Fantasy Premier League

FPL new signings: De Bruyne prospects lifted by Haaland

By The Scout 13 Jun 2022
Kevin De Bruyne, Man City

The Scout says midfielder’s assist potential in Fantasy could be revived by new Man City striker

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The Scout assesses Kevin De Bruyne and how Erling Haaland's arrival at Manchester City could affect midfielder's assist output in Fantasy Premier League.

Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) £12.0m

De Bruyne’s appeal as the go-to premium midfielder in 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League will be boosted by the arrival of Erling Haaland at Man City.

The midfielder enjoyed an outstanding second half of 2021/22, after injury restricted him to only five starts in the first 16 Gameweeks.

De Bruyne's total of 165 points from Gameweek 17 onwards placed second only to the 177 of Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min among all players. 

The signing of Haaland, meanwhile, solves Pep Guardiola’s search for a centre-forward following the departure of Sergio Aguero at the end of 2019/20.

See: How Haaland will take Premier League by storm

Guardiola is expected to change his formation in 2022/23, moving to the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 headed by Aguero.

That could be good news for De Bruyne’s prospects in Fantasy, who earned only eight assists last season, despite creating a team-high total of 87 chances.

De Bruyne's creative output by season
Season Assists Chances created Combined %
2016/17 18 103 17.5%
2017/18 16 105 15.2%
2019/20 20 136 14.7%
2020/21 12 80 15%
2021/22 8 87 9.2%

*18/19 11 starts through injury

Indeed, only 9.2 per cent of the chances De Bruyne created led to goals in 2021/22, with Guardiola regularly using a “false 9” formation to compensate for the lack of a centre-forward.

The Belgian's average dropped from 15.6 per cent across the playmaker’s previous four seasons as a regular for Guardiola.

This suggests that De Bruyne’s range of passing, and the spaces he is able to occupy, can prove even more productive in a system where City play with a traditional forward.

Certainly, Haaland’s clinical conversion rate also aids the Belgian’s potential.

Haaland's goal record at Dortmund
Season Goals Shots Conversion rate
2020/21 27 93 29%
2021/22 22 8- 27.5%

The 21-year-old scored with 28.3 per cent of his shots in his two Bundesliga campaigns with Borussia Dortmund.

Indeed, that was more than double the 12.5 per cent of Gabriel Jesus, City’s only regular starting forward in Fantasy.

Man City's top scorers in 2021/22
Team Goals Shots Conversion rate
Kevin De Bruyne 15 78 19.2%
Raheem Sterling 13 57 22%
Riyad Mahrez 11 61 18%
Phil Foden 9 57 15.8%
Bernardo Silva 8 47 17%
Ilkay Gundogan 8 55 14.5%
Gabriel Jesus 8 64 12.5%

Despite winning the title, City were without a reliable scorer, with De Bruyne among only three players who managed double-figures for goals in 2021/22.

Haaland’s signing looks set to solve that problem for City, with chief creator De Bruyne now a major rival to Liverpool's 2021/22 Playmaker of the Season winner Mohamed Salah and Son as the best premium midfielder in Fantasy next season.

Remember, you can find out who De Bruyne, Haaland and their City team-mates will face next season when the 2022/23 fixtures are released on this Thursday at 09:00 BST.

See: The Scout's FPL new signings

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