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Mid-July Premier League Transfer Round-Up

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While not yet quite hitting white hot status, the EPL summer transfer window has had plenty of action. Which players should you consider for your fantasy Premier League teams, and which ones might best be ignored?

Tanguy Ndombele - Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Spurs opened the bank vault for Tanguy Ndomeble. Is he a worthwhile fantasy prospect?
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Stall has already looked at the EPL and fantasy prospects for new players Daniel James and Aaron-Wan Bissaka at Manchester United. What’s the prognosis regarding the other big confirmed summer transfers that have been completed?

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Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)

  • POSITION: Midfielder
  • FPL PRICE: £6.0m
  • FORMER TEAM: Lyon (France’s Ligue 1)
  • NATIONALITY: France
  • TRANSFER FEE: €60m
  • AGE: 22
  • 2018-19 STATISTICS: 1 goal, 7 assists in 34 Ligue 1 games
  • CAREER STATISTICS: 1 goal, 14 assists in 69 Ligue 1 games

PROGNOSIS: Spurs broke the bank, splurging for the young, quickly rising talent Ndombele, so Tottenham fans may wish to shout from their London rooftops. However, this deal will surely come with an asterisk or two: First of all, Tottenham failed to spend a single penny in the last two transfer windows — summer 2018 and winter 2019 — so this may be a case of too little, too late. More importantly, though, several key players in Mauricio Pochettino’s XI (such as midfielder Christian Eriksen plus defenders Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier) are rumored to be on the way out. If Spurs use the money earned from those expected sales to spend on top of Ndombele, then praise will prove in order, but if the funds are merely used expectantly for Ndombele and that’s it, then Tottenham fans will cast aspursions at the team’s frugal (albeit extremely effective) ways.

On the pitch, Ndombele is an exciting player boasting eye-popping talent. He should prove vital for the team’s on-pitch success. However, the fantasy prognosis revolves largely around when and where Poch uses him. If Ndombele is viewed as the fill-in for Eriksen, then Ndomble may be able to find value. Of course, there is no true like-for-like replacement for the talents of Eriksen, so fantasy managers will be well advised not to count on production anywhere close to the level of the Danish maestro. It is also possible that Poch needs Ndombele more in defensive midfield, where he could replace Harry Winks / Eric Dier alongside Moussa Sissoko. That would allow what would be a new “Big Four” to start together in attack: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min, and Lucas Moura. Belatedly following his winter 2018 transfer, Moura enjoyed a break-out season in 2018-19, but languished on the bench when Kane/Alli/Son/Eriksen were available.

Before biting on Ndombele in fantasy, I’m securely in wait-and-see territory with respect to the rest of the moves that Tottenham makes this summer and the resultant XI that Poch fields preseason.

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Ayoze Perez (Leicester)

  • POSITION: Midfielder
  • FPL PRICE: £6.5
  • FORMER TEAM: Newcastle (EPL)
  • NATIONALITY: Spain
  • TRANSFER FEE: €33.4m
  • AGE: 25
  • 2018-19 STATISTICS: 12 goals, 2 assists in 37 EPL games
  • CAREER STATISTICS: 33 goals, 8 assists in 143 EPL games

PROGNOSIS: There is no shortage of excellent options in the Foxes’ offense, and now that Ayoze Perez has come over from Newcastle and changed from forward to midfielder in Official FPL designation, there’s a real overload in midfield. It makes the Leicester team one that should be exciting to watch, but it could prove painful if you start the wrong choice in fantasy. Perez, Youri Tielemans, and James Maddison are each around the same price range, and all enjoyed roughly the same fantasy production last season. Should you take a jump on Perez, or instead stick with Tielemans and/or Maddison?

Forward Jamie Vardy should continue to be in the goals, but Perez has always been streaky. Perez is going to be interesting to watch, but if you’re looking for someone to offer consistent production in midfield, I’d instead lean toward Tielemans, who should be raring to take advantage of the extra space afforded to him now, along with another offensive weapon to feed.

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Pablo Fornals (Aston Villa)

  • POSITION: Midfielder
  • FPL PRICE: £6.5m
  • FORMER TEAM: Villareal (Spain’s La Liga)
  • NATIONALITY: Spain
  • TRANSFER FEE: €28m
  • AGE: 23
  • 2018-19 STATISTICS: 2 goals, 3 assists in 35 La Liga games
  • CAREER STATISTICS: 12 goals, 18 assists in 129 La Liga games

PROGNOSIS: It has largely been shedding season for West Ham, which has let go of several notable names on offense: Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll, Samir Nasri and Lucas Perez. That means that Pablo Fornals should get plenty of opportunity in attack alongside some combination of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere (depending on what happens the rest of the summer with the roster, of course, as Chicharito is rumored on his way out). Can Fornals be this season’s Anderson? Woah, hold it, seriously! Come on, don’t get carried away now.

