Vote for the best FPL midfielders of 2020/21 | fpl.wiki


The Fantasy Football Scout 2020/21 awards are underway with the polls for best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) goalkeeper and defenders now joined by the ballot for the key midfielders. All three are now open for voting on the sidebar of the home page, with the midfielder poll also embedded below.

We’re assessing the key candidates in each category in four separate articles, with our summary of the leading goalkeepers and defenders now followed by this piece on the stand-out midfielders.

Overall score, points per match and value in Fantasy Premier League were all factors we considered when compiling this shortlist, with those players making our Team of the Season decided by you the readers.

2019/20 TEAM OF THE SEASON REVIEW – MIDFIELDERS

  • Goalkeeper: Nick Pope
  • Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Lundstram, Matt Doherty
  • Midfielders: Anthony Martial, Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne
  • Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy

Last season’s star midfield quartet experienced mixed fortunes as the Premier League resumed under lockdown conditions alleviated by the presence of a limited number of supporters at only a handful of winter fixtures and the final two rounds.

Anthony Martial was reclassified as a forward having spent the majority of the 2019/20 campaign as a striker rather than a wide supporting attacker. A series of injuries meant that he was only able to complete 60+ minutes on 16 occasions this time out and did not feature at all after Gameweek 27. His final totals were four goals and seven assists, leading to 75 FPL points.

Last season’s top overall scorer, Kevin De Bruyne, similarly struggled with fitness setbacks that eventually saw him miss 13 matches. Second only to Mohamed Salah in terms of starting cost, he finished the season on 141 points, sandwiched between Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez in the rankings at Manchester City, and trailing both Raheem Sterling and the surprise star turn delivered by Ilkay Gündogan.

De Bruyne’s points-per-match average of 5.6 was as impressive as always and he still managed seven double-figure scores (down from a league-leading ten last time around) but from mid-season onwards, he appeared in only six Gameweeks and became largely absent from FPL squads unless the pre-match press conference news was encouraging when Free Hit chips were being played.

Salah himself was able to stay fit and live up to his top-priced billing, though when the new player lists are revealed in the summer he may find he has lost that distinction to a rival from down the East Lancs Road…

2020/21 CANDIDATES

Bruno Fernandes

  • Points: 244
  • Points per match: 6.6
  • Start cost: £10.5m
  • End cost: £11.3m

Bruno Fernandes achieved numbers in the second half of the previous season that were at the very pinnacle of what you could expect from an FPL asset. The remaining question was, could he sustain that over a whole campaign, especially with a lot of cup ties and European trips to wear him down? As this season’s leading points scorer, the answer was a resounding “yes”.

The Portuguese playmaker produced more double-figure Gameweek hauls (12) than any FPL asset and more returns of 5+ points (20) than anyone except Mohamed Salah (21) and Harry Kane (also 20). And yet it took until New Year before he passed 50% overall ownership, about six weeks behind the same mark amongst leading FPL teams, possibly as a result of few squads initially selecting him as Manchester United did not have a fixture in Gameweek 1.

Once on the field, Fernandes set off at an absolutely electric pace, reeling off hauls much as he had done earlier in the year. Perhaps inevitably the rate of scoring eased off gradually, even though he was still outperforming most others until his campaign eventually petered out after Gameweek 28. His final ten rounds consisted of four non-appearances, four blanks (fewer than five points), five points in Gameweek 30 and one, final 19-point hurrah in Triple Gameweek 35.

His starting price of £10.5m always looked a huge bargain and, mostly, it was.

Mohamed Salah

  • Points: 231
  • Points per match: 6.2
  • Start cost: £12.0m
  • End cost: £12.9m

Even with the game’s top starting price of £12.0m, Mohamed Salah achieved the highest season-long price rise (£0.9m) of any midfielder. To be without him for all but the most intimidating-looking of Gameweeks was to elicit (virtual) looks of fear and trembling from any seasoned FPL manager.

His legend was immediately reinforced in the opening match where he thrilled his captainers with 40 points to launch them straight to the forefront of FPL’s millions of managers. As mentioned above, he continued to be the most reliable returner in the game and also contributed the joint-fifth most double-figure hauls (7).

