Fantasy Premier League 202/22 | How to replace irreplaceable Romelu Lukaku
Fantasy Premier League 202/22 - Gameweek 9|
With another intense round of Premier League fixtures around the corner, it’s perhaps the moment to avoid any rash decisions, but then Romelu Lukaku gets injured. The news has been confirmed and the Belgian is set to miss out on the next two to three weeks, how do you replace one of the best?
Option 1: Hop on the Jamie Vardy freight train
£11.6 million, 31 points in eight games and arguably the lynchpin in what could be one of the best Chelsea teams to ever walk this planet and now he’s injured. It asks far too many questions from everyone especially when Lukaku is out for at least three weeks or in the words of Thomas Tuchel, “some matches”. It’s an even bigger problem when Romelu Lukaku was the fourth most transferred-in player, at the time of writing, and is owned by 27% of the teams in the game.
Which means if you’re reading this, you want to know how to replace him? The answer is far from a straightforward one but option one is exactly that because by signing Jamie Vardy, you get a like for like replacement and some cash to spend. The Foxes forward didn’t exactly have the greatest start to his season, much like his side, but over the last few weeks, Vardy has come into his own.
Seven goals and 1 assist in his last eight games is a very very impressive haul but the Englishman has only amped that up with 35 points in his last four games. Very few forwards or FPL assets can match that figure especially when you consider the fact that Leicester City faces Leeds United and Watford over the next few weeks alongside Brentford, Arsenal and Chelsea themselves. Not the worst fixture list in the world and with Vardy’s form, you’d expect him to do well.
Option 2: Go even bigger than Jamie Vardy
Who is bigger than Jamie Vardy? Well, other than Romelu Lukaku himself, there are six players more expensive than Vardy’s £10.7 price-tag and all six happen to be in good form. Bruno Fernandes is a consistent presence for Manchester United and the midfielder has got ten points in his last two games but even then, the Red Devils have been on a bad run of form.
That has seemed to stop Cristiano Ronaldo, who hasn’t found the net in the league since he scored against West Ham although his form in Europe does point to something bigger around the corner. That leaves the Liverpool duo of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and you don’t need anyone to tell you how good either man has been this season. Especially the Egyptian who is, at the moment, the highest points getter in the competition at 81.
That leaves Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane but while the Kane section is right below this one, the De Bruyne section doesn’t quite exist just yet. That’s because the Belgian has looked slightly off the pace since his return from injury and even with two goals and 19 points in his last two games, you might want to wait a while before splurging the £12.0 it takes to sign him.
Option 3: Harry Kane is waiting to be unleashed
That only leaves his royal highness Harry Kane. Now Kane is an out-there option, but hear me out because he is after all Harry Kane, the same man who won both the Playmaker of the Year and the Golden Boot last season. Sure, the summer transfer saga destroyed his early season form but even then, few players have been as effective as Kane has been over the course of his career.
And it’s not like he has stopped scoring with three goals in the UEFA Conference League, two more in the qualifiers for the same tournament, and one in the Carabao Cup. Plus he has been consistently producing an xG of 0.40 and an xA of 0.30 which is exceptional good numbers for someone who is reportedly out of form. Then there’s the fact that Kane managed to find the net and assist another goal in the win over Newcastle United, with him even looking like he was back to his old self.
Now naturally, it’s a gamble but given the fact that this is Harry Kane, something tells me that this is a gamble well worth the risks, even if his price-tag is £12.1.
Option 4: Go budget and spend the extra money on other premium options
Now for those who don’t want to spend all £11.6 million in one place, there are various other options and that means dipping into the budget pool. Thankfully, this season, all the budget options, so far at least, seem to have hit the ground running with Ivan Toney, Allan Saint-Maximin, Neal Maupay, and even Raul Jimenez all doing really well.
But the best possible option, at least right now and based on form, seems to be Brentford’s Toney and that is thanks to the fact that he has torn this league apart. The forward has been on a tear-off late with either goals or assists, is on penalties, and has been producing very strong underlying numbers for both goal creation and goal threat. But given that he hasn’t scored in two games, it is a concern that brings us to Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Leicester City man has either scored or assisted a goal in his last three games which has earned him starts in his last two and even with Patson Daka’s four-goal haul in Europe, Iheanacho could very well continue playing. His underlying numbers have been consistently good this season but his minutes have been limited although that could change in the near future. But like most budget options, this is a risky move even if his price-tag of £7.0 does suggest otherwise.