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What We Learned from Gameweek 4
First off, let me offer a get well soon to Harvey Elliot, the Liverpool midfielder who featured heavily in this article following Gameweek 3 and who suffered a horrible-looking injury in the match today. The teenager looked well on his way to a productive season for The Reds before the cynical tackle by Struijk. I hope for the best for Elliot and I cannot wait to see him return to the field, whenever that may be.
While there is one more match to be played on Monday between Burnley and Everton, there is still plenty to be learned from the nine matches that have already been played. Gameweek 4 saw the return to the EPL of one of the greatest players of all time, as well as the debut of several new transfers fresh off the deadline. It also saw a top five forward from last year return to answer some questions.
Each week this space will look quickly at some notable takeaways from the previous gameweek and provide some instant reactions and thoughts for going forward. With four weeks under our belts, we have some more workable data to start making sense of this fun and frustrating game of Draft PL.
The August transfer window brought several big names in the EPL, but none bigger than five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. After swirling rumors of which side of Manchester he would inhabit, Ronaldo chose to return to his roots and become a Red Devil once again. His return was spectacular, highlighting a 4-1 United victory over Newcastle with two goals and six total shots. Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was the stuff of legends, but he was not the only August transfer to make his debut in memorable fashion in Gameweek 4.
Notable Transfer Debuts in GW4
Cristiano Ronaldo - MUN 23.5 FPTS
Odsonne Edouard - CRY 22
Takehiro Tomiyasu - ARS 17.7
Hwang Hee-Chan - WOL 15
Marc Cucurella - BHA 9
Brandon Williams - NOR 7.75
Christo Tzolis - NOR 6
Nikola Vlasic - WHU 2
Emerson Royal - TOT .5
Edouard did all of his damage with two goals in only eight minutes of action. If he is not rostered in your league, this is the week to make a move and try to add him. He will still probably share time with Benteke but seems to be a better talent that will hopefully win a starting spot up front.
Briefly on a few of the others from this list: Tomiyasu looked dangerous pushing forward for Arsenal and provided great balance for Tierney on the opposite side. Emerson Royal also looked like a threat pushing forward from the back for Tottenham, one of their lone bright spots as we will explore in a bit. Hwang Hee-Chan came on late to score for Wolves, an attack that needed an injection of fresh legs up front. Cucurella also provided a boost to the wing play of Brighton, taking on players and completing a key pass. Vlasic did not do much in his debut for WHU in a hard fought draw with Southampton. Finally, the pair of new Norwich starters played well against Arsenal. The Canaries seem to be building a team that could fight their way out of relegation this year and Williams and Tzolis could be good foundations.
All of these are worth at least watching, with Edouard, Cucurella, Tomiyasu, and Royal worth an add in most leagues.
Watkins is Back
Last season saw Ollie Watkins debut in the EPL and proceed to take the league by storm, finishing fifth in scoring among forwards behind names you might know: Kane, Son, Mane, and Salah. An injury delayed his first appearance in this season and the signing of Danny Ings brought some doubt into how Watkins would fare this year. I think it’s safe to say that the Villa forward is trying to quiet all those fears for managers lucky enough to have rostered him.
Appearing in Gameweek 3 as a sub, Watkins made the most of his 10 minutes of action, recording 4.5 FPTS thanks to two shots on goal. Making his first start of the year this week against Chelsea, Watkins continued shooting, putting up six shots with two on target, scoring a respectable 13 FPTS without an attacking return. The time to try and pry him away from a worried manager may have passed, but Watkins seems poised to return to his high scoring ways and is someone worth trying to bring into your team.
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