A barren run for both Salah and Liverpool in the New Year persuaded a growing number of managers that the cost of owning him might be, just for the time being, a bit too high, but many of them were back on board for his 32 points from the final four Gameweeks and will have already pencilled him into their provisional squads for August, regardless of how much they have to pay.

Son Heung-min

  • Points: 228
  • Points per match: 6.2
  • Start cost: £9.0m
  • End cost: £9.6m

By the time non-owning FPL managers had decided which Son Heung-min was the real deal – the one who scored 24 and 18 in even Gameweeks or the one who registered 2 and 1 in odd ones – it was already too late. If you hadn’t taken the risk by then you were about to miss out on a 13 and an 11 and were probably looking at the rest of the managerial field from about five million places back.

That 24 was to be the joint-highest Gameweek score for a midfielder this season (Matheus Pereira in Gameweek 19 and Jack Grealish in Gameweek 3 also managed it) and, although continuing that level of performance would have splintered many an FPL record, he didn’t disappoint those who kept him through the odd lull as he eventually tallied an elite 228 points at a very handsome clip of 6.2 points per match. To get that for only a high mid-price outlay was a great investment indeed.

Ilkay Gündogan

  • Points: 157
  • Points per match: 5.6
  • Start cost: £5.5m
  • End cost: £5.5m

Winception“.

Pep Guardiola creates a shared dream in which a revolving crew of “attackers” are being chased around the Premier League by Vardies and Lo Celsos. In the dream, Bernardo impersonates Sir Kenny Dalglish to persuade new Reds boss Jürgen to relinquish his title. Mahrez drives everyone to the next level where mild-mannered Ilkay Gündogan appears up front and rattles off 12 goals and three assists as Gameweeks 13 to 27 flash by faster than a VAR decision. With all opposition now trailing hopelessly Ilkay slips away, his price mysteriously unchanged. Pep activates his Agüero totem and kicks everyone back to reality at the Etihad where the team celebrate wildly and even Jürgen is smiling. Did City really start badly? Was there ever a false 9? Pep spins a Premier League winner’s medal on the dais and walks towards the Champions League final…

Raphinha

 1
  • Points: 133
  • Points per match: 4.4
  • Start cost: £5.5m
  • End cost: £5.6m

Raphinha is another midfielder who didn’t take centre stage until the season was quite a few Gameweeks old. After he announced himself with the winner at Everton in Gameweek 10, he quickly found his way into many FPL teams as a bargain fifth option and added another five goals before turning assister during the run-in, contributing three in his final four appearances for a total of ten.

His pace, touch and extravagant tricks made him one of the most watchable players as every game was beamed live into homes. Owning him was as much fun as you could reasonably expect in FPL for £5.5m.

Jack Harrison

  • Points: 160
  • Points per match: 4.4
  • Start cost: £5.5m
  • End cost: £5.6m

In contrast to his celebrated Brazilian team-mate on the opposite wing, Jack Harrison’s debut season in FPL went essentially unnoticed until, with chips flying in the final rounds, managers suddenly spotted that he’d become one of the most reliable options on a free-scoring team looking ahead to some very winnable fixtures.

From mid-Febuary to mid-March, Harrison suffered a string of late cameos or early benchings which deterred some potential buyers, but in the final analysis, only six midfielders produced more than his 14 Gameweek returns and the cheapest of those began the season with a £9.0m price tag.

Tomas Soucek

  • Points: 147
  • Points per match: 3.9
  • Start cost: £5.0m
  • End cost: £5.2m

One of only three midfielders to play all available 3,420 minutes (Højbjerg and Ward-Prowse were the other two), Soucek was so many peoples’ hidden gem in pre-season that you began to wonder if precious stones were regularly ‘concealed’ on top of red post boxes illuminated with arc lights these days.

What you got for the give-away asking price was a steady, useful 3.9 points per match that even briefly included a trio of double-figure presents just after Christmas. Surely every FPL squad warms to someone that dependable as their second bench option ahead of the £3.9m defender?

Matheus Pereira

جولة الفانتسي 34: اللاعبين الرئيسين وإحصائيات الفرق
  • Points: 153
  • Points per match: 4.6
  • Start cost: £6.0m
  • End cost: £5.4m

And what do you get for being a top 10 FPL midfielder across the whole season, with your total of 153 points only one behind Raheem Sterling who fetches almost double your starting price? The largest drop in worth in your own squad (£0.6m), and very nearly amongst all midfield assets, is the slightly surprising answer.

