There were 49 transfers conducted on deadline day that involved premier league clubs. Sadly (and predictably) there were no big game changers or exciting prospects to fawn over. Instead, with so many new arrivals, we thought we’d give a quick rundown of the deadline day movers and see if any have fantasy potential.
Lewis Holtby (Tottenham - Fulham, loan)
After finding starts difficult to come by, Holtby has made a loan move to Fulham in search of regular gametime. Holtby’s agent made clear that the midfielder hopes to play in his preferred attacking midfield position under Meulensteen, where he can dictate the attacking tempo. While Fulham might not be the most enticing prospect to invest in for your fantasy team, having scored just 3 goals in the last 6 games, Meulensteen has improved Fulham’s attack and we’d expect his approach to yield more goals in future games. At 6.2 Holtby is perhaps a little pricey, and he’s unlikely to score many. But he is superbly creative and a brilliant passer of the ball, averaging 2.6 key passes per 90 minutes so far this season. He created 3 chances in his weekend debut and although none were converted, the next man on our list may be able to change that…
Konstantinos Mitroglou (Olympiakos - Fulham, permanent deal undisclosed fee)
The Greek forward who had scored 16 in 17 games for Olympiakos this season will have the weight of Craven Cottage on his shoulders. With the departure of Berbatov to Monaco, and Bent struggling for form, Mitroglou will lead the line for Fulham and look to contribute the goals they so desperately need. It would be ambitious to expect him to average a goal per game in the premier league, but Mirallas who scored 34 in 52 games for Olympiakos perhaps serves as a good indication that goals in the Greek league can be translated into the premier league goals. The 25 year old is two-footed and has been compared to Cantona by former Olympiakos teammate Roy Carroll. That’s high expectations that we don’t think he’ll meet, but he’s certainly a coup for a club facing relegation. At 6.5 he could well prove an explosive differential.
Johnny Heitinga (Everton - Fulham, free transfer)
After turning down a move to West Ham earlier in the window, Heitinga finally found a move away from Goodison Park on deadline day. He’s likely to come into the starting line-up next week, but Fulham’s defence is so poor there’s no reason to consider him an option.
William Kvist (Stuttgurt - Fulham, loan)
Completing Fulham’s late January dealings is 28 year old midfielder William Kvist. Priced at 4.5, and playing as part of a midfield role alongside Sidwell and Parker, Kvist isn’t likely to be a fantasy option.
Pablo Armero (Napoli - West Ham, loan)
Initially it looked like Allarydce had signed Armero as defensive cover following news that O’Brien was out for the season with a dislocated shoulder. However hours later saw the shock departure by mutual agreement of Razvan Rat, a player many tipped to be a fantasy stud at the start of the season. This thrusts Armero into the spotlight as the Colombian may become first choice left back for the Hammers. At 4.5 this makes him an attractive option in a defence which now has more clean sheets than any other team in the league, despite being stuck in the relegation zone. Armero is a strong and quick fullback that’s more comfortable with the attacking freedom afforded to a wing-back than the defensive discipline that will be demanded by his new manager. His attacking endeavours could prove a source of assists though, especially if he has Andy Carroll to aim his crosses at. Allardyce is usually cautious with new signings and eases them in, but once Armero secures a starting spot he’s well worth keeping an eye on.
Joe Ledley (Celtic - Crystal Palace, permanent deal undisclosed fee)
The Welsh midfielder joined Crystal Palace right before the deadline, with Celtic preferring to sell now than let him leave on a free in the summer. Ledley has admitted that Pulis tried to sign him when he was still at Stoke, suggesting his new manager is a big fan and that could see him walk straight into the team. He’s a central midfielder known for his work rate and stamina, so no prizes for guessing why Pulis wanted him for a relegation fight. He scored roughly every 4-5 games whilst at Celtic, so don’t expect anything more than an odd goal or two from a long range strike. Coming in at 5.0 he’s priced exactly the same as recent fantasy star Jason Puncheon (whose loan deal to Crystal Palace was made permanent this window). Given this, we don’t see enough upside in Pulis’ new recruit to warrant any fantasy attention. The signing almost certainly signals the end of Joel Ward’s stint as an OOP midfielder, with the defender moving back to RB for Sunday’s defeat against Arsenal.
