Today we are comparing arguably the two best right-backs in the league, Antonio Valencia and Kyle Walker. Both of these Manchester-based players are priced at 6.5m, so these wing backs are classed as premium options to your FPL team.
Without further ado, lets consider and review this FPL Dilemma…
Valencia is entering his 11th consecutive season in the Premier League and the experienced defender has still got it. He played 3 of those seasons with now League One club Wigan, racking up over 80 appearances for the Latics in the League.
He primarily played as an attacking winger at Wigan, scoring 7 goals and providing and 10 assists for the club. He then got his big move to Manchester United for a fee rumoured to be around £16 million. His first season with United was Valencia’s best FPL return. The Ecuadorean claimed 144 points and hasn’t been beaten since due to injuries and insufficient game time.
On FPL, Valencia converted to a defender in the 2014/15 season which evidently saw his price shoot down to below 6.0m. Last season he was a bargain at 5.5m and bagged 120 points which could have been a lot more considering he missed over a thousand minutes worth of game time.
Similar to Valencia, Walker is an experienced right back as the Englishman is entering his 9th Premier League campaign. His first couple of Premier League seasons were out on loan from Spurs at QPR and Aston Villa respectively. Walker made just over 1,500 minutes worth of game time in those two seasons, grabbing 1 goal and 3 assists in the process.
The next 6 seasons were with Tottenham where he played an emphatic 183 Premier League games, scoring 4 goals and setting up 21 for his team mates. Then this summer, Walker joined the blue half of Manchester for a world record fee for a defender at £50 million. This was swiftly eclipsed by the signing of his full back compatriot Benjamin Mendy.
On FPL, Walker believe it or not used to be just 4.0m in his days with QPR and Aston Villa but in his first season with Spurs shot up to 6.5m which is the same as what he is currently priced. Last season he was generously priced at 5.5m to begin with, but people quickly clocked on to this bargain and his end price was 6.2m.
Both of these defenders will put your FPL budget back 6.5m which for a defender is a hefty price, meaning you will more than likely have to pick between one or the other unless your strategy is to go in 4 or 5 at the back.
Kyle Walker is owned by a fifth of FPL managers which is staggering compared to Valencia’s ownership of just 6.7%. At Manchester United, Valencia is only really battling for a place against Darmian who hasn’t exactly set the world alight in the Premier League.
Also in Valencia’s favour, Walker maybe vulnerable to Guardiola’s rotation strategy and the fact that he has spent £26 million on another right back (Danilo). Fixture wise both Manchester clubs have reasonably easier fixtures but United’s seems to be slightly easier out of the two. Finally last season, Man City kept 12 clean sheets which is significantly worse than United’s 17 clean sheets, but you have to say, City’s defensive has improved massively over the summer.
In my opinion, if FPL managers find their self in a FPL Dilemma between the two, they should opt to go with Valencia as he is guaranteed to start the vast majority of games at United despite European football and has slightly more favourable opening fixtures. Also Valencia is owned by about 200,000 less people and can be classed as a great differential.
Written by a Harry Clark (@Harryclark67)