Is Gabbiadini a Double Gameweek trap?
Manolo Gabbiadini is the epitome of a form versus fixtures conundrum.
With two consecutive Double Gameweeks (liv/ARS and mid/MUN), the Italian is an extremely tempting option who has been bought by over 20,000 managers since Saturday.
But such a show of transfer faith is not reflected in his form, with a solitary assist in three matches since returning from injury. He was also hooked before 60 minutes in two of those games.
So, is Gabbiadini set to join the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Marcus Rashford and Wilfried Zaha in being a Double Gameweek trap we couldn’t resist – or is there a Christian Benteke nestled inside him somewhere?
I fear not.
Bursting onto the scene following his January move, Gabbiadini looked the real deal.
A fox in the box, the Italian netted four goals in his first three league matches as he became the hottest property in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
But everything went south with a swing of the boot at White Hart Lane – the Italian’s groin twanged and he hasn’t been the same since.
Now back to his original 6.5 value, Gabbiadini is not yet hinting at a return to form, with a solitary effort on target in his last three matches.
In contrast, Benteke netted three in four prior to his double and was pummelling the opposition’s goal with efforts.
Unlike Benteke, the floppy haired Italian is leading the line in a side with no motivation, as evidenced in Saturday’s goalless draw against Hull. Saints are stuck in mid-table and have nowhere to go. Well, other than the beach.
We also need to be vigilant of a looming threat from Shane Long, Jay Rodriquez and Charlie Austin, who is back in training following his long layoff.
While Gabbiadini looks favourite to start matches, he will surely lose minutes to the aforementioned trio, particularly with his history of muscle related injuries.
Such doubts are particularly important when we consider the sacrifices needed to bring Gabbiadini into our teams.
For many, including myself, it would mean ditching a prolific midfielder – perhaps an Eriksen or King – in a switch from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3.
It’s a big call, and one I’m unlikely to make.
Do I really want to bring in a Nathan Redmond, Mark Albrighton, James Ward-Prowse, or in desperate circumstances, Tom Carroll, to accommodate a misfiring striker?
But with Gabbiadini facing four matches in two Gameweeks, it would be foolish of me to write him off altogether.
After all, Gabbiadini does have something in common with Benteke – he squares up to an uncertain Liverpool defence at Anfield.
We have seen the damage he can inflict, and the Arsenal and Boro defences aren’t exactly solid either.
It’s a conundrum that will be on the minds of fantasy managers until Friday’s 7pm deadline has passed, with plenty of thinking ahead.
I just hope I’m not the one feeling trapped if I shun him.