It was a busy week on the transfer market, with names big and small moving in and out of the Premiership.
At the top end of the table, Manchester City spent £49m on Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, while James Milner (who has now already scored for the Reds) moved the opposite way on a free transfer.
Manchester United have also been active, spending £25m and £10m on Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger respectively.
All love playing the central role, but which club has done the best midfield business as they gear up for the new season.
Football Fanager takes a look at their league and European 2014/15 statistics to find out.
There’s no denying Bastian Schweinsteiger’s credentials; he’s a World Cup, Champions League and multiple Bundesliga champion with 111 international caps to his name.
However, he has missed more than 50 matches for Bayern in the previous two seasons, and questions have been raised as to his durability.
With 20 starts in 2014/15, he made the least appearances of our quartet, with Schneiderlin and Milner tied on 24. However, the latter also made 16 sub appearances, nudged to the sidelines by Man City’s huge and high quality squad.
Sterling was key to Liverpool’s hopes, making 39 starts. So, while Man United have picked up two convincing but not integral players, and Liverpool have snapped up a City squad-filler, the Citizens have bagged a star.
Bags of goals
Even with all that game time, Sterling wasn’t particularly prolific, despite his advanced role. He netted seven goals and provided eight assists, while Milner was similarly successful (six goals, seven assists) despite less time on the pitch.
With less starts and appearances still, Schweinsteiger managed five goals and matched Sterling’s eight assists, but let’s not forget he played for the runaway champions of a less competitive Bundesliga.
Less attacking minded and in a less successful team, it would be unfair to criticise Schneiderlin’s four goals and single assist – his 12 clean sheets tally is passable when compared with 13 for Sterling and Milner and 14 for Schweinsteiger.
What’s the points?
When it comes to Football Fanager points, Sterling squeaks the win with 158 points to Milner’s 156 – but with 15 more starts to accumulate his total.
In terms of points economy, Schweinsteiger is well ahead with five points per appearance, compared to Milner (3.90), Sterling (3.85) and Schneiderlin (3.77). But will the German legend reap such a high average total following a move to the more closely matched Premier League?
Milner the magic
Each signing carries its own advantages, but with a run of games and his preferred central midfield role beckoning, it’s hard to see past Milner as the best piece of business here.
A free transfer, eager to play and a real team player, he might not set the world alight like Sterling but he could be the person to bring experience and calm to a team that, in Steven Gerrard, has lost its hero and leader.
Football Fanager is a fantasy football game that opened to public last June in time for the World Cup. Based in Livingston, Scotland the platform has over 25,000 subscribers playing for cash awards and a variety of prizes ranging from signed memorabilia to full Champion’s League final experience with travel, accommodation and match day tickets.