After all, Fornals’ 2 goal/3 assist La Liga campaign for Villareal last season was simply dreadful. But looking at the stats before that, it is clear that the talent is there: he notched 12 assists in 2017-18 and scored 6 times in 2016-17 with Malaga. It’s far from a lock, but Manuel Pellegrini’s track record for finding and developing creative/ attacking midfielders is formidable, making Fornals someone to keep an eye on... and perhaps even take a chance on if you are feeling so bold.

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Leandro Trossard (Brighton)

  • POSITION: Midfielder
  • FPL PRICE: £6.0m
  • FORMER TEAM: Genk (Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League)
  • NATIONALITY: Belgium
  • TRANSFER FEE: €20m
  • AGE: 24
  • 2018-19 STATISTICS: 11 goals, 4 assists in 24 Jupiler games
  • CAREER STATISTICS: 24 goals, 14 goals in 85 Jupiler games

PROGNOSIS: When it comes to the Brighton midfield, it’s impossible not to think of Pascal Gross, who rode a breakout 8 goal / 7 assist campaign in 2017-18 to a very fantasy-friendly tally of 164 FPL points... before crashing to earth with 3 goals / 3 assists and only 80 points last season. We’re much likelier to see closer to 80 than 164 points for the Belgian newcomer — especially given that the team has managed only 35 and 34 goals each of the past two seasons — but with Graham Potter replacing Chris Hughton as manager, hope springs eternal in “you never know” fashion.

The problem is that Gross is only £0.5 more expensive than Trossard. Would you rather take a chance that Gross, fully recovered from injury, rediscovers his magic, or bet that the newcomer breaks onto the scene? Let’s just say that I’d feel an awful lot better about things if Brossard were more affordable at £5.0 or £5.5.

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Moussa Djenepo (Southampton)

  • POSITION: Midfielder
  • FPL PRICE: £5.5m
  • FORMER TEAM: Standard Liege (Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League)
  • NATIONALITY: Mali
  • TRANSFER FEE: €15.7m
  • AGE: 21
  • 2018-19 STATISTICS: 7 goals, 3 assists in 25 Jupiler games
  • CAREER STATISTICS: 8 goals, 4 assists in 35 Jupiler games

PROGNOSIS: Much like Perez, Djenepo has plenty of competition in his team’s midfield, as Southampton boasts Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse for fantasy consideration. Unlike Perez, Djenepo does not have a proven track record in the EPL or anywhere else near that level. Djenepo was Southampton’s first transfer addition under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. Hasenhuttl may be able to work wonders with Djenepo as he has done with the team since his hire, but it will probably take some time to see results.

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Angelino (Manchester City)

Manchester City Unveil New Signing Angelino
Can Angelino be this season’s Lucas Digne?
Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images
  • POSITION: Defender
  • FPL PRICE: £5.0m
  • FORMER TEAM: PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands Eredivisie)
  • NATIONALITY: Spain
  • TRANSFER FEE: €12.0m (in a buy-back deal)
  • AGE: 22
  • 2018-19 STATISTICS: 1 goal, 10 assists in 34 Eredivisie games
  • CAREER STATISTICS: 4 goals, 16 assists in 68 Eredivisie games

PROGNOSIS: Left back has been an unstable position recently as Pep Guardiola has shuffled between oft-injured Benjamin Mendy, Fabian Delph, and young Oleksandr Zinchenko, but also due to suspension and off-the-field concerns. If a single player could ever lock down that role reliably, it could prove a fantasy bonanza.

Enter Angelino. For £5.0m, what a bargain he would be! His assist totals are eye-popping, and crossing proficiency is exactly what Pep wants from his left back. And we all saw what Everton’s Lucas Digne did in his first EPL season! But at age 22... from PSV Eindhoven... and for only €12.0m... after already having been shipped out to the Eredivisie side only a year prior? That’s not quite the profile we would expect from a new starter for the two-time defending EPL champs. The waters at left back are murky, so waiting for them to clear would seem to be in order. Keep an eye out for a loan-signing to follow — on loan to a lesser side, he could instantly become a guaranteed starter / season keeper.

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[NOTE: Statistics, transfer fees, and some of the other player info came via www.transfermarkt.com. FPL player prices and past seasons’ fantasy scoring info came from the Official fantasy Premier League website.]

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Which of the above-listed transfers do you have your eye on for your fantasy teams, and whom are you dead-set against? Are there any other players not included who deserve mention? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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