Neal Thurman

Transfer Talk

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Transfer Breakdowns By Team

Thursday, September 05, 2013


The end of the transfer window always brings a little bit of everything and the summer of 2013 was no exception. We could probably write a book about everything that went on from the amazing (Ozil to Arsenal) to the frustrating (Long not going to Hull) to the disappointing (United only getting Fellaini) to the out-and-out bizarre (everything related to the Herrera story).  Instead, we'll try to keep it succinct and, for the most part, related to fantasy.  Here's a guide to the aspects of the transfer window that are likely to matter to fantasy managers:


Arsenal - The acquisition of Mesut Ozil not only brings a must-have midfielder to the field at an entry-level price, it also likely increases the fantasy value of Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott on the strength of the opportunities and goals Ozil will help create for them.  If there is a fantasy downside, it will likely be Santi Cazorla who will split time creating chances with Ozil.


Aston Villa - Most of Villa's business was done early in the window and fantasy managers have had a chance to see useful acquisitions like Antonio Luna and Jores Okore for themselves.  Late signing Libor Kozak is relatively young for a big forward at 24 but hasn't produced much for Lazio so it would be hard to see Christian Benteke fretting over his playing time.

 

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Cardiff City - The late addition of Peter Odemwingie adds a proven, if potentially fading, Premier League forward to the mix for the Bluebirds.  The smart move would be to adopt a wait-and-see approach to see how playing time is doled out between Odemwingie and Andreas Cornelius.  If Odemwingie is sparked by the new challenge then it may be worth considering him as a relatively low (8.94) cost option when Cardiff have strong match-ups.


Chelsea - The arrivals of Willian and Samuel Eto'o made big headlines but the former will mean nothing but headaches for fantasy managers as he adds to the already crowded attacking midfield picture at Chelsea.  Eto'o should be more cut-and-dried as the first choice center forward with Lukaku off to Everton and Ba apparently unwanted enough that he almost moved to Arsenal on loan.  Eto'o becomes one of a number of extremely attractive entry-level forwards along with Soldado, Negredo, Bony, and (if he ever plays) Jovetic.


Crystal Palace - Apparently quality and quantity are of equal value to the men managing Palace as they signed a lot of players that you get a sense aren't quite good enough.  It is difficult to predict the future of players rising from the Championship but Barry Bannan could be an interesting pick-up if he gets consistent playing time.  His fantasy production wasn't bad when he got playing time and he took some kicks for Villa when he did play.  It remains to be seen if he will a) get consistent playing time at Palace and b) get/take enough kicks to be of fantasy value.


Everton - Romelu Lukaku will start every match he's healthy for (after sitting out this coming weekend against the club that owns his rights) which should be music to the ears of fantasy managers everywhere.  The only real consideration before you buy is that there are a large number of other very useful forwards many of whom cost less than Lukaku and only three roster spots per week to put them in. 


Fulham - Fulham were fairly quiet at the close of the window and late signing Elsad Zverotic is unlikely to make enough of an impact for fantasy managers to think twice about him.  It will be up to Darren Bent and Adel Taarabt to draw the attention of fantasy managers from this summer's window with an outside chance of Maarten Stekelenburg entering that picture once he's healthy again. 


Hull City - Not much late for Hull either after a very active, and productive transfer window leading up to deadline day.  They were very disappointed not to land Shane Long after agreeing to a fee and personal terms, having the player in for a medical, and thinking the deal was done. 


Liverpool - After Arsenal's bellweather signing, Liverpool probably had the best deadline day in the league.  While Everton also brought in some strong talent, they lost a big name (and big hair) at the same time.  Liverpool added depth and quality to it's weakest area with the addition of Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori.  Sakho will very likely be a certain starter and a value play for fantasy managers in a summer when few high profile defenders have entered the Premier League.  Victor Moses is also a solid pick-up but seems likely to be part of a rotation once Luis Suarez returns from suspension with Suarez, Coutinho and Strurridge the only guaranteed starters.

