8 months ago

Pricing An Elite Striker at Manchester City - The Debate

....and breathe! We are almost at the end of double gameweek session in FPL. As strategies and moves now start to be defined by whether FPL managers have a free hit chip available to them in order to navigate blank gameweek 29 where there are only 8 teams in action, it seems a good time to branch into a debate that is a little more....philosophical. It seems certain that Manchester City will be winning the Premier League at a canter this season. The one piece of the jigsaw that seems to be missing now is an elite-level striker to replace Sergio Aguero - largely believed to be on his way out at the end of the season following an injury-hit end to his career. The debate initially was going to be around which elite striker should replace Aguero but the answer was practically unanimous from the managers I spoke to. So we have tweaked it slightly...



If Manchester City sign Erling Haaland....what price should he be in FPL?

I presented FPL managers with a list of options to join Manchester City as an elite-level striker. A list that included Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and others. However, there was no debate. The answer that was returned was unanimous. Everyone I asked was of the belief that the correct answer was Erling Haaland. The wider debate comes more in terms of how FPL should price him. If it happens, it feels like an incredibly tough balance to strike. Haaland hasn't played in the Premier League before and while he's burst onto the scene at Champions League level, we have seen other strikers join the Premier League and struggle to hit the ground running. Admittedly, most of them make the mistake of joining Chelsea... but how should FPL go about pricing an asset that you have to feel every manager would be strongly considering? I asked a few - let's look at their price and their reasoning. 

Picture of Erling Braut Haaland wearing Man City shirt surfaces - Manchester  Evening News

@FPLMode - £12m

Self-proclaimed legend of the FPL Wolfpack

Manchester City already have the pacey wing play of Sterling and the creativity of De Bruyne. What they need now is a high-profile young striker who they can build a team around for the next decade. That man is Erling Haaland. His finishing ability is remarkable and the thought of this expressive, attacking City team supplying him week in week out is exciting and terrifying in equal measure - particularly as a Man Utd fan! If he does sign, I strongly feel he should be priced similarly to Aguero in his glory days. At £12m, I still wouldn't blink putting him in my team. 


@CorfFPL - £12m

The Welsh Wizard of the FPL Wolfpack and master of the thread

Haaland is the complete striker who would thrive in the Premier League. He has the pace to play on the counter-attack and the strength and power to hold his own against any of the physical defenders that the Premier League has to offer. He's only 20 years old and has scored 30 goals in 33 games this season. He's just an incredible talent that would take Man City to another level. Don't listen to @FPL_Tactician who believes he could end up at Leeds United (dream on), he is the perfect fit for City and I would price him at £12m. 


@FPL_Pup - £10.5m

Match review master

It's a shootout between Mbappe and Haaland for me. Getting either is easier said than done as they're the two most exciting prospects in world football by a distance. Two things that I believe Pep finds essential are a work ethic and a constructive attitude. Both of these players seem to possess those traits. Haaland in particular impresses me. He has used Dortmund as a stepping stone to get regular, higher quality minutes and stormed his way into the team, forcing the manager to play him by scoring in every early cameo he got. Both are sensational and City would be lucky to land either - but I'd choose Haaland. The benchmark for me price-wise would be Kane/Aguero/Jesus of year's past. If he does join City, I think Jesus or Aguero will still be around for at least one season. So given the competition, I think £10.5m is a fair price.

Read more: FPL - Tips for Rising to the Top

@FPLPanda - £11.5m

Spreadsheet Superstar from the FPL Happy Hour & hater of @FPLMode

Haaland is definitely the man I think City need. As a Manchester United fan I'd much rather see him come to us...(it seems unlikely after what Roy Keane did to his dad....) but I do think he's better suited to what City need in comparison to Mbappe and the other options and also more attainable. He suits a Pep Guardiola style and ticks so many of the boxes that City would want to fill. No brainer. 


@FPL_Livergirl - £11m

Graphic Guru & suffering Liverpool fan

Erling Haaland... he’s an extremely clinical finisher, 6ft 4 and great in the air which offers something different to Jesus/Aguero, he’s only 20 years old, and so whilst already one of the best strikers in the world, has time to develop and become even better. Haaland has exceptional movement off the ball and is extremely fluid in his play, which suits City and Peps style.

I think City require a centre-forward. Mbappe is similar to what they already have, Kane is older and so Haaland could become an Aguero for City in playing for them for over a decade. Kane wouldn't provide that longevity and while Messi is obviously one of the greatest of all time, his signing would be similarly short term. I'd price him at £11m. Only Kane is higher than that currently in FPL and we have seen how hard Timo Werner has found it to adjust to English football. In relation to the price of current FPL forwards and with the fact he's new to the league, I think £11m is fair for his first season - but with the success I'd expect him to have, we'd likely see a jump the following year. 


@FPLIrons - £12m

The geeky superstar of the Wolfpack

With a release clause of €75m coming into play next summer, City can sign the Norwegian for a snip of the price of a Kane or Mbappe. For me, the final piece of the jigsaw for City is a 25/30 goal a season striker and Haaland would be that man for them  and more. Haaland would also slot right in to place in a Guardiola lineup, given the way that Dortmund play and link up. Haaland's creativity has improved dramatically playing with Reus, Reyna and Sancho over the past 18 months.

My FPL price would be £12m. Timo Werner came in at £9.5m and we've seen his struggles. £12m immediately places him in the FPL elite but he can stand up to that. I'd expect his price to rise going into his 2nd season if he stayed fit.



