“Reunited, and it feels so good…”
Love is in the air in at Newcastle (well, not really) as the Magpies have snapped up former Bournemouth double-act Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser.
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Steve Bruce’s side completed their £20million deal for England striker Wilson on Monday, and then unveiled the free-signing of Fraser just a few hours later.
At Bournemouth, they became Premier League stars after their brilliant assist-to-scorer haul of 12 goals between them during the 2018/19 season (with Wilson scoring the goals and Fraser laying on the assists) which remains a Prem record in a 38-game season.
Naturally, the pair became firm Dream Team favourites in that memorable season.
Wilson finished 2018/19 with 151 points on our game after scoring 14 Premier League goals, making him one of the best bargain strikers around.
Fraser was even more popular, finishing up with an eye-watering 158 points from the midfield which meant he rubbed shoulders with some of the league’s best.
The Scotland international was even linked with a move to Arsenal and Spurs off the back of that standout campaign.
Sadly, their form didn’t carry into 2019/20 and the Cherries were eventually relegated, with Wilson and Fraser’s limp performances and fitness issues (in Fraser’s case, mainly) considered a major factor in the club’s top-flight demise.
Newcastle, though, will be hoping their partnership can re-discover the attacking might that made them fantasy football darlings.
The Magpies’ off-field woes are well-documented but the team proved to be solid, if not thrilling, in the Premier League last year under the experienced charge of Bruce.
A 13th place finish was better than many expected, but their attacking credentials were uninspiring (to put it politely).
Big money signing Joelinton found goals hard to come by, despite being the club’s first-choice striker, while all the tricks and flair of Allan Saint-Maximin saw him bag just four goals across all competitions.
Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll also failed to regularly light up the scoring charts, meaning Jonjo Shelvey was their best goal-scorer in the league with six goals, while Miguel Almiron was top scorer overall with eight.
Naturally, none of Newcastle’s players were particularly outstanding on Dream Team, with Almiron their highest pick with a measly 72 points.
Wilson, though, is a proven Premier League scorer capable of reaching double-figures in a season, while Fraser knows a thing or two about picking out his attacking colleagues from his place on the wing.
Both have been added to Dream Team, with Wilson starting out at £2.5m while Fraser is a bargain £2m.
The dilemma for Dream Team gaffers is whether or not they can be trusted again after their less-than-impressive performances last term.
However, we know that Wilson can score goals and he’s likely to be a first-team regular in this Newcastle side – few strikers on our game priced at £2.5m or lower can boast that.
Fraser, too, could prove to be a steal at a price that’s curiously cheaper than even some of the league’s more defensively-minded midfielders (famously poor for your fantasy football team) like Fabinho, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Wilfred Ndidi – who all start out at £2.5m.
Bargain hunters, this one’s for you.