January may not be the preferred time for managers to make marquee signings, but sometimes your hand is forced. The likes of Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, David Luiz, Virgil van Djik and Nemanja Matic were all January purchases and most of those turned out to be a success.
Big name signings have been few and far between in the Premier League this window with Chelsea's loan acquisition of Gonzalo Higuain being the most high profile arrival in the English top flight this month. At 31, the Argentine isn't exactly hot property any longer, but seems to have attracted plenty of suitors in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) even before kicking a ball in the Premier League.
Higuain is the fifth most purchased forward this week with over 55,000 buyers. At a price of £9.5m, the new Chelsea recruit is reasonably priced, especially considering his goalscoring records across leagues in his career. However, it's advisable to wait before jumping on the Higuain bandwagon as good performances in a blue shirt might not necessarily translate into goals or points.
The Argentine played 80 minutes in Chelsea's 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday and ended the evening without a goal or an assist. His movement was sharp as he got into a few promising positions, but Chelsea's possession-based slow build-up play means Higuain is unlikely to be peppered with crosses, through passes or long balls. The Blues have the tendency to be very indirect under Maurizio Sarri and the striker could be left frustrated at their inability to deliver killer passes into the box.
Higuain will have to get used to Sarri-ball again before being able to replicate his goalscoring heroics for Sarri's Napoli at Stamford Bridge. While Chelsea have fairly easy games in the next two GWs, it's advisable to avoid purchasing Higuain and see how it pans out for the striker in a blue shirt.
So whom to buy ahead of GW 24?
Manchester City players are likely to be high on the shopping list with Pep Guardiola's side having an extra fixture in the next GWs. Lot of managers have tendency to plan early for a double gameweek, but that hasn't reflected in the purchases. Many FPL owners might already be flooded with City players, but for those who don't, using your transfers to buy a couple of Pep Guardiola's stars won't be such a bad idea.
However, the big points in the coming weeks could be scored by Arsenal and Tottenham players. The two north-London clubs aren't in the best of forms at the moment with both sides going out of the FA Cup over the weekend. However, Spurs have three straight home games against weaker opposition and Arsenal face the Premier League's whipping boys Cardiff City at the Emirates this weekend.
The fixture at the Etihad might dissuade FPL managers from buying Arsenal players, but the Gunners have fairly kind fixture list apart from that game against the defending champions. Scoring goals hasn't been a problem for Arsenal this season, hence Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are some of the options you must consider.
The big guns at Spurs — Harry Kane and Dele Alli — are injured, but Son Heung-min is back from the AFC Asian Cup after South Korea's exit. The Korean didn't feature in their FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace on Sunday, but Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful of having his forward ready for the home game against Watford.
Son, who was in great form before departing for the Asian Cup, should go straight into the team. The Korean is expected to start upfront for Spurs and could get straight among the goals. Centre forward Fernando Llorente who is available at a price of just £5.6m could be a real steal. With Spurs facing injury issues in other areas of the pitch, Pochettino would go with the Spaniard upfront for the upcoming run of games at home.
Llorente hasn't been in the best of form, but he netted a crucial goal (althought ultimately fruitless) for Spurs against Chelsea in the League Cup in midweek. At the available price, Llorente could be a massive bargain for FPL bosses.
Other bargains and top picks for GW 24
Diogo Jota (Wolves): Jota's numbers (5 goals and 3 assists) may not look very impressive, but his scores in his recent appearances for Wolves have been impressive. Many discount the fact that he was out injured for many games this season and has performed fairly well whenever he has been on the pitch. In-form Wolves have a relatively easier run of matches and Jota might be the next rising FPL star.
Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace): Palace have shown signs of form in recent weeks and have improved on the attacking front. Andros Townsend has put in a series of impressive performances in recent weeks and it might just be time they get translated into points. At a price of £5.8m, he is worth the bet.
Nathan Redmond (Southampton): Nathan Redmond has been the brightest spot in the attacking third for Southampton in recent weeks. The Saints face Crystal Palace, Burnley and Cardiff in their next three fixtures and these games could define their campaign. Redmond had 2 goals and an assist in their last two games against inferior opposition and he could be in for a potent run. At £5.2m, he's a great bargain.
Captaincy conundrum: Arsenal have the easiest game among the top six, and Aubameyang is my pick for captaincy this week. Mohamed Salah is always a great option when Liverpool play at Anfield, but Cardiff's fragile defence especially away from home tilts the armband towards Aubameyang. Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba who have been revitalised under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are fine alternatives too.
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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 17:50:34 IST