Fantasy Premier League

FPL signings: Flekken can be Brentford’s No 1

By The Scout 1 Jun 2023
Mark Flekken, Brentford

The Scout says Dutchman’s arrival hints at a move away for David Raya, and compares the pair's stats

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The signing of Mark Flekken from Freiburg suggests Brentford will have a new first-choice goalkeeper for 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League.

See: Flekken joins Brentford

Current Brentford No 1 David Raya was the top-scoring goalkeeper in Fantasy this season, amassing 166 points to finish four points clear of Liverpool’s Alisson.

However, head coach Thomas Frank has confirmed Raya is for sale, with the Spaniard having just one year remaining on his contract.

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Analysis of Raya’s successful campaign shows his many routes to returns.

Raya's 2022/23 Fantasy season
  Total GKP rank*
Points 166 1st
Clean sheets  12 5th
Save points 39 1st
Bonus points 20 1st
Goals conceded 46 13th

*Goalkeepers who started at least half of their club’s 38 matches

Although Raya's 12 clean sheets were five fewer than Golden Glove winner David De Gea, he also collected 39 save points and 20 bonus points, both more than any other 'keeper.

That more than atoned for Raya conceding 46 goals, the 13th-best total among goalkeepers who started at least 19 matches in 2022/23.

Crucially, Brentford’s style of play in defence highlights just why their goalkeeper was such a big success in Fantasy.

Brentford's defensive stats, 2022/23
Conceded Total PL rank
Shots  559 17th
Shots in box 324 11th
Shots outside box 237 20th
Shots on target 197 19th
Big chances 67 4th

In terms of conceding shots, shots outside the box and shots on target, they ranked among the bottom four clubs for each metric.

But Frank’s men restricted the quality of their opponents’ scoring opportunities and allowed just 67 big chances, the fourth-fewest in the league.

Combined with the high volume of shots conceded, that helped Raya make a total of 154 saves, more than any other goalkeeper.

Raya compared to Flekken

While that save tally is markedly better than Flekken’s 109 in this season's Bundesliga, there is little to separate the pair for percentage of saves, with Raya edging it by 78 to 74.

Brentford’s style of play should certainly boost Flekken’s numbers further, with the Dutchman making only 35 saves from shots outside the box compared with Raya’s 64.

Raya v Flekken, 2022/23
  Raya Flekken
Saves 154 109
Saves from shots inside box 90 71
Saves from shots outside box 64 35
Save percentage 78% 74%

From a Fantasy perspective, Flekken’s opening price tag will ultimately determine his popularity.

Raya started this season at just £4.5m and ended up as the top-value player in the game, returning 34.6 points per million spent.

A similar cost would surely elevate Flekken in many Fantasy managers’ plans if, as expected, Raya exits the club over the summer.

But a price of £5.0m would be a huge deterrent and persuade many to look elsewhere in the budget bracket.

Also in this series

Part 2: Advanced role will lift Mac Allister's appeal
Part 3: Midfield role could lift Nkunku's appeal
Part 4: Kluivert can continue rapid improvement
Part 5: How new role can help Havertz thrive
Part 6: How Maddison compares with Spurs' attackers
Part 7: Can Mount rival Rashford and Fernandes?
Part 8: Onana can be top-scoring goalkeeper
Part 9: Diaby can rival Watkins as best Villa pick

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