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GW5 Lessons: Who is the best replacement for Van Dijk?

The Scout 19 Oct 2020
Virgil van Dijk

The Scout looks at defensive options as Fantasy managers sell injured Liverpool centre-back

An injury to Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) has made a significant impact on the plans of managers in Fantasy Premier League.

The Liverpool centre-back is set to undergo knee surgery after being forced off early during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Everton.

Van Dijk was the second most-popular defender in the game heading into Gameweek 5.

But his expected long-term absence has sparked huge sales ahead of Friday’s 18:30 BST deadline.

He is the most-sold player in the Gameweek, with over 400,000 transfers out.

Tempting trio

Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell (£5.7m), Everton's Lucas Digne (£6.2m) and Van Dijk's team-mate Andrew Robertson (£7.1m) have emerged as popular targets.

Chilwell and Robertson have both produced one goal, two assists and a clean sheet.

Digne, meanwhile, has combined three assists with a shutout and seven bonus points.

Cheaper options

The lack of clean sheets this season could also persuade managers to seek out budget alternatives, freeing up cash to invest in attack.

Ezri Konsa (£4.6m) is among the standout options in the sub-£5.0m bracket.

The Aston Villa centre-back has amassed 28 points in his four matches, scoring once and contributing to three clean sheets.

He also has a very strong run of opponents to follow. Seven of Villa’s next 10 matches score only two in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

West Ham United trio Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m), Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m) and Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) could also be targeted when they start a more favourable schedule from Gameweek 8.

Attacking threat

And Brighton & Hove Albion’s fixtures look encouraging for Tariq Lamptey (£4.7m).

His three assists are joint-top among defenders in the first five Gameweeks.

The Seagulls host West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Southampton in the next six Gameweeks and also visit Aston Villa.

Also in this series

Part 1: GW5 Lessons: Son and Kane worth the double-up
Part 3: GW5 Lessons: Kilman's popularity growing as budget option

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