The Big Debate - to van der Vaart or not to van der Vaart


So, we go to pick our first fantasy squads, turn our attentions to midfield, and there’s probably one name that comes into the majority of our minds: Rafael van der Vaart.

No brainer selection? Stick him straight into our midfields? I wouldn’t be so sure.

Yes, the Dutchman was a revelation last season, but Tottenham’s treacherous opening run of fixtures makes us at least question whether he’s worth a place in our brand spanking new midfields.

Tottenham’s first 6 games include home matches against Everton, Man City and Liverpool, while they also travel to Man United. Ouch!

Van der Vaart failed to score in both matches against the Manchester clubs last season, but he did score in both games against Everton and also at Anfield.

Rafa also suffered from injuries last season and missed a handful of Premier League games with hamstring and calf strains. His fitness was a general concern and Rafa only played 90 minutes on 13 occasions.

The Dutchman’s finishing price of £8.9m is inevitably going to rise too. I’d guess at around £10m.

But there is something about him which screams points, that prolific aura, so hard to explain. He remains a serious option, despite those fixtures and injury worries.

He’s a big game player who’s on penalties, free kicks and corners. A classic fantasy heavyweight who racked up 13 goals, 9 assists and 19 bonus points (165 points) in a stop-start debut season.

Van der Vaart set up the most goals (9) and chances (67, that’s 1 ahead of Modric and Lennon) of any Tottenham player last season. He was at the top of the lists in most games for shots on goal, chances created and touches of the ball.

Rafa recently spoke about his fitness and said that he’s feeling great about the new season. The flying Dutchman revealed:

“It’s been quite hard, in fact, I think I prefer to come back a little later!… Seriously though, it’s been good. We’ve all had a holiday and now we’re back in training and getting ready for a hard season. I feel great. I did my fitness sessions during the summer, so I feel good… I can remember when I came here, okay, I had pre-season at Madrid and I felt quite fit but here, the pace of the game is more intense than in Spain and that’s why I had a few little injuries.”

So is he worth including straight away? Well, I’m personally undecided at the moment. Perhaps I’m slightly inclined to leave him out – but he’s a serious option for me.

I need to see his starting price and judge whether he’d stop me from bringing in better options elsewhere.

Will you include van der Vaart in your squads – or do you have higher priority midfielders on your list? Are you undecided or is he a no-go zone at the start?

Do you even think he’ll be as affective this season? I’m struggling to see how Tottenham can push on, especially if they lose Modric.

There is even a chance that van der Vaart could get reclassified as a striker in the FPL game. He played the majority of last season as a support striker so it could happen. That would mix things up a bit!

P.S. Let’s hope we get a game this week!