2015/2016 was a mixed season for Stoke City. Plenty of promise over Autumn into Christmas offered hope. However disjointed run that began in January 2016 culminated with an utter collapse by Easter, leaving Stoke City to abandon European dreams and settle for 9th place for a third consecutive season.
The stand out players for Stoke City last season were Marko Arnautovic and Jack Butland by a landslide, with the attackers rotating far too much to have any impact and the defence picking up the bulk of the points in 2015/2016. For 2016/2017 Stoke have no new signings to date, therefore we take a look at last season’s crop of players to get a feel for who could stand out over the coming fantasy football campaign. Here are three players to keep your eye on…
STAR MAN – Jack Butland (5.0m)
Following a tremendous breakthrough season his base price has risen from 4.5m to 5.0m this season; however Butland will still be great value and a popular choice for many FPL players this season. Profiting from a very uncertain defence last season, Butland shone with many saves and clean sheets, which saw him rack up the points. He would’ve racked up considerably more, were it not for his injury on international duty – he’ll very much start all 38 games if he’s fit. All of us at Stoke City are all hoping he’ll have less to do this season, but you’ll be damn sure he’ll do it well.
HIDDEN GEM – Bojan Krkic (6.0m)
PRAISE BE! HE’S A MIDFIELDER AT LAST! Bojan was fantastic value at around 5.2m last season, however the big catch was that the game listed him as a striker, which he isn’t, primarily. With only 3 positions to choose from, it was difficult to make room for him. Now however, the game has changed. Whilst priced slightly higher at 6.0m, Bojan is in the bracket of players such as Yannick Bolasie, Nathan Redmond, Aaron Lennon and Stoke’s own Jon Walters.
An attacking player, Bojan contributes goals and assists making him a key man in midfield. Even if he doesn’t start every game, you’ll have the depth to rotate him in and out as needed. One assist so far in pre season off the back of two promising performances, Bojan comes alive at the start of the season.
BARGAIN OPTION – Giannelli Imbula (5.0m)
At 5.0m, the base price for non-attacking midfielders and generally reserved for defensive midfielder’s, Imbula could be a smart “cheap pick” for your five man midfield ahead of the coming season. At £18m, he’ll be the regular in Stoke’s midfield – he’s cost too much not to be! His box to box ability and take on work sees him looked favourably upon by OPTA and the other statisticians, leading to bonus points on a matchday. He also chips in with the odd goal too, which helps to rack up the points. There are better options out there to generate big points from midfield, but if your budget is tight he’ll fit you like the gloves he wears in June.
Written by Jase (@scfcjase)