473
Scout Reports

The Promoted – Newcastle United

Having already assessed Brighton and Hove Albion, our analysis of the promoted sides continues with a look at Championship winners Newcastle United.

The bookmakers’ favourite for the top spot, the Magpies were eventually to fulfil that prophecy by just a single point, having battled with Brighton at the summit over the course of the season.

Rafa Benitez’s side snatched the crown by ending the campaign with three successive victories, while rivals Brighton faltered, suffering two defeats and a draw over the same spell.

Newcastle return to the Premier League at the first attempt, having suffered relegation with 37 points in 2015/16.

The Statistics

P W D L F A GD Pts CS
Total 46 29 7 10 85 40 45 94 19
Home 23 15 3 5 49 23 26 48 8
Away 23 14 4 5 36 17 19 46 11

CS – Clean sheets

With five defeats, St. James’ Park was far from a fortress, as Newcastle’s home record ranked fourth in the division.

Their 23 goals conceded – a goal a match – saw their defence place eighth from a modest tally of eight clean sheets.

But their attack was on hand to compensate, scoring 49 goals – a tally bettered only by Norwich City. Indeed, their 16.8 shots per game in home matches was second only to Fulham (17.1).

Newcastle were exemplary on their travels, winning 14 matches.

Away trips clearly favoured Benitez’s tactics, with his disciplined defence conceding just 17 goals – or 0.74 goals per match. Their 11 clean sheets on the road was two more than any other Championship side.

In addition, with 36 goals, only Fulham scored more away from home.

The Manager

Rafa Benitez undoubtedly has the experience and tactical know-how to re-establish the Magpies as a Premier League force.

Boasting twelve trophies, including a Champions League triumph with Liverpool in 2005, Benitez will relish the opportunity to lock horns with the likes of Pep Guardiola and renew his ongoing rivalry with Jose Mourinho once again. Having him back in the Premier League is a good thing.

Best known for his six-year spell at Anfield, Benitez joined Liverpool in 2004 having won two La Liga titles with Valencia, where he also reached two Champions League finals.

Aside from the classic 2005 European triumph over Milan, Benitez also took Liverpool to the final in 2007 and won the FA Cup in 2006. But he was unable to steer them to Premier League glory.

He departed Merseyside in 2010 to take the reins at Inter Milan, only to leave midway through his first season, before taking the role as interim manager of Chelsea in 2012, where he won the Europa League.

Benitez departed Stamford Bridge for Italy once more to become Napoli’s coach in 2013, winning both the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.

He then moved back to Spain to coach Real Madrid in 2015. That turned into another short-lived tenure – he left in 2016 before arriving on Tyneside.

Brought in to replace Steve McClaren in January 2016, the task of steering Newcastle to Premier League safety proved too much, even for Benitez. However, the Spaniard remained with the club to mastermind an immediate return.

Regarded as a “master tactician”, Benitez is a meticulous manager who demands discipline and work rate from his players and sets his teams up to achieve a fine balance between attack and defence.

On taking over the reins on Tyneside, he emphasised the need for defensive organisation, and he will be expected to prioritise that side of Newcastle’s game on their return to the top flight. That could see them relying on pace on the counter attack, with some emphasis on exploiting set-pieces.

He is a firm advocate of the 4-2-3-1, a system that allows his sides to transition from defence into attack quickly and easily.

Benitez puts emphasis on possession and moving the ball quickly, favouring technicians and pace in attack. The full-backs will likely be relied upon to provide any width, and Benitez is set to favour mobility over a target man up front.

The Promoted Squad

While they lost prime assets over the summer of 2016, Benitez bought wisely, supplementing his squad in crucial areas with players, such as Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie, with proven Championship experience.

Having coined the phrase “Rafatation” – it was inevitable that his squad would endure rotation throughout the campaign. However, by the second half of the season, the shuffling had calmed somewhat.

Benitez appeared to rotate in areas where he felt he could deploy like-for-like replacements – changing personnel at right-back (Yedlin/Anita), in the defensive midfield position (Colback/Hayden) and in the number ten role (Diame/Perez). These seem set to remain hotspots next season.

The extent of Benitez’s tinkering will also rely on the success of his summer recruitment programme, although that already looks likely to be extensive.

