The Debutants

With pre-season having kicked into gear for many Premier League teams, Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers should be on the lookout for fresh talent to include in their teams for the upcoming season.

Last Updated: 12/08/13 at 15:17 Post Comment

Fernandinho: Perhaps over-priced in the transfer market, but he's under-pric

Fernandinho: Perhaps over-priced in the transfer market, but he's under-pric

Title contenders Chelsea and Manchester City have already added a handful of big-money signings to their ranks, while holders Manchester United and outsiders Arsenal appear to be biding their time.

Top four contenders Tottenham and Liverpool have not held back from investment, though, while Everton fans believe they've pulled off a major coup in the form of season-long loanee Gerard Deulofeu.

Last season, the likes of Jan Vertonghen (132 points), Eden Hazard (180 points) and Santi Cazorla (262 points) proved instant hits in their first campaigns in English football, while Marko Marin (14 points), Esteban Granero and Javi Garcia (59 points) disappointed.

So, who will hit the ground running and who will fall flat on their face this term? Sky Sports Fantasy Football weighs up the candidates so far...

Fernandinho - £7m

As if Manchester City's squad wasn't fearsome enough, they've added Jesus Navas and Fernandinho to their midfield this summer. Anyone who watches La Liga is sure to be an admirer of Navas, but what of £30m man Fernandinho? Eyebrows were raised when City announced the mega-money signing from Shakhtar Donetsk out of the blue in early June, but, now that the dust has settled, there's growing belief that he has what it takes to make a real impression in his first season in the Premier League. He's only £7.0m in Sky Sports Fantasy Football, making him cheaper than team-mates David Silva (£8.4m), Yaya Toure (£8.6m) and Navas (£7.6m). If the 28-year-old, who has been capped by Brazil just five times, is genuinely worth anywhere close to the price-tag City met then £7.0m is a steal for any fantasy boss. Shinji Kagawa (£7.0m), Robert Snodgrass (£7.3), Kevin Nolan (£6.8m) are all available for in and around the same price, so Fernandinho is undoubtedly the glamour choice if you've got a £7.0m shaped hole to fill in midfield.

Verdict: Don't go out of your way to fit him in

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Andre Schurrle - £8m

First and foremost, Andre Schurrle will not walk straight into the Chelsea team, despite his versatility and £18m price tag. If Jose Mourinho is shrewd enough he'll hand Schurrle his full debut at Stamford Bridge, but it's away from home that the German is likelier to make an impact in the long run. At Leverkusen he developed a reputation for his work-rate in tracking back and ability to produce an emphatic finish on the counter-attack - two traits which should work well for Mourinho's style of play, particularly in tough encounters on the road. In attacking midfield, though, the Blues are likely to stick with key quartet Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Oscar and Edin Hazard. However, so long as Chelsea remain without a world-class signing up front he remains an option as a striker, which is his position in Sky Sports Fantasy Football.

Verdict: Undoubted talent but more proven talents available at similar price

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Paulinho - 6.6m

Potentially, Tottenham have pulled off one of the best signings of the summer in Paulinho. For under £17m from Corinthians, Spurs have obtained a player whose qualities would demand double that fee in the European market, with Man City and Real Madrid breaking the £30m barrier for Fernandinho and Asier Illarramendi respectively. In Paulinho, Tottenham have picked up a powerful and dynamic midfielder who should take to the Premier League as a hard-working, box-to-box type of player. He's also got experience of playing in Europe at Lithuanian club FC Vilnius and Polish outfit LKS Lodz - though not at a high level every little helps and the 24-year-old appears ready to announce himself on the major club scene after earning the 'Bronze Ball' for his performances in Brazil's successful Confederations Cup campaign, third only to Andres Iniesta and Neymar as the tournament's best player.

