Gabriel Martinelli – This one hurts me, but I don’t expect Gabriel Martinelli to exceed his previous point total of 198 and expect him to have around 20-25 less points. The main reasons are Martinelli exceeded his xG by about 5 depending on your source, he will likely see his premier league minutes reduced, and he is less likely to deputize in an advanced role this season. The first one is pretty simple; it is simply hard to exceed xG by 5 or more for multiple seasons in a row. In fact, over the past 4 seasons only 2 players out of 14 have exceeded their goal total the following season (not xG but goal total). Those players are Kevin de Bruyne who followed up a 14 goal 2019-20 season with 15 in 2020-21 and Heung-Min Son who followed up a 17 goal season in 2020-21 with 23 goals in 2021-22. Ironically both of those players also failed to repeat that feat in the 2021-22 to 2022-23 season as Son dropped from 23 goals to 10 and KDB from 15 goals to 7. Now some other players came close to matching or beating their goal total after having exceeded xG by 5 in the prior season. Those two players would be James Maddison and James-Ward Prowse. The theme here, a lot of these players take free kicks, corners, and penalty kicks. None of which Martinelli is likely to be doing much if at all for Arsenal. I also believe Arteta is going to try to use Martinelli in Champions League. That does not necessarily mean he plays less in the Premier League, but Arsenal do have Trossard that can play that position for a full season this year. Lastly, Martinelli seemed to excel more when Jesus was injured which may not happen this season and if it does, perhaps newly acquired Havertz will play up top as opposed to Martinelli. Fun side note, Martin Odegaard exceeded his xG by over 5 goals as well.
- Callum Wilson – Callum was exceptional, especially toward the end of the season and ended with 157 points. However, I think he regresses based on a few factors. Callum is 31 years old and will turn 32 during this season. He has only outscored 157 points once in his career (168 in the 2018-19 season) and played about 700 more minutes that year compared to last season. He also has had trouble staying healthy in the past. Lastly, I am unsure how Howe is going to handle Champions League and Premier League. It’s not like Newcastle has an abundance of strikers. That could maybe play in Wilson’s favor but I think it’s more likely to hurt him. Pun not intended.
- Harry Kane – This one is tricky with a new manager but I do not see Kane exceeding his career best 263 points (next best was 242 in 2020-21 season). He also exceeded his xG last season by 6 – see above. Lastly, I think Son regains some form and James Maddison takes some assists away from Kane. He still may find his way into our FPL team but I still expect him to regress.
- Kevin De Bruyne – Okay, this one may seem more straight forward, but still worth noting. I also just hope it’s time for Pep to play someone else so De Bruyne can stop destroying Arsenal. Not that I want to do this but he scored 43% of his premier league goals against Arenal last year… oof. Back to Kevin though; he’s 32, starting the season likely not at 100%, and c’mon it’s got to be someone else’s time to shine.
- Pascal Gross – This one comes down overachieving xG, Europa fixtures, and the likely departure of Moises Caicedo which may affect positioning. Although he didn’t exceed his xG by 5 it was close and over 4. He likely will be used for Europa which may again mean less minutes overall but I think most importantly I think he takes a deeper role in the midfield or even defensively if/when Caicedo leaves.