Player Profile: Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City
Player Profile: Marko Arnautovic
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A player we have been keeping a very close eye on for the last few weeks is Stoke City’s attacking midfielder Marko Arnautovic and with 2 top performances over the festive period he has thrust himself in to the realms of top 4 ranked FPL midfielders for the first time this season and caught the attention of plenty of Fantasy Premier League managers with him looking likely to be the most transferred in player in the run up to game week 20. The 26 year old Austrian plays predominantly on the left side of Stoke’s attack but has quite a free role in a team that has real creativity and fluidity.
With many managers looking to use their wildcard early on in January there is a strong possibility that we will see some different looking teams by the end of the month, with Arnautovic being on many managers’ radar it is likely that his value will shoot up over the next couple of game weeks, with a £0.1m rise likely either tonight or tomorrow night. Having already scored more FPL points this season than he did in all of last season it has been a meteoric rise for Stoke’s new hero.
For a player who did not really cement his regular starting place in the team until mid-September he has played every minute of Stoke’s last 8 games. Let’s take a look at the stats that have made him the fourth best FPL midfielder.
Price: £6.4m Minutes Played: 1463
Goals: 7 Assists: 3
Clean Sheets: 8 Total Value Increase: £0.4m
Bonus Points: 10 Average Shots per game: 2
7 goals from 17 Premier League starts is a fantastic return for a midfielder, add to that the potential for clean sheet and bonus points, not to mention the assists and anyone who owns him will be very pleased indeed.
Do you need Arnautovic in your team?
Most FPL managers will play with 4 midfielders in their first 11 and he is likely to fill one of the positions in your team that is currently held by a cheap(ish) midfielder so it is likely that he is going to replace players in the £6m-£7.5m price bracket. The only player in that price range that has scored more points this season is Ross Barkley – at £1.1m more expensive than Arnautovic he could be a player worth sacrificing to save money for other needs.
Whether you need him or not is going to be a personal choice that you will have to make but when you look at the upcoming fixtures for Stoke they make for good reading. The next 4 fixtures for Stoke are:
West Brom (a)
The way Stoke are playing football right now they could well be pushing for 5th place in the league (they are only 2 points off 5th place right now) with this run of fixtures and the confidence that Arnautovic is playing with right now could well see him add a few more goals to his tally.
At 26 years of age he is coming into the prime of his career and with players like Shaqiri, Bojan and Afellay around him, he will hopefully add more assists to his game too. Mark Hughes has done a sterling job at Stoke to completely change the perception of the brand of football they play and I for one will be an FPL manager who is taking advantage of this attack minded style by adding Arnautovic by bringing him into my squad.