Every week here on Fanfeud, we will look at some of the players who featured among the best performers on Fanfeud.co.uk cash games over the past few weeks but may have been overlooked by the majority of managers on Fanfeud or season-long FPL. Is he a player who you should rely on in future to win the cash? Or if you do, would you be better throwing your £3 stake in the trash?
Is he cash or is he trash? This week we look at Middlesbrough’s Alvaro Negredo.
Alvaro Negredo was the joint-best performing striker of the weekend, scoring a goal on his Middlesbrough debut to earn his new side a 1-1 draw Stoke City in their first Premier League game since 2009. His nine point total was matched by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero, but while the latter duo will be among the top performing strikers throughout the season, is the Spaniard worthy of a place in your squad as one of your cheaper options?
One of the most intriguing transfer policies of the summer involved new boys Middlesbrough adding a dash of continental flair to the squad of players that gained them promotion in the first place. While Victor Valdes brings a wealth of experience and a treasure trove of medals, and Gaston Ramirez makes a permanent move after playing a hugely influential part in their promotion success, the undoubted headline arrival is that of striker Alvaro Negredo on loan from Valencia.
The 30 year old of course has experience of the Premier League, spending one season at Manchester City, where he scored 23 goals in 48 games across all competitions. However, his time at the Etihad was considered something of a flop, as he only hit the net nine times in the league, and didn’t score at all after January for Manuel Pellegrini’s title-winning side.
In fact, Negredo found himself back in his home-land the following season, initially on loan at Valencia, but then on a permanent basis in July 2015. His goal-scoring form hasn’t exactly been stellar over his last two seasons with Los Che, managing only 10 league goals. So perhaps it isn’t such a big surprise to find him plying his trade in the North East this season as he looks to kick-start his career, but more importantly keep Aitor Karanka’s side in the top-flight.
Over the course of the ninety minutes against Stoke City on Saturday, Negredo had one shot, one key pass, and was fouled twice on the way to compiling a whoscored rating of 7.42. His FPL valuation has already increased by .1 from £6.5 million to £6.6 million, while his ownership rate currently stands at 16.1%. In fact, that alone makes him the fifth most popular forward in the entire game, behind the Manchester massives, Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane (Southampton’s Shane Long lags just behind Negredo at 13.5%).
His price inflation as resulted in him moving into the “under £7 million” bracket, where his total of nine currently leads the way, ahead of Hull City’s Adama Diomande (£4.5 million at 3.8%), Jermain Defoe (£7 million at 7.4%) and Salomón Rondón (£6.5 million at 3.1%), all of whom scored last weekend and compiled an FPL total of 8. Of course, all of those players play for clubs set to be battling out in the final third of the table, with only Defoe boasting a comparable career goal-scoring record to that of Negredo.
Intriguingly, an interesting alternative to the Boro striker may be his compatriot Fernando Llorente (valued at £6.5 million), who created a goal on his debut for Swansea City, and has only been taken up by 3.3% of fantasy managers. Much like Negredo, he finds himself at the back-waters of the Premier League having played for the likes of Juventus and Sevilla in recent times, and will be entrusted with maintaining his new club’s Premier League status. It appears that including one or even both of the two Spanish internationals alongside one of the top names could be a shrewd approach to your fantasy football team.
Middlesbrough will look to build upon their satisfactory start to the life back in the Premier League with an away trip to Sunderland on Sunday, and they follow that up with another away day at West Brom and a home tie with Crystal Palace. In fact, it’s not until September 16th when the fixtures begin to get a bit tougher, as they face Everton (away), Spurs (home) and West Ham (away) on successive weekends. So they will be looking to extract as many points as possible from their next three games. Of course, newly promoted sides have had a knack of producing goal-scorers that punch above their weight over the last few seasons, with Odion Ighalo, Charlie Austin, Rickie Lambert and Grant Holt all hitting double-figures in four of the last five campaigns.
With that in mind, and keeping an eye on Middlesbrough’s next few assignments, then Negredo should definitely be considered as CASH. Get him into your side now as the cheap 3rd striker option. He’s sure to be a key cog up front for a side more than capable of securing their safety by the end of the season.
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