Scout Reports

FPL new signings: Who is Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu?

Following the departure of Fraser Forster to Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer, Southampton recently announced the capture of goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu from Manchester City for a reported fee of £12m.

Last season’s successful loan spell at south coast rivals Portsmouth impressed scouts and, for such a fee, the 20-year-old could now progress to being a Premier League number one.

“Gavin is a very exciting addition to the squad. He is a goalkeeper with a very modern style of play, comfortable in the build-up phase, who has developed physically through some very important loan moves early in his career.” – Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl

So, where does the Republic of Ireland international fit in at the Saints and what impact will he have in Fantasy Premier League (FPL)?

We’ll attempt to answer those questions below.

THE HISTORY

SeasonTeamAppsGoals ConcededClean Sheets
2021/22Portsmouth (loan)445116
2020/21Rochdale (loan)29554
2018Shamrock Rovers440

Born in Dublin, Bazunu wasn’t always a goalkeeper. With Shamrock Rovers under-13s, he was a fast, tricky left-winger and initially resisted all coaches when they insisted his future belonged between the sticks.

Bazunu was eventually persuaded to pursue this route, using these ball-playing skills to his advantage in a world where modern goalkeepers need to be about more than making saves.

“The game really is evolving in terms of how brave goalkeepers have to be and not just in the old sense of coming for crosses and being strong. It’s a side of the game I really enjoy, being creative. Some people see goalkeepers as destroyers but to be creative is a really important part. You see the way so many teams are starting to play out, the goalkeepers start the attacks.” – Gavin Bazunu

Playing tendencies, according to WhoScored

He soon made his club debut aged just 16, quickly catching attention by bagging four clean sheets and a penalty save from four appearances.

Man City swiftly swooped in to buy this potential for a small fee, giving Bazunu playing time for their under-18 and under-23 sides before easing him into English league football.

Regular starts occurred during a loan move to Rochdale, although he stayed on the bench for the final nine matches of a season that ultimately ended in relegation.

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy didn’t rest him for performance-related reasons. Instead, he believed the youngster was due a rest following his Ireland debut, before perhaps feeling a more experienced stopper was needed in their bid to escape the drop.

2021/22 saw Bazunu remain in League One, this time at Portsmouth. 16 clean sheets from 44 league appearances led to him claiming their Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards.

Totalling 135 saves over the campaign, Bazunu earned a lot of admirers and it will hurt Pompey fans to see him turn up at their rivals.

WHERE BAZUNU FITS IN AT SOUTHAMPTON

For such a fee, it could be assumed that Bazunu has been told he will be a starting Premier League goalkeeper rather than being back-up to Ederson at Man City.

However, this didn’t materialise when a similar transfer took Angus Gunn between the sides in 2018.

SeasonGoalkeeping starts
2021/22Fraser Forster (19)Alex McCarthy (17)Willy Caballero (2)
2020/21Alex McCarthy (30)Fraser Forster (8)
2019/20Alex McCarthy (28)Angus Gunn (10)

Indeed, Hasenhuttl seems to encourage competition between the sticks and FPL managers may want to hold off on Bazunu until it becomes clear whether he is rotation-proof.

Southampton’s eight clean sheets of last season were below average and five of these came in the opening 11 Gameweeks. By conceding 67 goals, they ranked fourth-worst throughout the league.

Another thing that may worry potential FPL owners is the Saints’ end-of-season form, with just one win from their final 12 outings.

“The biggest thing is opportunity, that I can come here and fight for my place is probably the biggest thing. I want to continue the gametime I’ve been getting over the past two years and obviously I want to play. I need to first of all prove that I’m ready to play, and if I get the opportunity I need to perform to keep my place.” – Gavin Bazunu

IS BAZUNU WORTH BUYING IN FPL?

Furthermore, Southampton’s opening set of fixtures could see this bad run continue. Meetings with Spurs (a), Leicester City (a), Manchester United (h) and Chelsea (h) sit within their first five clashes, which gives enough time to see if either Bazunu or Alex McCarthy begin with the shirt.

This uncertainty should see both handed a £4.5m FPL price tag. Once fixtures improve, a place for Bazunu could have promising potential.


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FPLMarc88 Newcastle fan that spends far too much time thinking about FPL.”

58 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Zim0
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 days, 18 hours ago

    My excitement for fpl launching dissipates further everyday. I no longer want to tinker.

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      Time to log off for 1 week

    2. KujaliaFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      What if they release the prices tomorrow afternoon?

      Would that reel you back in?

      1. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 days, 15 hours ago

        Yes

    3. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      It is a waste of time tinkering at this stage anyway, the chances of what you select being your actually starting 15 are slim, to say the least. Better to save your time and effort for the days before the GW1 deadline, I'm planning to auto-select a team as soon as the new season goes live then wait until then.

