SportSoccer

Fantasy Football 2015-16; Bargain strikers

SoccerBy Sean Nolan
Jermain Defoe is proven in the Premier League and a bargain at €5.5m
Jermain Defoe is proven in the Premier League and a bargain at €5.5m

Arguably the most important, and most difficult, area of your squad to select, unearthing a cheap striker who will net you lots of goals and assists is key to a successful season.

With one place in the front three sure to go to a big name, and price, striker like Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa or Wayne Rooney, you will need one, or possibly two, cheaper forwards to go with them. 

Here are five players, priced at the low fee of €5.5m, that we think are worth a punt as being next season’s Harry Kane or Charlie Austin.

Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) €5.5m

The Black Cats barely survived last season and this term may not be much better but if they are to score, it is most likely to involve the veteran England striker.

Defoe arrived in January last season and racked up 61 points, a very decent total for half a season. Averaged out for a full year, Defoe would have been among the top 10 strikers in the game.

Four goals in 17 games was not fantastic but he plays every week and he picks up more than his fair share of assists and bonus points too.

Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) €5.5m

The 23-year-old striker may be unproven at this level but his record last term in the Championship suggests he should settle in with the big boys just fine.

Wilson was the Cherries chief goal threat, scoring 23 goals as Eddie Howe’s side romped to the title.

With a smattering of assists, and a kindly start to the season fixture wise, we’re backing Wilson to settle in quickly and give a quick return to those who gamble on him.

Troy Deeney (Watford) €5.5m

Another striker making his Premier league debut but he has an even bigger back catalogue of success than Wilson in the second tier.

With 66 goals over his last three seasons in the Championship (21, 25 and 20) the 27-year old is overdue a shot at the best defences in the English game. 

While we don’t expect him to make it to 20 for the fourth year in a row, double figures is definitely a possibility and that will do for that price tag.

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) €5.5m

The arrival of Connor Wickham can’t be good news for Gayle, and the fact he failed to score after January 17 is also a worry.

But if he can recapture his form of the first half of last season, when he bagged five goals and a few bonus points too, he is worth a punt, especially as Alan Pardew’s side should be even better this term.

Mauro Zarate (West Ham) €5.5m (above)

Last season, at the Hammers and QPR, the Argentinian was woeful value, at €6.1m for a return of just 27 points.

But the signs are that the move back to West Ham will see the 28-year old rediscover the form that made him a regular scorer in Serie A.

A fine goal in the Europa League surely means that Slaven Bilic will give Zarate a decent run in the team and with Enner Valencia now injured, Zarate will lead the line for the Londoners alongside Diafra Sakho.

We fancy Zarate to be the best bet of the two, being €1m cheaper, leaving important cash free for the big names of the game.