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Freescoring Salah the essential FPL midfielder

The Scout 18 Feb 2018
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

The Scout’s assessment of the leading midfielders confirms Liverpool’s winger’s status as must-own Fantasy option

If a Fantasy Premier League target can ever be described as essential then that player is Mohamed Salah (£10.4m).

The top scorer on 217 points, it is impossible to deny the importance of the Egyptian to FPL managers.

Analysis of the points-per-90-minute data highlights just how devastating the Liverpool star has been relative to rival midfielders.

He has delivered an average of 9.65 points per 90 minutes.

That is 1.3 points more than any other player across the four positions with more than 500 minutes played.

Top 10 midfielders by points per 90 minutes*
  Price Points per 90 minutes   Price Pts per 90 mins
Salah £10.4m 9.65 Lingard £6.1m 6.97
Sterling £9.0m 8.12 Sane £8.3m 6.89
Martial £8.0m 8.00 Ramsey £7.0m 6.80
Hazard £10.7m 7.72 De Bruyne £10.3m 6.78
Willian £6.8m 7.02 Son £8.1m 6.50

(*minimum 500 minutes played)

Midfield maestro

To put that into perspective, the top-scoring players over the previous two seasons have also been midfielders.

But Alexis Sanchez (£11.8m) recorded 7.3 points per 90 minutes for Arsenal last season on his way to a final tally of 264.

Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m) top scored with 240 points for Leicester City in 2015/16, producing 7.1 points per 90 minutes.

Salah will doubtless go on building his 58.5% ownership.

Even when players with two fixtures in a single Gameweek – or Double Gameweek – turn the heads of Fantasy managers over the run in, there will be a reluctance to risk losing Salah.

Sterling thriving

The chasing pack are arguably far more disposable, with Raheem Sterling (£9.0m) perhaps the only midfielder close to Salah in terms of consistency.

The winger has supplied a goal or an assist in eight of his last 10 Gameweek starts.

He is one of three Manchester City options ranked in the top 10 for points per 90 minutes, with Leroy Sane (£8.3m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m).

The latter is the more popular target of that trio, with over 62,000 acquiring the Belgian for Gameweek 28 following a 13-point return last time out.

But with Sane now back from injury, he and Sterling both remain compelling alternatives.

Hazard charge

That could open the way for Eden Hazard (£10.7m) to build his ownership over the remaining Gameweeks as the premium-priced midfielder of choice.

Chelsea's playmaker has produced an impressive 7.72 points per 90 minutes so far.

Based on their last 12 Gameweek appearances, Hazard has also outscored De Bruyne by 85 points to 83.

And yet he is found in just 8.2% of squads.

That makes Hazard a potentially powerful differential over the season run-in and perhaps a key target for those managers seeking to make up ground.

Also in this series

Part 1: Karius emerges as player who can save FPL seasons
Part 2: FPL managers must focus on full-back potential
Part 4: Will return of Jesus slow Aguero's surge?

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