I concur with the group that Haaland is the man to buy. Price-wise, I do think it's a difficult decision and one that FPL would need to get right if this transfer was to happen. I think anything under £12m and Haaland's ownership would be so high at the start of the season that it could create a ten-player game. I understand the comparisons with Werner but feel that Haaland's physical build and explosivity would make him a perfect fit for the Premier League. So I'm siding with Mode, Irons and Corf (Maybe its Wolfpack bias...) and stating that I think Haaland would need to be a minimum of £12m - and that he would quite likely make a mockery of even that price with his ability. 

Other FPL Debates this Week

Chips in hand dictate our moves?

It feels like the vast majority of our decisions around gameweek 28 and 29 are dictated by whether we are in possession of chips. I personally only have my wildcard available and have that earmarked for Gameweek 31 where we see significant fixture swings for some teams but it does leave you a feeling of being hamstrung as all transfers currently have to be made with the blank gameweek in 29 on my mind. Luckily the majority of those players we can target in 29 also have good fixtures in Gameweek 30. If you are free hitting in Gameweek 29, it feels like a good time to punt on players from a couple of clubs - Chelsea are the standout with Leeds in Gameweek 28 and West Brom in Gameweek 30, and another option could be Southampton who have fantastic fixtures either side of the blank. Kyle Walker-Peters being back makes them look significantly better defensively while the injury to Ings could mean a gamble on a budget option like Nathan Tella might pay off. Some may also wish to save their free hit for Gameweek 33 when Man City blank due to the Carabao Cup final. Decisions at the moment feel tough and very led by chip strategy. 

Bedazzled by Bale?

Gareth Bale rolled back (many) years with his stellar performance against Burnley, contributing 2 goals and an assist for those managers that were brave enough to take the gamble or even triple captain as was the case with @FFScout_Luke. Mourinho moved quickly to throw damp on the fire by stating that Bale was unlikely to be fit enough to play multiple games in short spells and that has led to early substitutions in all fixtures since - but apart from against Fulham, Bale had already done the damage prior to being replaced as he notched another 2 goals against Crystal Palace. I had my doubts and reservations about buying Bale - and as someone working towards GW29 I have trapped myself as I already own Kane, Son and Reguilon so am unable to bring him in. If I only had 2 Spurs players, he would now be massively on the radar. The only risk is whether he starts against Arsenal or whether the presence of Kieran Tierney pushing him back might lead to Spurs going with a harder working player like Bergwijn and using Bale from the bench. I expect Bale to start and with his proven ability, he's a fantastic gamble to make. Huge credit to those that went early. Bale vs Son though? Still very close. 

Injured Gareth Bale won't play for Spurs until after October international  break - Eurosport

GW28 Captaincy

For me, the biggest dilemma of Gameweek 28 - who the heck do we captain? Manchester City's run of double gameweeks has come to an end and they go to what is a far trickier game with Fulham than it looked on paper a few weeks ago. Liverpool are in horrendous form so a gamble on one of their players at Wolves doesn't feel right. Arsenal and Spurs play each other and we know Harry Kane has history in that fixture, so he could be an option. Bruno Fernandes (if you didn't sell) will likely be the most captained but West Ham have been excellent recently and are likely to cause United problems.

For me, the ideal option is a Chelsea attacker against Leeds, but ownership of them is very low and unless you are free hitting in 29, it's probably a luxury transfer. Right now I'm torn between Harry Kane in the North London Derby or going for an Everton asset such as Calvert-Lewin or Digne against Burnley. Where is your armband going in gameweek 28?


Things That Can’t Be Debated

Refereeing Quality

I'm no longer blaming VAR. I've seen better calibre refereeing on games consoles - and the referees on those probably have more common sense. I'd struggle to call Lee Mason's performance at The Hawthorns better than disgraceful. Lee, if you're reading, I hope that "calf injury" recovers quickly. It was over a week ago now and I still haven't stopped cringing.

Former referee chief urges Lee Mason to RETIRE after Lewis Dunk free-kick  debacle in West Brom 1-0 Brighton - 'You wouldn't see that in the local  park'

Liverpool - Salah getting a rough ride?

I'm no huge Salah fan. I don't necessarily think he gets the respect he deserves from the Liverpool fans or detractors for his accolades while he's been there either. But I do think he's been given a rough ride everywhere I turn at the moment. He hasn't been at his sparkling best, but from where I'm sitting, the other 2 members of the fab 3 up front have been worse. Firmino takes his fair share of stick, but nobody is actively convincing me that Sadio Mane hasn't been freaking awful for the past few months. Oh, and just as greedy as Salah. Liverpool's form is horrendous but Salah isn't to blame as much as is being suggested.


Luke Ayling - soaring standards.

He has had 11 points in his last 4 gameweeks. No zero's. Only 1 penalty given away...still no attacking returns. But it is progress. He's now only 3 points behind....Alioski. 

Phil Foden

We are hearing reports that Phil Foden farted in Pep's paella. Absolutely no idea what he's doing and why Foden was on the pitch for about 20 minutes of DGW26 and a few minutes against Man Utd. Sort it out Pep, he's the most technically gifted player this country has had in years (I love you too, Grealish). Yours, a very bitter Foden owner... please play him against Southampton (and so he did)! 


Thank you for reading. Please, let us know your view on Erling Haaland and hypothetically how he might be priced in FPL, as well as your views on the other talking points highlighted on the FPL Debate! If you wish to participate in a future debate, get in touch with @rpick86 on Twitter. 

Rob Pick

Rob Pick

The latest addition to the DraftGym crew, FPL veteran and the Debate grandmaster.