We knew it was coming, we just didn’t quite expect it against one of the best defences in the league. We’ve screamed about the merits of Clint Dempsey during this wildcard window for several weeks – top pick in our Wildcard Watchlist article, climbing to second in the Watchlist this week, in the Scout Picks again – we couldn’t have laid it on any thicker. Returns were due, but three goals against the Newcastle defence, albeit without the protection of Cheik Tiote, was an unexpected bonanza.
A fortnight ago, Dempsey signposted such form: a hat-trick against Charlton in the FA Cup signaled the intent. With fixtures falling kindly and our own ICT Index forever indicating that Demspey was a top ten Fantasy attacking performer, it was likely that even stronger Fantasy returns were overdue.
Today’s three goals took Dempsey to nine for the season – level with Frank Lampard as the top goalscorer from midfield. Unlike Lampard, Dempsey’s ownership in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game is set to soar. Indeed, having been subject to over 50,000 net transfers in prior to this morning’s deadline, Dempsey’s bandwagon is already rolling at pace. With Gameweek 23’s deadline extended until the Tuesday, there’s little doubt that we’ll see Dempsey’s FPL price rocket up from the current level 8.5 – his price tag at the start of the season.
There will of course be doubters – those who now look at Dempsey as a ship that’s sailed. A move to acquire the American now will surely be chasing points?
While it’s true that Dempsey’s best day in the Premier League may have now passed, every indication points to continued profits. Martin Jol’s side have underachieved thus far – with fixtures falling nicely for them, handing them beatable opponents at the Cottage over the next nine Gameweeks, further Fulham goal flurries could be on the cards.
Regardless, Dempsey remains one of the most potent goal threats in the league. Wayward at times, but always at the races when it comes to raw goal attempts, he’s fulfilled his potential in a big way today.
If, like me, you missed it, you should consider swallowing that wounded pride. Dempsey has the platform to cause more damage to your season.
Having sat smugly on my wildcard for a week too long, only to watch him grab his big payday ahead of schedule, I’m all too aware of the dangers of chasing points, but not stubborn enough to turn my back on Dempsey’s potency for another Gameweek.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“I understand you don't consider Dempsey a striker. He has developed into playing in different positions, but for me he is a pure striker. ”Andre Villas-Boas reveals his views on Clint Dempsey's best position.