At last the new Premier League season is underway. Out in the middle, the action so far has been predictable, with the usual suspects hitting the ground running and the Premier League new boys finding the step up to be something of a challenge. It’s still very early days, however, and while it doesn’t take a genius to know that Mane, Kane and Aguero are always going to bring home the bacon, they have price tags to match.
Look a little further down the table, however, and there are some gems to be gathered in the sub-£7million range. How many of the following four rising stars made it into your final fantasy league squad?
Those who love to back an outside shot will always have an affection for Leicester. In the world of football betting, those 5000/1 odds from August 2015 will never be repeated. But from a fantasy football perspective, their 22 year old defender Ben Chillwell, looked like a solid punt at £5.5 million. Those who cashed in on the success of Alexander-Arnold and Robertson last year might well find them overpriced this year, and Chillwell is a solid alternative.
Sheffield United will be pleased as punch to have emerged from their first Premier League encounter in 12 years with a point and then to win their next match. The Blades are expected to struggle this year, but from a fantasy football perspective, that means there are bargains to be had if you know where to look. The team’s record signing Callum Robinson is listed as a midfielder, but has been pushed up front. Last year, he found the net 12 times for Preston, despite limited appearances due to injury. He looked to be in great form pre-season, and might just turn out to have been one of the best picks around for £5.5 million.
The headlines might be all about Manchester United’s opening week demolition job, but those looking to the long-term could be sitting pretty if they chose to invest £6 million in Chelsea’s Ross Barkley. He took the opportunity pre-season to press his case as the man to step into Eden Hazard’s boots, impressing with a magnificent free kick in the fixture against Reading. He’s likely to be the set-piece man to watch in the weeks ahead although has big competition from last year’s Derby man Mason Mount.
A Manchester United forward for £4.5 million? It’s understandable that many looked straight past the 17 year old, assuming that his chances of time out in the middle would be negligible given the strength of the overall squad. But think again, Greenwood was just too good to ignore pre-season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that he will definitely get first team opportunities. As the rumours of Lukaku’s departure came to fruition at the eleventh hour of the transfer window, Greenwood could feature more than people are expecting, and prove to be the most shrewd investment of them all. And even if he doesn’t play it means you have more budget to spend on the premium players.