However, we can hope that a pattern will emerge. Benitez uses rotation to manage conditioning, with those players who cover the most ground often the most vulnerable.

Karl Darlow (34 starts)
The 26-year-old goalkeeper established himself as Newcastle’s first choice after Rob Elliot suffered a career-threatening knee injury back in March 2016.

However, Darlow heads into the Premier League campaign uncertain on his future.

He lost his place to Elliot on his return from injury in April, and Benitez is now said to be chasing replacements in goal, with Darlow thought to be surplus to requirements.

Looking at Darlow’s numbers reveals just how well the Magpies defence performed during their title-winning season. He made a save every 41.9 minutes – a rate that compares with the likes of Spurs Hugo Lloris (38.5) and Manchester United’s David de Gea (40.9), indicating that based on Championship form, a Newcastle keeper may struggle to return significant save points.

However, it is very unlikely that the Magpies defence will offer such protection in the top flight.

DeAndre Yedlin (21 starts, 6 sub appearances, 1 goal, 5 assists)
The jet-heeled American is known to us from his loan spell at Sunderland while on Spurs’ books but, having sealed a £5 million move to Tyneside, it appears that Yedlin’s game has progressed.

A return of five assists from just 21 starts is eye-catching, with his underlying numbers backing this up. Yedlin produced a key pass every 61 minutes – that’s more frequent than any other defender from any of the three promoted sides.

Intriguingly, Yedlin also returned a successful tackle every 39.2 minutes – again, more frequently than any promoted defender – adding to the likelihood that he will challenge for bonus points when the Magpies shut out the opposition.

The major caveat is Yedlin’s defensive qualities, and he was also subject to rotation with Vurnon Anita. That could well continue next season, either with Anita or with a new arrival.

Vurnon Anita (24 starts, 3 sub appearances, 1 assist)
A versatile asset who can be deployed in a holding midfield role or at right-back, Anita offers little Fantasy appeal and, based on the latest paper talk, could be part of Benitez’s planned summer clear-out.

Paul Dummett (44 starts, 1 sub appearance)
The 25-year-old has thrived in the Championship as one of Newcastle’s most reliable performers. He could take that form into the top flight, although Benitez looks set to seek out more pace in the full-back position.

From a Fantasy perspective, Dummett’s appeal looks limited and will rely on a cheap price tag.

He seems unlikely to compete with the centre-backs for bonus points potential and, without Yedlin’s searing pace, he is nowhere near as effective going forward.

Jamal Lascelles (41 starts, 2 sub appearances, 3 goals, 1 assist)
Installed as skipper by Benitez, there is no doubt that the former Forest defender has a huge future in front of him and he could offer Fantasy managers an assured starter in the Magpies rearguard.

A dominant centre-back, Lascelles recorded a clearance, block or interception (CBI) every 8.4 minutes – strong but not quite enough to place him among the very elite of Premier League centre-backs and a figure that lags behind Brighton’s Lewis Dunk (7.7 minutes).

Lascelles went under the knife for surgery on a hernia immediately after sealing promotion, but is expected to return in time for pre-season.

Ciaran Clark (34 starts, 3 goals, 2 assists)
While Lascelles will doubtless be billed as the key man in the Magpies defence, Clark could emerge as the go-to option from a Fantasy perspective.

Sidelined for six weeks from mid-March with a knee injury, the 27-year-old still outperformed his skipper in terms of both minutes per CBI (7.62) and minutes per tackles won (82 vs 114). The same also applies to minutes per shot (131 vs 153), with Clark proving a key threat at set-plays.

Indeed, Clark’s minutes per CBI stat is the most impressive of any defender among the three promoted sides.

On that evidence, it’s the former Villa defender that should perhaps be a potential target. However, with new recruits on the way, it’s uncertain if Clark’s starting role will remain secure.

Chancel Mbemba (12 starts, 1 goal)
As one of the few stand-out performers in Newcastle’s relegation season, it was expected that the 22-year-old centre-back would be a key figure in their bid to achieve promotion.

He has the raw physical qualities of a talented defender, but Mbemba has since become a peripheral figure under Benitez, with the suggestion that the young DR Congo international has struggled to meet his manager’s demands.

However, Mbemba impressed on his return to the starting line-up late in the season during Clark’s absence through injury, and he could yet remain in Benitez’s plans.

