This coming weekend will bring the 24th round of matches in Premier League play, marking exactly the two-thirds point of the season. For football fanatics, that means the best matches are yet to come while the race for the League title is still very much up in the air. Also, the top competitors have much to see of one another before matches conclude. But for fantasy managers, this point in the season often means teams are essentially set, and there’s only so much to be done about improving a roster.
But could this year’s transfer window bring some significant boosts to alert and fortunate fantasy managers? According to recent reports from a number of sources, the answer may be yes, as both Manchester City and Manchester United are said to be making hard last minute pushes to strengthen their midfields, and thus bring more talented players—who could conceivably be brought on board by fantasy managers—to the Premier League.
Man City to Acquire Fernando
The first bit of significant transfer news may well belong to Man City. According Betfair’s football news section, they are getting close to acquiring Brazilian midfield star Fernando, who has been playing for Porto in Portugal. Incidentally, the same site currently lists Man City with the top odds to win the Premier League, so needless to say adding Fernando to the mix—alongside an already formidable midfield—could be a major factor in the League. However, the impact for fantasy managers could be significant as well, as Fernando would represent a major talent acquisition for this point in the season. Man City are also rumoured to be in on Eliaquim Mangala (also currently part of Porto), but the Fernando deal seems more imminent, and City grabbing both players seems unlikely.
From a fantasy perspective, picking up Fernando, should he end up at Manchester City, will likely be of limited benefit. Let’s not forget that Yaya Toure and Fernandinho have turned into one of the deadliest and most fluid midfield combos in the Premier League, and Fernando will not be taking either’s spot by any means. However, his tackling prowess and general skill will get him a spot in the rotation, and any player taking significant minutes for this Man City club could be a valuable fantasy addition. Minutes alone, in addition to stats, could add up to some measurable help.
Manchester United Looks to Get Midfield Boost
Regarding Manchester United’s potential transfer impact on fantasy managers, the current rumours seem to conflict a bit. The buzz, as noted by the Independent, has been that Toni Kroos could be on the move from Bayern Munich to provide a much-needed boost to the Man U midfield (and give fantasy managers another significant player to attempt to pick up). There have been rumours that Kroos is not content despite playing for arguably the best club in Europe, and his talents could certainly be used at Old Trafford.
For now, neither deal is confirmed, let alone completed, and it may be that none of the players discussed wind up eligible in Premier League fantasy leagues. However, at this point in the season a transfer like one of these can provide a significant boost, so keep an eye on the news!
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Author Credit: Richard Lam