Could Premier League-bound Joao Palhinha be a Fantasy Football Success Next Season?
Many Portuguese stars have graced the Premier League over the last decade and a number of them have proved hugely profitable for FPL managers. The likes of Bernardo Silva, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves have all accrued plenty of points in recent years, and one of their fellow countrymen looks destined to play in the English top-flight next season. Joao Palhinha is certainly a player to keep an eye on, and although defensive midfielders aren’t necessarily the most glamorous option when it comes to selecting your fantasy team, the 24-year old’s ball-winning abilities could help managers potentially rack up the clean sheet points throughout 2021.
The on-loan Sporting star has proved very effective in Liga NOS this season, and his statistics are extremely eye-catching. He’s completed 84% of his short passes and makes an average of 3.5 tackles per game. His penchant for keeping it extremely simple can be portrayed as a potentially negative trait, however, it helps keep things ticking over nicely in the centre of the park. At 6’3″, he offers a significant presence, and regularly gets his body between the ball and the attacker without giving away needless free-kicks.
Unfortunately, he isn’t a player who is going to surge forward at regular intervals, nor is he going to win many fantasy points in the final third, but, his overall contribution to the game cannot be overlooked. Although his goalscoring abilities are far from his strongest suit, he will offer a decent presence in the opposition’s box, and he has already found the back of the net on two occasions this season. Unlike the aforementioned Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves, he isn’t renowned for his pinpoint set-piece deliveries, yet his contribution in both boxes is invaluable.
Although West Ham and Everton have reportedly sent scouts to check on his progress in Lisbon, Wolves are believed to be leading the race for his signature, and with a healthy contingent of fellow Portuguese internationals already at Molineux, he is unlikely to struggle with the bedding in process.
Nuno’s side have enjoyed an excellent campaign in the top flight, and have kept an impressive number of clean sheets so far in 2020.
Palhinha’s arrival could potentially enhance their defensive prowess next season, and fans will be confident of their side’s ability to push for a top six finish once again. The men from Molineux have been party poopers this season, having done the double over champions Manchester City, and having twice avoided defeat against Manchester United.
Their propensity to upset the odds has not gone down well with punters, many of whom have seen their weekend multiples ruined by the Black Country outfit. However, they were a good value outright pre-season bet to finish in the top six at the best UK bookmakers and look to be in a good position to achieve that as they currently occupy sixth spot.
Whether he lands in the Midlands or in East London, the defensive midfielder looks extremely well-suited to the physical demands of the English top flight. Although his arrival is yet to be confirmed, he looks destined for the Premier League, and although his price will remain a mystery until the start of the 2020-2021 campaign, savvy FPL managers could do far worse than snap up the hugely talented 24-year old this summer.