With Sanchez a bit of a rotation risk at the start of the season due to his participation in the Copa America, many fantasy managers are looking for other options. If you are looking for Arsenal cover, then currently there are two popular choices; Theo Walcott (9.0m) and Mesut Özil (8.5m), but who is the better choice for your fantasy football side this season?
Walcott accrued 51 points last season with 5 goals and 1 assist to his name, including his hattrick against West Brom. Although that may not seem like much, he essentially scored more goals than Özil did even though Walcott featured for the equivalent of around 5 full games as his season was blighted by injuries and being dropped while Giroud’s form was at its peak. However, towards the end of the season Walcott gave us a glimpse of what FPL managers who pick him can expect when he is firing on all cylinders – the fact that Walcott has been listed as a midfielder is a massive bonus since it is widely anticipated that he will feature up front for Arsenal.
Özil picked up a total of 103 points last season, scoring 4 goals and assisting 6 in the process. Even though he did miss a great chunk of the season, it was very disappointing that he wasn’t even in the top 25 midfielders in terms of overall points scored. However, on his day Özil is definitely a very difficult player to deal with and even though he is not an out-an-out goalscorer, his vision at times makes him hard to play against so it is very likely that you would be rewarded with a significant number of assists if you opted with Özil, as well as the odd goal. Two other slight advantages that Özil has over most midfielders is that he is likely to keep a lot of clean sheets and in his two seasons in the Premier League he has never picked up a yellow card or been sent off.
Who to choose?
Both of these players have high expectations from fans and the manager alike, as they are capable of world class performances. However both players still have to fully prove themselves, as many Arsenal fans have been disappointed with many of Özil’s performances whereas Walcott has not fully convinced everyone that he is the answer to Arsenal’s striker dilemma. Having said that, even though Özil’s place is arguably more nailed on in Arsenal’s starting 11 than Walcott’s, it is likely that Walcott will have scored more goals than Özil come May 2016, whereas Özil will probably have Walcott beaten in terms of assists. Therefore Walcott is arguably the better pick, but Özil at 8.5m (slightly reduced from last season) could prove to be one of the bargains of the season, while some may argue that Walcott’s price was inflated by that hattrick vs West Brom.
FPL dilemma result: Theo Walcott