Agüero replacements: Premium forwards

“As long as he stays fit” – within days of publishing those six important words in my post considering the Gameweek 8 performance of Sergio Agüero, the Manchester City star striker damaged his hamstring and is reported to be out for at least a month.

Now the hunt is on among Fantasy Premier League managers for a replacement striker as 13.3m is too much value to leave on the bench for long. The game’s most expensive striker being out means every possible replacement option is available for consideration.

I am starting my look at the alternatives with the premium forwards. With Rooney flagged for a knock, there are only three fit options that cost more than 9.0m  – Harry Kane (9.2m), Daniel Sturridge (10.5m) and Diego Costa (10.9m). Kane has started every match and clocked up 683 minutes, but suspension and injury have limited Costa and Sturridge’s game time to 518 and 242 minutes respectively. Given the disparity of minutes, I think the best way to compare them is to look at their minutes per action.

Agüero replacements - premium strikers

I’ve included Agüero’s statistics for comparison and it’s clear that so far this season only Sturridge comes anywhere near close to the man he would replace. I would normally add minutes per goal into the chart, but with Kane and Costa netting only once each this season that would lift the minutes axis so high that it would be hard to see the other metrics. Sturridge has performed better than his counterparts from Tottenham and Chelsea by scoring twice in his three appearances.

On statistics alone then, there is one clear winner in this price bracket. However we have other factors to consider. Firstly, Sturridge’s own injury problems mean bringing him in could be the FPL equivalent of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Furthermore,  Jürgen Klopp’s appointment last week as Liverpool manager means we can’t be sure which players the new man will favour and where Sturridge will play.

We also have to consider fixtures. Liverpool’s fixture list (tot, SOT, che, CPL, mci, SWA) is far from enticing. Tottenham’s fixtures (LIV, bou, AVL, ars, WHM, CHE) are mixed, but many FPL managers will be looking for more signs of a return to form from Kane before heading in that direction. Chelsea have a lovely match this week (AVL) but after that the fixtures are also mixed (whm, LIV, sto, NOR, tot). With injuries and rotation beginning to bite on FPL squads, some FPL managers will be questioning whether it is worth burning a transfer on an out of form striker leading the line for a stuttering Chelsea side. It might work this week, but that could be a false dawn if the Blues can’t sustain a recovery.

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6 thoughts on “Agüero replacements: Premium forwards

  1. Giggs Boson says:

    None look appealing at the moment.

    But you could make an argument that a Chelsea improvement is imminent as an international break is usually the time struggling teams make a sudden improvement. This would improve Costa’s stats.

    At the moment, on the current information, the mid priced strikers look the safe bets, and Costa looks the punty choice.

    There is also a man that seems to be forgotten at the moment. A certain Belgian who should return to action this week, and has a new manager who has been advocating attacking play in his interviews. If Klopp plays with 1 striker as expected, it should be Benteke who leads the line, with Sturridge forced slightly wide. To boost his appeal, he should be on pens with Hendo out. But again, another gamble.

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  2. Ruth_NZ says:

    And last season? Costa had 20 goals in 26 league games. No fluke, just a continuation of his performance level in Madrid. He’s a top class striker and class will out. And he’s the least punty of any Aguero replacements (including Pelle and Lukaku) in my view.

    Bony is another very good shout. If Aguero was not a City player and Bony had started the season as their main striker he’d have been valued at £10m. He’s a reliable scorer when he plays regularly as sole striker. And he probably has 6 or 8 PL games, 4 weeks out for Aguero is a pipe dream if he has a Grade II Hamstring Strain, 8 weeks is more likely and we may well not see him back much before Xmas.

    The problem with Bony will be the uncertain period when Aguero is being eased back, timing the switch back to Aguero will be tricky.

    Pelle and Lukaku are the only others that merit consideration in my view. I have seen Pelle fail to score for weeks on end with great underlying statistics before. He’s still the same player though his confidence may be better right now. Lukaku seems a more reliable option – another who scored 20 goals last season – though the next 2 fixtures could be better.

    So, Costa at £10.9 or Bony/Pelle/Lukaku at £8.2/£8.3. I think the question is what you would do with the £2.7m. For me it comes down to Costa and Walcott or Bony/Lukaku and Hazard. And I think Costa/Walcott is the option I will go for.

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