The issue for Pereira’s numerous pre-season investors seems to have been that, unlike Jack Harrison or Tomas Soucek, Matheus Pereira’s points came in sudden bursts – a 10 here, a 24 there – with an awful lot of 1s and 2s in between. At the season’s end, Pereira’s points per match was 4.6, but the standard deviation of his Gameweek scores was 5.7.

Going into Gameweek 30, he was carrying a Soucek-style Gameweek average of 3.9 points when suddenly he showed the form so many had hoped he would carry forward from the Championship. He more than doubled his Gameweek average while putting 63 FPL points on the board in just eight rounds before a knock deprived him of the chance to add to this on the last day. If he remains in the Premier League with a new club, he has given notice of what he can achieve.

Jesse Lingard

  • Points: 106
  • Points per match: 6.6
  • Start cost: £6.0m
  • End cost: £6.6m

By January, Jesse Lingard was so far off the FPL radar that forgotten men couldn’t remember where he was. Fortunately for both Lingard and West Ham United’s European hopes, David Moyes still knew where to track him down and amidst no fanfare whatsoever the loanee took the field away to Aston Villa on 3rd February.

Ninety minutes, two goals and the full three bonus points later, FPL managers were rubbing their eyes and wondering if this was the same player who apparently couldn’t get a kick for the reserves of the reserves at Old Trafford.

By the time he was plundering four goals, two assists and 38 FPL points in consecutive matches against Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City, he seemed almost unplayable and those who had brought him in rejoiced in the unexpected late-season riches. He didn’t pick up another double-digit haul the rest of the way but still scored tidily enough to pass 100 points in only 16 matches at a points-per-match average matching Bruno Fernandes.

Jack Grealish

Grealish in Aston Villa matchday squad as Guaita benched for Crystal Palace
  • Points: 135
  • Points per match: 5.2
  • Start cost: £7.0m
  • End cost: £7.5m

Jack Grealish had a start to the season that seemed to confirm finally that he was the international-level playmaker so many observers had said he was for so long. He absolutely ran the show as Aston Villa hammered seven past an overrun Liverpool defence in Gameweek 3 and, unlike all of his peers, he never went more than two Gameweeks without a decent return. His multitude of FPL owners could ask no more, especially at what was looking increasingly like a horribly misjudged starting price of £7.0m.

And then, in mid-February, the FPL Insider account on Twitter noted that pretty much the entire Aston Villa staff who played the game had transferred Grealish out of their squads. He duly did not appear two days later as his team lost at home to Leicester and Villa manager Dean Smith was less than amused that “the Fantasy world” had apparently tipped off their opponents about his injury.

Smith insisted that the “eternal optimist” in him could see Grealish back for their next fixture, but it would be ten more Gameweeks before the midfielder could manage 18 minutes of the 0-0 draw against Everton and the last day of the season before he played a whole match.

For many FPL managers, he was great to own and great to watch and they will be eagerly monitoring his progress with England over the next few weeks as well as his pricing when the FPL player lists for next season are announced.

Mason Mount

  • Points: 147
  • Points per match: 4.1
  • Start cost: £7.0m
  • End cost: £7.3m

Odd thing about Mason Mount – he didn’t get a five-pointer all season. This is what can happen to a regularly playing midfielder when his defence is so secure they are attracting interest from payment processing designers. You just can’t help but get that clean sheet point. The former Derby County loanee registered half a dozen Gameweek scores of both six and three points, but never a five.

In club terms Mount made 36 league appearances in a line-up prone to heavy rotation, contributing six goals and seven assists towards a campaign that saw Chelsea achieve Champions League qualification on the final day.

In FPL terms he, like Soucek, was a reliable member of a squad who brought in as many returns as Ilkay Gündogan and as many hauls as Marcus Rashford and who offered a good deal of upside, but not quite the influence on his team just yet to be threatening to join FPL’s most elite assets. Now established in Thomas Tuchel’s successful side at Stamford Bridge, perhaps next season will witness his breakthrough.

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