January Transfer Analysis 18/19

The Premier League January Transfer Window signings are coming thick and fast, so we’re here to analyse the prospects of all the major signings.  Use these hints and tips to rejuvenate your Draft Fantasy Football season!

Read below for the potential impact these players can have on your Draft Fantasy Football League.  January signings can make or break your season… anyone remember what happened when Aubameyang joined last January?  We do.  The manager who signed him went on to win the league!

 

We’ve ranked the prospects based on a star rating, from 1 to 5:

⭐️ = Steer clear

⭐️⭐️ = Wait and see

⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Could be worth a punt

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Sign him

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = The waiver request you’ve been waiting for!!

 

Samir Nasri

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  West Ham United

Prospects:  The former Manchester City and Arsenal star is back in the Premier League, but his reputation is somewhat in tatters after his recent drugs ban.  The Frenchman has just served an 18-month doping ban for using an intravenous drip treatment, and has been without a club since 31 January, after leaving Turkish club Antalyaspor.  Nasri has fairly low prospects at the moment, simply because he’s been out of the game for so long.  He could potentially cement himself in the side, but you need to wait and see how this one goes first.  Nasri was handed his first start for the club in the FA Cup third round tie against Birmingham.

Verdict:  Worth a punt!!  He’s been out of the game for a long time, so will need some time to adjust back to life in the Premier League, but it looks like he can still perform at this level.

Update:  After a good first couple of games, Nasri has suffered an injury which ruled him out of GW24 and 25.  Maybe it is indeed the classic inconsistent Nasri of old that has returned!

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Nathaniel Clyne

Position:  Defender

Team:  Bournemouth

Prospects:  The former England international has moved to Bournemouth on loan to try and get some game time.  Clyne suffered a serious injury a couple of years ago, and returned to full fitness to find Trent Alexander-Arnold ahead of him in the pecking order (rightfully so, but still unlucky for Clyne).  Bournemouth have suffered a serious injury to Francis, and already had Adam Smith out injured.  Clyne should slot in at right-back, and will be looking to get his career back on track!

Verdict:  Clyne should cement his place in the side right away, but Bournemouth are bad at the back at the moment.  Let him settle in, and re-visit if he performs well during his first few games.  Fellow new signing Mepham can play at right back, so he could provide competition for Clyne.

Update:  Four starts so far for Clyne, and Bournemouth gained clean sheets in both GW23 and GW24!  Worth a punt in deeper leagues, however the Cherries’ inconsistency is a big concern… Beating Chelsea and then losing to Cardiff!

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Dominic Solanke

Position:  Forward

Team: Bournemouth

Prospects:  Bournemouth have also splashed out on a new striker… Solanke made a somewhat surprising permanent move to Bournemouth, after he was rumored to be joining Crystal Palace on loan.  The young striker, once capped by England, has bags of potential, but he’s currently out injured until February.  With Wilson and King performing well for The Cherries this season, Solanke could be one for next season.  He’ll be looking to settle into his new club over the next few months, but may struggle for to make an impact.

Verdict:  Wait and see how this one pans out.  If you need a new striker, then leave Solanke on your watch list and see if a better prospect joins the Premier League during January.  Considering he’s injured, Solanke should remain a free agent for the next few weeks, so you have some time before you need to act on this one.

Update:  Solanke was a surprise name on the bench for GW24, and earned a start in GW25.  His Togga points score during his 65 minute run-out was very encouraging.  Solanke could be a good option for Togga managers, who aren’t relying on goals or assists for good points scores.  Rating upgraded to three stars.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Jason Puncheon

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  Huddersfield

Prospects:  Puncheon has moved to Huddersfield for the rest of the season in a search for more game time.  The Englishman has struggled for minutes at Palace this season, but he’s still a talented player.  He will probably become a starter at Huddersfield, and will probably pitch in with the odd goal and assist, but considering how poor The Terriers have been this season, this signing is not a significant one.

Verdict:  As alluded to above, wait and see how things go for Puncheon.  He should become a consistent starter, but it remains to be seen if he will provide us with any attacking outputs.

Update:  Three starts out for four for Puncheon, but as expected, he’s having very little impact on Draft Fantasy and Togga scoring.  Huddersfield look very poor.

