Tom Heaton (£4.5m): Stick with the Turf Moor back line, is our advice. Never mind the lads up front, Burnley have kept three clean sheets in a row, including one against Manchester United, and the fixture list remains relatively kind for the next few weeks. At some point, it may well go catastrophically badly wrong, and apologies in advance if West Brom, buoyed by their victory over Spurs last weekend, run riot in the Midlands on Sunday afternoon. But let’s hope not, eh?
Ryan Bertrand (£5.1m): If you have been following this column’s recommendations, and quite frankly, we can’t think why you wouldn’t have been, you will already have Nathaniel Clyne in your back line. Now is the time to add his ful-back partner. Safely ensconced as first choice at St Mary’s after a few years in (occasionally) and out (mostly) of the Chelsea team, he is starting to find his feet, and with no truly top-level team to play until the end of November (we can argue about Spurs later), getting a Southampton-heavy defence together now is basically giving yourself free points.
Marc Wilson (£4.5m): In the interests of variety, though, we venture over to good old solid trusty Stoke for our other defensive recommendation. The Potters may only have scored four goals in the league this season, but they have conceded a mere five, and Wilson has played every minute. He’s not going to gallop goalwards and larrup one into the postage stamp, but against Newcastle, Sunderland, Swansea, Southampon and West Ham, he’s not going to let in many either.
Esteban Cambiasso (£5m): The Argentine may be a smidgen past his best at 34, but he still has the class, as he showed with a goal against Manchester United last week. Leicester have started strongly, and face Crystal Palace, Burnley and Newcastle in their next three games. Cambiasso has a career scoring rate of about one in seven, so we might have missed the boat on goals, but you’d still fancy most of the Foxes’ good stuff to come through him.
Victor Wanyama (£4.5m): A bit of a punt, this one. Wanyama has yet to assist a goal for Southampton in 27 appearances, and only scored his first for the club last week against Swansea. But he had a pretty good strike rate for Celtic, at about a goal every six games, and he can expect to get a lot more minutes for his team over the next couple of months with James Ward-Prowse out injured.
Jamie Vardy (£4.9m): Yes, we know. Two Leicester player recommendations in one column? It’s like we’re Gary Lineker, but without the swearing. But if you look again at last week’s game, and unless you’re a Manchester United fan, we suspect you’d rather enjoy that, you’d see that as well as his goal, Vardy chipped in with four assists. Four assists! Against Manchester United! You don’t usually get gold like that for under £5m.
Wilfried Bony (£8.3m): The Ivorian has had a difficult start to this season notwithstanding his team’s successes. He has as many red cards as assists, and is yet to hit the back of the net. But that surely cannot last, and with the Swans’ upcoming Wear and Tyne opponents scrabbling for whatever North East bragging rights a team can justly claim at the foot of the table, expect things to start to change for him very soon.
Vardy scores goals, and Nigel Pearson’s Leicester, as many promoted teams tend to do, have started the season strongly. The man from Sheffield might be a very good short term choice for the armband.
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