In part 4 of our Midfield bargain enablers we continue spotlighting the best midfield value prospects in FPL.
Always keep in mind when assessing the prospects of an enabler that they are not going to be the highest points scorer on your team. The enabler is their to serve a purpose a means to an end , all successful real life teams have a bloke who is their to let the star players of the team thrive , think of Sergio Busquets or Claude Makélélé (or, if you have had 9 pints* of Duval maybe Lee Cattermole**). They should be cheap by design, regular starters, not involved in European competition and capable of having standout performances and collecting a decent points haul over the season.
With that being said let's move on to todays profiled player who fits the bill perfectly he is Watford’s Roberto Pereyra. So what do we know about the angry looking little ferret faced Argentine that Watford paid a probable figure undisclosed but believed to total 13M) record fee for?
Let's start by examining his career thus far. As with most promising argentine youths Pereyra’s career began at River Plate where after a few seasons of solid performances a move to Europe followed, Udinese being his destination of choice. Roberto would spend 4 years with the Udine based side before a loan move to Juventus turned permanent with Juve paying 12M for his services. Pereyra clocked 35 appearances, scoring 4 goals in his debut season with the club. Injury and indifferent form meant he only ran out 13 times for the Turin giants the following season, before he joined Watford in August of 2016 for a reported fee of £13 million including add ons.
At the age of 26 his pedigree is high having appeared in Serie A, Europa League and the Champions league. On the international stage he has won 10 caps for Argentina and picked up a Copa America runners-up medal.
If you were being nice you could say Watford had an up and down 16/17 season, if you were being truthful you would say they were decent for a third of the season and a bag of mince for the other two.
But things could be different next year as the substitute geography teacher has been relived of his duties and Marco Silva has entered the breach.
Despite Hull ultimately being relegated Silva impressed a lot of people. Hull's performances notably improved especially at home and they looked a different side at times. The task of maintaining Hulls top flight status however proved to be too difficult in the end with Silva only having a short period of time to try and address the inherent problems the club had on the pitch.
Next season Silva should favour a more attacking enterprising style of football then his predecessor Walter Mazzarri did, and this will enhance the points scoring potential of Watford’s midfielders and attackers.
Pereyra’s FPL impact last season could have been understandably overlooked due to the fact he missed over 6 months of the season through injury but in the games he did feature he displayed plenty of promise and reason for FPL optimism.
Time to crunch the numbers: Roberto made 12 PL appearances totalling 1040 minutes on the pitch time. He accrued 43 points averaging 3.58 points per game which included 2 goals, 2 assists and 2 bonus points with Pereyara creating 15 chances. Now on the surface these stats might not appear overly impressive, but there are several factors to consider: His season was cut short prematurely through injury, he is now reportedly back in full training and should be back to fitness and available for the first game of the season. This was his debut EPL season and its safe to assume he was adjusting to English football in this period. He is an extremely versatile option and can play pretty much anywhere across the midfield and is capable of playing up-front if required. If fit and available, this should make him a nailed on selection in Silva's new look team.
Again with a bargain midfield enabler you must identify a cheap player and taking a gamble based on the potential he has displayed. At a possible starting price of 5.5M Pereyra has shown more then enough potential to feature on our radar. Watford will almost certainly strengthen up front next season so his likelihood of assists and goals will increase especially under Silva's attacking style, but previous injury problems will need to be taken in account when considering purchasing him in your squad.
He is unquestionably technically gifted and has an excellent range of passing. He registered a passing accuracy last season of 83%. Whilst he hasn’t been a prolific scorer over his career registering 14 goals in 209 appearances, he has an accomplished shooting technique and if allowed to play with freedom could very easily build on last seasons 1:6 goal ratio.
With The FPL economy set to be a huge factor next season all bargain options must be considering and if Roberto delivers on the bursts of potential we seen last season, he could prove to be a very shrewd investment.
* of course, Duval should never be drunk by the pint.
** Let's be honest, maybe not.
Image courtesy of Flikr/Save the Dream