In a society growing ever-more resistant to change, it’s reassuring to know that the renegades behind the Fantasy Premier League player positions are bucking the trend. But just who are the assets that have been reclassified? And what do these player position changes mean for you?
Position Changed To Defender in FPL 2019/20
As one of the first player price reveals, Matt Ritchie had eyebrows twitching across the world when OfficialFPL revealed his position was to be reclassified.
Here we have a defender who, transfers pending, looks set to be Newcastle’s preferred penalty taker for the 2019/20 season. “Think of VAR!” screamed managers, “he’s the next Leighton Baines!”. The juices were well and truly flowing.
But lest we forget Newcastle’s current, managerless strife. Their clean sheet prospects going into next season could hardly be worse, which makes £5.5m a steep price to pay for one of their defenders, no matter how many set pieces he hovers over. I’d look elsewhere.
Though Maitland-Niles’ minutes were patchy last season (he played just 976 minutes in total), the majority of them came in the second half of the season.
This might just be because Arsenal’s backline were so injury-plagued. With that said, when the youngster was given his opportunity, he took it very well.
As the Gunners regroup over the summer, Emery might be wise to take stock of the talent he already has at his disposal before searching for alternatives. In Maitland-Niles, he has an incredibly promising full-back. One that, at £5.0m, could do it for FPL managers too if he’s given more minutes.
Zinchenko was effectively ruled out of FPL ownership last season on account of his midfielder status – a fact I’m sure he was gutted about.
His long overdue player position change puts him back on the menu. If he can find a regular starting place under Pep, he’ll be one of the few bargains going into this season. But isn’t that always the caveat with Man City players?
At £5.5m, he’s at a price point that makes him an absolute steal if he’s assured consistent minutes and an absolute waste if he’s rotated as often as we might expect. One to keep your eye on, but probably not a Gameweek 1 acquisition.
I might just be imagining this, but wasn’t Masuaku listed as a defender during the 17/18 campaign? In any case, his status as a midfielder last season meant he was seldom called upon by FPL managers. That could change now.
The key to his attractiveness as an FPL asset will boil down to West Ham’s ability to keep clean sheets. Whilst Masuaku is a skilful attacker, he hasn’t been consistent enough to be a reliable source of attacking returns.
But a £4.5m cog in a sturdy wheel who has the raw talent to threaten defences as well as contribute to his own might well be worthy of consideration. For now, there are too many questions that need answering for me.
Position Changed To Midfielder in FPL 2019/20
Of the great mysteries of human existence, one predicament continues to plague our most gifted minds more regularly than the rest: where the hell does Wilfred Zaha play? Even Zaha doesn’t know where Zaha plays. Perhaps in the middle. Maybe on the wing. Sometimes, even, between the sticks too.
His FPL position has chopped and changed more frequently than the weather on an English summer’s day, but as luck would have it, the pendulum currently points to an underrated bargain once again.
If there’s one thing we can be sure of when it comes to Zaha, it’s that he has a talent for winning penalties. Did we mention VAR is being introduced next season? It would be reasonable to expect this trend to at worst continue, and at best significantly improve. This, combined with his eye for goal, makes Zaha an absolute steal at just £7.0m.
Though under-the-radar for the first half of last season, Jeffrey Schlupp’s ascendancy as an FPL asset in the 18/19 campaign was nearly as fast as his movement up and down the turf at Selhurst Park.
The once-defender came in at just £4.5m but invariably played as part of a midfield trio. Schlupp’s propensity to get forward was a Godsend for the cash-strapped FPL manager. His out-of-position antics will be missed.
Would I invest in Schlupp 2.0? Probably not. After all, what goes Schlupp must always come down.
This is an intriguing one. Ignore the aforementioned Newcastle strife for just a second and work with me here. Have we been given a midfielder who scored 8 goals in his last 9 Premier League matches for just £6.5m?
It’s almost like OfficialFPL feel sorry for Newcastle, and have jiggled some of their players around to encourage some investment from FPL managers. You know what? It might just work on me.
West Ham were hardly what you’d call stable at the back last season. FPL managers will remember last season’s blank gameweek, in which The Hammers had the audacity to concede 3 goals against Huddersfield despite the outpouring of investment in their defence.
Declan Rice was the diamond in the rough: a young English prospect who spent most of his time playing as a deep-midfielder, betraying his FPL position in the process.
Just as Zinchenko’s reclassification puts him back on the FPL watch-list, Rice’s positional shift probably takes him off. Which is a shame, because I was planning to have a curry tonight.
Position Changed To Forward in FPL 2019/20
Jota came onto the FPL scene full of hope and promise. As is usually the case with anything associated with FPL, however, that hope and promise was quickly replaced by crushing disappointment.
But things got better for the Portuguese. An impressive pairing with strike-partner Raul Jimenez usually saw him start as one half of a front 2 in a 3-5-2 for the latter part of the season, a managerial tweak which has been rightly mirrored by the game.
There’s still plenty of value here. At £6.5m, Jota is a proven asset who comes in at the same price as the likes of Norwich’s Teemu Pukki. He could well be a great way to free up funds in other places.
Though it pains me to admit, the decision makers at FPL towers have probably got this one right too.
Deulofeu was another who finished the season very strongly, with impressive showings in Watford’s surprising FA Cup run too. Watford fans are rightly optimistic about the 19/20 season, but if that hope is to be realised, their key players will have to deliver once again.
Though the mantle of “talismanic” is probably still Troy Deeney’s, The Hornets are becoming more and more dependant on their once-heralded Spanish forward. At £6.5m, you could do a lot worse.