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Fornals rivalling Benrahma for FPL midfield value

The Scout 4 Sep 2021
Benrahma, Fornals West Ham

Spaniard’s all-round potential offers budget-friendly alternative to popular West Ham team-mate

The strong start to 2021/22 by Said Benrahma (£6.4m) has made him a huge target for Fantasy Premier League managers.

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West Ham United’s Algerian is the most-bought midfielder in the game and second most-bought overall, earning a huge 1.79million transfers in since the start of the season.

Benrahma has combined two goals with two assists to tally 26 points in the opening three Gameweeks.

Despite his impressive early displays, Benrahma trails team-mate Pablo Fornals (£6.0m) as the top-performing West Ham midfielder in the ICT Index.

The ICT Index is a feature in Fantasy that can help guide the strategies and selections of managers.

It uses match-event data to generate a single score metric that reflects three key areas: Influence, Creativity and Threat. 

The Threat metric assesses the players most likely to score goals. While shots are the key action, the Index also looks at the players’ location on the pitch, giving more weight to actions with greater chances to score.

There is little to separate the goal threat offered by Fornals and Benrahma. 

Benrahma v Fornals goal threat
2021/22 Benrahma  Fornals
ICT Threat 107 84
Touches in box 11 14
Shots 6 6
Shots in box 4 4
Shots on target 4 3
Big chances 2 1

Fornals’ six shots and four shots in the penalty area are identical to Benrahma.

He has also recorded more touches in the opposition box, although Benrahma has been slightly more accurate by four shots on target to three.

And in terms of output, Fornals has also matched his team-mate's two goals in the Hammers’ opening three matches.

The Creativity part of the ICT Index can be used as a guide to identify the players most likely to supply assists. 

While this analyses frequency of passing and crossing, it also considers pitch location and the incisiveness of the final ball.

Benrahma v Fornals creativity
2021/22 Benrahma  Fornals
ICT Creativity 63.4 110
Successful passes 83 119
Crosses 11 6
Successful crosses 1 3
Key passes 4 8
Big chances created 1 2

Although Benrahma has two assists to the one of Fornals, the latter has been far more impressive as a creative threat.

Fornals has not only completed more passes and crosses, he has supplied twice the number of scoring opportunities for his team-mates.

The Spaniard’s eight key passes are joint-top along with Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m) for West Ham.

Points potential

Due to his potential for both goals and assists, Fornals ranks sixth among midfielders in the ICT Index with a score of 31.5, three places ahead of Benrahma, who is ninth on 29.2.

A favourable upcoming schedule suggests Fornals can continue to offer a cheaper alternative to Benrahma.

Only one of the West Ham's next seven matches, a home fixture against Manchester United in Gameweek 5, score more than three in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

Fornals’ potential for goals and assists could soon establish him as the go-to Hammers midfielder, according to the ICT Index.

Also in this series

Part 1: Matip can deliver at both ends for FPL managers
Part 3: Jimenez has fixtures to gain big Fantasy points

Remember, the Gameweek 4 deadline is at 11:00 BST on Saturday 11 September.

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