What are the FPL implications of Jack Grealish (£8.0m) moving to Manchester City?  Our resident Fantasy Premier League captaincy expert Chris Tan provides an overview.


 

Grealish to Man City for £100m is a club and league record signing. This has a number of FPL implications for both Aston Villa and Man City. So where do we start?

Aston Villa’s Stats Without Grealish

We got a glimpse of what life would be like without Villa’s talisman due to his long period out of action last season. He was injured from Gameweek 25 to 35.

The Grealish Chain Reaction – Villa with and without Grealish

 

It’s a small sample, but we can see that their chance creation stats noticeably dropped in his absence.

They also conceded more goals, however only in real terms. Their expected stats remained similar, which suggests they may have been fortunate to have kept so many clean sheets earlier in the season and they regressed to the mean later on.

How Will Aston Villa Line-up Without Grealish?

Aston Villa have made two excellent signings in Emiliano Buendía (£6.5M) and Leon Bailey (6.5M). I expect more players to arrive now that the Grealish deal is finalised, but based on the current squad I expect them to set up something like this.

The Grealish Chain Reaction – Villa without Grealish Line Up

 

Both Buendia and Bailey favour playing on the right wing, however both are versatile and can play anywhere in the attack. I feel that Bailey will play on the right; that’s the best way to utilise his preferred cut inside. Buendia is more of a playmaker and can be more influential from the centre.

For now, that suggests that Anwar El Ghazi (£6.0m) may keep his place. That could mean he keeps penalties too, however I expect there to be further signings.

Danny Ings (8.0M) has just been confirmed as signing for the villains and that should push Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) to the left forward role (although he’s played primarily as a central and right forward in his career).

How Will Aston Villa Perform Without Grealish?

Nobody truly knows, but we saw enough last season to suggest that they’ll be okay. Despite losing their talisman, they’ve gained a player with more goal threat and an equally good creative outlet in Buendia.

This suggests that the team as a whole will be stronger and potentially more balanced. Their opening fixtures against Watford (A), Newcastle (H) and Brentford (H) should provide sufficient information.

I’d be happy to start with at least one Aston Villa player. The new signings bode well for FPL managers interested in Smith’s side.

 

How will Grealish fit in at Manchester City?

Although different players, there are a lot of parallels between Grealish and Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m). Both were talismanic figures for their former clubs that made their big move to Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

Pep demands his players play a certain way and will not accept any shortcomings (just ask Aguero). In his first season for City, Mahrez only started 14 games and was on the bench for 10 games.

I suspect that Grealish will be phased in in a similar way.

The Grealish Chain Reaction – City with Grealish

I wish to make no claims of being a City expert, but this gives a rough idea of how I expect to see them setting up once they have their full squad available.

You’ll notice that unlike where he plays for Aston Villa, I expect Grealish to be played centrally.

This is both his preferred position and where Sam Lee (from the Athletic) indicated that Pep would like to utilise him. He’d be Pep’s ‘Iniesta’.

Is Grealish a good FPL asset at City?

Sam Lee’s take on Grealish’s role at City.

 

Furthermore, City have an abundance of attacking wide forwards. I just can’t see Grealish being used on the left wing.

One possible solution would be to play both him and Phil Foden (£8.0M) on the left to allow them to interchange, but then that leaves the question of where Raheem Sterling (£11.0M) goes. Has he found redemption under Guardiola’s management?

At first glance, Grealish does not appear to be a player that City require based on their system.

But I’ve have seen first-hand how Pep has coached players like Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0M) and Sterling. He turns them from good players into world class players.

I’m excited about his potential for both City and England but I don’t expect him to become a crucial FPL asset from the outset.

 

Is Jack Grealish a Better FPL Option at City?

Overall, this is very much a wait and see for me.

I don’t expect Grealish to play every game for City, which significantly reduces his FPL value.

Similar to every season since Pep came over, the best City players to own are the ones that start the majority of the games. For now it’s unclear who that will be.

With regards to Aston Villa, I am quite bullish about their prospects.

Similar to when Liverpool lost Suarez and Coutinho, or when Leicester lost the aforementioned Mahrez, the clubs have gone from strength to strength. Villa have already made some excellent signings and I don’t expect them to stop now.

I believe that Grealish leaving makes Buendia an even better FPL pick. Bailey has the potential to be a more efficient version of Bertrand Traore (£6.0m) but I’ll need to see more of him before I make any judgements.

I expect Watkins to build on what was an excellent debut season.

 

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