West Ham’s season seems to be getting worse by the week.
If it’s not issues with their new stadium or the embarrassing way in which they try and conduct transfer dealings, it’s their best player going on strik in order to try and force a move away from the club in January.
Dimitri Payet’s influence at West Ham has been one of the biggest Premier League talking points since he arrived in east London at the beginning of last season. The Frenchman was one of the best players in the top-flight last term and then became one of the main figureheads of France’s journey to the final of Euro 2016 in the summer.
That led to him being linked with mega-money moves to the likes of Real Madrid or PSG before the beginning of this season, but nothing ever materialised.
And now we’re here, with Payet declaring that he no longer wants to play for the club following an underwhelming first half of the campaign for the Hammers. It’s no secret he wants a move back to France to be with his family, but the way in which he has gone about trying to orchestrate a move is bang out of order.
Anyway, what does this mean for the 8.6% of Fantasy Premier League teams that have him? Well, it’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll either be sold this month or will be forced to play out the rest of the season training with the reserves.
So this means you’re going to have to get him out of your team. So we’ve listed five four players you should consider replacing him with ahead of Saturday’s deadline.
First up, we’ve named Philippe Coutinho as a potential pick to replace the Hammers man.
Coutinho returned from injury off the bench in Liverpool’s 1-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to Southampton earlier this week and is expected to return to Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI to face Manchester United this weekend.
The Brazil international costs £0.9m less than Payet, which means you’ll be banking some extra cash to reinvest elsewhere in your squad and before his injury, he was returning much higher and more consistent points than the West Ham man.
He already has five goals and six assists this season and is returning an impressive 7.3 FPL points per 90 minutes played. Liverpool have some relatively tough fixtures coming up – Man United (a) and Chelsea (h) – but they’re also due to play Swansea (h) and Hull (a) in the next four games, so Coutinho will be expected to be back in the thick of the action for Liverpool.
Next up is Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who has been really enjoying life under Pep Guardiola this season. He currently has five goals and five assists this season and has always been a key attacking threat for City.
The 22-year-old was sensational in City’s 5-0 FA Cup demolition of West Ham last week, which further enhances the feeling that he’s playing the best football of his career to date.
He may only be returning 5.3 FPL points per 90 minutes played, which isn’t necessarily high compared to other players in his position this season, but City’s upcoming fixtures don’t provide much of a challenge on paper, and his price of just £7.7m represents something of a bargain when you compare him to Dimitri Payet (£9.1m).
The third name on our list is, of course, Tottenham’s Dele Alli. It’s hard to believe Spurs only paid £5m for the 20-year-old as he’s currently one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
It is only over the past four games that Alli’s season has sparked in to life, though. He has scored a brace in each of his last three appearances, and netted a goal in the game directly before that run of form. That’s seven goals and a huge return of 53 FPL points over the last four game weeks. If there’s a form player you simply cannot afford not to have in your FPL team, it’s this lad.
His recent surge in form has led to his FPL points per 90 minutes average soar to 7.2, and Spurs have the likes of West Brom, Sunderland and Middlesbrough coming up – all games that we should expect to see Alli thrive in.
And finally, despite Swansea City’s struggles, Gylfi Sigurdsson represents an interesting option for you to bring in to your FPL team if you haven’t done so already.
The Iceland international has five goals, six assists and 10 FPL bonus points this season and is one of the biggest hopes Swansea have of avoiding relegation. He averages just 4.9 FPL points per 90 minutes played, which isn’t necessarily high, but he’s a player who will be involved in a high percentage of Swansea goals due to his creativity and ability from dead ball situations.
Sigurdsson is the cheapest option on our list at just £7.3m, which means you’re saving almost £2m from the sale of Payet to reinvest elsewhere in your squad. And of course, with Paul Clement recently being named as the Swans’ new manager, an upsurge in form will not be surprising, despite their upcoming fixtures being Arsenal (h), Liverpool (a), Southampton (h) and Man City (a).