Finding the right balance in an FPL strike force can often be what separates the good managers from the great. Some prefer to spend heavy on their attackers, snapping up two premium forwards for fees of £10 million or higher. Others prefer to complement one expensive striker with value buys, freeing up funds to invest in a midfield of heavyweights.
Only six of the top twenty scoring players last season were classed as forwards. It was the likes of Sanchez, Alli and Hazard who proved to be the most prolific point scorers, benefited by the extra point awarded to a goal from a midfielder, the possibility for clean sheet bonuses and a propensity to deliver more assists. The best FPL teams will not be carrying expensive strikers who aren’t delivering regular goals. Of course, the risk is that a binned striker will instantly go on a hot streak.
But when Sergio Aguero is costing north of £12.5 million, you cannot afford to have a premium striker who is not considered a regular starter. Aguero still racked up a hefty tally of twenty goals, but Guardiola may well favour Gabriel Jesus as the main man next season. Failing that, there is bound to be a large degree of rotation between the two, and having an expensive striker like Aguero on your FPL bench is not the most effective use of funds.
This makes Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku the most attractive premium strikers. Both know how to operate in the Premier League, and were the highest scoring FPL forwards last season. Kane will probably be the player that you cannot afford not to have, as he has shown his consistency in terms of fitness, goals and creativity. Lukaku’s fortunes are more questionable, based on the unknown factor of how he will settle into a Manchester United side. Whilst the Belgian can match the unerring finishing of Kane, his style of play is more one-dimensional and less conducive to chance creation.
Therefore, it might be worth holding off on snapping up the Belgian in case it takes United some time to adapt to his strengths. Another new signing who should be treated with reservation is Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman arrives with an impressive pedigree, demonstrated in football betting at bet365, where he is 12/1 to finish the season as top goalscorer. However, a considerable real-life transfer fee will translate into a considerable FPL value. Like Lukaku, Lacazette has been signed to finish moves rather than instigate. Caution is advised, at least until it is clear how Lacazette and Sanchez will fit into the same system together.
Sanchez may well not remain at Arsenal for the next campaign, and there are similar question marks over the future of Diego Costa at Chelsea. It is probably wise to avoid the volatile frontman if he does remain at Stamford Bridge, as his strained relationship with Conte could manifest with Costa being an inconsistent starter. If he leaves, his replacement could be an attractive option.
Therefore, the only really tempting premium striker is Harry Kane, and his value is bound to have soared again after another outstanding season. Costa and Aguero may not be the bankers they previously were, and Lacazette and Lukaku should be afforded time to adapt to justify their large fees. There could well be more value in the options available between £7 million and £10 million. Kelechi Iheanacho could be reinvigorated by a move to Leicester and Sandro Ramirez arrives at Everton with the prospect of being their main man. Of course, both will also need time to acclimatise to their new surroundings but could well be worth a punt.
Or, if you want to go for tried and tested, how about Wayne Rooney back at Everton? It is an intriguing signing, as are all of Everton’s acquisitions, but it will not be the last major transfer that will give FPL managers food for thought. FPL fans everywhere will be hoping that some of the world’s leading strikers will make their move to England before the window closes, otherwise, every single team will have Harry Kane leading the line.