Fantasy Premier League

Son's change of role makes him captain contender in FPL

By The Scout 14 Sep 2023
Son, Spurs

The Scout highlights Spurs star's exceptional finishing ability as he prepares to face Sheff Utd

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Son Heung-min (£9.1m) is the standout alternative to Erling Haaland (£14.1m) for the captaincy in Gameweek 5 of Fantasy Premier League.

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The Tottenham Hotspur star is the most-bought player in the Gameweek after moving up front and scoring a hat-trick against Burnley last time out.

Son’s treble and 20-point haul ended a run of three blanks and has earned him over 500,000 new owners for his home encounter with Sheffield United.

See: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 5

The statistics from Spurs’ opening four matches under Ange Postecoglou show both the improvement in quantity and quality of Son’s scoring opportunities.

His five shots against Burnley equalled his tally from the opening three Gameweeks. Meanwhile, his Expected Goals (xG) score of 1.12 at Turf Moor was over four times his combined total of 0.26 xG beforehand.

What is most noticeable about Son’s display against Burnley is his xG Delta, the metric that measures how many more goals he has scored compared to his xG.

The South Korean’s xG Delta of +1.88 shows his ability to convert more scoring opportunities than anticipated.

Son's first four Gameweeks
GW Shots Shots in box Goals xG  xG Delta
1-3 5 3 0 0.26 -0.26
4 5 4 3 1.12 +1.88

Obviously it makes no logical sense to use one match in isolation to establish any patterns that can apply to Son’s potential in Fantasy.

It is better to analyse his historical data over the last five seasons to give managers a clearer picture of his finishing. 

From 2018/19, Son’s xG total and rank among all players in Fantasy improved season on season until the 2022/23 campaign. 

His xG peaked at 15.99 in 2021/22, when he struck 23 goals to share the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah (£12.5m).

But it is Son’s xG Delta numbers that are again the most eye-catching here, marking him out as an elite finisher.

Impressively, he has placed in the top three players in Fantasy for this statistic in three of the last five seasons.

Son’s xG stats last five seasons
Season Goals xG xG rank xG Delta xG Delta rank
2018/19 12 7.47 34th +4.53 3rd
2019/20 11 9.22 23rd +1.78 26th
2020/21 17 9.74 19th +7.26 1st
2021/22 23 15.99 6th +7.01 2nd
2022/23 10 10.08 14th -0.08 191st

Son's most successful campaign for xG Delta was 2020/21, when he scored 17 goals from an xG of only 9.74, earning his career-high xG Delta of +7.26.

This is all the more outstanding when compared with Haaland’s statistics from his debut Fantasy campaign last season.

The Norwegian scored 36 goals from an xG of 28.66, giving him an xG Delta of +7.34.

Essentially, Son at his most prolific was almost on a par with last season’s Haaland when it came to scoring more goals than anticipated.

Haaland's 2022/23 season
Statistic Total
Goals 36
xG 28.66
xG rank 1st
xG Delta +7.34
xG Delta rank 2nd

Ultimately, Son's prospects for the rest of 2023/24 come down to his position in Postecoglou’s team.

His xG numbers from the first three Gameweeks show he is simply not suited to a role out wide under the new head coach.

But by moving Son to the centre-forward spot, Postecoglou looks to have got him back to his very best, which is great news for both Spurs fans and Fantasy managers alike.

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL experts: What to do with Chelsea players?
Part 2: The Scout's FPL must-haves for Gameweek 5 onwards
Part 3: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 5 Ones to watch
Part 4: FPL long view: Target Villa, Liverpool and Luton for favourable fixtures
Part 5: 
FPL experts: Best club to invest in for next four Gameweeks
Part 6: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 5 Differentials
Part 7: How return of European football brings threat of rotation in FPL
Part 8: Which FPL stars could be rested after international duties?
Part 9: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 5

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