Jack Colback (24 starts, 5 sub appearances, 1 assist)
The former Sunderland midfielder made the difficult transition to their rivals on Tyneside and has struggled to win over the Magpies faithful.

Colback is far from assured of a starting role next season and looks destined to provide back-up to Isaac Hayden. Even when starting, Colback offers little to Fantasy managers but the threat of yellow cards -he picked up 10 in his 24 starts last season.

Jonjo Shelvey (38 starts, 4 sub appearances, 5 goals, 8 assists)
A fiery and controversial figure, Shelvey remains a precocious talent who is vital to Benitez’s tactics and will likely be a key figure in Newcastle’s Premier League prospects.

Prompting from deep as the Magpies midfield architect, Shelvey’s vision and passing ability were peerless in the Championship but, on the flipside, he ended the season with 10 yellow cards and served a five-match absence through suspension.

With a shot every 36 minutes and key pass every 38, Shelvey’s numbers suggest he could be a Fantasy prospect although, as a disciplinary time bomb, it’s doubtful whether we will look to him over Matt Ritchie as a midfield option.

Isaac Hayden (28 starts, 5 sub appearances, 2 goals, 3 assists)
A shrewd signing from Arsenal, Hayden became established in Newcastle’s double pivot as a mobile midfield destroyer, complimenting Shelvey as the engineer of attacks from deep.

He is likely to be Benitez’s first choice in that role – barring any new recruits – but, from a Fantasy perspective, Hayden offers little potential for goals and assists.

Christian Atsu (15 starts, 17 sub appearances, 5 goals, 3 assists)
Benitez moved swiftly to take up the option of signing the Chelsea loanee,  for a reported fee of £6.2 million, as his first summer capture, underlining the fact that the manager clearly sees a key role for the 25-year-old.

The Ghanaian’s statistics – a shot every 43.6 minutes and a key pass every 54.1 – are encouraging, but not impressive enough to see him rank above Ritchie as a midfield prospect.

Yoan Gouffran (33 starts, 6 sub appearances, 5 goals, 3 assists)
The Frenchman, like Anita, is coming to the end of his contract at the club and, despite a successful Championship campaign, he is widely expected to be shipped out as Benitez performs a summer shake-up.

Should he remain on the books, Gouffran would surely be handed a reduced role back in the top flight and seems unlikely to be a factor in our seasons.

Matt Ritchie (40 starts, 2 sub appearances, 12 goals, 7 assists)
Benitez turned to Ritchie to provide Championship experience and a creative spark, swooping for the Bournemouth midfielder for a reported fee of £12 million. The Scot repaid that faith to play a key role in the promotion campaign.

The main man on set-pieces, including penalties, Ritchie was billed as a Fantasy prospect on his first promotion to the Premier League with the Cherries, but never really delivered.

That will make us wary again, although, with greater experience behind him and, in Dwight Gayle, a potent striker to feed, Ritchie will likely be installed as our prime target in the Newcastle midfield.

The statistics certainly promote his cause – Ritchie fired a shot on goal every 31 minutes last season – more frequently than any other promoted midfielder. Ten bookings are a concern, however.

Mo Diame (27 starts, 10 sub appearances, 3 goals, 3 assists)
The Senegal international looked an astute signing by Benitez, but never really lived up to his billing during the title-winning campaign, notching just three goals from a number 10 role behind a central striker.

Nonetheless, Diame has top-flight experience and, with his versatility, appears likely to be kept on for next term. Whether he can make the most of potentially limited opportunities is another matter.

Ayoze Perez (25 starts, 11 sub appearances, 9 goals, 6 assists)
The 23-year-old Spaniard can be outstanding at his best, but remains a frustratingly inconsistent talent.

Having tasted Premier League football in Newcastle’s relegation season, Perez should have the appetite for the return, although question marks remain over his physicality and his tendency to drift out of matches.

Likely to be deployed in a number 10 role when he does get his opportunities, if Benitez can extract regular magic from Perez he could be a crucial factor in their season – and even a Fantasy asset to consider if classified as a midfielder.

Dwight Gayle (26 starts, 6 sub appearances, 23 goals, 2 assists)
Crowned the PFA Fans’ Championship Player of the Season, Gayle is unquestionably the key target among the strikers on offer from the promoted sides.

