Silly season is here again as the Premier League transfer window has reopened for a month.
While our sister site, Fantasy Football Community, will cover all things speculative in the soon-to-relaunch Rumour Mill, we po-faced lot at Fantasy Football Scout will report only on the confirmed deals that go through.
More specifically, we’ll be asking what each transfer means from a Fantasy Premier League (FPL) perspective.
The most significant players on the move will be the subject of their own dedicated Scout Report but all the other transfers will be covered in summaries throughout January, starting with this one.
You’ll also find all the major deals in list form on our dedicated Transfers page.
LATEST FPL SCOUT REPORTS
- Cody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven to Liverpool, £15m)
- Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid to Wolverhampton Wanderers, loan)
Kevin Schade (Freiburg to Brentford, loan)
Is this the Bees planning for life without Ivan Toney (£7.4m)? The Brentford striker’s knee injury doesn’t look as serious as first feared but an FA charge still hangs over his head, as does the threat of a ban.
Yoane Wissa (£5.3m) and Bryan Mbeumo (£5.8m) were Brentford’s front two in their 3-1 win over Liverpool on Monday but Thomas Frank has sought to bolster his attacking options with the loan signing of Kevin Schade from Freiburg.
The 21-year-old German has officially joined on a temporary basis until the end of the season but the west Londoners say they “expect to make the deal permanent for a club-record undisclosed fee” in the summer.
That fee is thought to be in the region of £25m, so this is no emergency stop-gap.
Schade, who has four goals in five appearances for the Germany under-21 side, was once courted by Liverpool, turning down the Reds as a teenager.
“I think Kevin is a typical Brentford signing. He is a young, promising talent that we see a big potential in. We have been following him for a while and we think he will suit our style of play.
“He can play anywhere across our front three positions. He could play for us on either wing or as the central striker. He has great pace and is very promising in the way he runs behind defences.
“He is very good aerially, in both boxes, and can develop even more to be a real threat as an offensive option with his head.
“We like the way he presses when the team do not have the ball. He is willing to work very hard for his team. We see him as a player that could have a big potential to be a fine goal scorer and it is great to have him at Brentford. Our coaching staff are looking forward to working with him.” – Thomas Frank
The versatility that Frank outlines above will be key, as Brentford usually flip-flop between a 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 depending on the opposition. Schade has played on both flanks and through the middle for Freiburg in 2022/23, although most of his historic game-time for the club has come on the right wing.
Pace is a quality typically associated with playing out wide and the Premier League new boy – who is still awaiting his FPL price – has it in abundance, registering the seventh-fastest speed in Bundesliga history in October 2021.
It’s fair to say he’s running on potential rather than achievements so far, given that his first-team debut didn’t arrive until August 2021 and he has only made eight Bundesliga starts in his entire career.
The bulk of his 29 German top-flight appearances have consequently been as a substitute, with five goals and one assist arriving across those run-outs.
Those stats reflect that he’s more shooter than chance creator: 23 goal attempts have arrived in his 1,000 minutes of Bundesliga pitch-time (one every 43 minutes), compared to just seven key passes (one every 143 minutes). Eight of those shots were headers, underscoring what Frank said above about his aerial ability.
A gradual integration like the ones Wissa, Mikkel Damsgaard (£5.1m) and Keane Lewis-Potter (£5.2m) have experienced in west London might be expected, then, although it’s fair to say that none of the above particularly hit the ground running following their moves.
Gustavo Scarpa (Palmeiras to Nottingham Forest, free)
A name you might recognise from our mid-season friendly write-ups is Gustavo Scarpa (£5.0m), who had been training with Nottingham Forest ahead of officially joining the club in January.
We look set to see him in action tonight against Southampton, although likely from the bench. Two cup ties then follow, so it’s a good chance we’ll see his first competitive Forest start over the next week.
“First impressions are really positive, certainly as a professional and as a person. He’s really, really engaged with everything around the club and the city. You guys might have seen that with some of the other stuff he’s got up to [on social media], but it’s all positive!
“I’ve got to say he’s a very good trainer. He’s one that you have to monitor after training, because he just wants to do so much more. He loves football and has spent a lot of time learning about the way we want to play.
“Like everyone who comes to England for the first time, you have to have a period of adaptation and feeling what English football is like. We’re looking forward to working with him in games. He’s quite a really humble, quiet guy. He’s very engaged in training.” – Steve Cooper on Gustavo Scarpa
Scarpa immediately caught the eye on his debut against Atromitos early last month, claiming an assist from a corner within four minutes of kick-off. He would have had a second assist, too, had Ryan Yates (£5.0m) converted his cross at the first attempt rather than netted the rebound.
Scarpa then set up Emmanuel Dennis (£5.8m) in the win over Valencia ten days later, making a positive impression across his limited pitch-time (105 minutes) in December.
The Brazilian is no whipper-snapper at 28 (he turns 29 tomorrow): it’s clear he’s been signed to help with the fight against the drop to the Championship, rather than as an investment for the future.
Capped once by his national side, he was reportedly close to making the squad for the 2022 World Cup but just missed out.
The attacking midfielder has typically played as a number 10 for Palmeiras of late but has also operated on either flank, so looks set to challenge Brennan Johnson (£5.6m), Taiwo Awoniyi (£5.7m) and the currently injured Jesse Lingard (£5.4m) for a place in Steve Cooper’s fluid front three. Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.5m), who has started every league game he has been available for since his full debut, appears to have one of the slots sewn up.
At £5.0m and probably on at least a share of set plays, Scarpa is very much one for the FPL watchlist. A total of 33 goals and 58 assists arrived in 237 appearances in the Brazilian top flight, with two league championships and two Copa Libertadores titles among his achievements.
The figures he posted in 2022 below would be elite if they were recorded in the Premier League (albeit most of his shots came from distance) but of course, have been registered in a title-winning side in a completely different league. We await to see how much ‘tax’ we can expect when he plies his trade for strugglers in the English top flight.
GUSTAVO SCARPA FOR PALMEIRAS, BRAZILIAN SERIE A 2022 (via WhoScored)
|Minutes per shot
|Minutes per shot in the box
|Minutes per chance created
“What is his strength? It is his left foot. He can deliver the ball perfectly from set pieces. He can ping it with some real venom. He does not look physically strong, but he is one of those players who is more robust than you might expect. He has developed physically a great deal in the past few seasons.
“It took him a little while to settle at Palmeiras. But last season was easily his best as a professional player. He is not the youngest — but even in that age bracket, he delivers. He laid on more assists than anyone else in the league last season and he can chip in with goals as well.
“He doesn’t have outstanding physical speed, but he is very quick mentally. He has a surprisingly powerful shot. I am not sure if that comes from his technique and how he strikes the ball. You look at him and think, ‘Where is that power coming from?’.” – Joe Cotterill, Brazilian football expert, quoted in the Athletic
A period of adaptation is usually required but having already been in the UK for over a month, and with his cameos positive in the mid-season friendlies, we’re probably going to see him troubling the Forest starting XI sooner rather than later.
“I’m very happy to be here, it’s a dream for me. It’s a new challenge and I can’t wait for it to begin. It’s always been an ambition since I was a little kid to play in Europe, and my dream is to play in the Premier League.
“I’m a technical player but also I’ve developed my game defensively over the past couple of seasons. I’m very dedicated, hard-working and I’m excited to get started now.” – Gustavo Scarpa