Arsenal step into the new season with what feels like a fresh start for the club. Loyal leader and servant for over 20 years Arsene Wenger has moved on and in his place steps in the young Unai Emery to lead the Gunners back to former glory.
The former PSG boss arrives with high hopes and has already begun to make his mark on the team by bringing in some new faces to improve the squad. Hopes are high for the Gunners this season and with a kind run of fixtures coming from coming from Gameweeks 3 to 10 investment looks near essential.
At the top of that list is Arsenal’s star striker Aubameyang. The Gabonese international lit up the Premier League in the second half of last season following his £60m move from Dortmund in January.
After scoring an incredible 10 goals in 13 league matches for the Gunners, it is actually surprising that he only finds himself in over 23% of FPL teams so far. It’s probable that people are put off by a couple of tricky opening games vs champions City at home followed by Chelsea away but if he bags a goal or two in these matches then we could see his price spiral out of control as players clamour to fit him into their teams. Don’t get left behind.
Although most are opting for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their teams I actually see better value in FPL legend Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman is priced slightly higher than his team mate but his history speaks for itself. When on the pitch Ramsey is one of the most consistent players for scoring FPL points and always looks capable of returns.
After a few seasons with injury Ramsey returned a solid season last time out scoring 7 goals and producing 10 assists. With a proper rest this summer and a good preseason behind him Ramsey if favoured by the new manager could be on for his best season yet.
Due to their performances last season, a number of Arsenal’s assets, especially at the back have seen a price cut in FPL. While this makes sense due to the emergence of the defences of Tottenham and Liverpool in comparison, there could be real value in to be had.
Hector Bellerin stands out as the most obvious candidate. The Spanish full back started last season as one of the game’s most expensive defenders at £6.5m but this season has seen a full £1m price drop. Known for his attacking prowess especially in a wing back position of a 5-3-2 system Bellerin has managed at least 4 assists in his last four seasons and has scored at least one goal too.
If Arsenal can shore up their defence this season and do better than their 12 clean sheets last time out the Bellerin with his attacking play could be on for 150+ points season.
It’s tough to know what to make of Bournemouth going into the new season. Eddie Howe has assembled an established team in the Premier League who are capable of getting the job done against any opposition on their day.
Other than the signing of talented youngster David Brooks from Sheffield United, the Cherries have yet to make any major moves in the transfer market this summer as more activity is still to be expected of them.
Howe’s men have been given a kind opening schedule to the season though and with the righ preparations in place have every opportunity to make a good start to the Premier League season.
Pivotal to so much of their attacking play is striker Josh King. Priced at £6.5m this season, King could be a bargain for anyone willing to take the gamble. Capable on his day of being devastating to defences King finished last season with 8 goals and 4 assists which is some way short of 16 goals in the previous season but that just shows how good he can be.
Surprisingly there is always a threat to game time with Callum Wilson, veteran Jermain Defoe and even Lys Mousset given game time but if he can nail down that starting lineup place and hit the ground running the many FPL managers will be trying to fit the attacker into their teams.
It’s hard to find value in a defence that only kept clean 6 clean sheets all season but one player if given a chance is a player to keep your eye on. Right back Adam Smith was used sparingly last season but perhaps Howe should review his status in the team as in the one season when he was first choice he contributed 5 assists and kept 8 clean sheets.
With no guarantee of a starting place it’s hard to recommend him and we may learn more from Howe’s lineups in preseason but a number of teams right now are including team mate Charlie Daniels but personally I think his time is up with no penalty or set piece duties to rely on he doesn’t offer the value he once did and Smith may be the best option from a poor back line.
In reality though I would avoid Bournemouth’s defence until it’s clear how they will setup and exactly who will be playing. Just get King instead and you’re set!