Craig Dawson – Fantasy Football Potential

Watford have completed the acquisition of West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson for a fee worth in the region of £5.5 million. The 29 year old, who can play centre back or right back, joins the Hornets after spending a season away from the Premier League, following West Brom’s relegation two seasons ago.

On his move, Dawson has said;

“Its going to be a new challenge, and I’m very excited to be here. It all happened very quickly, so there wasn’t too much time to ponder over it, it’s a great opportunity and one I took straight away.”

Player History

Dawson started his career all the way down in the Northern Premier League with Radcliffe Borough. He was a part time glass collector at a local pub, but that all changed when Rochdale caught wind of this young talent. He was a first team regular at Radcliffe, scoring 15 times in 95 appearances from the back. When he signed for Rochdale, he was loaned back out to them for the remainder of the season where he was voted player of the season and ranked 14th in the greatest ever players to have played in the league.

He spent a solitary season as a Rochdale player permanently, gaining a move to West Brom after an impressive season in League Two with the Dale. He once agin proved he could score goals as well as stopping them, netting double figures and simultaneously earning a place in the 2009/10 League Two team of the Year.

This wouldn’t be the last time the Rochdale fans would see the defender play at Spotland. He was immediately sent out on loan and spent the 2010/11 season in a Rochdale shirt. He would eventually make his West Brom debut against Bournemouth in August and was rewarded with a England u21 call up.

His debut couldn’t have gone much better. Dawson scored a brace against Azerbaijan and would go on to make 15 appearances for the team, netting six times in the process. In his first season at West Brom he played just eight times, so another loan move was in the making. Bolton were the club to get his signature, and Dawson rewarded them with some stellar performances, including a run of four goals in three games, two of which being match winners.

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During this time he had the honour of representing his country at the Olympics, where he played three times in an unsuccessful campaign for Stuart Pearce’s side. Pearce was incidentally the u21 manager at the time, who took a shine to Dawson. After his time at Bolton, he finally made it in the Premier League, playing almost 150 times before his relegation with West Brom in the 2017/18 season.

He was a mainstay in Tony Pulis’ team becoming a key player in the team’s survival hopes every season. He did miss 10 games in the season the Baggies eventually dropped to the second tier, which could be a reason as to why they couldn’t quite survive another year in the top flight.

Fantasy Football Potential

Anybody that has played FPL for a while now will know the name Craig Dawson, and most likely, having him in their team at some point over the last few seasons. With Pulis’ defensive style of play, Dawson and West Brom were always clean sheet magnets, with the likes of Gareth McAuley and Foster also being some FPL favourites.

In his previous four seasons in the Premier League, Dawson has averaged over 100 points per season, which is decent for a £5.0m option in defence. He has kept the same price tag this year which will probably put most people off the idea of selecting him as there are arguably better options at a lower price. This is proven as the defender is owned by just 0.4% of FPL managers.

Personally, I won’t be joining that 0.4% this year but that doesn’t mean he can’t become a good FPL differential this year. We’ve seen what he can do in the opposition’s box and that pays off big time in FPL. He will have some tough competition getting into Javi Gracia’s side with Christian Kabasele and Craig Cathcart the main rivals for the spots.

Written by, Harry Clark (@HarryClark_)

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