The Digest articles make a welcome return to Fantasy Football Scout in 2023/24.
In these pieces, a player, team and talking point that have attracted interest in the weekend’s matches are discussed.
Five-time top 1k finisher Tom Freeman will be taking the reins this season, producing regular Digest articles, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.
THE PLAYER: SON HEUNG-MIN
A stunning hat-trick in Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-2 thrashing of Burnley served as a telling reminder of Son Heung-min’s (£9.1m) quality.
Handed a central role in Spurs’ front three in place of Richarlison (£6.8m), we saw flashes of the talent that served up 23 goals and 10 assists in 2021/22.
In his post-match interview, Ange Postecoglou revealed Son’s ability to play as a centre-forward played a part in the club’s decision not to pursue a replacement for Harry Kane.
“It’s not exactly why, but it’s one of the reasons. I’ve got a picture in my head of what I want the team to look like and I keep saying that we’re still at the beginning. It’s about putting all the pieces together and, at the same time, not neglecting what’s right in front of you. Sonny, whether he’s playing central or wide, has got all the characteristics. He can play in any system, but the way we play, he’s ideal.” – Ange Postecoglou
There weren’t really any hints this haul was coming, given that Son had attempted just three shots in the box in his first three matches, when he was used as a touchline-hugging winger by Postecoglou. In that time, he was firing an effort every 50.6 minutes, compared to Saturday’s 14.2.
Above: Son’s goal threat stats (average per appearance) in Gameweeks 1-3 (left) and Gameweek 4 (right)
Son’s hat-trick has sparked a major bandwagon, with over 315,000 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers snapping him up.
That’s despite the prospect of playing twice during the international break against Wales and Saudi Arabia, albeit much closer to home than usual at the Millennium Stadium and St James’ Park.
With Spurs’ start to the season under Postecoglou handing them a major morale boost and with the north London side now facing three home matches in five, beginning with a visit from newly-promoted Sheffield United, they can approach their upcoming fixtures with renewed confidence.
Granted, Son does square up against Arsenal and Liverpool in the next three but as we witnessed on numerous occasions in 2021/22, he can be fixture-proof when firing on all cylinders.
Still, the competition for places in our five-man midfields could barely be stronger right now, and it’s worth remembering Son only managed one assist in the following eight games the last time he netted a hat-trick. That poor 2022/23 form did largely come down to fitness, however, something we discussed in our pre-season sleeper article.
Son’s impact in Postecoglou’s new-look attack means he should be a prominent figure in our thinking, but it’s far too early to say if he will get consistent starts through the middle.
Spurs have versatile players who can fill multiple roles across their frontline, including new-signing Brennan Johnson (£5.9m), and I do think the makeup of their attack could vary depending on the opposition. For that reason, I might avoid Son for now, before considering him again in Gameweek 8.