Bobby Reid is expected to add some much-needed goal-threat to Cardiff City this season and has the potential to be a useful budget forward in Fantasy Premier League.
Only two Championship players scored more goals than Reid’s 19 last season, after Bristol City manager Lee Johnson deployed the midfielder as a striker.
With seven assists and a high work rate to his game, Reid could also be well-rewarded by the Bonus Points System too.
The majority of Bobby Reid’s career has been spent as an energetic and skilful attacking midfielder, perhaps a little limited by his height and weight. However, Lee Johnson’s decision to deploy him up-front at Bristol City last season has turned the 25-year-old into a pacy and dangerous striker.
Reid has always been a technically gifted footballer but it’s only in the last few years that he has become more of a physical specimen capable of applying his skills. Loan spells at lower league clubs like Cheltenham Town, Oldham Athletic and Plymouth Argyle reportedly helped Reid realise he needed to improve his fitness and stamina. With Plymouth in particular, Reid stood out with his contributions in midfield, but the hustle and bustle of life in League Two took its toll.
The advances Reid made to his own fitness regime and Johnson’s tactical switch of the player’s position paid dividends in 2017/18. Relying largely on his blistering pace and now endless energy, Reid scored 19 goals and assisted seven more in the Championship. Only Derby’s Matej Vydra (21) and Lewis Grabban (20 for Sunderland and Aston Villa combined) scored more than Reid in the hunt for the league’s Golden Boot trophy.
Total shots per game
Shots – Inside Box per game
Shots – On Target per game
Shots – Blocked per game
Minutes per Shot On Target
Where Reid stands out compared to his new Cardiff team-mates is in conversion of chances. Despite registering fewer shots inside the box or efforts on target than Zohore last season, his goal tally at the end of the campaign was more than double.
However, Reid still compares favourably to the other important goal-scoring assets in south Wales. His 1.89 shots per game was better than wingers Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, as well as midfielder Callum Paterson.
He also registered more shots in the box than those three players, boasting a better minute per shot on target ratio too.
Whether Reid proves a viable Fantasy asset this season will largely depend on what role he fulfils in the Cardiff team, something we don’t have data on just yet. Target man Zohore was an important figure for Cardiff but the fact that the club has been linked with several strikers over the summer does suggest that his place is far from certain and could be taken by Reid. His addition to the squad adds a completely different dimension to Cardiff’s attack. While Zohore is more of a physical presence used as an outlet, Reid is a pacy and energetic goal-scorer, who proved significantly better at putting the ball in the back of the net.
Alternatively, Reid could potentially replace one of either Mendez-Laing or Hoilett on the flanks. However, the fact that he is a converted centre-forward does always leave the door open for Warnock to switch him back into midfield; he mentioned upon signing Reid that “he can play a number of positions”. In that area of the field, Reid was nowhere near as much of a goal-threat. 21 goals in all competitions in 2017/18 was almost double the combined tally from his first seven years as a professional player.
Of course the other factor to consider is that Reid’s 2018/19 opposition will be considerably stronger than ever before in his career. This is his first taste of Premier League football and the same is true for the vast majority of his new team-mates. In fact, goals may be an area in which Cardiff struggle this season. Compared to Wolves and Fulham, the Bluebirds did not return to the top flight on the back of attacking prowess – their 69 goals in 46 matches was only sixth-best in the Championship and even bettered by 18th-placed Hull City. Instead, their success was built on a strong backline and the best defence in the division (39 goals conceded).
Obviously Reid is likely to shift Cardiff’s focus for winning matches more towards attack than defence but he will still have settle in his new environment before he can be relied upon. However, he will still have some appeal during pre-season on account of an expected FPL price around £6.0m or below and a work-rate that will be rewarded by the BPS.
Reid registered a combined total of 68 successful tackles and interceptions last season, a tally that was level with Roberto Firmino and only bettered by Jordan Ayew (84) among forwards on FPL. With that statistic contributing towards bonus points, Reid is likely to one to pick up the extras when he does score or assist.