With GW2 coming to completion last night, I made an early transfer with KDB making way and Mkhitaryan replacing him, allowing me to catch the Armenian’s price rise and giving me 1.9m ITB.
After making that transfer my initial reaction looking at the team was that I’d definitely be taking a -4 this week, and quite possibly a -8. But now it’s time to understand the actual needs of the team with a clear head and make some informed decisions.
I started off by thinking that Ward-Prowse is top of the chop-list, and Walker being suspended isn’t ideal, especially with his price tag. So the initial feeling was to dump both and bring in Salah and Hegazi. The stumbling block of course is that I already have 3 WBA players – the downside of having a non-playing back-up GK from the same team as your main ‘keeper.
This led to a step back. A re-evaluation. The key question is do I need to get rid of Walker? The funds would be useful, sure, but he’s only suspended for one game – can my other defenders cover that? Simply, yes they can. Beyond this weekend Scott Dann is turning into bench fodder at 5m, but that problem will have to wait.
Budget midfield options to replace JWP
Atsu and Mooy seem to be the popular choices. Having watched two Newcastle games, despite Atsu being the best of a bad bunch, they really are a bad bunch. I like the look of Mooy, but I’d like to see a little more I think. The other option is Richarlison of Watford. They have a nice home fixture vs Brighton and are high on confidence.
What does it mean?
None of these options are jumping out at me, and because ultimately I want to bring in Salah, I won’t be taking a one week punt for a hit. If I take a hit it will be with 3/4 fixtures in mind, and Salah could easily do well in his next two against the unconvincing defences of Arsenal and Man City, so I’m not ruling that out. I’d also rather have three mid-premium range midfielders to allow for flexibility within that position should I need to change one/upgrade to Hazard when he’s back.
So no decisions yet, but there is time, and working through it logically might not have gotten me to the answer yet, but I now understand what the team needs, which is the important part.