His record of 23 goals from 26 starts, with a shot every 24 minutes, suggests that he could make the step up and establish himself as an effective Premier League marksman.

Gayle boasts experience of the top flight with Crystal Palace and scored goals for the Eagles without being trusted with a regular starting role.

It remains to be seen if Benitez puts his full faith in Gayle – certainly, his pace and trickery is well suited to the Spaniard’s style of play, but he may seek a more proven alternative.

That is one concern, as is Gayle’s alarming propensity to pick up injuries, having been cursed by hamstring problems last season.

Aleks Mitrovic (11 starts, 14 sub appearances, 4 goals, 6 assists)
The Serbian was a bitter disappointment on arrival at the club, having been the centre of a string of disciplinary issues on the pitch while failing to deliver the goals to help stave off relegation.

He’s been a back-up option under Benitez, with Gayle’s pace preferred in the lone striker role.

Nonetheless, Mitrovic is certainly a plan B option, with his strength and aggression ideal weapons to help break down a defence when Newcastle’s regular passing game falters.

But in Fantasy terms, the doubts over his temperament are likely to deter investment, even in the unlikely scenario that Mitrovic begins to earn regular pitch-time.

The Potential Targets

Newcastle are set for an exceptionally busy summer, with Benitez promised a war chest of up to £70 million to help him prepare for the return to the top-flight.

If reports are to believed, Benitez is seeking to strengthen in almost every position, with up to eight signings on the cards.

To this point, goalkeeper Pepe Reina has been the primary target, with reports first suggesting that personal terms have been agreed with the experienced and talented stopper. However, the player’s agent has since quashed such a suggestion, stating that Reina will stay to see out his contract with Napoli.

Reports are now suggesting that Benitez has switched his sights to Manchester City’s Willy Caballero, with the clear indication that a new recruit will be brought in to compete with Rob Elliot as first choice.

There are an array of reported targets elsewhere.

Man City’s forgotten centre-back Eliaquim Mangala is one such candidate, with Benitez thought to be keen to strengthen in this area and bring in greater experience. Former City defender Florian Lejeune is another centre-back target, with reports suggesting a deal is close.

Similarly, Newcastle are said to be close to finalising a deal for Portuguese U21 Ruben Semedo – another central defender.

Such signings could yet see Lascelles and Clark competing for one role.

Benitez was also said to be interested in former Watford full-back Miguel Layun, and even Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs, as he bids to bring in options to compete with Dummett and Yedlin. Recent reports have also linked the club to Sporting Lisbon left-back Marvin Zeegelaar.

In attacking areas, the club are thought to be close to finalising a deal with Chelsea for the season-long loan of Tammy Abraham – a prodigious talent who scored 23 goals with Bristol City in the Championship last season.

Benitez will have presumably promised both Chelsea and Abraham regular pitch-time, so it remains to be seen how that changes the pecking order in attack.

It’s difficult to envisage that the 19-year-old would start ahead of Gayle but, should the transfer be concluded, it would obviously cast doubt over both players’ security of starts.

Elsewhere, Montpellier playmaker Ryad Boudebouz has been linked as a possible signing to compete for the number ten role. With 11 goals and 10 assists last season, Boudebouz has the versatility to be deployed out wide, although Newcastle are also said to be shopping for players in the flank positions.

That includes Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend and Metz’s 19-year-old Ismaila Sarr – the Senegal winger has been billed as the next Sadio Mane.

Mark Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”

473 Comments Post a Comment
  1. The Head-Ake
    • 2 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Hey lads, postin' to grab attention y'know, haven't been here for quite some time so obviously haven't gotten much attention too 😀

  2. The Head-Ake
    • 2 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Plus, what the hell are Chelsea even doing? Haz's down till Sept and this transfer window is just like last year, we're not signing anybody and prolly gonna cramp it all up bu deadline day. This sucks man, gettin associated with every single player there is but not even coming close to signing one.

    1. Licky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I think you're in a good place though, its only about adding the right players. Liverpool, City, United all have a lot of work to do. Spurs don't spend that much so there's that too.

      1. The Head-Ake
        • 2 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Mate but we've got the CL this year too and Haz is down, our defense isn't the best at times you know? I'd want James, Bonucci and Bakayoko and we're winning the UCL this time :p

        1. Licky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          I'm not saying you don't need anyone, but you don't need as much as other teams. I'd try to upgrade Cahill at some point though, James is overrated.

