United are the only real team challenging at the top to make wholesale changes, which is unsurprising given their general performance last season, where their players barely made a mark in the fantasy game until the latter stages.
Rooney The Lone Striker
Up front, Van Persie and Falcao have moved on, giving Rooney (£10.5m) the opportunity to return to his preferred striker position. As he’s shown in the past, Rooney can more than hold his own up top (INSERT LINK) and may prove to be one of the highest points scorers at the end of the season, if the new-look United can hit the ground running in the early stages of the season.
Memphis Depay (£8.5m) has been brought in to provide potential backup as a striker but in pre-season, has been occupying the role in the hole behind Rooney. This could be a valuable position and priced as an £8.5m midfielder in Fantasy Premier League, he could be a fantasy asset, given his ability to provide a spark and potential to link up with Rooney.
At the age of just 21, he scored 22 goals last season for PSV Eindhoven whilst setting up a further 5 goals. At present, he’s an unknown prospect but if he can adapt to the Premier League, Depay could be a valuable fantasy option to cover United’s attack.
Further midfield reinforcements have been bought in the form of Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, two top notch players who are sure to add a new dimension to United’s play. Despite injury issues, Schweinsteiger (£7m) is one of the best midfielders in the game and if he can stay fit, he can be help United challenge for the title this season. Schneiderlin (£5.5m) on the other hand, is an experienced Premier League midfielder and has drawn admiring glances from many a manager over the past couple of seasons.
Both will be sitting a little deeper than United’s main attackers but will be sure to add attacking support against weaker opposition. Despite the budget-friendly pricetags, until either start returning strong points scores on a regular basis like Fabregas did last season, they are not worth a midfield spot in your fantasy squad.
So Long Antonio
United have also looked to solve their right back issue by signing the talented Italian defender, Matteo Darmian (£5.5m). Valencia was an adequate stop-gap but in reality, he has been a makeshift right back and Darmian is a welcome addition to the squad.
Scoring only twice and assisting once for Torino last season doesn’t bode well for attacking prospects but his luck may change playing for a top side like United. It’s worth noting that Shaw, on the opposite flank is also priced at £5.5m and may be the better option given his swashbuckling runs down the left in the past for Southampton.
At the time of writing, De Gea has yet to leave but with Van Gaal asking the board to sanction his move, it seems a matter of time before the talented goalkeeper departs for new pastures. If so, new signing Romero could be a valuable addition at the favourable pricetag of £5m.
United’s backline may take time to gel, especially with a new keeper but there is value to be had and with Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger offering support from midfield, clean sheets should arrive over time.
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