Time to Buy Martial?

Over the last 2 game weeks, over 400,000 FPL managers have brought Martial (£7.5m) into their teams. The Frenchman has been in a rich vain of form, scoring 5 goals in his last 4 matches and starting in each game. After these performances, we have looked into whether you should be buying Martial, or if the ship has already sailed.

Statistics

As mentioned, Martial has been in a goal scoring run including an assist in GW8 against Newcastle. It seems that Mourinho and Martial have settled their differences, as the Frenchman has started the last 5 matches for United.

It has been a growing progression for Martial over the recent weeks, with his last 2 matches producing his best underlying stats. He has taken 7 shots in total and 6 key passes over this period, a stark improvement to his previous fixtures.

Prior to his last 2 matches, he had only registered 4 shots and 6 key passes in his first 6 matches of the season. Some of these appearances came as a substitute, so his regular game time has been a reflection of his on-pitch improvements.

In comparison to other midfielders, he is currently the 10th highest midfield scorer with 51 points. It’s worth noting too that he has played the least minutes (528) of any of the top 10, Hazard being the second lowest minutes on 692.

Fixtures

It can be argued that Martial’s recent form has come against easier opposition, only facing 1 of the top 5 in his last 4 matches. Considering the purchase of the Frenchman, its worth acknowledging Man United’s upcoming fixtures:

Martial Fixtures 2018

The stand out matches for United are their away matches against their fierce rivals Liverpool and Man City. Off the back of a 6-1 thrashing of Southampton, City will be coming into the match with added confidence. Man Utd on the other hand will have a different mindset, after coming back to beat Bournemouth in added time on Saturday.

Both these matches are very tough tests for United, but we think these two shouldn’t dictate whether you transfer in Martial or not.

The attraction of United’s fixtures is each of the 5 home matches they play. They face two of the current bottom three including Fulham who have one of the worst away records. Even United’s home match against Arsenal is an opportunity for Martial to score points, who have only kept 2 clean sheets all season.

Although Martial has been performing brilliantly, the least can be said about the team as a whole. Man United have only won 1 league game this season by more than a one goal margin, coming back in GW4 against a woeful Burnley side.

Although owning Martial is an appealing move right now, it is clear that the team are not comfortably beating teams. This hasn’t stopped Martial scoring, but it does show the ceiling that United are currently at. Compare this with Man City or Liverpool, who have won games by ease and at a high scoreline.

It can be argued that the only reason for this is due to the unusually poor defensive displays this season. But we think that a team not scoring freely can be a negative factor when transferring in an FPL player. Naturally, more team goals means a higher chance of a player contributing regularly to goals.

Alternatives

If you have not been tempted by Martial for the coming game week, then we have a handful of alternatives that are great value and a similar price bracket.

The first pick is Everton’s top goal scorer Richarlison (£6.8m). The Brazilian continued his good start to the season with a brace against Brighton at Goodison. His new position as a centre forward raised some eyebrows, however it seems that Silva is happy with his recent performances and could continue to play there.

At £0.7m cheaper than Martial, he is a great FPL option that is reflected in his ownership (25.6%). 4 shots and 1 key pass last weekend showed his growing improvement in the strikers position, and could prove to be a real asset while still being classed as a midfielder on FPL.

Another similar priced alternative to Martial is Chelsea’s Willian (£7.4m). Although a risk rotation, Willian has been producing some decent stats in his recent performances. In GW11, he registered 2 shots and 5 key passes in only 64 minutes proving to be a goal threat throughout the match.

The worry is the return of Hazard and competition from Pedro, however Willian has started the last 6 league matches, playing 90 in two. Upcoming fixtures are mixed, but home matches against Everton and Fulham seem good opportunities for the Brazilian to grab some points.

The final alternative is Leicester’s James Maddison (£6.9m). The bandwagon was in full swing at the start of the season with Maddison, however in recent weeks it seems his lack of points has tested the patience of owners. Without a return since GW7, it’s understandable the wheels have fallen off the bandwagon.

However, we still think there is a case for the Englishman. Although his FPL performances have been poor, his stats continue to show the potential for points to be scored. Since GW7, he has produced 8 shots and 11 key passes in 4 matches.

With a sense of purpose after the horrendous incident to Leicester’s owner, don’t be surprised to see Maddison score some points in the coming fixtures. And on the note of coming fixtures, Leicester face Burnley at home in GW12. Burnley have conceded the most goals on the road (15) along with the most shots conceded per game (23.2).

We think that if any of the mentioned alternatives are making way for the sale of Martial, it would only be Willian where value would be made. Maddison has decent fixtures and Richarlison has the price tag and form to not be sold at the current moment.

Conclusion

It’s clear that over the recent weeks, Martial has been returning points that exceed the expected output of a £7.5m midfielder. As well as his FPL points, his underlying stats are also supporting the argument of owning the Frenchman, consistently proving to be a goal threat.

Rotation is also not a major problem for him as mentioned with his recent game time, and seems to currently be the first name on the team sheet. The United form is a worry, however with the appealing home matches you’d like to think they can produce some dominant attacking performances.

At £7.5m, we think that Martial is providing some of the best value in FPL at the current moment. Your decision for transferring him in should consider whether you believe Man United as a team will begin to dominant these smaller teams, especially at home.

We don’t think United have enough to beat Man City and Liverpool away, so the points will be largely scored at Old Trafford, against these smaller teams.

We’ve spoken about the alternatives you may be transferring out to own Martial. However, as a long term player we think he could be a great FPL asset. This game week isn’t the best time to bring him into your teams, but we think GW13 onwards could provide some great value to many managers.

 

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