Returning Premier League players showed they mean business with eye-catching displays in the third round of the FA Cup this past weekend.
Whether out with Covid-19, injury or something else, the historic cup competition provided a platform for a number of players to prove their worth.
Romelu Lukaku was one player who made a positive impact upon returning to the spotlight.
The Belgian missed a number of games through injury and Covid, before he was dropped from the squad for Chelsea’s game against Liverpool.
After playing 90 minutes during the Blues’ League Cup semi-final first-leg win over Tottenham, however, he again appeared in the FA Cup, scoring one as Chelsea beat Chesterfield 5-1.
Lukaku missed three more chances before the west-London side rang the changes at half time, but fans will have been encouraged to see him creating opportunities.
At £11.5 million, the 28-year-old has a premium FPL price tag which he has failed to justify so far this season, but performances in recent weeks suggest all is not lost.
Along with a goal in the Cup, Lukaku scored in GW20 against Brighton, while in GW19 he registered a goal and an assist against Aston Villa.
Elsewhere, another Belgian made a positive impact in a convincing win for his side, with Leicester’s Youri Tielemans contributing in a 4-1 victory over Watford.
The 24-year-old midfielder missed four league games in November and December with a calf injury, having found some goalscoring form beforehand.
Upon his return to the side, he scored a brace against Newcastle, and seven minutes into Leicester’s cup tie he broke the deadlock from the penalty spot.
At £6.4m and just 4.3% ownership, Tielemans might well be worth a look for any FPL managers hoping to bag a differential.
Leicester’s form meanwhile makes for interesting reading for any prospective buyers – the 2015-16 Premier League champions have won two and lost two in their last five.
In that period, the Foxes have scored 11 goals, while they recorded a disappointing defeat by Aston Villa and a sensational victory over Liverpool.
Last but not least, Manuel Lanzini failed to get many minutes under his belt in the first part of the season, but looks to be finding the kind of form which could make him essential for West Ham.
The Argentina international has four goals in his last eight Premier League appearances, and bagged the opener in the Hammers’ third-round tie against Leeds on Sunday.
Lanzini’s knack for a goal comes cheap too (£5.8m) while he is owned by fewer than 1% of FPL managers.
West Ham’s form, meanwhile, only further enhances his reputation as a FPL purchase – David Moyes’ team are fifth in the league and have scored nine goals in their last three PL games.
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