Sunday, December 3, 2023

Is it time to sell Son in FPL?

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Owners of Son Heung-min (£9.7m) in Fantasy Premier League could be forced to rethink their tactics following the injury to his Tottenham Hotspur team-mate James Maddison (£7.9m).

Maddison is expected to be sidelined until January with the ankle injury that forced him off against Chelsea in Gameweek 11.

His first absence of the season, against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Gameweek 12, immediately impacted Son’s output.

Son managed just a single shot, with that effort coming from outside the box, as he blanked in back-to-back Gameweeks for the first time since being moved up front by Ange Postecoglou in Gameweek 4.

See: FPL experts: What to do with Son?

The South Korean currently sits in 40 per cent of squads thanks to his output in his new role as a centre-forward for Spurs.

He is the third top-scoring player in Fantasy from Gameweek 4 onwards, producing eight goals, an assist and 74 points.

Despite his pair of blanks, he has averaged an impressive 8.2 points per match (ppm) while playing up front.

Top-scoring players in Fantasy from GW4 
Player Points Goals Assists Bonus ppm
Salah 86 9 2 14 9.6
Haaland 77 10 3 11 8.6
Son 74 8 1 11 8.2

The concern for Son backers is, with Maddison out, who will create the chances for him to keep scoring?

Spurs struggled in their playmaker’s absence at Wolves, managing a mere six shots in the 2-1 defeat.

Their top creator was right-back Pedro Porro (£5.2m), who produced a team-high two key passes and earned the assist for Brennan Johnson’s (£5.8m) goal.

Maddison absence a huge blow

The underlying numbers indicate how crucial Maddison’s loss could be for both Spurs and Son owners in Fantasy.

The England star’s 31 key passes and six big chances created are both team-leading totals, each putting him among the top six players in 2023/24.

Maddison was essentially creating just over three chances per match this season, averaging a key pass every 28 minutes.

Dejan Kulusevski (£7.0m) is Spurs’ second-top creator, yet only three of his 24 key passes have been big chances created. Indeed, the right-winger has yet to earn a single assist.

On the opposite flank, an injury to Richarlison (£6.7m) has allowed Johnson the opportunity to secure a starting role. But in terms of creativity, Richarlison has averaged a key pass more than 30 minutes quicker than Johnson.

Spurs attackers’ creativity compared 23/24
Player Mins/key pass Key passes Big chances created  Assists
Maddison 28 31 6 6
Kulusevski 43 24 3 0
Son 51 19 5 1
Richarlison 81 7 1 3
Johnson 118 4 1 1

The concerns over Son’s output also come at a point when Spurs’ fixtures take a turn for the worse.

Postecoglou’s side face four of the current top nine sides in successive Gameweeks, starting with a home match against Aston Villa this weekend.

Spurs’ next four matches
GW Opp. FDR*
13 AVL (H)  3
14 MCI (A)    5
15 WHU (H)    2
16 NEW (H)    4

*Fixture Difficulty Ratings (1= easiest, 5 = hardest)

So, what should managers do?

Villa’s away record indicates Son could be worth keeping for Gameweek 13, especially as Erling Haaland (£14.0m) and Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) will be going head-to-head as Manchester City host Liverpool in a tough match, reducing the points potential of both players.

Away from home, Villa have conceded 12 goals in six matches and have allowed 22 big chances, the joint-second most this season.

But if Son blanks against Villa, many of his owners will be having a rethink as Spurs prepare to face Manchester City and Newcastle United in two of their subsequent three fixtures.

See: Which of the most-owned players in FPL can you go without?

View all the latest FPL tips ahead of Gameweek 13 in Fantasy Premier League

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