Help is on hand for all those out there picking their free Sky Sports Fantasy Football team. Remember there’s£100,000 in prizes up for grabs so it’s crucial you get that team selection just right. We deliver the verdict on how the new boys will do next season in Sky Sports Fantasy Football.
- Eden Hazard – Chelsea – £7.7m: Big things are expected from the Belgian attacking midfielder after impressing at Lille, scoring 20 goals during his final season with the French outfit. Sky Sports Fantasy Football bosses are certainly anticipating a big debut season with over 20% swooping for his services. Chelsea’s start to the season makes the 21-year-old even more appealing with Wigan (A), Newcastle (H), Reading (H), QPR (A) and Stoke (H) up first.
- Shinji Kagawa – Manchester United – £7.2m: Another midfielder with an eye for goal, Kagawa joins Manchester United on the back of a superb campaign, having helped Borussia Dortmund do the league and cup double. The Japan midfielder faces some tough competition for a starting berth with fellow attacking midfielders Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ryan Giggs but looks good for or points if handed his chance, having scored 13 goals in the Bundesliga last term.
- Lukas Podolski – Arsenal – £8.5m: With Robin van Persie seemingly on his way out of the Emirates, Arsenal fans will be hoping Podolski can fill the Dutchman’s boots in his first season away from the Bundesliga. The German frontman enjoyed an impressive final season in Germany, scoring 19 goals despite his side Cologne slumping to relegation. The 27-year-old did, however, fail to shine during his time at Bayern Munich and is more likely to be used to the left-flank than in a central role if Arsene Wenger sticks with his attacking trident formation, similar to the one used by Germany.
- Olivier Giroud – Arsenal – £8.7m: French hit-man Giroud looks more likely to fill the central void if Van Persie does depart this summer due to his greater physical presence. The 25-year-old topped the scoring charts in France last season with 21 goals, helping Montpellier land the Ligue 1 title for the first time in their history. Fantasy bosses are yet to warm to the Frenchman, with only four per cent moving for his services.
- Fabio Borini – Liverpool – £7.7m: The Italian striker enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2011/12 with seven goals from 15 starts for Roma, impressing sufficiently to earn a place in Italy’s Euro 2012 squad and then a move to Liverpool. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was made aware of the youngster’s qualities during a loan spell at Swansea, when he netted six goals in 12 appearances. With Dirk Kuyt already gone and Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy also expected to depart, Borini looks likely to get plenty of chances to impress and, most importantly, pick up Fantasy Football points.
- Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham – £7.2m: If Belgian defender Vertonghen can cement his position in the Spurs backline then he promises to be a superb prospect for Fantasy bosses. With the likes of fellow centre-backs Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul, William Gallas and Sebastien Bassong also pressing for places, a starting spot is far from guaranteed for the man signed from Ajax following extensive negotiations. The 25-year-old, who has also been used in a midfield role and at left-back, scored eight goals last season to help the Amsterdam outfit to the Eredivisie title.
- Jonathan De Guzman – Swansea – £4.7m: Swansea were a breeding ground for the best bargains last season and Canadian midfielder De Guzman certainly has the potential to follow suit. Football Manager fans will be more familiar than most with the 24-year-old, with much expected during his early days at Feyenoord.
However, development stagnated somewhat as he was hampered by a knee injury before eventually being released on a free transfer two years ago. De Guzman reignited his career with an impressive 2010/11 at Mallorca under the leadership of new Swans boss Michael Laudrup, attracting a move to Villarreal where he struggled to impress. De Guzman will be looking to get his career back on track after linking up with Laudrup again and stop the Swans for from slipping into second-season syndrome.
- Marko Marin – Chelsea – £6.3m: Pacey winger Marin could well make up a tiny trident alongside Juan Mata and Eden Hazard but looks the least appealing of the trio. The German speedster’s scoring record is modest at best, scoring just once for Werder Bremen last season, while his previous biggest tally is four goals in a single campaign. His number of assists was also relatively poor last season, but is generally impressive having notched up 10, 13 and 12 in the previous campaigns.
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