Rating:  ⭐️

 

Ryan Babel

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  Fulham

Prospects:  Did Fulham really need another attacker???  Mitrovic, Schurrle, Sessegnon, Kamara, Vietto… surely there’s enough there to maintain their Premier League status?  You need competent defenders Ranieri!!  Well, anyway, Ryan Babel makes a return to the Premier League 8 years after leaving Liverpool.  The Dutchman had a good 17/18 season for Besiktas, as he bagged 13 goals in 32 league appearances, and also played pretty well in the Champions League.  Babel also still makes it into the Dutch national squad at the age of 32!  This is a decent signing for Fulham, and he should perform well if he gets in the starting eleven.  Babel will be challenging Sessegnon for his slot on the left hand side of the attack… and he may well win the battle and produce some decent returns.

Verdict:  Babel went straight into the team for GW23, so it looks like he’s going to be preferred ahead of Sessegnon.  Worth a punt in most leagues… and looks to be a good Togga scorer!

Update:  Babel went straight into the starting eleven for GW23 and had his rating upgraded to 3 stars.  The Dutchman started again in GW24 and gained two assists!!  Worth a punt, but be cautious due to Fulham’s inconsistent form.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Oumar Niasse

Position:  Forward

Team:  Cardiff

Prospects:  The Senegalesse striker has moved to Cardiff on loan, as they desperately require some more options up front!  Niasse actually played pretty well when Everton gave him a chance, although he was rarely given a chance; he just wasn’t talented enough.  His move to Cardiff should see more first team opportunities, and he went straight into the starting 11 for the trip to Newcastle in GW23.  He wasn’t very effective, but his match sharpness will surely require some work after a few months on the Everton sidelines.

Verdict:  Niasse could be a good option, but considering his lack of match practice, as well as the horrific news regarding new signing Emiliano Sala, Cardiff could struggle over the coming weeks.   Wait and see how this one goes before signing him.

Update:  Three starts so far for Niasse, but little impact.  He did gain a good Togga score of 9.5 in GW25 however… could he perform well on their more intelligent scoring system?

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

 

Chris Mepham

Position:  Defender

Team:  Bournemouth

Prospects:  Bournemouth have finally got their man; they’ve been trying to sign Mepham for the last couple of transfer windows, and have at last captured his signature in a £12 million move from Championship side Brentford.  The Welsh international defender is only 21 years old, but has performed very well for Brentford over the last couple of years.  He’s primarily a centre back, but can also play right back.  Mepham looks like one for the future – Howe will be looking for him to form a good partnership with Ake for the years to come, although he is likely to see a decent amount of minutes over the course of the rest of this season.

Verdict:  As we’ve said Mepham looks to be one for the future, but is likely to gain a decent amount of exposure to the first team over the coming months.  Wait and see how much he plays, but Mepham could see minutes in central defence alongside Ake, or at right back instead of Clyne.

Update:  Mepham was named on the bench for the GW24 victory over Chelsea, as well as the GW25 defeat to Cardiff.  He could be brought into the side soon to try and improve the defensive inconsistency.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

 

Gonzalo Higuain

Position:  Forward

Team:  Chelsea

Prospects:  The Argentinean striker has finally sealed his loan move to Chelsea, reuniting him with Sarri; the manager who led him to 36 league goals in the 15/16 season whilst at Napoli.  Higuain and Sarri obviously have a good relationship, and he has potential to perform very well for Chelsea over the course of the rest of the season.  The Blues have been crying out for a decent striker this season, and Higuain will provide them with that, and more.  He’s only managed 8 goals in 22 appearances for AC Milan so far this season, but don’t let this put you off.  Higuain is a must have player entering the free agents pool.

Verdict:  This is the signing you’ve been saving your waiver requests for!!!  Signing Higuain is a must for any Draft Manager.  Yes, he’s not been on amazing form for AC Milan this season, but he’s a big name player and he’s going to be available as a free agent pick up.  Swapping out the likes of Deeney, Murray, Wood, King, Rondon for Higuian… yes please.  Chap 1 has already dropped Lukaku for him!

Update:  Two goals in the GW25 victory over Huddersfield.  Get in there!!!  This is what we’ve been waiting for.  Chap 1 is very happy after dropping the mis-firing Lukaku for Higuain.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Bakery Sako and Lucas Perri

Position:  Midfielder and Goalkeeper

Team:  Crystal Palace

Prospects:  Both these Chaps have been brought in to provide Palace with some additional squad depth.  We don’t expect either to feature much in the first team, or impact our Draft Fantasy teams.

Verdict:  Avoid both.  Neither will feature much over the coming months.

Update:  Sako came on as a late substitute in the GW25 victory over Fulham, but he’s no more than a fringe player.

