Bargain Hunt - Analysis of the 4.5 - 5.0 midfielders
Following on from our “Bargain Hunt” analysis of the 4.0 defenders, we now take a look at some of the budget midfielders in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
The likes of Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney all look great options for our squads, but pick a few of them and our budget is greatly reduced.
That’s where the budget midfielders come into play. We can’t expect much from these guys – they just need to play regularly and offer a hint of attacking returns when we call upon them.
Victor Moses and Nathan Dyer both started at 4.5 last season, while Glyfi Sigurdsson came in at 5.0.
These three have inevitably incurred large price hikes this time round, so who’s going to step up and emulate them?
Here are just ‘some’ contenders.
Mark Noble (5.0) – West Ham
Noble played a crucial role in West Ham’s promotion last season, starting every game and bagging 8 goals and 10 assists.
The 25-year-old is on penalties and a share of set pieces, while the opening fixtures look kind for him too.
Noble’s starting role looks assured for the season kick-off, but new signings Mohamed Diame and Alou Diarra have swelled West Ham’s midfield so Noble faces stiff competition for his midfield role.
Shaun Maloney (5.0) – Wigan
Maloney banished the memories of his unsuccessful spell at Aston Villa to play a crucial role in Wigan’s great escape last season.
The Scot flanks Wigan’s main striker in their 3-4-3 system, and is on a share of set pieces, including direct free kicks. He also takes penalties when Jordi Gomez isn’t on the pitch.
Maloney is set to start the season as first choice, but now faces competition from Ryo Miyaichi for his role, with Victor Moses assured on the other flank. If Moses leaves for Chelsea, Maloney’s role looks fully secure.
Ryo Miyaichi (5.0) – Wigan
Miyaichi joins on loan from Arsenal and rivals Shaun Maloney as our 5.0 midfield option from Wigan.
The young Japanese starlet grabbed just 2 assists in the Premier League during his loan spell at Bolton last season. He produced some promising displays but lacked the stamina to turn it into anything more.
Definitely one to watch, Miyaichi could be a steal at 5.0 once his fitness is up to scratch.
He’ll likely jostle for Maloney’s role flanking the striker, unless Victor Moses leaves for Chelsea, then Miyaichi would be expected to replace him.
Darron Gibson (5.0) – Everton
Gibson should be a regular starter in the centre of Everton’s midfield. He’s renowned for his long range shooting and has talked up his goalscoring prospects.
Bear in mind that Gibson is currently struggling with a thigh injury and withdrew from the Republic of Ireland squad this week.
Barry Bannan (5.0) – Aston Villa
Bannan could be an explosive option, but also a frustrating one. The young Scot can orchestrate play from central midfield. He’ll take his share of set pieces and scored a cracking free kick in pre-season.
Unfortunately he’s still a young player finding his way so seems a prime candidate for Lambert’s predicted rotation policy.
Karim El Ahmadi (4.5) – Aston Villa
Signed from Feyenoord, El Ahmadi is a combative defensive midfielder who’s set to be nailed on in Aston Villa’s midfield.
In 94 appearances for Feyenoord, El Ahmadi scored 4 goals and assisted 7 times, so don’t expect too many attacking returns. He is only 4.5 after all!
Danny Guthrie (4.5) – Reading
Guthrie is nailed on in the centre of Reading’s midfield, but he’ll often sit deep as Brian McDermott likes his two central midfielders to protect the back four.
Don’t expect too many attacking returns then, but Guthrie does have the eye for a pass, and what more can you expect for a 4.5 budget midfielder?
Yassine El Ghanassy (5.0) – West Brom
Like Bannan, El Ghanassy could be explosive, but Steve Clarke hinted he’ll ease the 22 year-old Belgian into English football.
El Ghannasy can play on either flank or in “the hole”, and is something of an assist machine, with 22 assists in 90 matches for his previous club, Gent.
Craig Gardner (5.0) – Sunderland
Sunderland’s pre-season form has been awful, but Gardner played in “the hole” off Fraizer Campbell, though this was really down to Stephane Sessegnon’s injury and Sunderland’s lack of strikers.
Sessegnon could return for the Arsenal clash this weekend, but if you fancy a punt, Gardner is your man.
Samba Diakite (4.5) – QPR
Like Guthrie and El Ahmadi, Diakite will play as a defensive midfielder, which is no surprise as he’s only scored 1 goal in his whole career – a strike for QPR during his loan spell last season.
Diakite should get regular 90 minutes with the chance of the odd assist thrown in. Maybe even a goal!