Verdict: Should chip in with a decent goals and assists return - a must for at only £6.6m

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Iago Aspas - £8.5m

Having inherited Andy Carroll's number nine shirt, Liverpool's new striker Iago Aspas doesn't exactly have big boots to fill if the former Newcastle striker's legacy at the club is anything to go by. A debut goal never does any harm and the summer signing from Celta Vigo did just that during Liverpool's routine 4-0 friendly win over Preston. Quite how important his role will be depends on the future of Luis Suarez and who the Reds buy to replace the Uruguayan should he leave, with Sky Bet currently going evens that he departs before September 3rd. Available to have in your team for £8.5m, Liverpool fans will be hoping the Spaniard is more Michu than Morientes, but so long as there's a risk he'll flop like the latter his price is perhaps not worth the uncertainty. Keep an eye on transfer activity at Anfield, though, and he should get a run of games during Suarez's suspension if he does in fact stay.

Verdict: Somewhat of a gamble - worth monitoring

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Gerard Deulofeu - £7m

Everton fans are getting excited by the loan signing of Barcelona B star Gerard Deulofeu and so they should, judging by his displays for Spain in the Under-20s World Cup in Turkey. He is, however, only 19-years-old, so to expect a teenager to take the Premier League by storm is a big ask, though there's no doubt he'll be a useful addition to Roberto Martinez's squad. Although he lacks a little pace, Deulofeu is very much a modern product of Spain with his flawless technical ability and threat from dead ball situations. It is worth noting, though, that Barcelona rarely loan out the youngsters they rate the highest, emphasised by their protective reluctance to give Christian Tello a run of games abroad, but that is not to say that he is not good enough for an Everton side who will hope to push for a top-four spot this season.

Verdict: Too expensive

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Stevan Jovetic - £8.1m

City now have a strong front four and it's likely only two of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Jovetic will start. The Montenegro international returned 13 league goals last season so, given the goalscoring prowess of the other three, it looks unlikely that he will lead the line on a regular basis. While registered as a striker, the 23-year-old can operate as more of a secondary frontman and could even be used as an attacking midfielder. However, it is worth noting that he only contributed five assists for Fiorentina last season.

Verdict: Steering clear, until proven wrong of course.

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Alvaro Negredo - £8.6m

Boasting a more prolific record than his new City team-mate, the Spanish targetman notched with 25 League goals in 31 La Liga starts for Sevilla last season. The 27-year-old is, however, yet to prove himself on the big stage, with all of his goals for Spain coming in friendlies and qualifiers, while the majority of his European football experience has come playing in the Europa League. With a similar playing style to Edin Dzeko, establishing a regular starting berth is likely to be the main challenge, but back him to bag if the chances come his way.

Verdict: If he starts for City, he starts for me.

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Wilfried Bony - £8m

The Ivory Coast international arrives on the back of a prolific campaign, having topped the Eredivisie scoring charts with 31 goals from 30 starts for Vitesse. Sceptics will point to a long line of failed imports to have netted freely in Holland, but Bony is unlikely to be troubled by the physicality of the Premier League. The addition of an out-and-out striker raises questions over whether Michu will be able to maintain his free-scoring form, with his £12m transfer fee implying real faith from manager Michael Laudrup.

Verdict: Perfect book balancer alongside a proven prolific partner

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Jozy Altidore - £6.2m

Former Hull loanee Atlidore also enjoyed an impressive campaign in the Eredivisie last season, netting 23 times. That tally represented half of AZ's goals, the sort of contribution Sunderland fans will welcome given the dependence on Steven Fletcher as they narrowly avoided relegation. It also represents a significant improvement on his solitary goal from 28 appearances in the Premier League four seasons back. At such a reasonable price tag, Altidore could well be one of the bargains of 2013/14, but it is worth seeing what system Paolo Di Canio opts for and, all importantly, how Altidore fits into it before bringing the American frontman on board.

Verdict: Needs to prove himself in the Prem

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Victor Wanyama £5.9m

The Kenyan powerhouse could prove to be the complete package for Fantasy bosses. With six goals, a solid passing range and a love for the tackle, bonus points should be plentiful. Wanyama looks set to be a key man for the Saints after arriving for £12.5m and a solid acquisition for Fantasy bosses looking for a relatively cheaper option.

Verdict: Solid and affordable selection

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Readers' Comments


ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea


f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls


ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

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