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FPL signings: Grealish can boost De Bruyne’s output

The Scout 7 Aug 2021
Jack Grealish joins Man City

The Scout on why midfielder’s ability to draw fouls could improve Belgian’s goal threat from free-kicks

The Scout looks at the Fantasy Premier League potential of the summer signings ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Jack Grealish (MCI) £8.0m

The midfielder's move to Manchester City can be hugely significant for Fantasy managers in the upcoming campaign.

Grealish has been one of the Premier League's most creative midfielders in recent years.

He was among the top three players for key passes in each of the last two seasons for Aston Villa.

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His total of 12 assists last term was bettered only by the 14 of Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) in midfield.

Grealish’s ability to draw fouls from opponents in dangerous areas is another big factor to consider.

He was the most-fouled player in the final third of the pitch in both 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Grealish's assists in 2020/21

That could be good news for Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m), who is Man City’s first-choice set-piece taker.

The Belgian is likely to get more chances from direct free-kicks as a result of Grealish’s arrival.

That can help him return to the form of 2019/20, when he was the top-scoring player in Fantasy on 251 points, thanks to 13 goals and 23 assists.

Best of De Bruyne in 2020/21

Grealish is expected to compete with Raheem Sterling (£11.0m) for a role on the left of a 4-3-3, although he is versatile enough to occupy a central midfield berth.

Manager Pep Guardiola could also change his tactics to accommodate the new arrival, potentially moving to the 3-3-1-3 system used by Leeds United.

Midfield alternatives

Grealish further adds to Man City’s wealth of midfield options in Fantasy.

In terms of points per match (ppm), they now have six of last season’s top 12 players in that position.

But the host of players at Guardiola’s disposal now means Grealish is far more likely to be rotated than he was at Villa.

Buendia appeal boosted

By comparison, his departure boosts the appeal of Villa’s summer signing Emiliano Buendia (£6.5m).

He combined 15 goals with 16 assists in last season’s Championship for Norwich City.

Buendia could profit from a very favourable early schedule, with each of Villa’s first three matches scoring only two in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

If Grealish can secure a regular role, a cost of just £8.0m would certainly be a bargain as a route into the Man City attack. 

However, it may be the knock-on effect on De Bruyne and Buendia that ultimately proves the biggest impact in 2021/22 Fantasy.

Also in this series

Part 1: Clinical Daka adds to Leicester options
Part 2: Sancho will give managers midfield dilemma
Part 3: White increases Tierney potential
Part 4: What Ings' arrival means for Watkins
Part 6: Lukaku could shake up Fantasy teams
Part 7: Varane boosts Shaw and Fernandes

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