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Hazard and Sterling setting pace for transfers

The Scout 5 Sep 2016
Chelsea v Burnley - Premier League

Chelsea and City pair attracting managers, but The Scout says other midfielders should be considered

Fantasy Premier League managers have been sinking big funds into their midfields after the events of Gameweek 3.

The consistent Eden Hazard (£10.2m) has produced a goal or assist in all three outings, propelling him to the top of the midfield rankings with 25 points.

Much investment has followed, although the Chelsea man has been overshadowed by Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling (£8.2m) off the back of his 15-point Gameweek 3 tally.

Sterling has earned over 195,000 additional FPL managers ahead of Gameweek 4, with Hazard attracting more than 187,000.

It is difficult to argue with these acquisitions based on recent points output, although with Sergio Aguero’s (£13.0m) suspension freeing up funds for a midfield spend, there are additional considerations.

Arsenal pair tempt

Alexis Sanchez (£11.0m) and Mesut Ozil (£9.5m) provided their first attacking returns of 2016/17 in the Gameweek 3 win at Watford.

Santi Cazorla (£7.5m) also impressed at Vicarage Road, firing his first goal of the season to accompany his pair of assists in the opening day defeat by Liverpool.

This trio have timed their coming to form to align perfectly with an improving schedule of fixtures for Arsenal.

Watford v Arsenal
A goal against Watford and Arsenal's next set of fixtures make Santi Cazorla attractive for FPL managers

Arsene Wenger’s men record a score of just 11 in the Fixture Difficult Rankings over their next seven Gameweeks. This could allow all three midfielders to close the gap on Hazard and Sterling as the most in-demand options.

As for who are on their way out, Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez (£9.5m) and West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet (£9.4m) continue to be the men to make way, traded out of over 190,000 squads between them.

In both cases, the decision to show them the door could prove premature.

Mahrez has testing fixtures to come with trips to Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea in his next five Gameweeks. But a fit-again Payet could be about to flourish.

Hammer time?

The Hammers’ midfielder will play four of his next six at the London Stadium. Watford, Southampton, Middlesbrough and Sunderland all pay visit as he looks to return to the form that produced nine goals and 13 assists in his debut Premier League season.

Payet's team-mate, Michail Antonio (£7.0m), offers an intriguing alternative.

West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth
Michail Antonio's two goals this season cannot be ignored

The new member of the England squad is set to be unshackled from his role at right-back. Antonio has scored twice over the first three Gameweeks and, like Payet, fired in an attempt every 39 minutes in the 2015/16 campaign, on his way to eight goals in 26 appearances.

Coutinho and Redmond falling

Elsewhere, the popularity of Liverpool's Philppe Coutinho (£8.2m) has stalled. 

The Brazilian has suffered a small loss of just under 8,000 in aggregate ownership. This decline, a result of back-to-back blanks and the emergence of Hazard and Sterling, is still a far cry from the huge growth he enjoyed in the opening two Gameweeks. 

Another early-season target, Southampton’s Nathan Redmond (£6.1m), has lost over 34,000 owners heading into Gameweek 4, with trips to Arsenal, West Ham and Leicester beckoning.

The Swansea City midfielder, Leroy Fer (£5.2m), has been heading in the opposite direction to Redmond, attracting more than 75,000 new owners ahead of Gameweek 4.  

But, like Redmond, Fer is about to endure a testing schedule, with home ties against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool over the next four Gameweeks.


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