Fantasy Premier League throws us a curveball every so often just to keeps us on our toes, which is what happened this week with the news that Bukayo Saka has suffered an injury.
The right winger was subbed off in the second half of last Sunday’s North London Derby against Tottenham after taking a knock on his foot.
On Tuesday Mikel Arteta revealed that Saka was “limping quite badly” after the game and had not participated in training. When asked if he could miss the Bournemouth match in gameweek 7, the Gunners boss said “it’s a possibility, yes”.
Arteta is going to give Saka every chance of being available for this weekend, but it’s not looking great for the 22-year-old. His absence would be a huge blow for FPL managers who own him, as he has been so consistent this season; only Erling Haaland (58) has accrued more than his 44 points after six games.
With the PFA Young Player of the Year like to be out of action for this week at least, we’ve put together a few possible replacements for you. As ever, if you plan on transferring out Saka, wait until as late as possible before the FPL deadline to do so. You don’t want to sell him only to find out he’s actually raring to go against the Cherries.
All statistics used in this article are from Opta.
FPL Deadline: Saturday, September 30, 11am BST.
Join our FPL league: xugc83
Fantasy Premier League: Four replacements for Bukayo Saka
Son Heung-min – £9.2m
The only midfielder in FPL to match Saka’s points total is Son Heung-min, who has looked very dangerous in his new role as Spurs’ central striker. That makes him a very attractive out-of-position player indeed.
The Korean has more goals (5) than any other midfielder, and although he is far outperforming his expected goals (2.44xG), we know he is an exceptional finisher who will put away his chances more often than not.
The club’s reinvention under Ange Postecoglou makes their attackers an alluring prospect as well; they have had more attempts on goal (114) than any other side in the Premier League so far, while only three teams have scored more than their 15 goals.
Pitchside perspectives 🤳
Sonny’s 150th goal for Spurs in front of the travelling faithful 🤩 pic.twitter.com/ChrEs7QePO
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 25, 2023
The only drawback is James Maddison’s potential injury. The playmaker has gone for a scan after he was forced off with a slight injury against Arsenal. If he’s ruled out of this weekend’s tie against Liverpool, then Tottenham’s ceiling is considerably lower.
Jarrod Bowen – £7.1m
There is such an abundance of quality, affordable midfielders in Fantasy Premier League this year that Jarrod Bowen has gone under the radar. But the West Ham attacker has already provided four goals and an assist in six games this season.
Bowen’s underlying stats are also encouraging: 12 of his 16 shots have come from inside the box, he has been involved in six big chances, created four chances, and has 2.92xG. He has become the Hammers’ main attacking threat and this weekend they’re up against Sheffield United, who are fresh off the back of an 8-0 humiliation against Newcastle.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, then James Ward-Prowse (£6.3m) could be your guy. His underlyings don’t pop off the page, but he does have two goals and three assists. He’s also taking every set piece on a team that is very effective on set pieces. One to consider.
Phil Foden – £7.6m
Six gameweeks into the season it seems mad not to double or triple up on the Manchester City attack. Only Brighton have scored more goals, they have the highest xG and non-penalty xG, and only Liverpool have had more big chances.
Although I wouldn’t classify Phil Foden as an absolute must-have asset, he offers great value at his price. The England international finally got his first goal of the campaign at the weekend to add to his three assists, while he has also created 15 chances.
The boat may have passed for Man City’s attacking assets as they have a mixed slate of upcoming fixtures, but they do have Wolves away next up; only three teams have conceded more big chances than the Midlands outfit.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 24, 2023
Moussa Diaby – £6.6m
Aston Villa‘s star signing from the summer, Moussa Diaby, has made an instant impact at his new club, scoring two goals and assisting another two in six starts.
The Parisian winger is exciting to watch, although we’d like to see better underlying stats from him. He’s only had two big chances in front of goal and is putting up just 0.27xG per game, but he has created four big chances for his teammates.
The major thing going for Diaby is Villa’s upcoming fixtures, which on paper look very nice all the way up until December.