The Dream Team kicks off for real tomorrow night when Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace.
For those who left their picks to the last minute and those who are still tinkering, we’ve rounded up five cheap midfielders who we think are capable of mixing it up with the expensive superstars this season.
Jadon Sancho (£3m)
There’s no denying that the England international had a disappointing start to life as a resident of Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old registered just five goals and three assists in all competitions last season after registering 36 goals for Borussia Dortmund in 2020/21.
However, there is a feeling that Sancho has been hampered by Man United’s rudderless tactics under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, which Erik ten Hag hopes to rectify.
If the Red Devils improve under the Dutchman’s watch, Sancho should do well and his £3m starting price will soon seem very generous.
Philippe Coutinho (£3m)
Only five midfielders currently feature in more squads than Aston Villa’s chief playmaker.
Many gaffers back the Brazilian to build on his tally of five goals and three assists after his highly publicized return to English football in January.
Coutinho is one of Europe’s best long-range shooters and was once among the best assets in his position in the Dream Team realm during his time at Liverpool – although he obviously has no European fixtures to reinforce his schedule these days. .
The only concern here is how his returns have plummeted after his impressive initial flurry, although a goal at the Etihad on the final day of the Premier League campaign will have made his summer break a fraction more enjoyable.
Pedro Neto (£3m)
Injury issues limited the Portuguese youngster to just 463 minutes of action last term, so Dream Team managers may need to recall his talent.
In 2020/21 he has five goals and six assists in the Premier League and has become accustomed to winning Star Man awards on a regular basis.
Back then, he was ranked as a striker, but this season he is ranked as a midfielder which greatly improves his viability.
Raul Jimenez (£3m) will be out for the first few weeks of the campaign so it will likely fall to Neto to provide the finishing touches to Bruno Lage’s side.
Christian Eriksen (£3m)
Another player is proving to be a popular pick ahead of Game Week 1.
The Danish international’s 12.2% stake eclipses that of Jarrod Bowen (£4.5m), Phil Foden (£5m), Mason Mount (£5m) and several other artists leading.
Eriksen’s talismanic efforts helped Brentford finish last season comfortably after a worrying free fall before his involvement.
The 30-year-old’s ability is unquestionable as he is one of the few active players with over 50 goals and over 50 assists to his name in the Premier League.
If he is a regular starter for Man United he should do well but it remains to be seen how he will be used by Ten Hag – is there room for Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes (£5.5m sterling) in the same XI?
Martin Odegaard (£3m)
Speaking of Scandinavian playmakers, Arsenal’s No.8 is hoping to build on his encouraging 2021/22 season, in which he scored seven goals and provided five assists.
The Gunners impressed during pre-season with plenty of pundits urging them to finish in the top four.
Emile Smith Rowe (£3m) and Fabio Vieira (£3m) make for formidable friendly rivals, but as things stand the attacking midfield role in Mikel Arteta’s line-up is up for grabs. lose for Odegaard.
Will the presence of Gabriel Jesus (£5m) at the top help boost the Norwegian’s numbers?
It’s your five, but we’ll also be offering Brennan Johnson (£2.5m) as a bonus.
The Nottingham Forest man is classed as a midfielder but will mainly play as a second striker – he scored 19 goals in all competitions last season.
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