Rating:  ⭐️

 

Karlan Grant

Position:  Forward

Team:  Huddersfield

Prospects:  Grant has performed well in League One for Charlton this season, scoring 14 league goals, but he looks to be one for the future… in the Championship.  We don’t expect the young striker to have much of an impact at Huddersfield, considering his lack of top level experience, and the Terriers poor form in front of goal.

Verdict:  Not much of note here… Grant is likely to start for Huddersfield once he’s settled in, but we’re not expecting much from him.  Looks to be one to wait and see on.

Update:  Grant came on as a sub in the GW25 defeat to Chelsea, but Huddersfield look extremely poor, and will not score many goals between now and the end of the season.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

 

Denis Suarez

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  Arsenal

Prospects:  Arsenal have brought in Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona, but it is very likely the move is made permanent in the summer.  Suarez has worked with Emery at Sevilla, and we understand they have a good relationship; hence why he’s been brought to the club!  We’re unsure on how much attacking output Suarez will have, but he’s very likely to be placed straight into the starting eleven.  He has every chance of performing well on both Draft Fantasy and Fantrax scoring systems.  Arsenal score lots of goals, so if he’s on the pitch then he’s got a good chance of getting involved!

Verdict:  We think Suarez is worth signing; he’ll be playing in an attacking position for a top six club who score a lot of goals… simple as that really.  Considering the severe lack of signings going on, Suarez may be the best its going to get!  Chap 1 has snapped him up as a Lamela replacement!

Update:  Suarez came on for a brief cameo in GW25, replacing Iwobi during the defeat to Manchester City.  Emery has since stated that the Spaniard has been brought in to play on the wing, which would improve his goal/assist prospects.  Suarez scored very poorly on Togga during his GW25 appearance though, so he looks like one to avoid on this scoring format.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (⭐️⭐️⭐️ for Togga)

 

Miguel Almiron

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  Newcastle

Prospects:  Had anyone heard of Almiron before this month???  Unlikely, unless you follow the MLS.  The Paraguyan attacking midfielder has been bought by Newcastle for a club record fee of £21 million!!  Newcastle actually spent some money!  Almiron has a good record playing for Atalanta FC in the MLS, scoring 21 goals in 62 league games.  He can play out wide, or behind the striker, and has great pace; something severely lacking in the Newcastle attack at the moment.

Verdict:  Like Suarez, its unlikely that anyone better than this is going to be brought in on Transfer Deadline Day, so why not take a gamble on Almiron?!  He’s got a decent record, and Newcastle have been watching him for a while.  He’s likely to be their main creative outlet, so why not give him a go!  His work permit has not been processed in time to feature in GW25, however.

Update:  The Newcastle man will hopefully be ready to play in GW26, and has a good chance of picking up attacking returns, as well as take-ons and interceptions in Togga scoring.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Antonio Barreca

Position:  Defender

Team:  Newcastle

Prospects:  Barreca joins on loan from Monaco, after making just seven league apperances so far for the struggling French side.  The 23 year old left-back moved to Monaco in the summer from Torino, but things haven’t really worked out for him.  Newcastle were close to signing Jordan Lukaku to slot in at left-back, so Barreca is very much the back-up option.  He should get in the side, but this signing doesn’t excite us at all.

Verdict:  Newcastle were in need of a left back, but in terms of Draft Fantasy Football, this doesn’t really interest us.  Lascelles and Schar are better options if you want a Newcastle defender.  Unless Barreca turns out to be a huge attacking threat, this is one you can safely leave alone for now.

Update:  Came on as a substitute in GW25.  He will probably start soon, but his prospects remain fairly low.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

 

Leandro Bacuna

Position:  Defender

Team:  Cardiff

Prospects:  Bacuna has some Premier League experience with Aston Villa a couple of years ago, but the Dutch midfielder doesn’t excite us at all.  He’ll be a decent squad player for the Blues, as he is pretty versatile, but nothing of note here for Draft Fantasy Football managers.

Verdict:  Decent squad player for Cardiff, but one to avoid for us Draft Managers.

Update:  Came on as a substitute in GW25.

Rating:  ⭐️

 

Peter Crouch

Position:  Forward

Team:  Burnley

Prospects:  Crouchy!!!!  The lanky forward is back in the Premier League… at the ripe old age of 38!!  Jesus.  Burnley have brought Crouch in after selling Vokes to Stoke, but he’ll surely just be an option off the bench between now and the end of the season.  Barnes and Wood have been performing pretty well in recent weeks, so Crouch will be on bench warming duties.  A great professional to have around the club though, it must be said.

