A lot of managers have made the decision to play their wildcard early and are now considering which budget 4th/5th midfielder or 3rd striker to put into their squad. Renato Sanches’ arrival to Swansea on deadline day raised a few eyebrows even though it is just a loan move. Not so long ago, he was being linked with clubs in the Premier league such as Manchester Utd. However, Swansea play a good passing style so they will hopefully provide a great platform to showcase his talents to the management at his parent club, Bayern Munich.
Many #FPL managers will remember the cameo appearances from the box to box midfielder at Euro 2016, which drew praise and helped his country lift the trophy but I have some reservations. That was a Portugal side that contained experienced world class players so there was arguably less pressure on the player to carry the team. This coupled with the fact that Paul Clement recently hinted that Bayern haven’t demanded a mandatory minimum games played limit for Sanches, when asked the question by a journalist.
Having watched a professional performance by Swansea in beating Crystal Palace (away) in their last match, it’s also hard to see why Sanches at £5.0m should get in the side straight away. Sam Clucas also at £5.0m joined the club in a relatively big money move for a club like Swansea this summer so have to assume he is firmly part of Paul Clement’s plans. That leaves Leroy Fer, £5.5m and Tom Carroll, £4.5m in the other positions that Sanches could take. Fer can perform that box to box function and he also provides a physical edge to the midfield. The Swansea squad has a few younger players which is why I think Fer’s years of Premier League experience will keep him in the starting 11. That leaves Tom Carroll as the only other possible casualty and as a Carroll owner I’m definitely worried. Carroll has been a dependable player for Clement so I can’t see him being frozen out completely. However, I can see him being the first one to be sacrificed in a game to allow Sanches minutes. If you currently own Carroll, I would hold onto for at least another week. If you don’t own Carroll then I wouldn’t bring him in until we see how Swansea line up this week.
My verdict is predictably, wait and see for Sanches. I’m always an advocate of the “eye test” when it comes to #FPL so make your own verdict after watching Swansea vs Newcastle. For the time being before the game week deadline, I think there are better/safer options at £5.0m or less who are likely starters this weekend i.e Chalobah at £4.5m, Atsu at £5.0m or Can at £5.0m. They could all potentially pop up with an assist or a goal. That being said, Sanches will have a point to prove in his home debut whether he starts or makes a cameo and with millions watching on ‘Super Sunday’, he might be a fun risk if you’re on a wildcard.
We know a lot more about what Wilfried Bony, £6.0m brings to the table given his previous stint at the club. However, I definitely think he is the more interesting #FPL option of the two. I’m also not going to bore you with stats from his last games for Man City and Stoke as too much time has passed since then but both moves seemed doomed from the offset. He was never going to be a starter at Man City as long as Aguero was available and the move to Stoke was just to provide them with squad depth. Let’s not forget, this is a striker who knows how to put the ball in the back of the net when he has confidence. The way Swansea have talked him up since his return, will certainly help in that regard.
The departure of Llorente also means he hasn’t got too much competition for places. If Swansea continue with 2 up front, he could form a decent partnership with Tammy Abraham who at £5.5m is another good budget option. Jordan Ayew, £5.0m for me, looks like the player who could lose minutes in this scenario. Given the fact, Abraham left Chelsea due to lack of playing time, I can only assume he asked for assurances about playing time before signing. Ultimately, whether you bring in Bony boils down to how good the other 2 strikers are in your #FPL squad and how often you plan on starting Bony in your line ups. I currently have a front 3 of Kane, Lukaku and Lacazette. I’m not on a wildcard but I would definitely consider bringing in Bony if he plays well on Sunday. Simply, because the money I could save by swapping one of my strikers for Bony would mean I could get more big hitters in midfield i.e Alexis Sanchez £11.9m and Eden Hazard £10.5m…
Thanks for reading and the best of luck to you in Gameweek 4!!
This article Wildcard Options: Swansea’s Bony & Sanches was written by Kuda Godfrey. Follow him on twitter @KG_FPL.