Fantasy Premier League

FPL signings: Diaby can rival Watkins as best Villa pick

By The Scout 25 Jul 2023
Moussa Diaby AVL

The Scout says winger’s potential for goals and assists could make him the best route into Emery's attack

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Moussa Diaby (£6.5m) has the potential to challenge Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) as Aston Villa’s go-to attacking player in 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League

The winger has signed on the back of two hugely productive seasons for German side Bayer Leverkusen.

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He scored 22 goals and supplied 20 assists across 65 league appearances in that period.

Diaby could make his first appearance for his new team on Thursday morning when Villa face Fulham in the Premier League Summer Series.

See: Summer Series schedule

Villa head coach Unai Emery has suggested the France international's versatility can help shape his tactics.

"Moussa Diaby is a player that we were following and he is helping us try to improve our level playing in the attacking third," he said.

"Sometimes he plays right, sometimes he plays as a No 10, sometimes as a left winger."

That all-round ability, combined with his relatively low cost of £6.5m, suggests Diaby could be a big success in Fantasy this season. 

Pick Diaby in your 2023/24 FPL squad

His new team-mate Watkins was transformed after Emery took charge in Gameweek 15 last season. 

Indeed, Watkins was the third-top-scoring forward in Fantasy during that period, averaging 5.6 points per match thanks to 13 goals and six assists.

Watkins has already found his form in pre-season, scoring in both of Villa’s matches so far, including the six-goal Summer Series thriller with Newcastle United.

But it is Emiliano Buendia (£6.0m) who has been Villa's standout player, scoring twice and assisting Watkins’ goal in that 3-3 draw with Newcastle earlier this week.

Villa face the Magpies again in Gameweek 1 of 2023/24 Fantasy, and their subsequent early schedule certainly looks encouraging for their attacking players.

Following their meeting with Newcastle, three of Villa's subsequent four matches score only two in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

Villa's GW 1-5 schedule
GW Opponent FDR
1 NEW (A) 4
2 EVE (H) 2
3 BUR (A) 2
4 LIV (A) 4
5 CRY (H) 2

While Watkins currently offers the most reliable route to Villa's attack, Diaby’s low cost and all-round potential can help him challenge the forward as their best pick in 2023/24.

Also in this series

Part 1: Flekken can be Brentford’s No 1
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

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