FPL Transfer Tracker - Gameweek 13
FPL managers are facing a potential defensive crisis ahead of Gameweek 13. Last week, Manchester City confirmed Benjamin Mendy underwent knee surgery which will rule the full-back out for at least a month. The absence of Mendy, however, isn’t the only the injury complicating things in defense. Kieran Trippier and Matt Doherty are both early doubts for the weekend after withdrawing from international duty, while Harry Maguire remains unavailable because of a knee problem. With that said, this week’s edition of FPL Transfer Tracker is all about replacing Mendy. Since there is more than one way to go about replacing Mendy, I’ve picked out seven potential solutions for managers search for an alternative.
Unsurprisingly, Marcos Alonso is the top choice because his numbers are a thing of beauty. No FPL player has scored more points than the Alonso, who also leads all defenders in shots on goal (18) and assists (7). Alonso’s total of 86 points places him four points ahead of Eden Hazard and 16 ahead of the second-highest scoring defender Andrew Robertson. In 12 starts this season, the Chelsea left-back has scored eight or more points six times and blanked on just three occasions. Despite commanding a hefty price of 7.1m, Alonso’s ability to combine attacking returns with clean sheets makes him the go-to replacement for Mendy.
Robertson has been automatic at home. The Liverpool fullback helped keep a clean sheet and grabbed an assist in the 2-0 win over Fulham in Gameweek 12, marking the fifth time this season he’s earned a shutout at Anfield. Robertson has scored 45 of his 72 points on home soil and just 27 on the road; splits that aren’t very appealing. However, the drop off has much to do with the fact his last four away matches included trips to Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal. Three of Liverpool’s next four games are on the road, but their opponents are less daunting; Watford, Burnley, and Bournemouth. If you can’t pay up for Alonso, then Robertson is a solid lateral move.
Chilwell makes this list because he’s undervalued. Despite recording two assists in his last six starts and creating a chance every 72 minutes this season, the England international is owned by just less than three per cent of teams. Those looking for a differential defender should consider Chilwell for the next two gameweeks since Leicester has kept back-to-back clean sheets and their next two fixtures are against Brighton (A) and Watford (H). Brighton has found the back of the net just once in their last three home matches and averages a league-low 7.8 shots per game. Watford places mid-table in shots and shots on target on the road, but Leicester has allowed just one goal their last three outings at the King Power. I like Chilwell as a short-term pick.
I would hold the Republic of Ireland international even though he’s in doubt for Gameweek 13. This season, Doherty places second in shots (19) and third in chances created (18) in the defender standings. The Wolverhampton wing-back has cooled off since he scored a whopping 47 points between Gameweek 4 and Gameweek 8. With that said, his underlying numbers have remained on point. During his hot streak, he totalled seven shots and eight chances created. Despite no returns in his last four starts, Doherty took eight shots and created nine chances in that span. His attacking numbers are supplemented by some good fixtures during the festive period, including matches against Huddersfield Town (H), Cardiff City (A), Newcastle (A), Fulham (A) and Crystal Palace (H). Although the clean sheets have dried up, I’m expecting Doherty to rebound.
Lucas Digne is an excellent alternative for a couple of reasons. Most notably, the left-back frees up the bankroll to upgrade elsewhere and offers tons of attacking upside. No defender has supplied more accurate crosses (11) or goal-scoring chances (11) than Digne over the last four gameweeks. The Frenchman has also displaced Gylfi Sigurdsson as the primary set-piece taker. Since Gameweek 9, he has been responsible for 66.7% of Everton’s corner kicks and free-kicks. Over the next four matches, the 25-year-old has three appealing home fixtures (Cardiff City, Newcastle, and Watford) and the Toffees have conceded just once in their last three outings at Goodison Park. In short, Digne was one of my transfers this week.
Just two of Brighton’s next nine matches are in the ‘red’, a pair of home fixtures against Chelsea (GW16) and Arsenal (GW19). This suggests Brighton defenders could be worth a look. Although Shane Duffy is a popular pick, I would go with Dunk. The centre-back has scored in back-to-back matches, but the real value here is his bonus points potential. The England international racked up impressive totals of 47 clearances, seven blocks and four interceptions over the last four gameweeks, and even outscored Duffy in the CBI index during that span. Dunk is an option for managers looking to save funds.
Tips of the Week - Raúl Jiménez (£5.8m)
Next Two Matches: HUD (H), CAR (A)
Jimenez gained more new managers than any other player for Gameweek 13. While the Mexico international is by no means a sleeper tip, his numbers are too good to ignore. Jimenez has five FPL assists and two goals in his last eight starts and is creating a chance every 57.6 minutes this season. His total of 17 scoring chances created is third-most amongst forwards, behind only by Callum Wilson (18) and Sergio Agüero (19). Jimenez is averaging a shot every 28.1 minutes, and 26 of his 35 attempts have come from inside the box, which is essential when you consider that his next two matches are against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City. Huddersfield is yet to record a clean sheet on the road and has conceded 14 goals in five away matches, while no club has conceded more goal at home than Cardiff City this season (14).
Long-term Target - Callum Paterson (£5.2m)
Next Five Matches: EVE (A), Wolves (H), WHU (A), SOU (H), WAT (A)
Regarding cut-price differentials, you won’t find one a player with more upside than Callum Paterson. The Scotland international has scored three goals on 11 shots in five starts since transitioning from midfield to centre-forward. All three goals were poacher-like finishes, coming from inside the box in situations where his positioning allowed him to convert. Those skeptical of Paterson will want to know that he’s accounted for 42.8% of Brighton’s goals and 36% of their shots on target since making his first start up front. Over the last four gameweeks, he also took more shots inside the box (10) than Anthony Martial (8) and Raheem Sterling (7). Paterson’s new role makes him a steal at £5.2m.