Our “prospecting the prospects” series continues for 2019-20!
This is where we run the rule over the of FPL prospects of some who will enter the game next season. This series analyses a selection of these newcomers to the FPL game by simulating how they would have performed using last season’s stats (wherever they played) as if they had been in FPL, then providing our evaluation of the player as an asset ahead of the coming period.
On 1st July 2019, Southampton announced the signing of Birmingham City forward Che Adams.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 1, 2019
The 22 year-old signed a five year contract for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £15m.
With Adams due to compete existing options Danny Ings and Shane Long up top at Saints, it’s worth looking into the new man’s prospects.
Prospecting the prospects
Appearances: 43 appearances + 3 under 60 mins = 89 points
Goals: 22 goals (22×4) = 88 points
Assists: 4 assists (4×3) = 12 points
Disciplinary: 5 yellow cards: -5 points
Raw point total: 184 points
Bonus (n.b. skippable – and please do skip unless you really fancy it, just a record to show I haven’t made it up)
To give an estimation of the bonus points he would have got, we’ve reviewed the games he would have delivered points in to come to a rough number.
We’ve done this by researching match performance and allocating probable bonus depending on how well he did.
25 Aug – 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest, goal off bench to make it 2-0, but good performances from Lukas Jukiewicz, Daryl Murphy and Jacques Magoma mean 0
22 Sept – 2-1 win v Leeds, brace for 3
20 Oct – scored winner in 1-0 win over Stoke, and nearest challenger (right back Maxime Colin) mixed penalty so he probably would’ve scooped all 3
23 Oct – 2-1 win v Reading, assisted Jutkiewicz’s winner, Gary Gardner scored but got a yc and the defence conceded, so he might have nabbed 1
27 Oct – 3-1 win v Sheff Wed, goal and assist for 3
10 Nov – 3-3 draw with Hull, hat trick for 3
25 Nov – 4-2 loss to Aston Villa, only assisted one goal so not enough of a contribution for bonus 0
1 Dec – 3-0 win v Preston, scored the third but Colin assist and cleanie, Maikel Kieftenbeld goal and assist, Magone goal means probably 0
15 Dec – 2-2 draw with Blackburn, scored equaliser but yellow carded to take him out of bonus 0
22 Dec – 3-0 win v Wigan, scored opener but two assists for Jutkiewicz and a goal for centre back Michael Morrison mean just 1
1 Jan – 1-1 equaliser with Sheff Wed, scored the equaliser in a poor game, Steven Fletcher got MotM so maybe would settle for 2
12 Jan – 2-1 loss to Boro, scored a goal but got booked; Lewis Wing and Britt Assombalonga winner mean he might get 1
18 Jan – 3-1 loss to Norwich, scored consolation but performances from Tom Tryball, Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki running the show mean 0
29 Jan – 3-3 draw with Swansea, goal but carded; Oli McBurnie brace, Morrison goal and Magoma G+A would push him out of bonus 0
2 Feb – 2-0 win Forest, scored a penalty, but Jota had a great game and the defence played well, maybe 1
9 Feb – 4-3 win v QPR, hat trick, 3
23 Feb – 2-2 draw Blackburn, brace, 3
6 game gap
6 Apr – 1-0 win over Leeds, winning goal and MotM for 3
22 Apr – 3-1 win v Rotherham, assisted winner for Jota but lots of good performances so 0
Guesstimated bonus from G/A: 27
Scores on the doors
That makes 211 points for Adams’ season, which corresponds to a score of 4.6 points per game (PPG) if we include the 3 sub apps, or 4.9 if we exclude them.
Scaling this to the Premier League’s 38 games, that equates to a total of 174 points. Or 186 points if we’re discounting the sub appsl.
Obvious caveats apply, but that places him well in the FPL listings, just outside the top 10 level with Jamie Vardy, 5 points ahead of Aymeric Laporte.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 1, 2019
To start with some stats to give us an anchor, Adams had 114 shots last season, of which 74 (65%) were in the box. It seems Adams likes to let fly from distance, which could be why his proportions of shots in the box to overall is lower than the likes of Teemu Pukki (75%) and also of many of the Premier League strikers based on the opta stats.
Adams is not a target man. He attempted 174 aerial duels last season and won just 38 of them. Again, this is aligned with Pukki, who won just 9 of his 67 duels last season.
Adams is also fairly creative – 67 chances created is pretty good. That works out at 1.5 chances created per game – a very decent ratio only bettered by Wilf Zaha among forwards (though the Palace man is now a midfielder again, of course).
It’s worth noting that Adams was often fielded in a two up top, with Lukas Jutciewicz often providing the nods on to his speedier counterpart.
In terms of Southampton, this may well be a fit, with Adams able to either replace or provide relief for Nathan Redmond and/or Danny Ings, who seemingly were the preferred pairing last term for Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Looking at the stats, one man came to mind for me in terms of the long shots / shots in box ratio is Man Utd’s Marcus “beans, beans, beans” Rashford. The young Englishman had 84 attempts last year, but only 49 (58%) of these were in the box. Obviously, it was an on/off season for United and Rashford, who finished his first full season as a fully fledged pro (arguably) on 128 points thanks to 10 goals and 7 assists. Initially priced at just £7.0m last season, the now£ 8.5m Rashford actually provides a decent yardstick for Adams as the kind of mobile forward type that the new Saints man is. Assuming Adams gets a 6.5ish price point, I’d think that 128 points, and therefore situational relevance, seems to be something we’d accept at that price.
Speaking of newly promoted players, in terms of the sheer volume of shots, a comparison between the Adams and Fulham’s number 9 Aleksander Mitrovic is worth a look. “Mitro” scored 134 points from 11 goals and 4 assists at 6.5m last season – respectable, despite the fact his team went down – as he fired a chart-topping 131 shots at goal, 96 in the box, and also created 32 chances for his team mates. Many of his attempts were with his head, which is something that Adams is not going to do, but nonetheless 134 points again feels a decent outcome at £6.5m
At the other end of the scale, performing very well for a middling Championship team and then making a step up sounds very similar to Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham when he was at Swansea. Back in 2017, we gave Tammy a 3.5* rating in his Prospecting The Prospects following his (similar to Adams) 23 goal, 3 assist haul in the Championship in 2016/17. However, it wasn’t to be for the youngster, as he yielded just 5 goals, 3 assists and therefore 86 points for Swansea at £6.0m. Of course, the Swans were on their way down that year which may be mitigation, but add similar tales like Dwight Gayle’s 93 points after an identical 23 goal scoring season in the second level and the capacity for a sub-100 point return could well be on the cards.
So, all in all, a conservative estimate of 120-30 points may be around what we’d expect from Adams in his debut season.
He’s more a slippery striker playing off the last man in an advanced forward style than a target man, but I’d imagine the Southampton team will not be looking to flight long balls over. Instead, they’ll probably be looking to thread it to the aggressive wing backs for balls into the box along the floor. That may suit Adam’s style, and his penchant for a long shot may give Saints an extra dimension.
It’s bur LIV bha MUN shu for Saints to begin with, meaning I won’t be making a beeline for Adams as we watch and wait on how he may settle into the Premier League.
However, by Gameweek 14 when Saints go on a run with no top 6 teams until Boxing Day (WAT NOR new WHU avl) he may become a real option for us – epitomising his probable utility as a situational pick for us FPL Managers.
Overall rating: 2.5 / 5 – An above average 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.