Finally, it’s over. The international break has come and gone, and FPL normality has been restored to our lives. As mentioned in our GW5 FPL team preview, we had a few rotation problems and injuries that had to be assessed over the international break.
Fraser has now been added to the injury list while on duty with Scotland, and added another problem to our FPL headache. To remind everyone, we have already played our wildcard in GW3, so have not had the luxury of making mass changes.
We rolled our transfer in GW4 with the anticipation of needing the flexibility that 2 free transfers provides. It was a decision that has been fruitful for us, with the problems we had over the international break.
We had £0.5m in the bank and 3 players that we had on our transfer out list:
Monreal (£5.5m) was brought in during our wildcard team and provided an instant return with a goal against West Ham. The problem that we had with Monreal was the Arsenal defence as a team, where they have yet to keep a clean sheet this season. 2 of those teams were Chelsea and Man City, teams that little will keep clean sheets against. The alarm bells were rung after conceding 1 goal at home to West Ham and 2 away to Cardiff, a team that had yet to score this season.
At £5.5m, Monreal isn’t a cheap option and therefore we had plenty of alternatives if we chose to transfer him out. Chilwell (£5.0m) made our GW5 differential list, and was a serious candidate to replace Monreal. Head over to our differential article for why we feel he’s a great FPL asset, and at £0.5m cheaper it would provide further funds to strengthen the squad.
Our premium alternative was Trippier (£6.0m), a choice that would be a long term option as he plays Liverpool this weekend.
In the end we decided to keep Monreal in the squad, as we felt that they have great long term fixtures. His goal threat is another aspect that we took into account, and think he will return consistent points over the long term.
After playing 90 minutes in all three of the opening fixtures – including a goal and assist against Chelsea – many FPL managers were left in horror when he started on the bench. And to compound the misery, coming on for a 1 point cameo.
Mkhitaryan has been a strange one to manage as an owner. Its difficult to read too much into whether him being dropped means he is a permanent bench warmer. Should we just forget his opening three matches?
It seems like waiting another game week is the sensible option, as it will show whether Emery values him or Ozil in his starting 11. The Arsenal manager looks to be playing 2 up front for the coming weeks, which only leaves one available position for Mkhitaryan to compete for.
There are a number of alternatives that we have considered, the first being his Arsenal team mate Aaron Ramsey. He’s been a personal favourite over the years on FPL and looks to have cemented his position in the team, offering a goal threat and assist potential.
Moura was another name in the hat after his recent performances putting him on the radar. We had recently ruled out the Brazilian as an option, but due to our situation we have considered bringing him in for his goal threat and decent fixtures.
The final option we considered was Lingard, who was another player on our differential list for GW5. As mentioned in the article, he has posted some decent stats and United have some good home fixtures over the coming months.
There has been plenty of discussion over the value of Liverpool players over the coming months, something we talked about in a recent article. Our team only has two Liverpool assets, but we have been tempted to sell Robertson due to the difficulty of his fixtures.
The alternatives we considered were the same as the ones for Monreal, and wanted to keep the defenders as premium options to maintain our team structure. We did decide however not to transfer out Robertson as we thought there were better exit games to do the transfer if we chose to. Liverpool host Southampton in their next league match, a game that we think Robertson could score some big points. After that match, we think there is a case to transfer him out but for now we are planning on keeping him in the squad.
After days and days of chopping and changing the team, we have decided to go for Aaron Ramsey and transfer out Mkhitaryan. We are fully aware that Mkhitaryan may start over the weekend but we don’t want to take that risk. We wanted to keep the Arsenal cover in the team, and although Moura was very close to getting in, the upcoming return of Son and Lamela swayed us.
Ramsey is a slight differential pick at 1.2%, but with our team we have enough high ownerships in other positions to afford for a luxury player like Ramsey.
So here’s how the team looks for GW5:
The major starting 11 decision was whether to play Robertson or Wan-Bissaka, but in the end we felt the Liverpool man would score better.
Captaincy proved to be an easy choice this game week, with Aguero having the best fixture at home to Fulham. Salah wasn’t considered this game week due to the diffultiy of his match and the ‘ease’ of Aguero’s match.
Hope everyone has a great game week and be sure to comment below or ask us on Twitter if you have any questions!