After two months away, it’s not only the players that might be a little rusty when the Premier League returns on the 17th June.
FPL managers around the country will be looking to pick up some bargains and ring in the changes after Fantasy Premier League re-opened for business this week.
It also returned with some welcome news for many of us, as managers have been granted unlimited transfers to shake up their squads given so much time has passed since the last gameweek.
From returning faces to a few differential options, we’ve picked out 10 players for every FPL manager to consider before the unlimited transfer window slams shut…
Fantasy Premier League – 10 Players For Your New-Look Team
HARRY KANE – SPURS – £10.8
Yes, he’s an obvious pick for many FPL players.
However, a fit and firing Harry Kane is not to be sniffed at even at his hefty price tag, with the England captain likely to be hungry to get back into the thick of the action after his lengthy injury lay-off.
Kane’s also a man for the big occasion. That could see him fired up in the first round of games, with Spurs hosting Man Utd and West Ham in a double header that could make or break any lingering Champions League ambitions for Jose Mourinho’s side.
PAUL POGBA – MAN UTD – £8.3
Ok, the endless Pogba to…’ transfer sagas give pause for thought for this one.
However, keeping faith with the Man Utd midfielder might pay off nicely – especially if Pogba opts to knuckle down again and re-assert his top-class credentials.
With many clubs unlikely to be throwing their weight around in the transfer market this summer, the Frenchman may have no but choice but to prove himself all over again if he wants to earn another big-money move once football returns to some form of normality, probably in 2021.
That could be good news for FPL managers and Utd fans alike – in the short term at least.
JOHN MCGINN – ASTON VILLA – £5.4
The Scottish magician will surely earn the freedom of at least one half of Birmingham if he can shrug off his injury issues and deliver Premier League safety for Aston Villa.
McGinn’s imminent return will be a relief to fans, who have had to settle for Jack Grealish pulling rabbits out of hats to keep Villa in the mix for safety, with few of Villa’s summer signings really catching fire.
With three home games in their first four after the restart, an in-form McGinn could help keep Villa just above water come late July.
RUBEN LOFTUS CHEEK – £6.3
Another player back from a lengthy layoff is Chelsea and England man Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The 24-year-old must fear he has become the forgotten man at Stamford Bridge after a horrendous 13-month lay-off with an Achilles injury. However, the conveyer belt of games to end the season could play in his favour, with smart squad rotation likely to be critical to Frank Lampard’s thinking in the race for Champions League football.
Priced at 6.3, he’s an interesting mid-range acquisition for managers willing to take a gamble on a player itching for game time, even if he takes a little while to return to his old self.
ASHLEY BARNES – BURNLEY – £6.1
He’s never going to be everyone’s cup of tea as a Premier League striker, but the Burnley man is close to full fitness again and has been capable of the odd purple patch at this level, with a not unreasonable return of 40 goals in five Premier League campaigns.
FPL managers might have legitimate concerns over Burnley being ‘on the beach’ once things restart, but Sean Dyche teams don’t tend to roll over even with nothing to play for. Back Barnes to relish playing potential kingmaker for the rest of the campaign.
DAVID BROOKS – BOURNEMOUTH – £6.2
It’s been a frustrating campaign for Bournemouth’s breakout star of 2018/19, but the good news for Eddie Howe is the skillful Welshman now looks set to be a key plank of the Cherries’ survival bid over the final month of the season after finally recovering from a recurring ankle injury.
Linked with clubs including Man Utd last season, Brooks will be out to prove he’s no one-season wonder even if it’s only a short cameo in 2019/20. His price might not be this cheap for long.
MOUSSA DJENEPO – SOUTHAMPTON – £5.2
One dilemma FPL managers will have to weigh up heading into these games is the motivation factor.
Will teams like Southampton, Burnley and Newcastle be firing on all cylinders if safety is all but wrapped up after the first few rounds? Even if their teams look half-interested, expect some individuals to use this period to prove they are worthy of Premier League top billing.
Djenepo is one player who’s caught the eye in fits and starts this season. Playing with relatively little pressure behind closed doors, the Malian could be primed to pass his Southampton probation with flying colours this summer once he returns from suspension.
ALEXIS MAC ALLISTER – BRIGHTON – £5.5
One team that might be pleased with the opportunity for a complete reset these past few weeks is Brighton and Hove Albion. The Seagulls’ form slumped alarmingly since the turn of the year after a bright start for Graham Potter. However, the former Swansea man now has the chance to prove his leadership intelligence skills can pay dividends in a time of unprecedented disruption.
Expect Potter to have plenty of Plan Bs in place to shuffle his pack over the next few weeks. That could include handing Argentinean youngster Mac Allister a chance to shine after his promising breakthrough back in March was cut short.
He’s already been capped for Argentina and it remains to be seen whether much can be expected this early, given his lack of experience in English football. Alternatively, he could be just the joker the Seagulls need to play to get themselves back on course.
VALENTINO LAZARO – NEWCASTLE – £5.4
With all the transfer talk over the lockdown period firmly focused on Newcastle’s likely spending power should their takeover go through, one player who will be desperate to make an impact before any regime change is 24-year old Lazaro.
The Austrian was restricted to just four appearances before the season was abruptly brought to a pause. He’ll now be hoping to impress the St James’ Park faithful enough to warrant a permanent move from Inter Milan later this summer.
Inter spent £20m to prise him from Hertha Berlin, which suggests he has something to offer despite a frustrating time in Italy.
RHIAN BREWSTER – LIVERPOOL – £4.2
A real punt this one, but a pick that has some logic if you’re willing to take a small risk.
So far, there’s been no official confirmation on whether the young Liverpool starlet will return on loan to Swansea City, but with Harry Wilson’s loan extension to Bournemouth already agreed, it’s intriguing that so far Jurgen Klopp has been tight-lipped about the youngster’s immediate future.
That caution could make sense, if, as expected, the Reds race to the Premier League title within a week or two, and Klopp has a lengthy victory lap in order to size up his squad for next season.
Could he be tempted to give Brewster an extended run-out in the top flight? Time will tell, but he won’t have many opportunities to blood the 20-year-old.
One to keep an eye on, anyway, as if the loan move back to Swansea doesn’t materialise, at £4.2 he’s hardly going to blow a hole in your budget even if he occupies your bench.