Our Fantasy writer looks at some of the stars at Arsenal and Manchester United and discusses whether or not they are worth their high in-game prices
As was mentioned in last week’s article, it’s easy to get swept away by player hype. It’s even easier to get swept away by that hype when it’s a player that has a big name or is at a big club. So, as we continue preparations for the 2017-18 Premier League season, here are three players whose name outweighs their Fantasy value.
This is the perfect example of the ‘big name to a big club’ syndrome. There’s no doubting Lacazette’s ability but is he really the third best forward in the Premier League? Looking at last year’s statistics? No. If the Frenchman’s Lyon stats perfectly translated to Arsenal, he would have finished with the fourth most forward points.
The issue with doing that is the fact that 10 of his goals, and 50 of those points, came via the penalty spot. With it unlikely that Lacazette takes penalties he would have finished as the ninth best at his position between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Josh King. A season with over 18 goals would obviously be terrific but history shows you can get that kind of performance from less expensive and less owned players.
Paul Pogba – Midfielder, Manchester United, £7.1m, 19.12% owned
The former Manchester United youth player did not have homecoming that fans or Fantasy owners expected last season. It’s natural to assume that Pogba will improve in his second year, but how much will he improve? Well, in his best year at Juventus, the Frenchman notched eight goals and 12 assists which, with starts added and yellow card points subtracted, would equate to 144 points.
That tally would have been good for 31st place in the Goal game last season. That level of performance just isn’t worth his £7.1m price tag. Unfortunately, Pogba’s position limits him and, unless manager Jose Mourinho suddenly switches to a 4-3-3, it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon.
Hector Bellerin – Defender, Arsenal, £6.4m, 10.05% owned
After an incredible debut season in 2015-16, Bellerin dropped off significantly last season. Finishing as the 13th best defender was certainly not what Fantasy experts or fans expected last summer when he was the most expensive defender in our game.
Yet, despite that poor showing, the Spaniard still comes into this season as the fifth most expensive defender. If Arsenal had managed a top-five defence last season or added to that unit this summer it would be an easier sell, but they didn’t, so it’s not. It’s probably wise to take a wait and see approach on Bellerin for now.