This is our “prospecting the prospects” series, where we run the rule over lots of FPL prospects who will enter the game next season– our directory for these (over 20!) is here. This series analyses a selection of significant newcomers to the FPL game by simulating how they would have performed using last season’s stats (wherever they played) in FPL, then provide our evaluation of the player as an asset ahead of the new season.
On 4th July, Swansea confirmed the loan of Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham for the season.
Welcome, @tammyabraham… 🙌
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) July 4, 2017
This has been in the offing for a while, with the striker reportedly choosing Swansea over Newcastle.
Prospecting the prospect (using last season’s data)
So how good would Tammy Abraham have been if he had played at this level last season in the Premier Legue? Well using WhoScored data and our knowledge of the FPL bonus point system we can attempt to analyse him.
Appearances: 41 appearances (40 over 60 mins, 1 time sub on/off) = 81 points ((40×2) + 1)
Goals: 23 goals (4×23) = 92 points
Assists: 3 assists (3×3) = 9 points
Bonus: To give an estimation of the bonus points he would have got, we need to review the games that he was instrumental in, ie when his goals and assists arrived to come to a rough calculation of how well he did.
(Occasional random bonus points (bps) are sometimes awarded in FPL where a player has bossed it but not actually got on the score card. We’re not estimating these as we’re using pure data rather than contextual data (e.g. watching the games he played in) to make perform this analysis. Plus it’ll only be an extra one or two points either way, which won’t change the story.)
For goals: this is best looked at by breaking down his contribution to games – where he was undisputed difference in the game, we will assign 3bps; where he was involved in changing the result but didn’t win the match, it’s 2bps; where he was on the scoresheet but it wasn’t a telling contribution, we will give the metrics and make an approximation
- Match winning: Abraham got off the mark in the second weekend in the Championship, blanking on the first but more than making up for it with the brace that sunk Burton 2-1 on 13th August. He scored the opening goal in the 4-0 victory over Fulham on 24th September, which the bonus system would class a ‘winning goal’. Finally, he scored a brace, his first being a penalty and also the winning goal, in the 3-1 defeat of Wolves on 8th April. For the two braces, he’d definitely get 3bps per game, so 6bps overall. For the other game, a goal for a centre back and two assists for another player means he’d probably have gotten only the 1bp. 7 points overall for scoring winning goals.
- Result change: He put Bristol City 2-1 up in the eventual 2-2 draw with Rotherham on 10th September, and also in the 2-2 draw with Barnsley on 29th October. He scored the equaliser to haul his side back to 2-2 in the eventual 3-2 defeat to Wolves on 26th December. He was at it again 4 days later on 30th December, though yet again he was on the losing side, going down 2-1 to Ipswich. Similarly, he put the Robins 2-1 up in their match v Cardiff on 14th January, but would go on to lose 3-2. He scored the equaliser v Sheffield Wednesday on 31st January’s 2-2 draw. He scored a brace in the 3-3 draw with Derby on 11th February. He also put his team 1-0 up in the eventual 1-1 draw with Blackburn on 17th April. Finally, he scored the equaliser in the eventual 3-2 victory over Barnsley on 22nd April. For the brace, I think he’d have netted all 3bps. To score the goal to change the game to a victory for Bristol City let’s give him 1bp. I think he’d be in the mix for 1-2bps on the occasions where it was a draw, with him perhaps picking up 1bp somewhere along the line. It’s the same for when he equalised but found himself on the looking side: the bonus points system would tend to favour the winning side. Let’s give him a further 1bp, so 6bps overall.
- Contributions: He scored 6 other goals. He scored the opener in the 3-1 victory over Villa on 27th August, but also assisted the winner in that match. He repeated the same pattern in the 2-1 victory on Norwich, but he got a yellow card in that match. When Huddersfield beat them 2-1 on 10th December, he got the consolation. He scored a consolatory brace against Reading in the 3-2 loss on 2nd January. Finally, he added the 2nd in the 4-0 victory over Premier League new boys Huddersfield on 17th March. I think he’s have gotten 2bps for both the goal and assist occasions, with 2bps for the consolatory brace and nothing for the other games. A further 6bps
Total guessimated bonus for goals: 19 points.
For assists: We have already covered his two assists, for which his other contributions (scoring the opener before assisting the winner in both the 3-1 victory v Vila on 27th August and the 2-1 victory v Norwich on 1st October) have already netted him bonus in our estimation. For his other assist, he supplied the winner in the 1-0 victory over Wigan on 11th March, for which he may have been in the mix for an extra 1bp.
Total guesstimated bonus: 20 points.
Disciplinary: 3 yellow cards = –3 points / 0 red cards
Scores on the doors
199 points over 41 games. Let’s make a points per game (ppg) score and get him to a 38 game projected total: this works out at 4.85ppg (199/41) which gives us a projected score of 184 points over 38 games.
