Rooney returns to Everton with a goal, Chelsea offer up some cheap midfield options while a certain Liverpool defender reminded fantasy managers of his merits; welcome to another edition of the FPL news.
Rooney scores on return
Wayne Rooney took little time in reacquainting himself with the Everton scoresheets with an audacious effort in the forward’s first 45 minute of pre season action. Priced at just 7.5 million, fantasy managers will be weighing up the appeal of a potentially rejuvenated Rooney who looks set to be an integral part of Ronald Koeman’s plans. So much so that 18.6% have taken the plunge already, installing Rooney within their front lines. After his first performance back, Rooney revealed his relief on Everton’s club website at breaking his goalscoring duck on his return to his home club;
“To score for Everton again is a great feeling. It’s something I’ve been thinking of for the last couple of weeks, once I knew [the move] was happening.
Thankfully, I’ve done it in today’s game and that 45 minutes will only help.”
Everton are due to travel to Holland as they continue with the pre season preparations and if Rooney can continue to establish his form could become a viable option as a third forward. Nevertheless, fantasy managers must take note of Everton’s daunting start to the Premier League season with the run surely earmarked as a scouting period while Koeman’s new recruits including Rooney settle.
Chelsea offer up fifth midfield options
Two Chelsea youngsters left Stamford Bridge this week as Ruben Loftus-Cheek completed a season long loan move to Crystal Palace while Nathaniel Chalobah completed a permanent deal to Watford in search of first team football. Chalobah, who has had a pervious loan spell at the Hornets making 42 appearances to yield a five goal return follows Derby’s Will Hughes to Watford as Marco Silva appears focussed to freshen the squad up with youth and enthusiasm ahead of the Portuguese manager’s first campaign at Vicarage Road with the manager on record as wanting to play “attacking football”. Whether that includes Chalobah is debatable with the player’s fantasy prospects still in doubt as 89 of 125 appearances made in various loan spells have been as a defensive midfielder. Whether this will change at Watford is yet to be known with scouting required as to how Silva will field his new signings before fantasy managers can dip their toes in the Watford pot.
Frank De Boer took little time in assessing the strengths of his Chelsea loanee describing the Loftus-Cheek as having both “technical” and “physical” strengths that can help Crystal Palace immediately but what was most interesting for fantasy managers was the Dutchman’s comments about the midfielder’s possible position of the pitch;
“He’s an attacking midfielder obviously, but with his attacking ability he could also be used as a sitting midfielder. We will have to see what is the best position for him and also what will be the best for the team.”
First team football for Loftus-Cheek is all but assured. After all the reason for the loan move is to get pitch time experience and if deployed more as an attacking midfielder for Palace, the 4.5 million price tag could be one of the bargains to be had this season. Again, much like Chalobah above scouting is thus required to see where the former Ajax man will deploy “RLC” but with both men coming in at 4.5 million and with fantasy managers required to balance the budget, hope is that one of these engine room men can make 2017/18 their breakthrough season.
Milner spot kick duties reminder
Liverpool got their pre season campaign off in style with a four goal victory at the expense of Tranmere on Wednesday with James Milner reminding fantasy managers of his merits ahead of the new campaign. Reclassified as defender, Milner’s dominance of Liverpool’s spot kick duties makes the left back an intriguing prospect for fantasy managers and was a big reason for the player’s seven goal return last season. Additionally the converted fullback registered 57 key passes, ten more than the next best defender Leighton Baines while Milner’s 21 shots inside the box ranked eighth within the defensive ranks. With these underlying numbers the 6.5 million price tag for Milner suddenly becomes a realistic price and one that shouldn’t offer any discouragement.