      1. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ
        • 7 Years
        8 days, 16 hours ago

        Yes, for the last 3 or 4 years I've not even started drafting until 2 days before deadline - doing drafts early has more downside than upside imo (in terms of you get too attached, and then when obvious changes need to be made there's a risk of stubbornness with keeping your out-dated team, and the risk of tying yourself up in knots). Keep it simple I say.

  2. The Knights Template
    • 8 Years
    8 days, 17 hours ago

    Imagine being a fast, tricky left winger and the coach saying ‘your future is in goal’. Bit like being told your future is in macro-data refinement.

    1. SweepaKeepa
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 days, 16 hours ago

      You do wonder what he was like in training to prompt that suggestion.

      1. SweepaKeepa
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 days, 16 hours ago

        Great attempt at dribbling past the defender, but remember what we said about hands?

  3. tbos83
    • 1 Year
    8 days, 17 hours ago

    5 subs is going to create a whole world of 1-point pain

    1. Konstaapeli
      • 5 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      Yep. Wonder if FPL will take that in consideration somehow.

    2. Silecro
      • 4 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      Yeah, though it still is good to have 1-2 playing subs because full rests and injuries will happen anyways

    3. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      On the plus side, it increases the chances of ultra-budget bench fodder options getting game time and points.

    4. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      True, but everyone is going to be in the same boat as far as that is concerned.

    5. tbos83
      • 1 Year
      8 days, 17 hours ago

      Can see both sides, but it inevitably turns selection/bench order into more of a crapshoot. Reduces the skill and increases the luck.

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 days, 17 hours ago

        I see it as the diametric opposite. It is up to us to decide whether to stick with our old ways of thinking or whether to adapt. For example, it makes certain defenders such as VVD, Maguire or Romero more important relative to the speedy wingbacks we love so much.

        1. Kun Tozser
          • 6 Years
          8 days, 16 hours ago

          Depends how you view that - if a speedy wingback is coming off after a banked CS is cleared late in the game could be they are more valuable assuming most wingback points come earlier in a game

    6. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      8 days, 16 hours ago

      I'd be interested to see what it has done to leagues that have already adopted it.

      do teams regularly make 5 subs, or are they able to make 3 with more confidence (stop having to save 1 in case of injury). this would still drive more substitutions obviously.

      Pep regularly didn't use his 3 subs, probably because it changes the rhythm so much.

        1. No Professionals
          • 4 Years
          8 days, 16 hours ago

          that article is from 2020.

      1. pingissimus
        • 3 Years
        8 days, 16 hours ago

        There is history for 5 subs in CL - not apples apples comparison perhaps - but still illuminating as CL teams are perhaps the most likely to be able to make "strong" subs. There are a few teams where you wonder whether they have 5 playable subs at all.

        https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/026d-135a08cd823f-ea60e6e06e8c-1000--the-impact-of-the-bench-with-five-substitutions/

        "Over the course of the season, there were a total of 100 goals scored by substitutes, 16.23% of the total. The five-sub rule contributed to this increase and the average number of subs per game rose to 4.19 from 2.86. Consequently, the average playing time per player reduced by 8%.."

  4. Zim0
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 days, 16 hours ago

    If United sign both De Jong and Eriksen where are Bruno and Donny playing and what about a DM lol. I'm so confused.

    1. RedRo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      8 days, 15 hours ago

      No plans, only vibes

    2. Zim0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 days, 15 hours ago

      Maybe Bruno can play the false 9 role like Tadic at Ajax. He basically played like that under Ole and was superb. Loses possession of the ball too much to play midfield imo.

      1. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 days, 15 hours ago

        Something like this maybe when Ronaldo isn't available.

        Sancho - Bruno - Eriksen
        Frenkie - DM - Donny

      2. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 days, 15 hours ago

        Really need better fullbacks though. Dalot and Shaw are average

        1. I Must Break You
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          8 days, 12 hours ago

          Agreed. It could reasonably be argued that Shaw was directly responsible for all 5 of Liverpool's goals in the first (5-nil) thrashing last season

    3. Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      8 days, 15 hours ago

      Ronaldo
      Sancho Eriksen Bruno
      FDJ Donny/Fred
      Shaw Varane Maguire Martinez

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        8 days, 15 hours ago

        Dalot, not Martinez

    4. Giggs Boson
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 days, 15 hours ago

      De Jong says his favourite position is where he can drop deep into defence and transition the ball out from deep. That's how he plays for Netherlands and how ue used to play under Ten Hag. As a DM in a double pivot.

      Eriksen used to play as a wide playmaker for Spurs, to very good effect, so he'd presumably occupy the vacant RW position left by Greenwood, also giving better balance to the side.

      ....................DDG.................
      Dalot Varane Maguire Shaw
      ...........Fred....De Jong.........
      Eriksen......Bruno......Sancho
      ....................CR7....................

      They need to offload Bailly, Jones, and Tuanzebe before purchasing another CB, so their hands are tied there. Six centre backs is already way too many, and that's if you don't include Mengi...

      Therefore the next priority would presumably be a striker and a right back.

