FPL Tips: Which African players need to be in your Fantasy Premier League GW1 squad?

Awoniyi, Nketiah, SalahGetty Images

The new Premier League season means the return of Fantasy Premier League, where virtual gamers can ‘play along’ with the action on the pitch and score points of their own.

While some players will have had their transfer business wrapped up early, other gamers will have left it to the last minute to build their squads and add the finishing touches to their first XI.

For all of those last minute fantasy players, keen for those FPL tips, here are six African players who absolutely have to be included in your squad.

  • Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal 2021-22Getty

    Eddie Nketiah

    Following the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal need a new goalscoring force, and the duo of Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus look set to step into their shoes.

    Jesus is the most popular player on the new FPL—he’s currently owned by a remarkable 76.1 percent of gamers—but could Nketiah be a smart pick as well?

    Capable of playing as a centre-forward or cutting in from a wide area, he’s cheaper than Jesus—at 7.0—and has a point to prove as he looks to prove he can be Arsenal’s leading man.

    Nketiah was also Arsenal’s star man during preseason—scoring five goals—and can hit the ground running given the Gunners’ relatively easy start to the campaign.

  • Bryan Mbeumo Brentford 2021-22Getty Images

    Bryan Mbeumo

    Newly announced by Cameroon—and surely with an eye on representing the Indomitable Lions at the World Cup—Mbeumo enjoyed an encouraging maiden season in the Premier League.

    As long as Brentford can avoid second-season syndrome, they have the quality and now the experience to kick on, and Mbeumo should build on his 11 goal contributions last term.

    He’s shone in preseason—scoring three goals—and can hit the ground running.

  • Ivory Coast international Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace.Crystal Palace.

    Wilfried Zaha

    Another player who’s impressed during the build-up to the campaign is Zaha, who’s netted four for Crystal Palace as they’ve warmed up for 22-23.

    Counting against the 29-year-old, who is entering the last year of his contract, is the Eagles’ difficult start to the season, as they meet Arsenal at home, and both Liverpool and Manchester City away in their opening four games.

    However, could this play into Zaha’s hands?

    The Ivory Coast wideman often excels on the break, and against teams who will push up and try and impose themselves against the Eagles, he could enjoy considerable space on the counter.

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2022-23Getty

    Mohamed Salah

    Salah led the Premier League both for goals scored and assists last season, and he remains an absolute ‘must have’ for FPL players.

    Some may argue that the Egypt superstar’s form dipped dramatically since the Pharaohs’ defeat in the Africa Cup of Nations final, but it’s surely too soon to write Salah off.

    Even without Sadio Mane, he again looked like a lethal presence during the Community Shield, and will yet again terrorise Premier League defences this term.

  • Leicester City and Zambia forward Patson Daka.Leicester.

    Patson Daka

    Everyone’s pretty pessimistic about Leicester City this season, with the Foxes—the only team in Europe’s big five leagues not to have made a transfer—being accused of ‘standing still’.

    However, Brendan Rodgers may be quietly confident that—with Wilfred Ndidi and Wesley Fofana returning from injury—they will be stronger than they were last term.

    Jamie Vardy was still the Foxes’ leading man last season, netting 15 goals, but at 35, he surely can’t keep maintaining these levels indefinitely.

    Could Daka, entering his second season in England, step up and contribute more goals?

    A 6.0 price point makes him a cheaper option than some of the other strikers on the game, and if he explodes into action, he could be a valuable differential.

  • Nottingham Forest of Nigeria and Taiwo Awoniyi.Forest.

    Taiwo Awoniyi

    Another 6.0 striker, Awoniyi looks likely to be Nottingham Forest’s best bets for goals this season, and will surely be their focal point during the Premier League campaign.

    He scored 15 goals for Union Berlin last season, registering just under a goal every other game, and if he can bring this form to the PL, then his value should skyrocket this season.