West Ham United concluded their summer transfer business earlier this week, having strengthened their squad with four new signings for the 2021/22 season.
Not only did David Moyes complete the permanent signing of defender Craig Dawson, but the manager also bolstered his ranks with four players with extensive European experience, equipping the Hammers well to compete on four fronts this season.
Fantasy Premier League managers, meanwhile, have been using the international break – and the two free transfers it brings – to adapt to the final arrivals which the closing of the transfer window have wrought.
With West Ham’s final arrival brings new options for the Fantasy Premier League managers amongst you, therefore – so let’s take a look at how the four new Hammers could line up on your (virtual) pitch!
Fantasy Premier League cost: £4.9m
Cumulative FPL points: 124 (one season)
If competing for Fantasy Premier League honours is your aim, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola certainly knows a thing or two about that, having previously won the FIFA World Cup with France in 2018.
The Frenchman arrives on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain with an excellent FPL standing already about him, having picked up 124 points on the way to winning Player of the Year at Premier League club Fulham last term.
Considering the Cottagers finished the season as a relegated side, Areola’s haul is an impressive one, bolstered by nine clean sheets, a notable nine bonus points (a healthy total for a goalkeeper) and a whopping 116 saves over the campaign.
As the Frenchman provides strong competition for Lukasz Fabianski’s No1 goalkeeper jersey, expect Areola to offer decent FPL value at £4.9m, particularly given his outstanding credentials.
Fantasy Premier League cost: £5.4m
Cumulative FPL points: 505 (seven seasons)
Defenders who make an impact at both ends of the pitch are often considered the Holy Grail by Fantasy Premier League managers, and Kurt Zouma certainly befits that category.
As recently as January 2021, the France international was Chelsea’s most widely-selected player (at 20.5 per cent) – and the fourth most widely-chosen defender overall – in the online game mode last season, thanks in no small part to his aerial and physical dominance.
A run of four goals in his first ten Premier League games certainly contributed to that, but Zouma also accrued plenty of points from clean sheets (nine) and bonus points (six) too, his strong contributions within games seeing him emerge as a standout defensive pick.
Historically a strong pick in terms of points contributions over seven seasons at Chelsea, Zouma’s undoubted quality makes him an attractive proposition to Fantasy Premier League managers at just £5.4m in-game.
Fantasy Premier League cost: £4.5m
Cumulative FPL points: None (debut season)
Historical precedent, given the impact made by fellow Czech Republic internationals Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal in recent months, would suggest Alex Král could turn out to be a Fantasy Premier League bargain!
The 23-year-old has caught the eye with both Slavia Prague and Spartak Moscow in recent years and, while typically deployed as a holding midfielder by those teams, possesses both the energy and dynamism to put himself about and rack up Bonus Point System honours.
With Bonus Points awarded through the accrual of successful recoveries, tackles, dribbles, clearances, blocks and interceptions – plus pass completion rates – Král’s all-action style could lead to him attaining the points which mark him out as a potential ‘differential’ player.
Add in the fact that Král also recorded five assists in 29 league appearances last season, and at just £4.5m in Fantasy Premier League, there’s certainly plenty to consider about his selection!
Fantasy Premier League cost: £6.0m
Cumulative FPL points: 18 (one season)
Much like his talents, Vlašić’s numbers tend to speak for themselves.
While he was still a teenager when he moved to Everton in August 2017, playing a single season in the top-flight, the Croatian attacking midfielder has been a major success in Russia since joining CSKA Moscow in 2018/19.
In 108 games in all competitions, Vlašić has been directly involved in 54 goals, won three Russian Player of the Month trophies and the 2020 Russian Footballer of the Year award.
A dribbler and a creator with a keen eye for goal, Vlašić also scored eleven goals in 26 games and made some 73 key passes in the Russian top flight – the second-highest in the division, according to respected analytics website Fantasy Football Scout – and enjoyed 103 goal attempts, more than any other player.
Listed as a midfielder in Fantasy Premier League, but capable of playing further forward, those kinds of figures tend to translate very profitably into points in the popular online game mode!
Join our league!
In case you hadn’t heard, we’ve been inviting Claret and Blue supporters who enjoy a spot of casual FPL to take FPL to take part in our own mini-league, where the top-scoring players each month could are in with a chance of winning West Ham-themed rewards.
If you’d like to get involved for September, to join, all you need to do is click this link here.