For Fantasy Premier League managers looking for the cheapest of midfield replacements for Dimitri Payet, Bournemouth has a several budget options that might prove tempting to a few.
The Cherries players under 5m who are currently fit for action include Eunan O’Kane (4.3), Harry Arter (4.7m), Junior Stanislas (4.2m), Joshua King (4.6m), Dan Gosling (4.4m), and Andrew Surman (4.3m). O’Kane has been getting less game time recently, while Artur and Stanislas have only come back into the first team in the last two weeks. As such, it is probably too early to consider them unless that extra 0.1m Stanislas could save an FPL manager would make a huge difference to their transfer plans.
Therefore, I’m going to focus on the latter three, starting with Surman.
So far this season Surman has managed two FPL points every game, except Gameweek 6 when Bournemouth kept a clean sheet and he scored three points. The chart demonstrates clearly why he is allergic to attacking points – he rarely attacks. On average, Surman has shot once every other game.
On the plus side, the South African-born midfielder has played every minute of every game this season and not been booked once. Surman is a fantastic choice if all you want from a fifth midfielder is two points off the bench when one of your other front seven is unable to play, but look elsewhere if you want any attacking potential.
Which brings us to Joshua King, who is interesting because he is a potential out of position midfielder. According to FourFourTwo Stats Zone, King has lined up as a forward against Aston Villa, Liverpool, West Ham United and Newcastle United this season, while appearing as a support striker or attacking midfielder against Norwich, Watford and Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite this positive positioning, the only match when he looked a serious threat stats-wise in his 501 minutes of play this season was against Newcastle in Gameweek 12. In his seven starts he has only reached 60 minutes on four occasions, so he’s not guaranteed to deliver two points. He may be only 4.6m, but until he shows he can consistently play 60 minutes and consistently test the opposition goalkeeper I think there are better – and cheaper – ways for FPL managers to spend there money on a budget midfielder. And here is one of them:
At 4.4m, Dan Gosling costs 0.2m less than King but from the stats he seems a more consistent player. His shooting stats also have a reasonable balance to them. Unlike King, Gosling has played 90 minutes in each of the last seven Bournemouth games. He costs 0.1m more than Surman, but for that 0.1m an FPL manager buys some attacking points potential.
Comparing how often per 90 minutes each of these players creates assists and chances, it’s clear none of them will replace Payet’s creativity. King and Gosling are in a similar ballpark to Payet in terms of taking shots and hitting them from inside the box, but Surman is struggling to make an impact.
I bought Surman on my Gameweek 3 wildcard as he looked a cheap, guaranteed starter, but I shipped him out again in Gameweek 7 after realizing I could not foresee a situation in which I would want to start him. If my team had become so riddled with injuries and suspensions that he had to play, I think I would have rather taken a points hit to replace one of those injured players than start him.
I know the fifth midfielder serves no purpose for some FPL managers other than saving the most amount of money possible, but I would rather spend an extra 0.1m to buy the comfort of knowing a player might have an outside chance of some attacking returns if he has to come off the bench.