As the 21/22 season kicked off this weekend, we continue our analysis of players to consider in different positions and price ranges. In this edition, we will be taking a look at FPL premium forwards options, those with a price tag of £8.5m and more. While they do take up a large portion of the given budget, the premium options boast hefty price tags for a reason: they deliver.
With only a select few forwards this season in the premium category, let’s take a look at a deeper analysis of each asset and see which ones could potentially make the starting lineups in your FPL squads.
#5 Timo Werner (£8.5m) | Chelsea
Timo Werner came to the Premier League last season with so much promise. Admittedly, I thought he would hit the ground running and be one of the standout players in the game. This didn’t come to fruition and he only notched six goals and 12 assists. 128 points for £9.5m wasn’t anywhere near good enough. He came to Chelsea with an elite goal-scoring record and underlying numbers.
The season before he joined, his statistics in the league for RB Leipzig were simply off the charts. In 34 games, Wener scored 28 times at an xG of 23.45 along with eight assists to his name. Moreover, he further created 61 Chances and 53 Key passes. For Chelsea last season, he managed 79 Shots, 32 Shots on Target, 67 Shots in the Box and 24 Big Chances. He also created 36 Chances and 11 Big Chances. The main statistic which stands out is the number of big chances missed. Werner is at least getting the chances although his volume isn’t the same as it was at Leipzig.
I am still optimistic regarding Werner and refuse to believe a player of his quality, and numbers can become a bad player overnight. We have seen plenty of top-class players struggle in their first season in the Premier League before ripping it up in their second campaign. Looking at his price and starting fixtures, I am happy to wait on the German and he also won’t be highly owned as the Blues play Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester City in their first eight games.
Also Read – 5 BEST PREMIUM DEFENDERS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
#4 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.0m) | Arsenal
An important point to note is Aubameyang was formerly classified as a midfielder; this season, he has been reclassified as a forward. He would be the premium option for the Arsenal attack.
Aubameyang’s reclassification as a forward comes with a massive price drop of £2.0m from last season. After scoring 22 goals in both the 2018/19 and the 2019/20 season, he only managed a disappointing 10 goals in the most recent campaign. The Arsenal captain was touted as one of the best buys due to his midfielder position in FPL but failed to live up to expectations.
His form took a huge dip which caused him to be benched on several occasions and this was exacerbated with injuries and illnesses. It’s difficult to say which Aubameyang we will see this season as Arteta usually deployed a 4-2-3-1, and, towards the end of the season, we saw Aubameyang take the lone-striker role at the top. This would have been huge as, being classified as a midfielder, he would have scored more points per goal.
With the signing of Ben White, we will have to see whether Arteta sticks to this formation, or possibly converts to a 3-man defence, shifting up the shape of the attack. Regardless, we should still see Aubameyang as the primary striker choice for Arsenal.
#3 Jamie Vardy (£10.5m) | Leicester City
The Foxes’ talisman scored 15 goals and created 14 assists last season which saw Vardy finish as the third-highest scoring forward with 187 points. Although it’s his lowest goal tally in three seasons, it’s by far the most assists he has had in a single campaign – his previous best being eight.
He registered 82 Shots (5th), 38 Shots on Target (6th), 76 Shots in the Box (4th) and 35 Big Chances (1st), whilst also creating 28 Chances and nine Big Chances. Since his breakthrough season in 2015-16, he has been nothing short of prolific and reliable. He has seen a decline last season and with him now 34 years old, I wonder if his best days are behind him.
With the emergence of teammate Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.5m) and new signing Patson Daka (£7.5m), I don’t see him getting as many minutes. Although I still believe he’ll be the first choice forward for the start of the season. If he doesn’t perform, he may be phased out as the season progresses. At £10.5m, it’s still very much up in the air whether he is worth the investment.
Also Read – 5 BEST PREMIUM MIDFIELDERS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
#2 Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) | Chelsea
Since Tuchel has taken charge at Chelsea, no team has underperformed their expected goals (xG) by a higher amount. They scored 25 goals in 19 games, but, according to their xG, should’ve scored 36. In other words, they’re crying out for a quality striker. Creating chances isn’t an issue; converting them is.
The last striker to significantly outperform his xG at Chelsea was Diego Costa. Remember him? And in their hour of need returns the Prodigal Son to finish his unfinished business at Stamford Bridge. Romelu Lukaku isn’t new to FPL. He’s scored 113 goals in 252 games, which works out as almost one in two games.
That’s a solid record over that period, particularly considering a large stint was spent at West Brom and Everton. To put that into perspective, Harry Kane’s (£12.5m) Premier League record is 166 goals in 245 games. He didn’t have a great spell at Manchester United, but it was at Inter where he blossomed. The Belgian scored 64 goals in 95 games for I Nerazzurri.
And if you look at things from the FPL perspective, Chelsea (1884) were only behind City(2124) in terms of points scored by a team. While Chelsea were dead last when it came to highest individual points contribution with Werner and Mason Mount being the highest point scorers. With Lukaku spearheading their attack, we potentially have a player that you would expect to get at least 12-13% of Chelsea’s returns – that’s being conservative of their output and taking that 4-5 match hit for injuries into consideration. Based on last season’s total, that would be 226-240 points.
#1 Harry Kane (£12.5m) | Tottenham Hotspur
The England international enjoyed one of his best Premier League campaigns last season, finishing with the most goals and assists. He scored 23 goals and notched 14 assists to mark 37 goal contributions in 35 games. Unsurprisingly, his statistics were phenomenal with 137 Shots (1st in the league), 53 Shots on Target (1st), 84 Shots inside the Box (3rd), and 31 Big Chances (3rd). He also created 49 Chances and 15 Big Chances which was the most among forwards.
The long-lay off due to Covid-19 seems to have resurrected his career and benefited him immensely. It was definitely needed after he was being overplayed and getting injuries constantly over the past few seasons. And not only did he manage to score 20+ goals in the league for the first time since 2017-18, but he also added assists to his game.
Kane has seen quite a significant price increase this season from £10.5m to £12.5m. This was to be expected given his stellar individual season. The question is whether he is worth his price and that depends on if he can recreate the same output this year. If he scores 240+ points again then he will be worth the hefty price tag.
The England captain is also on penalties and is nailed for Spurs – or even City if they can manage to pull off this transfer – so it would take a brave man to bet against him. I am skeptical as he won’t have had as long a rest this season with England getting to the final of Euro 2020. And be it Spurs or City, Kane would definitely not be getting regular minutes at least till the summer window slams shut.