A guide to the bargain buys


We’ve all got £100m to spend on our squad and we can’t fit in Hart, Vertonghen, Kompany, Bale, Mata, Aguero, Cazorla and van Persie! Don’t despair there are alternatives out there and I’ve picked a few potentials that cost a lot less.

Most of which are about to start their second or third seasons in the Premier League and after finding their feet may offer us good value.

Goalkeepers

Liverpool’s new keeper, Simon Mignolet, will set you back £5.5m. Mignolet has racked up 11 clean sheets in each of his last two seasons and playing in a Liverpool side could offer an improvement on the 140 points that he scored last season.

With news that Pepe Reina is out on loan, Mignolet is nailed on as Liverpool’s number one and for me there’s no better value.

For a million pounds less Artur Boruc’s starting price of £4.5m is tempting. After an awful start last season, down arguably to tough opening fixtures, Southampton struggled to find confidence and climb out of the relegation positions.

After being dropped Boruc regained his place in January and played every game from there on keeping 5 clean sheets and scoring 63 points.

Such was Boruc’s form, who could forget that 90th minute penalty save at Carrow Road? It was enough for manager Mauricio Pochettino to offer Boruc a longer contract.

I expect Boruc to start the season and with Southampton playing only one top 6 club in their first 11 matches, Boruc may just be your man.

Defenders

25% of managers have picked Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker compared with only 3% choosing left-back Kieran Gibbs. With news coming out of the Wengerdrome that Monreal has a back injury, Gibbs looks to be nailed on to start the season and looks every much the differential.

Gibbs may not have scored as many points as Mertesacker last season (135), but he did bag 90 points including 5 assists in less games so food for thought!

5.2% of teams include Everton’s Seamus Coleman. Playing out of position in 2010/11, Coleman scored 4 goals, 4 assists and 8 bonus points, ending the season on 116 points. However he never lived up to this, scoring just 30 and 74 points over the past 2 seasons.

Will a change in manager see Coleman play out of position again and regain his attacking potential?

In around 7% of teams, West Ham’s James Collins looks a bargain at £4.5m. However approaching the big 30 next season he could be prone to an injury or two.

Last season Collins notched up 90 points from just 20 starts. Fixtures again look good for the Hammers as they don’t play a top four side until Gameweek 8.

Another one to keep an eye on is Kolo Toure. Who knows whether he’ll start for Liverpool or not but if he does then he’s worth a look at £5.0m, as is Tottenham’s right-back Kyle Naughton.

Priced at £4.5m the full back’s game time at Spurs may be limited this season however there is a possibility he’ll go out on loan and if he does then snap him up!

Naughton likes nothing better than to test the keeper early doors with a 20 yarder!

Midfielders

With 6 goals, 9 assists and 23 bonus points, Robert Snodgrass tops my value for money midfielders at £6.5m.

With 152 points Snodgrass finished his debut season amongst the 10 highest scoring midfielders and with favourable fixtures, Snodgrass could be in line to carry this form into the new season.

I named Kevin Mirallas as my choice for “this season’s Michu”, bagging 96 points last time out with six goals, five assists and 13 bonus points from 24 starts.

But the impressive stat is Mirallas ended the season scoring 5 goals, an assist and 13 bonus points in Everton’s final 11 fixtures.

Listed as a midfielder but looking likely to play a more advanced role, Mirallas really could be this season’s Michu.

James Morrison could be worth an investment. His price of £6m has so far tempted 5.5% of managers.

Last time out the Baggies midfielder scored 5 goals, 8 assists and 12 bonus points ending the season on 133 points; he also scored 5 goals the previous season.

With 3 home games in their first 5 against Southampton, Swansea and Sunderland, favourable fixtures may sway a few more of us to sign the attacking Scot.

I believe Manchester United have a gem in Wilfried Zaha. Priced at £6.5m, 6% of managers have already snapped him up.

The worry is whether Moyes will blood him in slowly or start him from the off.

Without upsetting United fans I believe Zaha is a cut above any of the other United midfielders, and given most defenders he’ll come up against this season won’t have played against him, he may be one to shine.

Early fixtures may put a few managers off but Zaha could well be up there with the best of them.

Forwards

Almost 17% of managers have already picked Nicolas Anelka, however be cautious. Anelka is 35 years old and has only played 30 odd games in the last 2 seasons (oh those hamstrings).

Over 17% of managers have Southampton’s Rickie Lambert in their side compared to only 3% looking to Jay Rodriguez.

It may be a surprise but I’d choose Jay Rod all day over Lambert. Lambert is pushing 32 and subsequently will need looking after which may affect his game time.

Remember last season he was rested under Adkins; sure Pochettino played Lambert in virtually every match in the latter stages of the season but he had been rested earlier in order to fulfill that requirement.

Rodriguez ended the season on 108 points scoring 6 goals, 8 assists and 7 bonus points and was playing with renewed confidence under his new manager.

He has carried this form into pre-season and the question is can he continue to perform in August?

Long term Norwich target Gary Hooper is a fair price, valued at £6.5m, as is £7.0m Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Question is will Chris Hughton play them both?

Norwich were the third lowest scorers last season so we may well see both lining up for the Canaries come August.

Spending £8.5m on RVW (as we shall now refer to him) and an undisclosed fee for Hooper, Norwich may have bagged a couple of decent strikers, however there will be question marks as neither have played in the Premier League before.

Danny Graham scored 12 goals a couple of seasons ago for Swansea and given a new club he could find renewed confidence and offer value at £5.5m as a third striker. It seems only 3% of managers think so however he could get a regular start for Hull.

Whichever way you look at it there are potential bargains out there. Who do you think offers value this season? I hope you found it interesting and good luck (which we all know more than plays its part)!