It was a shock to many of us when we heard that Walcott would be out for 6 months. He didn’t appear to be in too much pain as he was taunting the Spurs fans with hand gestures but the joy of the banter must have hidden the true nature of the injury.
It’s a blow to any fantasy manager who has Walcott as he was in such great form, scoring 5 goals in his last 5 games, helping him to notch up a grand total of 47 points. But there’s no time to dwell as he’s already suffered a price drop to 9.5m and will be expected to fall further over the course of January.
So the big question is… who should replace Walcott? We’ve taken a look at the options and have come up with the 3 best possibilities.
1. Mesut Ozil (£9.9m)
Currently the 4th highest scoring midfielder, Ozil averages 6.3 points per game and will be expected to lead the way whilst Walcott is out. A slight dip in form has seen a lot of managers jump ship, causing his price to drop to 9.9m but as shown by transfers in this week (his price is due to rise tonight), the reverse now seems to be taking place.
Ozil is clearly an excellent player and is sure to pick up plenty more fantasy points this season but he comes at a heavy price. For those with less budget to work with, Ramsey (7.2m) may be a better option but we’re still waiting on when he will make his return in January.
2. David Silva (£9.3m)
Silva has struggled with injuries this season, only playing in 11 games but he has still managed to pick up 4 goals and 6 assists this season. His timely return for the Christmas break helped City to 4 consecutive victories and he is going to be an important player for them as they look to win back the title.
With Aguero returning this month, he’ll also have someone more than capable of finishing anything he creates. If you haven’t already got his fellow midfield maestro, Toure, Silva could be the City differential you’re looking for. Yaya is the other clear City option, scoring an amazing 10 goals so far this season. However, there are a number of reasons to go for Silva instead:
- Yaya has a ridiculously high ownership of 45.2% compared to Silva’s 5.3%
- His penalty duties will be taken away once Aguero is back
- He naturally plays a little deeper than Silva
- Many of Yaya’s goals have come from free kicks this season, can his accuracy continue?
3. Adam Lallana (£7.3m)
Currently in the middle of a dispute with Clattenburg over comments from the ref suggesting that he’d changed since playing for England, Lallana scored an excellent goal at the weekend to secure a big 4-3 victory in the FA Cup. Currently, the 5th highest scoring midfielder in the game, Lallana is in fine form picking up 3 assists and a goal in his last 4 matches.
With 4 double-figure returns this season, Lallana has the ability to capitalise on a fine run of fixtures. Southampton face West Brom, Sunderland, Fulham, Stoke and Hull in their next 6 games and Lallana will be expected to pull the strings in attack.
To sum things up, here are the reasons to bring him in:
- Great form providing attacking returns in 3 of his last 4 games
- Excellent run of fixtures where the Saints will create chances
- Lallana can free up budget for other areas including expensive strikers such as Aguero, Rooney and Van Persie
Who you bring in for Walcott, depends greatly on the rest of your squad and what you plan to do with it. If you have no Arsenal coverage you may want to go with Ozil or wait for Ramsey. If you have no City coverage, bringing in Silva seems the logical decision. Having played only part of the season, it’s less likely for Silva to be rotated and he is going to be a big player in the second half of the season.
On the other hand, if you like a gamble, Lallana could be your man. He’s cheap and if Southampton perform as well as they can, Lallana’s price is sure to shoot up as others jump on board. At the end of the day, the decision is yours but as Walcott owners aren’t wasting much time in ditching the injured star, make it swift.
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Author Credit: Richard Lam
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonker/