Fantasy Premier League

Trossard and Watkins offer FPL solutions after Jesus injury

3 Aug 2023

The Scout looks at how Fantasy managers should react with Arsenal forward set to miss start of season

Related Articles
FPL experts' top tips for 2023/24
FPL experts' must-haves for 2023/24
Why you should play FPL in 2023/24

Owners of Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) in Fantasy Premier League should target Leandro Trossard (£7.0m) and Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) after Arsenal's Brazilian forward was ruled out of the start of 2023/24.  

Jesus missed the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Monaco on Wednesday, with manager Mikel Arteta revealing that he will be unavailable for a period of time.

"Unfortunately, he has had a little procedure this morning. He had some discomfort in his knee that has been causing some issues and they had to go in and resolve it," Arteta told the club's official website.

"It's not something major, but he's going to be out for a few weeks, I think." 

It's never too late to play FPL!

Pick your 2023/24 team now

Play Fantasy

Jesus had been the second most-popular forward in Fantasy prior to the match, owned by over 31 per cent.

But that figure has already dropped to below 24 per cent as managers rebuild their squads ahead of the Gameweek 1 deadline of 18:30 BST Friday 11 August.

Although Eddie Nketiah (£5.5m) started and scored against Monaco, his minutes are by no means certain and he seems an unnecessary risk. 

With unlimited free transfers until the season starts, managers should instead consider Trossard as their second Arsenal attacker alongside Bukayo Saka (£8.5m).

The Belgian is arguably the most versatile attacker in Arteta’s 4-1-2-3 formation. He can play as one of the two “No 8s”, or up front, or on either flank. 

Trossard is currently owned by under five per cent of managers ahead of a very favourable early schedule.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), each of Arsenal's first three matches score only two.

Arsenal's first five matches
GW Opponent FDR
1 NFO (H) 2
2 CRY (A)  2
3 FUL (H) 2
4 MUN (H) 3
5 EVE (A) 2

Aston Villa’s Watkins is a secure replacement for Jesus for managers’ forward lines.

He was the third top-scoring player in his position after Unai Emery was appointed head coach last season, averaging 5.6 points per match thanks to 13 goals and six assists.

Watkins has already found his form in pre-season, scoring in three of Villa’s five matches so far, including a strike against his Gameweek 1 opponents Newcastle United in the Premier League Summer Series.

Most-owned forwards
Player Ownership (%)* Player Ownership (%)*
Haaland 86.5 Isak 12.6
Jesus 23.3 Kane 11.9
Nkunku 21.1 Ferguson 9.9
Watkins 15.8 Jackson 9.7
Nunez 15.2 Wilson 9.5

*Figures subject to change

Watkins’ appeal is further strengthened by the uncertainty surrounding the Chelsea and Liverpool forwards ahead of the new campaign.

Christopher Nkunku (£7.5m) is set to be assessed after being forced off against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday with a knee problem.

He is currently the third most-owned forward, selected by over 21 per cent. 

See: Pochettino issues update on Nkunku injury

Meanwhile, Cody Gakpo's (£7.5m) display against Bayern Munich indicates he will offer strong competition to Darwin Nunez (£7.5m) for the lone striker role.

Nunez has climbed to over 15 per cent ownership after scoring four goals over the summer.

But with Gakpo starting and scoring in the 4-3 loss to Bayern on Wednesday, there is every likelihood the pair will continue to share minutes when the season starts.

Latest Videos

More Videos