  3. melvinmbabazi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Former Newcastle star Cheick Tiote dies at the age of 30 after collapsing during training.

    RIP

    1. caio89
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Terrible news! 🙁 RIP!

      Will never forget his screamer in the 4-4 thriller against Arsenal:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRm5gdT3jv0

  4. Debauchy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Looks unfortunately sunny , cmon weatherman get it right

    1. Debauchy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      oops

  5. Syd.
    • 10 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Always knew VVD was a donkey defender

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Enjoy Stones..

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Not sure we're the VVD to City story came from as City were never interested. Maybe Southampton were trying to bump the price up

        1. Deeney-is-a-god
          • 3 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Starting to sound like some United fans. "We didn't want him anyway".

  6. La Roja
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Vvd to Liverpool done?

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Pretty much. £44m with £8m in add ons.

      1. Licky
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Sounds a lot better than the £60-65m being mentioned.

        1. Berbinho's Forehead
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          It's not reaching that. £52m if we win the league whilst VVD is at the club.

          1. Licky
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            £44m well spent then. 😛

          2. KingNidge
            • 4 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            looooool that was a smart move

            1. Berbinho's Forehead
              • 9 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              So basically costing £44m hahaha

              1. KingNidge
                • 4 Years
                2 years, 4 months ago

                Great business

              2. Dreams
                • 2 Years
                2 years, 4 months ago

                So badly want to downvote this.

    2. Net Gains
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Betting suspended. Every sports site has the same story that he's told Southampton he wants to leave and Liverpool he only wants to join them. It's done.

    3. bojack
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Van Dijk £44m, Walker £40m..

      Absolutely mental over valuation of players going on in the PL.

      1. Berbinho's Forehead
        • 9 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        The equivalent of a van Dijk in Europe would cost similar.

        1. bojack
          • 3 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Perhaps the over valuation is there too. This bubble has to burst sometime.

    4. liiusions
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      We have history of having the player all but signed then a bigger club stealing him... Not done till there's a picture of him leaning in a Liverpool shirt

    5. King Kohli
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Great signing if true.

      The fees being touted about for VVD make Bailly look like an absolute bargain!

      1. KingNidge
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        We hit the jackpot with big Eric tbh but Mourinho often does with centre backs.. Lindelof imminent to partner him in Rojo's absense

        1. King Kohli
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          How good is Lindelof though?

          Haven't seen him play, but if he turns out to be like Bailly, then we have our CB sorted for the next decade

          1. KingNidge
            • 4 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            From what i see doesn't look to have any weakness and very Vidic like.. trust whoever Jose brings in especially at the back..

            1. King Kohli
              • 7 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              Hope we get him and ship out Smalling.

              Need 3 attacking players including 2 strikers imo

          2. Cpt Crunch
            • 5 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            As a Swede I'm often very sceptical about our players.
            Not VNL though, no doubt he will become a giant in defence, close to that allready. Our hope and Dreams rely on him and Forsberg for now.

            He is exactly the player we in Utd should buy now.
            Right age, enough talent and very versataile as he still can play on many positions.

            1. King Kohli
              • 7 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              Good to hear from someone in the know. Hope we sign him.

              Can he play RB/LB or even DM?

              1. Cpt Crunch
                • 5 Years
                2 years, 4 months ago

                He can play RB as he did in Swedens championship winning side in u21 euros 2015.
                And yes he can also play as DM.

                Good with his feet. Good shot but rarely gets to show it.
                Good positioning but can improve it, also with a new partner(Baily) that obviously will come with time.
                One thing I'd like him to do more is be a bit more agressive on offensive corners as he has the potential.

  7. Make America Greta Again
    • 5 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    I'm surprised the big clubs didn't sign VVD from Celtic. His quality has been obvious even before he joined Celtic. If Liverpool sign a decent striker, they'll have a decent chance in the PL.

    1. Licky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Nonsense, Lord Origi will fire us to glory.

    2. Optimus.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Solanke says hi

      1. Optimus.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        And we know they sell their talent.. de Bruyne, Lukaku, Schurrle etc 😉

        1. Tansey
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Selling club, just another Southampton

      2. Deeney-is-a-god
        • 3 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        I don't know if you are trolling, but don't think Solanke will be an real option this season. He has a long way to go before he can shoot you guys to the top of the premier league...

