So, we are near the tail-end of the 1st international break of the season.
Many things have happened in this relatively short period of time. Prior to the break, many had already decided it would be a good time to wield their 1st wildcard. This was to essentially do major surgery to be done on teams, to chase value, to protect value and generally to get on bandwagon or form players before their prices become unreachable.
When Kun got banned 3 games for his elbow swing at Winston Reid, that was the catalyst to cement most people’s wildcard plans. Out goes Kun and in comes Sterling / Ozil / Sanchez / Hazard with Kun money. How they are going to afford Kun come GW6 when he returns will be another headache for another gameweek.
For those who did not wildcard but instead just did 1 or 2 transfers to take advantage of the Kun situation, they are no doubt feeling like they had missed an opportunity to sort their teams out. They will doubtless be hoping that their decision to resist the wildcard temptation and save it for a rainy day will not blow up in their faces. Will it?
Well, I am one of those who did not throw the wildcard, even though I was very tempted to. So, naturally my views will be slightly more biased as opposed to the wildcarders. But I actually think that holding on the wildcard was a slightly better decision than if I had wildcarded, based on my team at the material time.
Firstly, there are not many I would like to swap out in my team. My keepers Heaton and Foster are doing a great job at the initial price of 4.5 apiece. I see no reason to abandon them as they are living up to their reps.
As for defence, Valencia returned 9 points last week and is playing in a Jose Mourinho team. Definitely one to hold on to. I have Stones, who admittedly isn’t producing, so he would be the weakest link and someone I would dump if I had triggered the wildcard. But, there is no urgent need to. He has come back from his eye injury and should retain his starting place, until Kompany returns. Pieters of Stoke has not returned points, but Stoke has some nice fixtures coming up. Also, the team has beefed up over the last week before transfer deadline, so there is an overall strengthening of the team and hopefully cleansheets will come. Souare of Palace and Friend of Boro are my other 4.5 defenders. No reason to change either one yet, although Friend just recovered from an injury.
So with defence pretty settled, let’s look at midfield. Hazard and Capoue are my most expensive and cheapest, respectively, and it is crazy to suggest removing either. The remaining 3 are Lamela, Firmino and Redmond. A lot of people have gotten quite itchy finger and are keen to transfer Redmond out, but I don’t see any reason to. He is an out of position prospect (plays striker in a 4-4-2) in a team still finding their feet under new manager Claude Puel. He has already scored a goal in the 1st gameweek and just blanked 2 games. At 5.5, I am happy to keep if he can produce maybe every 2-3 games once. Lamela is still a bit dicey. He is an attacking player but Spurs have bought Sissoko and attacking midfield slots are still a bit unsettled at the moment. However, no real reason to ship him out yet. The only one I would want to ship out for an Arsenal mid or Sterling is Firmino, who hasn’t quite found his feet. I have decided, wildcard or not, to swap him out for Sanchez, so out he goes.
Going on to the strikeforce, Ibra and Negredo has risen in price dramatically over the international break. They are clearly highly owned and it would be insane to sell either. Leaving only Kun. To me, Kun must go. 13.0 on the bench is way too much. I had the option of swapping him out for Benteke, Bony, Lukaku or Costa. Out of the lot, Benteke has great next 2 fixtures, however Crystal Palace has still not fired on all cylinders so it will still be a gamble. Bony is still not match sharp, though once he gains fitness he will be a force to be reckoned with. Lukaku has great fixtures but really bad form. Leaving Costa. While being a card magnet and BAPs repellant, he is somewhat in good form and looking sharp. His fixtures are mixed; he has a relatively easy-ish Swansea and Liverpool. On paper, Liverpool looks tough but with their defence, Costa may rise to the occasion. So I have decided to punt on Costa.
All in all, I made only 2 transfers. It’s clearly not worth triggering the wildcard for just these 2. If I had hit the wildcard, I may probably look to sort my defence out with Stones out, and probably Lamela too. But that’s about it. It is certainly not worth a wildcard to change 4 players, in my view. I can live without the latter 2, and just be happy with my -4 for 2 transfers in.
That’s about all.