As managers in the Fantasy Premier League this year, we would all love to have all the fifteen spots in our squads given to midfielders. The defensive options are falling short, with a popular defensive player in FPL, getting injured every week, outside of Haaland, is there still a forward in the game, who can help break through the ranks? Not, hell, this season, even the goalkeeper situation is so precarious. It is only the midfielders who are saving most weeks from utter embarrassment.
No matter how much we might be craving, we are still stuck with five spots in midfield, and that means for new transfers, the players already in our squads must go. This decision, no matter how easy it may sound, to the casual player you encounter in your office. We, the engaged managers know how tricky this can be. If you are reading this article, I am going to assume, you spend a fair amount of time thinking about FPL and when you do so, returns from a player you just sold is an awful feeling. I once sold Bamford, the week, before, he got his hat trick.
At the start of the season, most of us were locked up with triple Arsenal players preferably with two players in midfield. Saka and either of Martinelli and Odegaard, while many managers had even gone for a triple up of Arsenal midfield. Three games into the campaign and Arteta’s men have had a less than convincing start to the season. The Spaniard have been deploying new tactics, and it is the defensive build-up accompanied by the center of the midfield, where Arsenal seems to be having their problems this season. Ben White is playing at center back instead of the right back he operated in last season, while Partey is doing White’s job of inverting from the right and there still needs to be time for Havertz perhaps to be completely accustomed to his newer role in his new team.
This might change when Zinchenko and Jesus are both back up to full speeds but at the moment, Arsenal sits sixteenth on team data attack. Only Fulham, Luton Town, Burnley, and Sheffield United are behind them, and they are sitting sixteenth after games against Forest and Fulham at home, which is a case of further concern from an attacking perspective. Their team data attack reads 14.50 chances created per ninety, with 1.50 big chances created per ninety and xG non-penalty of 1.04. These are very underwhelming stats.
Besides Saka, the two popular assets of Odegaard and Martinelli do not fare well in the midfielder charts. Martinelli is thirty-seventh on the list with 1.8 shots per ninety, and 1.01 shots in the box per ninety, including a mere 2.08 chances created, and a non-penalty xG of 0.38. Odegaard is 55th on this list, with a meager 3.4 shots in the box, 3.01 shots, and 0.07 chances created all per ninety, with an xG non-penalty of 0.20. While Maddison and Sterling and Foden are all set for promising seasons, playing as the attacking fulcrum of their team, Odegaard and Martinelli are struggling to even enter the top thirty of the midfielder’s data after two easy home games. Arsenal plays United next at home, and their fixtures after that turn tougher. Their assets then are surely on the chopping block, and for anyone looking to make space in their squad, they are a sale.