The Premier League signings are steadily rolling in, so our January Transfer Analysis will delve into the prospects of all the major transfers. It’s imperative that you know who the new signings are ahead of the upcoming Fantasy EPL waiver runs, and what kind of impact they could have on the Premier League!
The Premier League January Transfers covered here occurred between January 1st and January 10th.
Premier League January Transfer Analysis 21/22
We outline each Premier League new signing individually, providing our views on how they will perform this season and a star rating is given based on their upcoming prospects! We use a five-star rating model to rank the new signings; use these hints and tips to help kick start your Draft Premier League season!
We’ve ranked the prospects based on a star rating, from 1 to 5:
⭐️ = Steer clear
⭐️⭐️ = Wait and see
⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Could be worth a punt
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Great prospect
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = The Premier League signing you’ve been waiting for!
Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder (Midfielder in Fantrax)
Team: Aston Villa
Signed From: Barcelona on Loan
Prospects: So far this window, and likely for the entirety, Coutinho is the most exciting signing. Age 29, previously playing for some of the biggest and best clubs in the world, the Brazillian has quite the resume. While he's suffered injuries and benchings a plenty in the past couple of years, there's still a superstar, or at least a very productive fantasy player in there somewhere. He scored 8.8 fantasy points (PP90) and 5.6 ghost points per 90 (gPP90) in his 5 starts for Barca this year in La Liga, but his previous years' stats were far better. 11.3 PP90 / 7.2 gPP90 the year before in 8 starts, and 17.4 PP90 / 10.5 gpp90 in 15 starts for Bayern.
But what will he do at Villa? Certainly hard to say, as they're an inferior team in a different league than his previous clubs, but they signed him for a reason and I figure 10.5 PP90 and 8.5 gPP90 might be reasonable guess for his per 90 numbers. Part of his expected production comes from his set pieces: Coutinho is an excellent set piece taker and figures to get a portion at Villa when he starts. As for his expected play time, that's a harder question. He started in December for Barca and has apparently had no injuries since then, so he should be fit.
Where he'll fit in at Villa is the next question to ponder. He's played predominantly left wing as of recently but has also played as an attacking midfielder (more so as an attacking 8, but also as a 10). At Villa, that means he could play as a left wing, thus cutting into Ollie Watkins's time, or shifting him to striker and Ings out of the lineup. Emi Buendia has been up and down lately, but because he plays on the right, he could be mostly safe. Alternatively, Coutinho could play as a part of the midfield 3, then mostly cutting into Jacob Ramsey's time and development. If I was forced to estimate, I'd say Coutinho should be expected to start about 60% of Villa's remaining games.
So, with that all said, we have a big risk-reward signing who could start often and put up great numbers or, alternatively, continue his downward career trajectory, and ride the pine in the Prem. Sound familiar? Many have made the comparison to James Rodriguez, but it really is a good one: big-name signing, past his prime, coming from a top-tier club to a middling team in the Prem. We saw both sides with James: the great stats and some nice, albeit short runs of form for Everton, and the eventual fallout, injuries, and lack of play time leading to a depressing end. Let's hope Coutinho is more of the former, less of the latter, and we have a new fantasy stud on our hands. In my eyes, he's worth the risk, and you should get him if you can. He's max FAB if you want him. Check our consensus rankings to see how we think he'll stack up against other assets.
Position: Right back (Defender in Fantrax)
Signed From: Atletico Madrid for £13m
Prospects: The first marquee signing of the new era for the Saudi Geordies and it looks like a good one. He came in for a position that needed strengthening and is a recognized European talent. He knows the Premier League. He checks all the boxes. As for his Fantrax prospects? He definitely is one of the top targets who have come in so far. There are some warning signs though. Both his offensive and his defensive stats have declined in the last few years and the big one is still the fact that Newcastle's defence as a whole is not very good. He scored around 11 fantasy points and 8 ghost points per 90 over the past 2 years, but when you factor in Newcastle's 2+ goals conceded per game and general inferiority compared to Atletico, we should expect worse stats going forward. He has already played a game for them and we saw that he immediately took over set-pieces, so that's certainly a good sign, but the defensive issues remain. I would look to get him for around 15-20% of your remaining FAB or for anything lower than second waiver priority. Hope that Newcastle further improves that back line and his low floor raises.
Position: Left back/left wing back (Defender in Fantrax)
Signed From: OGC Nice for £3m
Prospects: One of a few Watford defensive upgrades. Looks to unseat Masina as a starting left-back. Brings top European experience. 7.5 ghost points per 90 on superior team to Watford. I would not spend FAB on him, but he could be a decent streamer in good matchups when he nails down the spot.
Position: Center-back (Defender in Fantrax)
Signed From: Udinese for ?