That would put him in 9th overall, beating new team mate Siggy into 10th, 12 points off Diego Costa on 196 in 8th. That works out at him being 4th amongst strikers, ahead of Kun Aguero! Promising.
Evaluation and conclusion
Looking at Tammy Abraham’s stats, he looks like a player who goes on runs of form, perhaps making him the ideal bandwagon star. His goals were scored in clusters over last season, with 4 or 5 blank gameweeks in between. This suggests a striker you get on as soon as he’s looking lively, then ruthlessly cast aside once he dries up.
As with Dwight Gayle, a similar player is Burnley’s Andre Gray, who scored an identical 23 goals to both Gayle and Abraham in the 2015/16 Championship season to drive Burnley’s push for the title, albeit he was able to appear in 10 more games.
In his step up to the Premier League, Gray – who was in many squads, including mine, at a 6.5 price tag at the beginning of last season – proved a tad hit and miss, with 9 goals and 3 assists his final tally for the season, taking him to 108 points. It’s worth noting that this is a score accrued over 34 games rather than 38, given his enforced absence for 4 matches when some rather unsavoury behaviour in the past came to light. If we were to draw up a ppg for him across 34 games, and then extrapolate, this gives him an extra 13 points – 121 points (i.e. 108/34 = 3.17ppg = 3.17×38 = 121). That’s OK – in the top 20 for forwards, equal to club mate Sam Vokes. You just had to own him at the right time.
Another comparator could well be Hull’s Abel Hernandez, who scored 21 goals and 2 assists for Hull in the Championship in the 2015/16 season. Valued at 6.0 at the start of the season, he went on to manage 4 goals and 4 assists in 26 games, scoring 72 points. That gives him a 2.77ppg, 105 points projected if he’d played 38 games. That’s just outside the top 100, equal to players like Jordan Pickford, Cedric and Winston Reid. That puts him 4 points above Divock Origi in the top 20 for forwards, behind fellow comparator Andre Grey.
We have to hope that Abraham, playing for a better side than Gayle and, indeed, mooted to have interested Newcastle as well, has been promised minutes by ex-Chelsea assistant manager Paul Clement. With Borja Baston proving a flop, much will depend on how Clement lines up with Fernando Llorente and Abraham both in the same side: ideally, he’d revert to a 4-4-2 diamond formation with Siggy – provided they can keep hold of him amid interest from clubs like Everton – at the tip feeding in high and low balls to the “big man, little man” up top.
It’s also worth noting that Abraham managed 23 goals for Bristol City, not Newcastle like fellow prospectee Dwight Gayle. Could this be more of an indicator of talent than Gayle scoring in the team that tore up the Championship? It’s certainly a point in his favour.
His performances in the U21 European Championships garnered mixed reviews, but his goal in the semi-final against Germany (in a game we, shockingly, lost to them on penalties) set many a mainstream media outlet into a frenzy.
This brings us to pricing. Given Abraham’s performance in the Championship mirrored Gray’s the year he got a 6.5. However, that was because he was the principle threat at Burnley; with Llorente also at Swansea, it could be that he gets the 6.0 price tag received by Hernandez, which would make him very interesting indeed. This is based on something I noticed whilst rating the article on Gayle, which was that Sam Vokes, Gray’s partner in crime with 15 goals and 4 assists in the Championship, was given the 6.0 implies that FPL towers deemed Gray the bigger threat. With Llorente seemingly the prime striker who will get the 6.5+ pricetag (let’s guess a 7.0 for the big Spaniard), a 6.0 could well be on for Abraham. Let’s hope he starts.
Swansea’s opening 6 are:
sou MUN cpl NEW tot WAT, which is decidedly mixed.
It may be that we get him in later on in the season – GW11-13 reads BHA bur BOU – but if he starts scoring maybe think about getting him in. A lot depends if he can cut it (the “Bamford factor” should be borne in mind) but, if he’s 5.5-6.0 he definitely, and 6.5 he maybe, on the radar for our third striker slot. In terms of scoring, Gayle’s 3 is based on him playing for Newcastle, whereas Abraham, specifically brought in and playing for an established, if recently wobbly, Premier League side seems worthy of a higher rating. The fact he did it at Bristol City makes me also feel enthused about his chance of being a third striker, thinking of the far better service that’ll be on offer at Swansea.
The recent news that main striker Llorente has broken his arm on holiday could mean that Abraham starts the season as the Swans’ main man, further burnishing his appeal.
If he starts, principally, and from then on starts firing, given his penchant for goals in consecutive games, Abraham could be a bandwagon to jump on as he seeks to prove himself in the top tier.
Overall rating: 3.5 / 5 – A fairly good prospect for FPL
*derived from a completely subjective scale from 1-5, where 1 is bad and 5 is excellent
Caveat: we thoroughly accept this system of evaluating players isn’t flawless. However, we feel that it’s a nice approach to getting a feel for how a player might do.