Fantasy Premier League: Mo Salah or No Salah?

Mo Salah
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool FC at The King Power Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Mohamed Salah had an absolute blinder of a season in 2017/18. He scored 303 points in Fantasy Premier League with 32 goals and 12 assists. It was criminal not to have him. He was available at an initial price of 9.0 units, which eventually rose to 10.6 by the end. However, he’s been priced at 13 units this season, making him the most expensive player in the game. Hence, one might ponder whether he’s still a ‘must pick’ like last season.

Mo Salah or No Salah?

A Poor Start; Or Is It?

Contrary to popular opinion, Mo Salah has actually made a decent start to the season. In four matches, he has scored goals and has provided a couple of assists as well. He has managed to get 27 points in FPL, an average of 6.75 points/gameweek. Looking at those figures alone, it doesn’t look so bad. It looks terrible though when you consider Salah’s price.

At 13 units, one cannot be blamed to be a bit angry at Salah’s returns so far this season. Last season, he was returning 8.41 points/gameweek. Considering many had him at 9 units, things looked really great. Expectations from him have grown higher into unrealistic levels. Even if he scores a goal and doesn’t do much else in a match, it is seen as a failure. Salah also has missed a fair few chances this season, which has added to the frustrations.

Is Mané the New Salah?

Sadio Mané has so far outshone Salah with crucial goals. He is also available at a much lower price (10.0). With four goals and 39 points at an average of 9.75 pts/GW, Mané has become a sensational pick. People have started wondering whether Salah’s influence has been reduced and it will be the man from Senegal who will be the standout player from Liverpool.

Those who have actually watched the matches will not agree to that notion one bit. Mané has done really well to score the goals but Salah is still the main man at Liverpool. The only reason Salah hasn’t got more points is because he’s missed some unbelievable chances, whereas Mané has taken most of his. In the match against Crystal Palace, Salah could easily have scored a brace. He provided the late assist to Mané as well in that game. The Senegalese is always a big threat but he is no Salah. Salah will still outscore everyone else this season. Mané is a great pick but not as a direct replacement for the Egyptian.

Can I Invest My Money Better?

This season, a number of cheap striker options have produced good points. The likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Callum Wilson, Troy Deeney and Glenn Murray have all scored really well with Danny Ings and Marko Arnautovic not far behind. None of them cost over 7 units.

Many players have picked two out of these strikers. So, having Salah has not put that much strain. The fact that cheapos have matched and even outscored premium strikers like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku has made this season really interesting indeed. A combination of Salah and Mitrovic has easily outscored a more balanced combination of Roberto Firmino/Aubameyang and Christian Eriksen/David Silva/LeroySané.

Conclusion

With the rise of the cheap strikers, affording a 13 unit Salah is not so difficult. One can easily fit the likes of Sergio Agüero, Salah, Eden Hazard, Mendy, Alonso and Andy Robertson in their side. Salah also could go huge in any game. The temptation is always there to spread the units but one must keep in mind that 51.1% of the FPL players have him in their side. So, it would be more damaging to your side if you don’t have him and he goes big than if you do have him and he fails.

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