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FPL in demand: Cheaper Harrison can rival Raphinha

The Scout 8 Jul 2021
Jack Harrison, Leeds

The Scout highlights three midfielders who have been overlooked due to popularity of their team-mates

The Scout assesses the transfer trends of Fantasy Premier League managers since the 2021/22 game launched.

Midfielders

Leeds United winger Raphinha (£6.5m) has claimed a place in over a quarter of squads ahead of the new season.

The Brazilian is the fourth most-selected midfielder in Fantasy, owned by 25.7 per cent of managers.

Create your 2021/22 FPL squad

As a result, his team-mate Jack Harrison (£6.0m) has been overlooked by the vast majority. 

But Harrison thrived while playing on loan for Leeds from Manchester City last term.

He finished as the sixth top-scoring midfielder in Fantasy, tallying 160 points thanks to eight goals and 10 assists.

Harrison's 2020/21 goals and assists

The 24-year-old averaged 4.4 points per match (ppm), identical to Raphinha.

Yet despite costing less than the Brazilian, Harrison is sat in a mere 4.4 per cent of squads.

Having now secured a permanent move to Leeds, he has the schedule to prove a huge source of value in the early months of 2021/22.

From Gameweek 3 onwards, six of the Whites’ eight matches score only two in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

Sadio Mane (LIV) £12.0m

Liverpool also have a favourable run of opening opponents, with five of their first eight matches scoring just two in the FDR.

While his team-mate Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) is the most-owned player in Fantasy, found in 50.5 per cent of squads, Mane has been selected be a mere 2.8 per cent of managers.

The Senegalese finished as the fourth top-scoring midfielder last season, producing 176 points thanks to 11 goals and 11 assists.

The underlying numbers highlight Mane’s major goal threat. 

His 81 shots in the box and 27 big chances both ranked second among midfielders last season.

Mane's double v Palace

 

Riyad Mahrez (MCI) £9.0m

His Man City team-mates Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) and Phil Foden (£8.0m) are among the 10 most-owned midfielders, being selected by 16.3 per cent and 14.2 per cent respectively.

But both players, along with Raheem Sterling (£11.0m) and Ilkay Gundogan (£7.5m), have had a busy summer taking part in UEFA Euro 2020.

Mahrez, on the other hand, has had no international matches and will be fully refreshed ahead of next month’s kick-off.

The Algerian’s 5.4 ppm last term ranked seventh among midfielders in Fantasy, yet the winger is owned by only 3.4 per cent of managers.

He could prove a major source of returns early on, with just one of the champions’ first five matches scoring more than three in the FDR. 

Mahrez's 2020/21 highlights
Also in this series

Part 1: Leno among overlooked goalkeepers
Part 2: Pick Wan-Bissaka before Shaw
Part 4: Back Welbeck over Maupay

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