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Fantasy Premier League 2019/20: Budget Midfielders

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Fantasy Premier League 2019/20: Budget Midfielders

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Siddhant Lazar


Everyone knows that not having either one of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, or Raheem Sterling in your side is FPL suicide but you cannot have all three. That’s exactly where budget option walks in but changes in their prices, who are the best value for money stars in the 2019/20 Premier League season?

The midfield will give you a lot of points, as last season proved so beautifully. The top four scorers came from the midfield with Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling, Mane and now Real Madrid star Eden Hazard leading the list. Yet while everyone wants Salah or Sterling with a mere £100 million budget to your name, it’s not possible to afford two premium picks and a good side.

Instead, it’s where the budget midfielder walks into your team, and given the wide variety available, it’s a pain to pick the best. In fact between £4.5m and £5.5m, there are 119 potential options to choose from. That’s a lot of players to pick (25% of all FPL players) and not a lot of chance to get things right, given that a season only has 38 games in it.

A lot of work that goes into picking the best candidate for the season, which is certainly proving to be a very interesting battle if pre-season and the transfer window is anything to go buy.

The Best £4.5m options

With 35 potential options at your disposal, the £4.5m option is the rotation man. He’s the one you’ll turn towards in your time of need when a first-team star is injured/suspended or even surprisingly benched by his manager. It’s the reliable superstar and at £4.5m, he won’t be too much of a hit on your £100m budget.

However, it’s a tough choice especially given the fact that they’re rated at £4.5m because they won’t be the manager’s first-team choice. Yet that isn’t the case for every single one of the 35 men on this list and there are a few exceptions. It's where the best choice becomes the great Leander Dendoncker.

The former Anderlecht and now Wolverhampton Wanderers star is one of the few nailed on £4.5m men. He took his time to make his debut but once he did, he missed just one of the club’s final 17 fixtures last season. Not just that, he netted two goals in 2019 and created loads of chances, making him a tidy buy for a few smart managers.

Issac Hayden, Matteo Guendouzi, and even Dale Stephens all make the cut but they don’t produce too much when it comes to just goals and assists. Stephens is a cut above the rest here with two attacking returns but that was under former manager Chris Hughton.

The Best £5m options

Formerly home to the great David Brooks and still home to N’Golo Kante, Lucas Torreira, and even Wilfred Ndidi, the £5m is a mix of everything. It has defensive midfielders, academy products, and new summer men populating this bank of players.

But it doesn’t make one’s job any easier, especially given that N’Golo Kante topped the list with less than 120 points. Yet it’s a list that will help out in the long-term because every point matters in FPL.  What is interesting is that this list is represented by four of the top six sides, with the exception of Manchester City and Liverpool.

The other four contribute to 10 men, yet the best option is reliable Mark Noble. On penalties for the Hammers, Noble finished the season with 99 points to his name netting a rather impressive 5 goals, which was bettered by no-one in the £5m bracket. To make things even more interesting, Noble missed just seven games last season, playing all but two games from December.

There is a cluster of players who play for Wolverhampton Wanderers in this bracket, with former club-record man Adama Traore a part of this list. The former Barcelona man struggled last season and could be demoted to a bench star, with Raul Jimenez making his move permanent.

Wilfred Ndidi is a permanent fixture at Leicester City and like Declan Rice, he doesn’t offer too much when it comes to attacking returns in general.  A surprise option could be Brighton and Hove’s Solly March, with the winger contributing to six goals. If he can nail down a permanent spot under Graham Potter, it makes him a semi-interesting option despite the competition.

The Best £5.5m options

41 potential options, makes this a very important bracket. Because this is where the others are bracketed, players who are not defensive midfielders or deep-lying creators but instead goal contributing midfielders. These are players who will hand out attacking returns on every game-week or so, if not on a consistent basis.

It’s a looming choice to pick just one man from this bracket, especially with rotation and various other factors also playing a fact. Not just that, the sheer fact that Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, and Liverpool’s central midfielders are all here, make it even tougher. But the choice when looked at from a neutral’s point of view is absolutely simple.

James McArthur registered more points than any other midfielder available for less than 6m, and finished the season with 36 starts to his name. It’s certainly an impressive tally and while Crystal Palace’s fixtures aren’t ideal, he’s a top pick. Another would naturally be either Joao Moutinho or Ruben Neves.

Both the Wolverhampton Wanderers stars had impressive seasons, finishing with 119 and 104 points to their names respectively. But it’s Moutinho who impressed the most, registering 8 assists last season, spread across the season. However, Moutinho also managed an impressive 3030 minutes last season, behind only one James McArthur.

John McGinn is one to look out for, with the Aston Villa man leading his team in multiple categories including most shots inside the box, efforts on target, chances created. He also had an impressive 14 yellow cards, which is a red mark against his name. But if his goal in pre-season is anything to go by, he could make the adjustment to the Premier League quite easily.

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