  8. ★Kuntheman★
    • 3 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    City missed a real trick in failing to sign Kolasinac on a free. Can play LB and CB. Perfect for the Pep system, and for free. Still annoyed by that one, he would've been great backup.

    1. Wilshere Knowledge
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I doubt he'd want to be a back up though.

  9. La Roja
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Vvd 44m.

    God knows how much Lukaku will be

    1. Gravless are for Kinnear
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      It's getting beyond ridiculous

    2. bojack
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      £7bn.

    3. King Kohli
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      70m + Rooney

      1. Deeney-is-a-god
        • 3 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        In todays market that i a fair price

        1. Deeney-is-a-god
          • 3 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          But what do you value rooney excatly? Considering Chelsea is an alternativ

          1. King Kohli
            • 7 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            18-20m

  10. Parm
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Chelsea expect Hazard to return to training in approximately 3 months

    http://www.chelseafc.com/news/latest-news/2017/06/hazard-injury-update.html?extcmp=SOCIA_TW_ENG_ARTICLES_INTERVIEW

    1. Make America Greta Again
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Hope Fabregas isn't too pricey.

      1. Deeney-is-a-god
        • 3 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        This

  11. Siva Mohan
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Hazard injury update

    Eden Hazard successfully underwent surgery today after sustaining a fracture to his right ankle while training with the Belgian national team. He is expected to return to training in approximately three months.

  12. Siva Mohan
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Liverpool win race to make Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in football history.

    😯

    1. Licky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      But how much in FPL?

      1. Siva Mohan
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        5.5

        1. Parm
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          6 minimum

      2. Make America Greta Again
        • 5 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        6m, transfer won't help.

    2. Make America Greta Again
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      David Luiz was £50m, VVD £44m, unless they win league. Sounds cheap.

    3. Optimus.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Is he still injured actually?

      1. Tansey
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Started working on drills using the ball again in the last week or 2

  13. Net Gains
    • 3 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Interesting article. Template front three could well be Kane, Jesus, Gayle

    1. UnitedFan
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Most people on here think they'll sign a more PL quality striker.

    2. IrishRed
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I'm not going near Gayle. Lukaku, Jesus, Defoe for me.

      1. DantheManinaPan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Why not Kane?

  14. Can Salah impress at Liverpool?
    Parm
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Any thoughts on Mohamed Salah at Liverpool fantasy wise?

    29 games, 15 goals, 11 assists for Roma last season in an attacking Spaletti side(90 Serie A goals, only Napoli(94) with more). He certainly brings the assets of a traditional winger which is missing in the LFC squad.

    Question is whether he'll play on the left(with Coutinho into midfield) or the right(with Mané moving to the left). As a left footer, will he be as effective on the left in terms of goal threat?

    Expected price of around £8.5m perhaps? Could be a decent alternative or even double up option with Firmino/Mané/Coutinho.

    1. Dreams
      • 2 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      On the radar. Will be monitored. And I am always sceptical about a new player until he looks settled.

      1. Parm
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Speaking of radars, this one is #elite. Incredible numbers for both goals and assists.

        https://twitter.com/mixedknuts/status/862350173070131200

        1. Dreams
          • 2 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Very creative. Thanks parm.

    2. Az
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I saw him play spurs at WHL a few years ago when he was at Basel and he was a class above. No opportunities at Chelsea but such a gifted player.

      Id love to say I'll take a punt on him but too risky in terms of rotation and will probably play it safe and go Cout /Mane...

    3. Licky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I think Coutinho will move to the 8, he does a lot of work off the ball there too so it'll balance out. I think Mané might go to the left ( I think he started out as a LW unless I'm mistaken). Salah will go to right.

    4. Wilshere Knowledge
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Would be interesting to know how many of those assists came from crosses.

      Surely a big difference as a traditional winger playing with a f9 and playing with Dzeko.

    5. KingNidge
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Forgetting Lallana a huge favourite of Klopp who isn't just going to be cast aside.. will be a lot more rotation in the Liverpool attack that will benefit them long term but make it a pain for us FPL managers.. Salah doesn't interest me in the slightest..

      1. Parm
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Lallana never played in the front three so I don't see him as a direct competitor to Salah.

