7 players that should be doing better in the FPL 2021/22 season
As we reach the end of Game Week 8, two months of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign have now elapsed. It’s high time to review the season so far to determine which players have underperformed to date, relative to their transfer values and reputation.
Any successful FPL manager will want to be looking at making some tweaks to their squad if things aren’t looking up with almost a quarter of the season gone. If you’re looking to change up your side, consider giving the seven following players a wide berth given their underperformance so far this term:
With just one Premier League goal and one assist to his name, Timo Werner is still struggling to hit the ground running in English football. Granted, he has only started in four of his eight appearances so far this term, but the German is still failing to look like a regular source of goals for the Blues. Werner has even been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, with Newcastle United’s new owners said to be plotting a January bid as one of the Magpies’ marquee signings.
While Werner admitted in a recent interview with German media that he’s unhappy with being a bit-part player, due largely to the summer arrival of Romelu Lukaku, Tuchel insists “it’s on him [Werner]” to “show his qualify and his ability”. However, in the recent predictions on matchweek three in the Champions League group stage, oddschecker’s Tom Love intimated that Tuchel was unlikely to lean on Werner for a must-win clash with Swedish side Malmo.
It’s little surprise that one of the FPL’s most expensive misfiring forwards is being used by just 5.2% of FPL managers at present. Spurs skipper Harry Kane has taken some time to get back up to speed after his summer of disappointments – in more ways than one. Firstly, Kane was unable to lead England to victory in the EURO 2020 final against Italy. Secondly, he was denied a lucrative move to Manchester City, with Tottenham owner Daniel Levy playing hardball with the 2020/21 Premier League champions.
After a seven-game streak without hitting the net, Kane finally broke his duck in the 3-2 win over Newcastle. However, there’s still a long way to go before he plays like the £12.1m player he is on the 2021/22 FPL roster.
After Manchester City smashed the British transfer fee record to bring Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish to the Etihad Stadium, the England international is still yet to set the world alight in the north-west. In fact, he averages only 1.7 points per game so far this term, which is nowhere near good enough for a midfielder with an FPL value of £7.9m. He has been a virtual ever-present in the team too, so he can have no excuses for registering one solitary goal and assist apiece.
It’s true that Grealish will take some time to adjust to Guardiola’s style of play and his new teammates. He could be one to watch and add to your FPL roster for the second half of the season once he is fully integrated into City’s front line.
It’s a rather damning indictment of Nicolas Pepe’s performances that just 1.1% of FPL managers have the Ivorian in their squads so far this term. Pepe has failed to live up to the hype since his club-record £72m switch from Lille. The 26-year-old has no goals and just two assists to his name in eight appearances. He continually flatters to deceive in the biggest games, and many believe he simply isn’t cut out for the Premier League.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright failed to hide his disappointment at Pepe’s display in Arsenal’s recent 2-2 draw with London rivals Crystal Palace. Pepe was given a chance from the start and once again failed to demonstrate any semblance of consistency, which is alarming for a club-record signing earning £140,000 a week.
24-year-old Leicester City playmaker James Maddison was hot property during the 2020/21 Premier League season. With eight goals in 31 appearances, he was at the heart of everything that was good about the Foxes’ attacking play. He even earned international recognition for his form in the season before. However, 2021/22 has been significantly tougher for the Coventry-born schemer.
He is averaging just 1.3 points per game in the 2021/22 FPL, with not a single goal or assist to his name so far. His form is an indictment of Leicester’s fluctuating form as a whole, with Brendan Rodgers’ men a model of inconsistency in 11th place. Foxes striker Kelechi Iheanacho has also seen his value drop from £7.5m to £7m as of gameweek eight, with the Nigerian now available at a sizeable discount.
Given Leicester’s indifferent start to this Premier League campaign, it’s perhaps unsurprising that City keeper Kasper Schmeichel would also come into the conversation. The Foxes haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening day of the season which has heavily impacted Schmeichel’s FPL figures. He’s averaging just 1.3 points per game at present and at £5m he’s by no means one of the cheapest keepers in the market.
In recent seasons, Schmeichel has registered 128, 156 and 120 points during the last three FPL campaigns. With just 23 points after eight Premier League games, Schmeichel is currently on course to rack up just over 100 points – his poorest haul since 2014/15.
England keeper Nick Pope is another that’s been unable to maintain his good FPL form of recent seasons. The fact he is still the third-highest FPL scorer in the Burnley squad tells its own story about the Clarets’ difficult start to the 2021/22 campaign. However, at £5.4m and with Burnley looking more porous at the back than usual, it’s no surprise that just 2.8% of FPL managers are currently hanging their hats on Pope.
His best points haul arrived in gameweek seven, when Pope helped Burnley keep a clean sheet in their goalless draw at home to relegation rivals Norwich. If Burnley and boss Sean Dyche continue to show those defensive frailties, Nick Pope is highly unlikely to be touched with a bargepole by the FPL community in 2021/22 – a far cry from his heroics in 2019/20 when he racked up a stunning 170 FPL points.