      1. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        8 days, 14 hours ago

        not sure Eriksen has the pace to play on the right now. For me that team struggles as much as it did last season.

        the presence of Ronaldo does something to Bruno (for Portugal too).

        1. Giggs Boson
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          8 days, 14 hours ago

          The intelligence of De Jong and Eriksen would transform this team in possession. Both in the transition and when breaking down low blocks.

          The defence worries me.

      2. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        8 days, 14 hours ago

        Eriksen will play centrally. Bruno on the right

        1. Giggs Boson
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          8 days, 14 hours ago

          Doesn't make much sense to me. Why?

          I wouldn't have thought he'd need pace for that wide role, it's not a penetrative one. I think of it as a slanted 433 with Eriksen Fred FDJ in the midfield and CR7 Bruno Sancho in the front 3. But because it's slanted into a 4231 you get the best out the individual's attributes. Probably makes no sense but it's the way my head sees it 😆

    5. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      8 days, 14 hours ago

      I think Bruno is going to have to alter his game quite a lot to settle into a position under ETH. I know he excels in transition with speculative passes/runs but naturally with that style, while he can create a lot of chances, he also gives the ball away a lot of times every game. ETH will want to focus on possession and building up attacks from deep with large numbers of players in attack. The rest of the team spending each game attempting to do that while Bruno blasts the ball back to the opposition leaving the team extremely vulnerable to counter-attacks just isn't going to work.

  5. Inazuma X1
    • 4 Years
    8 days, 16 hours ago

    No price reveals then huh

    1. Darwin von Humboldt
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 days, 15 hours ago

      Tree fiddy.

    2. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      8 days, 15 hours ago

      Nope too late in the day dude, they'd start the teasing early morning UK time imo

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        8 days, 14 hours ago

        Ok time to log off for a week then

        1. mynameisq
          • 8 Years
          8 days, 14 hours ago

          Well there's nothing stopping it being tomorrow! Or any other day this week

          1. Inazuma X1
            • 4 Years
            8 days, 14 hours ago

            Not wasting time on this lol. Actually it'd be better to check the game after a month!

            1. mynameisq
              • 8 Years
              8 days, 14 hours ago

              Confirmed tomorrow then

  6. Darwin von Humboldt
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    8 days, 15 hours ago

    The Telegraph reckon Forest are close to signing Taiwo Awoniyi. Couldn't get a work permit while at Liverpool, but had a decent season in Germany.

  7. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
    • 9 Years
    8 days, 15 hours ago

    The next Darren Randolph

  8. Sloths
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    8 days, 13 hours ago

    Does the five subs rule actually make Man City options more attractive?

    My logic is that the annoying Pep roulette will effectively be happening to a lot more teams thereby negating some of the weakness. What do you guys think?

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 days, 13 hours ago

      I think Pep could be the savviest coach to get the most out of the rule change. As an example, I can see Grealish being honed into a super-sub, coming on against tired defences and dancing around, drawing penalties and setting up goals. However, from our perspective, it will mean even more sharing around of points and frustration for City asset owners.

    2. Dthinger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 days, 12 hours ago

      I don't think it changes anything for city players--Pep doesnt sub that much, and I don't think he'll change that. I remember a few matches in which he didn't make any subs. He's more about rotation week to week.

      Where it could affect us is we might be less concerned whether bench players are nailed because other teams are more likely to use their whole squad in a match, so 0 pointers for 5mil Forwards may be less common.

      1. Dthinger
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        8 days, 12 hours ago

        and that might make us more likely to hold City players in our starting lineup

    3. Sloths
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 days, 12 hours ago

      Thanks for you comments guys!

  9. AC/DC AFC
    • 6 Years
    8 days, 13 hours ago

    3 clubs have spent over 4,100 million on transfers since the Premier League began 20 years ago.

    Chelsea £5.5 billion.

    https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/10403298/

    Fantasy football indeed.

    Newcastle United big spenders historically too with nothing to show for it in recent times.

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      8 days, 13 hours ago

      3 clubs each*

      Well 4 with Chelski roubles. Prior to that no champions league win in London.

      All achieved in the NW and Midlands for English clubs.

    2. NotNowKato
      • 9 Years
      8 days, 11 hours ago

      But how much did they get back in Transfer sales each?

  10. Snake Juice
    • 5 Years
    8 days, 13 hours ago

    Raphinha close to joining Arsenal

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 days, 13 hours ago

      .... while Spurs are trying to poach Jesus off 'em!

      1. Snake Juice
        • 5 Years
        8 days, 12 hours ago

        Jesus has been done for a while now.

        Spurs going for Richarlison.

    2. Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      8 days, 13 hours ago

      Sauce?

    3. Moxon
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      8 days, 13 hours ago

      Arteta roulette

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 days, 12 hours ago

        Tottenham are hoping to pip north London rivals Arsenal in the race for Manchester City's 25-year-old Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus with the offer of Champions League football. (Mirror)
        BBC