Fantasy Premier League 2013 Week 8: Signings That Will Change Your Season

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06:  Mesut Oezil of Arsenal battles with Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on October 6, 2013 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Greg JohnsonSpecial to Bleacher ReportOctober 16, 2013

Just like real-life football managers, the international break offers the managers of the world's fantasy leagues the opportunity to review their team's form during the first seven weeks of the Premier League calendar.

With the fixtures of Week 8 drawing close, now is the time to consider shipping out the deadwood and disappointments to make way for new names who may be able to kick teams up a notch and into contention over the next few months.

All prices and stats according to


Juan Mata could return to the Chelsea fold in a big way. Prepare those captains armbands!
Juan Mata could return to the Chelsea fold in a big way. Prepare those captains armbands!Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Juan Mata: £9.6m, 9 Points, Selected by 4.6 Percent

Demoted under Mourinho from being the talisman of Chelsea's new era into a pawn in the Portuguese's power play, Juan Mata will have so far been a low-scoring money sink for anyone selecting him in their teams.

Yet with the benefit of a week off to reassess his options, and the Spaniard's efforts to win back his place in the first team, Mourinho may well relent and give Mata a shot against Cardiff City.

Should he reignite Chelsea's currently turgid attacking play, it's unlikely his place would come under threat again, with Fantasy Premier League managers once again able to call upon the midfielder to take the captain's armband and farm them double figure hauls on a weekly basis.


Sebastian Larsson selectors may get a little help from Gus Poyet.
Sebastian Larsson selectors may get a little help from Gus Poyet.Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sebastian Larsson: £5.7m, 11 Points, Selected by 1.3 Percent

Sunderland are a club that make the most of their managerial honeymoons, and with Gus Poyet now installed as Paolo Di Canio's replacement, Seb Larsson may find himself granted more playing time as the Uruguayan seeks to make the most of any positive momentum.

According to The Power of Goals, between 2002 and 2012 the Swede was the most proficient free-kick taker in the Premier League. Should Sunderland find some forward motion, the number of dead-ball opportunities offered to the team, and Larsson, will rise.

Similarly, if Poyet can rebalance the team to get the best out of Jozy Altidore, Larrson could well be given the chance to prove he is the man to provide the American with ammunition from the flanks.

Much will depend on Sunderland's reaction to their new manager, but if all goes well, and Larrson makes the most of his opportunities, the winger could be an excellent, under-the-radar acquisition going into Week 8.


Saido Berahino has scored at Old Trafford already this season.
Saido Berahino has scored at Old Trafford already this season.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Saido Berahino: £4.5m, 11 Points, Selected by 0.6 Percent

West Bromwich Albion's rookie striker has scored against both Arsenal and Manchester United this season and could turn out the be a contender for young player of the season if he continues to impress.

At just £4.5m and with only 0.6 percent of players from the official Premier League fantasy football game selecting Berahino in their squads, early adopters could gain a real march on their competitors should the young Baggies striker light up more fixtures this year.

For his price too it's hardly an expensive gamble bringing him into your team.


Leandro Bacuna: another smart import from the continent by Paul Lambert.
Leandro Bacuna: another smart import from the continent by Paul Lambert.Stu Forster/Getty Images

Leandro Bacuna: £4.6m, 21 Points, Selected by 1 Percent

Another exciting name that's passed by the attentions of fantasy football managers is Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna.

Having been deployed at right-back, as a wing-back and in midfield, the Dutchman is receiving plenty of game time under Paul Lambert and, with 21 points, the former FC Groningen winger has so far repaid the faith shown in him.

Again, like Berahino, with only one percent of the player population selecting Bacuna in their squads, canny managers who get in quick will be able to enjoy a short-term boost until others become wise to the Villa player's charms.


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