1. Carlos Tevez- In a game all about money, Carlos Tevez fits in. Well, he used to at least. The man who at one point was every team’s must have has lost a bit of his luster – I guess, that’s what you get from walking out acrimoniously on every club you’ve ever played for. Close to a move this summer, Tevez now looks destined to remain in Manchester, where he will no doubt sulk his way towards January. Funny, the reason he hasn’t moved already… money.
2. Javier Hernandez- After starring last season, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is one of fantasy football’s most popular players. The Little Pea is deadly in front of goal, and at only ten million, is cheaper than some of his high profile colleagues. However, signing Chicharito would still represent a major gamble – amazing as it seems, the Mexican is by no means a default starter. With Wesley Sneijder on United’s radar, the possibility of Rooney being pushed up into the role he occupied in 2009/10 is increasing. Sneijder would play just in behind the Englishman, leaving Chicharito… well, on the bench.
3. Ashley Young- Now a permanent fixture in Capello’s England squad, Ashley Young has begun to attract a lot of publicity – hype that was only exacerbated by his transfer to Manchester United. However, strange as it may seem, Young is actually not as promising an option at United as he was at Aston Villa. Complete with a new and highly inflated price tag, many expect the Englishman to emerge as one of the fantasy game’s most successful players. However, such a judgement is a dangerous one to make; along with Young, Manchester United have a couple other wingers keen to make an impact. Nani and Valencia will only been inspired by the Young signing, such is the mentality of players at United, that the two starting wingers from last season are likely to improve themselves as they seek to earn a spot in Fergie’s first eleven.
4. Jack Wilshere- After a stellar first season in the top flight, Jack Wilshere is at the forefront of many fantasy manager’s minds. However, much like Luka Modric, Wilshere lacks the point gaining guarantee of some of his colleagues. Though an integral part of Arsenal’s midfield, Wilshere tends not to be the man providing the final assist or finish – the Englishman only scored once in the league last season, and provided a paltry three assists (that’s fewer than Nenad Milijas, Steve Malbranque and Darren Fletcher!) Future of English football yes, fantasy super star… no.
5. Gareth Bale- Bale is probably the most over hyped player in the history of football. Injury prone, dodgy in defense and unable to put together a consistent run of form, the Welshman is certainly not worth his eight million pound price. There is a fiction being bandied around that Bale is one of the best providers in the game, but if ever statistics destroyed a theory, it was that one. With only three assists in the league, Bale sat beside legends of the game like Ahmed Elmohamady and Jon Walters (who incidentally would represent a solid cheap option) in last year’s assists standings. In terms of goals, Bale is nothing to shout about either; seven isn’t terrible, but their are midfielders available who could promise far more. Sure, Bale might be primed to win Great Britain their first ever Olympic Gold in football (it’s not like he’s going to be occupied at the Euros…), but he is yet to show his true statistical value on the fantasy stage.