Verdict:  Pretty low prospects.  See how things go with this one, but minutes from the bench is surely all Crouch will have to offer.  Could bag a goal or two, but we’re not expecting anything to interest Draft Managers.

Update:  Crouchy came on and gained the assist for Burnley’s only goal in GW25.  Classic Crouchy.  Looks like he’ll remain as an impact sub, so he still has a low rating.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

 

Youri Tielemans

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  Leicester City

Prospects:  Tielemans is a legend of Football Manager.  We all know that.  But what will he bring to the Premier League after a disappointing 18 months at Monaco?  The Belgian midfielder was once considered one of the brightest young talents in world football, but after a stuttering period at Monaco, we’re unsure if he can live up to this potential.  Tielemans is obviously a very talented footballer, but he will need confidence and some guidance from Puel if he is to get back to his best.  Tielemans will be challenging for an attacking midfield slot, and will hopefully produce some good displays over the coming weeks and months.

Verdict:  Tielemans is worth a punt for sure!  He’s a very talented player, and will surely come up with the goods at some point during the season run-in.  Hopefully more so than not.  Leicester have a good fixture schedule coming up, so Tielemans is worth a go if you’re in need of a new midfielder and the likes of Suarez and Almiron are not available!

Update:  Leicester do have a good upcoming fixture list, but they are not on great form, and the pressure is mounting on Puel.  Youngster Harvey Barnes has also been playing very well since returning from his loan spell at West Brom, so Tielemans may have to wait to come into the side.  He wasn’t in the GW25 matchday squad.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Havard Nordtveit

Position:  Defender

Team:  Fulham

Prospects:  The Norwegian international can play in defence or midfield, and could bring some stability to the Fulham side.  Nordveit will be hoping to get his career back on track, after a disappointing few seasons stemming back to when he joined West Ham in 2016.  Nordveit actually played fairly well during his brief time with the Hammers, and Ranieri will be hoping he can help steady the ship.  We’re unsure as to where Nordveit will play for Fulham, but he doesn’t look like he’ll offer us Draft Managers much.

Verdict:  See how this one goes.  It’s highly likely Nordveit won’t feature in any of our Draft Teams between now and the rest of the season, but he’s been categorised as a defender by Official FPL, so he could provide some out of position potential if he actually plays in midfield.

Update:  Didn’t feature in GW25.

Rating:  ⭐️

 

Michy Batshuayi

Position:  Forward

Team:  Crystal Palace

Prospects:  Batshuayi is back in the Premier League after Chelsea ended his loan agreement with Valencia, and sent him out to Crystal Palace instead.  The Belgian forward spent the second half of last season on loan at Dortmund, and performed very well scoring nine goals in fourteen appearances.  Batshuayi wasn’t able to match this form at Valencia, as he managed just three goals in twenty three appearances.  He’s a good player though, and should do well at Palace between now and the end of the season.  The Eagles have been struggling in front of goal all season.  With only Ayew, Benteke, and Wickham on their books, they really needed to bring someone in!

Verdict:  Yes.  Sign him.  Sign him now.  The only noteworthy forward to join the Premier League in January, other than Higuain, Batshuayi is certainly worth a pick up.  Those of you that missed out on Higuain; get your waiver requests in for Batshuayi!!  He should perform well during the remainder of the season, and will be guaranteed minutes, as well as opportunities in front of goal!

Update:  The Belgian came on in GW25 and gained an assist.  Looks to be one of the premium January signings, so bravo to anyone that picked him up.  Scored very well on Togga during his brief appearance.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Lazar Markovic

Position:  Midfielder

Team:  Fulham

Prospects:  Um, yeah, the less said about this the better.  Markovic was still owned by Liverpool?!  Literally had no idea he was still on the scene.  The Serbian winger has potential, but at the moment we wouldn’t expect him to have much impact at Fulham.  Bit of a strange transfer.

Verdict:  Steer clear for now.  See if he actually gets in the team before thinking about bringing him in.

Update:  Not yet featured.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️

 

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🔥 Hot or Cold Player Rankings ❄️

Our Hot or Cold Player Rankings are here to outline the current prospects of key Draft Fantasy Football Players.  Our ‘Hot‘ or ‘Cold‘ status will help take away your emotional attachment to certain Premier League players, and bring in the players that you need to help you dominate your Draft League.  Use these hints and tips to increase your chances of success!

 

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