Tom Ince (Blackpool - Crystal Palace, loan)
One of the few sagas of the window would be the destination of Blackpool winger Tom Ince. The debate was settled on deadline day when Pulis secured the hotly tipped Ince to a loan deal. Usually played out on the right wing, though comfortable in any attacking position, Ince threatens Bolasie’s position in the team more than anyone else. Puncheon has been primarily played on the right this year, but Pulis would probably be more willing to move him to the left, as he did against Arsenal, than drop him. In that pairing Palace now have 2 players who are capable of creating chances for Jerome and Chamakh, while also cutting it and scoring themselves. Ince’s pace also makes him a threat on the counterattack, and he may take on some set-piece responsibilities. At 5.5, it would be a gamble to get Ince in over the cheaper Puncheon at the moment, but with his explosive potential it’s one that could pay off.
Wayne Hennessey (Wolves - Crystal Palace, permanent deal £3m)
Likely signed as backup to Julian Speroni, owners of the Argentina keeper do not need to panic about rotation just yet. Having said that, Hennessey is an experienced keeper and hasn’t joined Palace intending to warm the bench. Pulis was known for accumulating good keepers while at Stoke, and he seems up to his old tricks here. Priced at 4.5, the same as Speroni, FPL clearly suspect he’ll get some gametime. At the moment it would be wise to hold off on getting either Speroni or Hennessey, not that you’d need much convincing of that with games against Everton and Man Utd. around the corner.
Scott Dann (Blackburn - Crystal Palace, permanent deal undisclosed fee)
Another deadline day dealing for Palace and Pulis was central defender Scott Dann. It’s not clear whether Dann will start, but if he does he’s another option in the budget bracket with a starting price of 4.0.Though with Joel Ward offering coverage of the same defence but with significant attacking threat for only 0.2 more, it’s a tough sell for the new recruit.
Liam Bridcutt (Brighton - Sunderland, permanent deal £3m)
A former favourite of Poyet’s at Brighton, Bridcutt came straight into the team for the win over Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby. Bridcutt was thrown in at the deep end and showed no signs of struggling to make the step-up from Championship level. While a very exciting prospect, Bridcutt is a deep lying midfielder who’s main role is to break up opposition play and recycling possession. His price of 4.5 reflects his potential and he’s not one for fantasy watchlists. Owners of Ki and Colback might be more optimistic now as the pair are afforded more attacking freedom, the latter’s goal at the weekend reflecting this.
Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United - Cardiff City, loan)
After a troubled season that didn’t see him start a single league game, Zaha was allowed to join former Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Cardiff on loan. While he didn’t start, he came on as a sub after 38 minutes to be a creative spark. He was just that, and played a wonderful through ball for Bellamy which started Cardiff’s comeback. A similar player to Thomas Ince, and priced at a similar 5.4, Zaha is another direct winger capable of seeing a run from his striker or coming inside and scoring himself. It’s not clear whether he’ll start for Cardiff, but if he continues to impact games off the bench then it might be hard for his manager to overlook him. He’s firmly on the fantasy watchlist after just one game.
Kim Kallstrom (Spartak Moscow - Arsenal, loan)
Someone who will be familiar to all Football Manager players is Kim Kallstrom, the Swedish midfielder who joined Arsenal on a season long loan. The news that Kallstrom is out till March means we don’t have to consider his impact just yet. He was likely signed as backup for Wenger’s ever increasing midfield casualty list and is comfortable playing any position across midfield. An easy comparison to make would be to Rosicky, who fills holes in either defensive or attacking midfield positions. Kallstrom did score goals early in his career, but has become more defensive and combative as his game has developed. I can’t see him ever being a fantasy option barring a complete injury disaster for the North London club, but even then at 6.0 he isn’t likely to be value for money.
Marvin Emnes (Middlesborough - Swansea, loan)
Not content with the head-scratching signing of David Ngog earlier in the week, Swansea scoured the Championship again and signed striker Marvin Emnes on loan. The Middlesborough forward comes in at 5.0, the same price as Ngog, but it’d be surprising to see him get much gametime. Having scored just 1 goal in 22 championship games this season it’s difficult to see exactly why Swansea have made a loan move for him, but the Dutchman does have tremendous technical ability and a burst of pace. Just like Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer did, Emnes may be able to make the step up from the championship with consummate ease, thriving in the Swansea style of play. Laudrups’ admittance that he doesn’t know much about Emnes should tell you all you need to about his fantasy potential.
So there we have it a roundup of all the deadline day deals and almost no immediate fantasy interest. There are certainly some interesting options though, especially in Mitroglou, but no-one you should be looking at getting straight into your team. Who knows though, we may have another Papisse Cisse or Nikita Jelavic exploding onto the scenes and shaking up the fantasy landscape.