        1. KingNidge
          • 4 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          I though he had spent a lot of time playing alongside Mane and Coutinho behind Firmino.. maybe i'm wrong but Salah wouldn't particularly interest me anyway.. not with their other options

          1. Licky
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            He was usually part of the midfield three, playing the furthest forward but also dropping deeper than the forward three.

            1. KingNidge
              • 4 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              Aye always seemed very advanced whenever i saw him

    6. Lawrø
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I'm excited about his signing as a Liverpool fan but as a Fantasy Manager it's a no go. Salah/Firmino/Mane/Coutinho/Lallana/Striker... he just cannot be nailed on with us in the CL this season. Like most new signings to the league it's a "wait and see how he fits into his team and adapts before investing'' from me.

      1. Parm
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        There's enough firepower in this Liverpool team to not warrant a striker signing imo.

    7. Somalion
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Same number of goals as Lamela scored for Roma the season before he signed for Spurs.

      Good to know.

        1. Licky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Roma are an Italian team.

            1. Licky
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              *retrieves coat and slips out the door*

        2. Somalion
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          French player of the year that year if I'm not mistaken

      1. Parm
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        We need someone to write a post on how attacking players transitioned from France to England in their first year.

        1. Somalion
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Thankfully our good old buddy Lawro has provided such insight above!

  15. Syd.
    • 10 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Apart from Mane all players signed from Southampton lately have been poor or very average

    Lovren, Clyne, Schnederlin, Shaw

    Will VVD join this club?

    1. Somalion
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      I actually am interested if he can break the Southampton CB curse.

      Lovren, Chambers (though was a full back at Soton in fairness) and even my beloved Fonte have all been crap

    2. Lawrø
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      You forgot Lallana and Puncheon

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        I knew I had left Lallana out he's been half decent. Didn't realise Puncheon was a Southampton player certainly not a big money buy

        1. Somalion
          • 9 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Don't forget Bale or Walcott either

          1. Camp No No
            • 6 Years
            2 years, 4 months ago

            Hey stuff already, you're ruining his point! 😆

            1. Camp No No
              • 6 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              *stfu. stupid autocorrect, I hate you too.

            2. Syd.
              • 10 Years
              2 years, 4 months ago

              I was referring more to the Liverpool and United signings

    3. IrishRed
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Ricky Lambert was world class at Liverpool

      1. Syd.
        • 10 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Oh yeah but he just joined as he was a lifelong Liverpool supporter

  16. CloudSky
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Real Madrid-bound defender Theo Hernandez accused of sexual assault in car outside Marbella nightclub.

    Naughty Theo.

    1. Camp No No
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Talented player, but boy does he work hard to make himself hated.

      1. CloudSky
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Hasnt started that well in my book too. Should be playing for U21, not on vacation. Especially before a big move like this, Id be training every day.

        1. Camp No No
          • 6 Years
          2 years, 4 months ago

          Yeah. Was selected to U20 team for World Cup, without mention stayed on holidays. Then there are rumours this is because he, after having represented his country in all youth internationals, is changing the country to Spain. And this is immediately after he has left Atletico to join Real. Then, when partying, he allegedly sexually assaults a young woman.

          If his plan was to become hated, he's definitely played it safe. What will he do to finish the job? Join ISIS and cut someone's throat on video?

  17. Lawrø
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Alright, who is it that keeps signing my email up for crap? I am not a United supporter nor am I a Jehovah Witness 😆 😆 😆

    1. Team Cruel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Sorry, I'll stop now.

    2. GreennRed
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Filter

    3. Fred54
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      When I saw in the window you posted your email I thought what has he let himself in for!

      1. ★Kuntheman★
        • 3 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Lmao

  18. Camp No No
    • 6 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    So, if as expected Brighton will get a new starting striker, who is on penalties when Murray is on bench?

  19. Berbinho's Forehead
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    The salt over van Dijk and Salah is tasty. Up the Jürgen.

    1. Fred54
      • 4 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Think you are confusing salt and sugar. Easily done in a hurry. Makes for some weird tasting bakes though.

      1. Camp No No
        • 6 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Also pretty awful coffee.

    2. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Too much salt is bad for your health

      1. UnitedFan
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Well said Syd.

  20. Tansey
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    New post gimps