Up next in our ‘What to do’ series, we look at Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette. Specifically, should FPL managers keep or sell him?
What to do?
The past few months of FPL have been known for the lack of appealing forward options that aren’t named Harry Kane. Names like Wout Weghorst, Armando Broja, Emmanuel Dennis, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Michail Antonio continue to disappoint.
Another is Arsenal front man Alexandre Lacazette. Helped by the January departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he had started 16 successive league matches. Four previous Premier League seasons have all brought at least ten goals, which FPL bosses rarely owned because of rotation fears.
By removing Aubameyang and giving Lacazette constant starts at the head of this vibrant, youthful in-form Arsenal team, this was set to finally be the time for this France international to be an essential pick.
Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out that way. And it’s now been revealed that he has just tested positive for Covid.
Heading into last weekend’s Gameweek 32, he was still in 27% of top 10k teams despite scoring just once in his last 11 outings. Although five assists arrived in that period, only two appearances all season have resulted in over seven points.
The graphic shows attacking stats over these 11 matches. His five shots on target is poor and penalty area touches are surpassed by midfielder Bukayo Saka, with the cheap Gabriel Martinelli close behind.
Not only is Lacazette out of form but Arsenal suddenly is too. Three defeats in a row have come at a terrible time in the race for fourth place.
Perhaps the Covid-related absence comes as a blessing to his FPL managers, with Mikel Arteta not knowing if he’ll make Wednesday’s match at Chelsea.
If Lacazette is back in proceedings by Gameweek 34, Arsenal has a promising set of fixtures to end the season. With no cup runs or reasons to rotate, home matches versus Leeds and Everton offer huge potential, as does facing West Ham between their two Europa League semi-finals.
The Gunners have a Double Gameweek 36 that includes a crunch north London derby at Spurs.
Of the 20 teams, several don’t really use an FPL forward (Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool). Additionally, teams like Brighton, Leicester and Crystal Palace tend to rotate their strikers, whilst Newcastle, Wolves, Leeds and West Ham have tough fixtures left.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expensive, Kane is already in the majority of sides and Weghorst is a constant letdown. Broja too. There’s very little left!
Ivan Toney has six goals from six matches but no remaining Double Gameweeks. Meanwhile, it was interesting to see Dennis get back on the score sheet. His first since Gameweek 26, Watford soon hosts Burnley and Everton.
Speaking of the Toffees, either Richarlison or Calvert-Lewin could be a maverick way to proceed. They double-double over Gameweeks 36 and 37 in their desperate quest for survival.
Finally, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins has one of the nicest fixture runs, although his team’s poor form could bring the red flag of early holidays.
Thoughts from the FPL community
FPL 420 asks the same question to the Twittersphere, with some interesting replies.
Many sellers – like FPL Swede – can’t envisage the replacements doing any worse.