Robert Snodgrass (£5.7m) became Sam Allardyce’s first signing as West Bromwich Albion manager last week, signing on an 18-month deal.
Will he help transform his new team’s fortunes and become a viable Fantasy Premier League asset in the process?
We’ve run the rule over the former Norwich City and Hull man to find out.
The midfielder had been largely frozen out of the team at West Ham this season, making four substitute appearances in the Premier League for a grand total of four minutes.
Snodgrass, 33, had been an important part of the Hammers’ side before struggling with a back disk injury, which kept him out of the second half of last season.
The former Scotland international is expected to go straight into the team at the Hawthorns, giving the Baggies some much needed Premier League experience.
“I’m absolutely delighted he has chosen to take up the challenge with us. He’ll add Premier League experience and quality to our side.”Sam Allardyce
There’s currently no sign of Fantasy Premier League managers being tempted to bring Snodgrass in ahead of Double Gameweek 19, but should he be considered?
Allardyce made a name for himself at Bolton for taking experienced players thought to be over the hill and bringing out some of the best football of their careers.
The careers of Jay-Jay Okocha, Fernando Hierro and Gary Speed all experienced and Indian Summer thanks to their time at The Reebok.
And Allardyce is clearly hoping to get the same from Snodgrass, comparing him to Premier League legend Speed.
“He might be getting on but in his mind he still thinks he’s 20. Snodgrass runs all day, he’s got great quality and a huge amount of experience. He never gives up. Hopefully that will rub off on some of these players who will look at him and say, ‘My word’. Lifting the spirits and lifting the standards is very important at a professional football club. It’s even more important at a Premier League club.”Sam Allardyce
Despite Allardyce’s comments, Snodgrass’ FPL returns have not dropped considerably as he has entered his mid 30s.
Last season he delivered a decent 10 goal contributions, scoring five goals and chipping in with five assists.
Despite playing fewer minutes, that was actually an improvement on the season before, suggesting Snodgrass could still have plenty to offer at Premier League level.
SWEET LEFT FOOT
Big Sam was keen to highlight Snodgrass’ left foot and how it would bring balance to his side, hinting at a role down the left hand side of midfield.
“He’s left-footed. We all look for balance. When you get the right balance in the team with left-footed players, they can really produce for you down that left side. I’ve heard from many, many people that he is exceptional in the dressing room which is a great bonus on top of his abilities.”Sam Allardyce
West Brom’s two most effective attacking players of last season, Matheus Pereira (£5.6m) and Grady Diangana (£5.1m), who are both left footed, have struggled to replicate the form they showed in the Championship.
Allardyce even singled out Pereira for criticism, asking for more from the West Brom playmaker.
“It’s very simple. This is the Premier League and he needs to do it (play) quickly – much quicker than he did in the Championship. Then he will show his very skilful qualities. But if he chooses to do it at his pace in the Premier League, then he will not be successful.”Sam Allardyce
Reading into these quotes, it is telling Allardyce has only started Pereira once in the Premier League since arriving at the Hawthorns.
And he appears to be equally unimpressed with Diangana, hauling him off at half-time in their 4-0 thrashing by Arsenal.
In the case of Snodgrass, it could be that Big Sam is looking for the midfielder to offer a greater balance in the middle of the park, with most of West Brom’s centre midfielders predominantly being right footers.
He would also add some much needed creativity, where other than Conor Gallagher (£5.5m), they are severely lacking.
But with both Pereira and Diangana struggling this season, it could be that Snodgrass finds himself playing out on the left flank.
Throughout his career, Snodgrass has offered huge threat from set pieces, particularly from corners, as shown in his best 2016/2017 season.
With Allardyce setting up the Baggies in a defensive formation, they will need to make the most of set pieces if they are to pull off a miraculous survival.
Sam Inkersole, who covered West Ham for Football.London during Snodgrass’ spell, outlined the Scot’s quality delivery and what else he could bring to his new team.
“His qualities were obvious. Set piece delivery was impressive and vastly improved from what the Hammers had previously and simply, his work rate. Too many West Ham players that season (when he arrived) were passengers so it was no surprise they struggled.”Sam Inkersole
Set pieces have already played a big part of the West Brom attack since Allardyce joined.
A towering header from Semi Ajayi (£4.8m) gave the Baggies an unlikely point against champions Liverpool.
And the big centre half netted again in the FA Cup against Blackpool, before they lost on penalties.
With a 6ft 3ins defender who can aggressively attack a ball in the other team’s penalty area, Snodgrass’ quality set piece deliveries may well find their target more often than not.
Should the pair be able to strike up a good understanding, then they could both turn into assets worth having in the second half of the season.
In a system that will suit his style of play, Robert Snodgrass could well deliver some good FPL returns for his new club.
His assist potential could also be bolstered by a new striker, one Allardyce is actively searching for.
“I am looking for a frontman, hopefully he’ll be coming through the door as quickly as possible. That’ll be from abroad, rather than from this country.”Sam Allardyce
However, the main issue with bringing him into our teams is his price point.
Still priced up at £5.7m, he finds himself in the same bracket as former teammate Tomas Soucek (£5.3m), who has delivered consistent returns all season, and Raphinha (£5.5m), the dynamic Leeds winger who is starting to deliver goals and assists.
West Brom also face a torrid run of games in the next few weeks.
In their next seven the Baggies will face off against Manchester City, Manchester United, Spurs and Wolves, with returns looking few and far between.
Kinder fixtures against Fulham and Sheffield United in Gameweeks 21 and 22 will give us a realistic idea about what to expect from their attack.
Ultimately, Snodgrass appears to be priced just a bit too highly to be considered for a budget midfielder role.
But those looking for a punt on a differential midfielder, with the Scot currently sitting at 0.1% ownership, could be hugely rewarded when fixtures turn in Gameweek 25.
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