Miguel Almiron (£6.5m) immediately reminded managers in Fantasy Premier League of his potential with a goal in his first appearance of the summer.
The winger scored after just 16 minutes as Newcastle United defeated Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday evening.
Almiron was a huge success at the start of the last Fantasy campaign, scoring eight goals and supplying two assists before the season broke for the FIFA World Cup.
He struggled to maintain that output in the second half of 2022/23, producing only three goals and two assists in the final 22 Gameweeks.
But Almiron’s strike against Rangers suggests he could be a strong differential at the start of the season, with a mere 5.8 per cent ownership in Fantasy.
Forwards Callum Wilson (£8.0m) and Alexander Isak (£7.5m) played 45 minutes each as head coach Eddie Howe gave pitch time to a number of his stars.
Although Wilson started the match, it was Isak who proved the more productive of the pair, supplying the assist as Harrison Ashby (£4.0m) grabbed the late winner.
Bowen's on fire
His assist for Danny Ings (£6.0m) means he has been involved in six goals so far this summer, more than any other player in Fantasy.
He has scored three and assisted a further three across the Hammers’ three pre-season outings.
Bowen finds Ings for the opener ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/cAewmUzCLo— West Ham United (@WestHam) July 19, 2023
West Ham left-back Emerson (£4.5m) has also impressed, with one goal and two assists over the last two matches.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of competition for West Ham’s lone forward role heading into the new season.
Ings, Gianluca Scamacca (£6.0m) and Divin Mubama (£4.5m) have each scored in two of their three pre-season fixtures.
Budget Spurs players impress
Despite their 3-2 loss, Spurs showed plenty of promise in their first match under Ange Postecoglou.
Lining up in a new 4-3-3 formation, they enjoyed 71 per cent possession and had 30 shots to the Hammers’ four.
The new head coach named summer signings Guglielmo Vicario (£5.0m), James Maddison (£7.5m) and Manor Solomon (£5.5m) in his starting line-up, with Harry Kane (£12.5m) leading the line.
But it wasn’t until the second half that Spurs' performance was rewarded, albeit after Postecoglou had replaced his entire XI at the break, at which point his side were 2-0 down.
The delivery of Ivan Perisic (£5.0m) proved crucial to both of Spurs’ goals.
Playing as a right-back, his cross was headed on by centre-back Davinson Sanchez (£4.5m) for Giovani Lo Celso (£5.0m) to score the first goal of Postecoglu’s tenure.
Perisic then assisted a debut goal for his fellow full-back Destiny Udogie (£4.5m), who scored a header from the Croat’s corner kick.