywhere etween the third and sixth round. Although I don’t want him as my third player, he will probably finish in the top 36 so wouldn’t be the worst pick there. If I can get him in the fifth round I’d be delighted.