 

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Manchester City - City added little to their summer haul with the signing of Martin Demichelis from Atletico Madrid close to the deadline.  He might be a value play if you determine when he'll get a spot start but he's presumably no better than fourth choice behind Kompany, Nastasic, and Lescott. 


Manchester United - Setting aside all the contraversy associated with United's deadline day, Marouane Fellaini was a very relevant fantasy player last season and some discussion of how this impacts him in that capacity is relevant.  It seems most likely that Fellaini's fantasy value will be less than it was at Everton last season - hard to see him playing an attacking midfield role at United - but not so dire as what we've seen thus far this season at Everton where he's been in a decidedly deep-lying role.  He will likely come into Tom Cleverley's spot with Carrick lying deeper but Rooney/Kagawa playing a more advanced central role in support of Robin van Persie.  He may be very valuable to United in this role but he's likely a bit overpriced for what he's likely to produce in this role for fantasy managers. 


Newcastle United - Nothing to see here, please move along. 


Norwich City - Johan Elmander came in on loan sort of close to the end of the window but with all of the other options that have come in at forward it would probably take a long term injury for him to be fantasy-relevant on anything other than a spot basis. 


Southampton - They did all of their business relatively early and didn't even really make a splash in the rumors on deadline day.  The lingering question after limited viewing is whether Osvaldo will be fantasy-relevant in a season when there are so many good forwards starting out the season at bargain prices.

 

Stoke City - Hard to get very excited about either of Stoke's late signings.  Marko Arnautovic wasn't even prolific in the Eredivisie (where all forwards seem to score a lot) and Stephen Ireland is a shell of the player who was once thought to be part of the solution to renovate an Aston Villa team that had lost Gareth Barry and Ashley Young in quick succession.  The only (very) slim hope for Ireland is that a) he's cheap at 4.46 and b) the season that got everyone excited came under Mark Hughes who will be managing him again at Stoke.  Not an endorsement of him but at least a glimmer of hope. 

 

Sunderland - Like Crystal Palace, Sunderland made up for a lack of quality in their signings with quantity, lots and lots of quantity. Late signings Fabio Borini and Andrea Dossena share heritage in that they both washed out at Liverpool incredibly quickly and likely will share more of the same when they fail to make a major impact either for fantasy managers or at the Stadium of Light this season. 


Swansea City - Michael Laudrup does like them young and Spanish (and I mean his transfer targets, get your mind out of the gutter).  The Swans brought in Spanish youth international Alvaro Vazquez on loan from Getafe late in the window but it is unlikely that he'll make an impact with the first team this season.  If you're in a Capital One Cup fantasy league, he might be worth a look though. 


Tottenham - Spurs brought in a lot of very good players to replace one exceptional player and a few good-but-not-great ones over the course of the summer but nothing right at the deadline.  It seems to be an under-reported story among all of the Levy/Baldini love that Gareth Bale's late goals were the difference between Spurs challenging for fourth and looking up at Liverpool.  Spurs new signings need to accomplish a lot just to break even with last season's team, let alone improve upon their fifth place position.  Of the later signings, Erik Lamela seems likely to be the pick of the litter for fantasy managers while he's still at an entry level price.


West Bromwich Albion - West Brom could be in for a rough season. Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe were the Baggies' two major deadline day signings and on their previous records, they seem unlikely to make the sort of impact necessary to change Albion's fortunes or sway fantasy managers to buy them.  Sessegnon can be very good when he's at his best but good luck predicting when that's going to happen.  Anichebe seems to have been around at Everton for a long time without having staked out a spot even when Everton were in desperate need of a forward.  I wouldn't get too excited here.  


West Ham United - No late movement here but with Andy Carroll presumably returning to health soon there's a second chance to see if the magical Downing-to-Carroll connection can make Premier League magic.  Damien Comolli will be watching intently but he may be the only one. 



Neal Thurman manages the Rotoworld's Premier League coverage and contributes to Never Manage Alone which he co-founded. He is also a diehard Arsenal supporter. You can find him on Twitter @NealJThurman.
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