Two members of Togga’s writing team recently agreed to a deal in the site’s Writers’ League: John sent out Aaron Ramsey and Xherdan Shaqiri and received Cesc Fabregas and Erik Lamela from Emmett. The players involved have been controversial from a fantasy perspective, so we thought we’d share some of their respective ideas.
The idea of this deal came about when Emmett sent a message out to our Slack group asking if anyone wanted to make a trade for a Chelsea player, as he was attempting to divest in the club. Chelsea’s poor start to the season, and the nebulous distinction of Fabregas as one of the key players contributing to their demise, has done a lot to poison the well regarding perceptions of Fabregas’s performances, but are those perceptions realistic, or does their inaccuracy make him buy-low candidates?
While Fabregas has been pretty solidly at or above par for an eight-team league, he’s been harmed by Chelsea’s lack of team success. He has almost the same counting statistics as he had in the second half of last season, but far fewer points as he hasn’t earned the clean sheet bonus. Cesc has also, in an ‘off-season, already racked up 24 chances created (23rd among Togga players). If that number was borne out in other statistics, he’d again be among the best Togga midfielders, but he’s only had two of those 24 chances converted into goals–Wes Hoolahan, on the other hand, has created 22 chances, and earned five assists.
Chelsea are certainly in poor form at the moment, and Mourinho may need to be shown the door. But the level of talent at the club can only be muted for so long. The January transfer window, at the very least, will see a capable striker (rumors of Zlatan Ibrahimovic) come into the club and give Cesc someone more reliable to fire passes into. If Fabregas had been playing with reliable finishers and had a total of, say, six assists instead, he’d have added 20 points to his season total and likely made the deal a non-starter. This being the case, the bigger concern for me is Cesc’s career trajectory after the Christmas period. It’s become a recurring trend that the former Barcelona man’s form spikes and then goes on a gradual decline when Saint Nick goes on his world tour. I needed to pull the trigger now to minimize the long-term risk of the deal.
Fabregas’s 2014-15 Season. The Y-Axis is ‘Squawka Score’: a performance score that roughly correlates to Togga fantasy performance.