Prospects: Another Watford defender who looks to be going into the starting XI ASAP. Not worth spending FAB on, but as he was an aerially dominant player in Serie A (8 ghosts per 90), it is worth keeping an eye out for his rivalry with Sierralta for aerial dominance (think Tarkowski + Mee). One of them will be worth holding in deeper leagues. Also generally played as a LCB in a back 3, so Watford may be heading in this direction, and thus further pushing Kamara (above) further up the pitch.
Position: Left back (Defender in Fantrax)
Signed From: Dynamo Kyiv for £20m
Prospects: The Lucas Digne replacement has arrived. The young Ukrainian has already established himself as a starter for Dynamo Kiev and the national team, so he has first-team experience and we expect him to get the starting left-back spot pretty soon. However, the Everton backline will not quickly turn into a CS machine and he is not an attacking wing-back (if they wanted an attacking one, they could have kept Digne). Not worth a bid.
Position: Right back (Defender in Fantrax)
Signed From: Rangers for £12m
Prospects: The Scottish youngster comes in with a good pedigree and is finally a worthy heir to Seamus Coleman. As the club captain is still playing, Patterson will surely be integrated slowly so he is definitely not worth bidding on. However, when/if he gets a chance, he offers a bit more attacking threat than either Coleman or Mykolenko on the opposite flank, so might be worth streaming.
Position: Defensive midfielder (Midfielder in Fantrax)
Signed From: Kas Eupen for £4m
Prospects: Kayembe has come in to add depth to the already crowded Watford midfield. He has predominantly played in a 343 in the last few years, so it will be interesting to see who he challenges in the first team. I don't expect him to start right away, and even when he does, he doesn't offer much going forward. Definitely not worth a bid in Fantrax.
Ones to Watch
Lucas Digne to Aston Villa/other EPL club: The oddsmakers currently have Digne around 75% likely to end up at Villa, and rumours are that Newcastle, Chelsea, and West Ham were also interested. There's a very good probability that he ends up on a new club in the Prem in a much better situation than on Everton. He's likely to get significantyl more opportunity on a team with a better defense (bar Newcastle for now) than Everton, and with more attacking intent (particularly from the wide backs unlike under Benitez). All won't necessarily be roses after his transfer though. Depending on where he ends up, he might be facing some rotation (i.e. at Villa, where just last year, fans were talking about how Targett should be starting on the national team). Digne won't walk into the starting lineup weekly. While Targett has been poor as of recently and I would expect Digne to win out eventually, it could likely be a rotation. Other teams would have different situations.
Adama Traore to Spurs: 50% likely according to the bookies, this would be an interesting one. The supposed logic is that Conte wants a more attacking option at right wing back, and doesn't see Emerson Royal as the preferred option going into the future. So there's opportunity for Traore to get more starts than he has been at Wolves. We've seen him play right wing back before and he'll put up his stats, just with less goal/assist upside (which he rarely hits anyways - lets be honest). Regardless, I believe this would be a positive move for his fantasy prospects as his expected playing time goes up. Emerson would obviously suffer as a result. Traore could also feature farther forward along side Kane and Lucas, while Son is out injured. Apply similar logic if he was to go to Chelsea, with maybe more guaranteed starts with no clear RWB competition.
Emerson/Other wing back to CHE: Chelsea seem set on bringing Emerson back from his loan spell at Lyon. It seems likely this one gets done, but even if it doesn't they'll have similar backup options. Tuchel doesn't seem to fully trust Alonso, or at least wants further depth in his position. I expect Emerson to rotate with Alonso in maybe a 60 (Alonso) - 40 (Emerson) split. Emerson may not start a ton, but when he does, he'll be quite good, as all Chelsea wing backs tend to be. If Chelsea bring in another wing back, I'd expect them to also backup/rotate with Alonso, as it appears as of now, Chelsea are not willing to spend on/desire to bring in a truly elite starting option. The same goes on the right hand side, after Reece James's injury. Small rumours have sprung up but nothing substantial. As of now, it doesn't seem like they'll be bringing in a consistent starter, so Azpi, Puli, CHO, et al. will each get their time out wide.
Chris Wood/other striker/winger(s) to NEW: Newcastle are rumoured to be going after Chris Wood from Burnley, Ekitike of Reims, and/or Cantwell of Norwich. Wood appears to be the furthest along, and if it goes through he'll likely be a slight upgrade on his previous self in a more attacking team than Burnley. Neither of the other 2 are incredibly likely as of now, but regardless, Newcastle are clearly desperate to bring in some attacking help on top of some defensive strengthening. I would expect that any of their signings has a similar fantasy profile to the players they already have like Wilson and Almiron. Nothing to get too excited about, but Wood would be more rosterable and maybe a couple useable streamers as well.
Center back to NEW: Maybe the most likely transfer out of all the above potential moves is Newcastle bringing in a defender to shore up the center of the backline. It makes a lot of sense when you're starting Krafth back there and conceding multiple goals per game. There have been countless names rumoured, but I wouldn't get excited fantasy-wise for any of them. Outside of streaming in good matchups, this center back (or multiple) will still be on relegation-threatened Newcastle.
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