We haven’t made our mids up yet who will replace Aaron Ramsey in the insideFPL team which we publish each week in our free newsletter. We have though decided that we will sell him, if only to avoid a drop in value on the player (he’s already dropped £0.1M). In a post earlier this week we looked at a number of possible options in Angel Di Maria, David Silva, Steven Gerrard and Nacer Chadli. We’ve had a few responses in the comments section of that post with players like Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil and Dusan Tadic all rightly mooted as possible acquisitions instead of Ramsey.
But the list is growing. It really is quite a difficult decision, and that is because it’s an important one. Ramsey is part of the “Peoples’ Team” right now. Although dropping like a stone, his ownership is still around the 30% mark and he was a cornerstone of many people’s GW1 teams in Fantasy Premier League. As such, whoever gets their Ramsey replacement “right” will see some great differential points and is likely to advance well in their minileagues.
We’re still looking at selling Ramsey as a short-term option only. As such his replacement can be virtually any other midfielder we can afford. With only £0.2M in the bank though we will have to look beneath the £9M mark. Going short-term, it’s prudent to look first at the team’s with the best fixtures (check out our Fixture Analyser) which is why Liverpool players are first on our radar. The Reds host WBA this weekend with games against QPR, Hull and Newcastle to follow. Pretty good, you can’t argue with those fixtures. The concern though is Liverpool’s questionable form. The main contender (after Sterling) would be Steven Gerrard and thus the next quandary is would we get lucky with a penalty? He will score several more goals from the penalty spot this season, but what are the odds he’ll score one over the next 3 games? It’s not a banker. There are intriguing alternatives like Lallana or even Markovic, but no guarantee either will be selected over the next 3 games. We think Lallana might be worth a 1 week punt after being rested last night, but it’s a risk transfer, that’s for sure.
Arsenal are another of the top clubs that have decent fixtures short term, at least once Chelsea is out the way. They’ll play Hull, Sunderland and then Burnley from GW8 to 10. Their 4-1 romp over Galatasaray shows exactly how good Arsenal can be on their day. The headache for fantasy managers is, without Ramsey as a goal-scoring threat from midfield, there is a lot of choice amongst the rest of the midfield. In a vacuum Alexis Sanchez would get the nod, but he’s expensive, and cannot be even guaranteed a starting berth with Wegner having some tactical subtleties up his sleeve in using the Chilean as an impact sub in recent games. This really leaves Mesut Ozil as the most secure option in the Gunner’s midfield. He offers a totally different kind of fantasy threat to Gerrard. Ozil is going to be involved in anything Arsenal create going forward and will be in with a chance of at least an assist in every game, whereas with Gerrard you’re relying on Liverpool winning a penalty.
Outside of the top clubs, Southampton’s current form and fixtures looks promising for Dusan Tadic. Whilst much of the attention has been on teammate Graziano Pelle, Tadic has been getting very close to his first goal of the season. Along with Newcastle’s Remy Cabella, Tadic is the player highest placed in our threat metrics who has yet to score a goal. Southampton travel to Spurs next, but then have two home games against Sunderland and Stoke. These two matches are probably going to be harder than people will first think, and Southampton’s results so far have all been against poor sides. Still, the Saints should score a few goals. But this is why we’ll be wary of signing Tadic over the likes of Gerrard or Ozil, especially with the full Ramsey money to spend. You have to remember the pedigree that the top clubs possess; it’s why they are the top clubs. We’d bet Arsenal and Liverpool will score more than Southampton over the next 4 games.
Following this latest waffle/run through, we’re probably looking at staying with Arsenal and signing Mesut Ozil as our replacement for Ramsey. We’ll look to the lessons we have already learnt early this season and in seasons past; that quality counts, you usually get what you paid for, and with Arsenal looking in better mood for goals than Liverpool at the moment. However, it’s far from certain! Over such a short time span anything can happen really. We even considered Stewart Downing (home against QPR this weekend) and then a succession of one week punts ‘til Ramsey is back. With Ozil though, we hope we’ll not placing our fate in the hands of the football gods and instead expecting a steady score from him over the next few weeks.
Have you made your mind up yet? Who will you sign to replace Ramsey? Let us know in the commets below. Sign up for our free weekly newsltter to follow our FPL team each week.