While we’s all love to fill our Fantasy Premier League teams with a super-star midfield line up, trade-offs have to be made somewhere in order to get the right balance to maximise your points potential. It’s also important to have substitutes that can rotate into your starting 11 as we hit Christmas and other times where there is a congested fixture list. Depending upon the formation you choose for your starting 11, you may need to look for some cheaper options. So lets look at five of the best bargains in Midfield, for the fast approaching 2014/15 Fantasy Premier League Season. The criteria is £5.5 million or less midfielders.
Top 5 Cheap Midfielders
1. Marc Albright £4.5m
First in our top 5 bargain midfielder is Leicester City’s new winger Marc Albright. Fantasy Premier League managers might remember Albright from previous seasons at Aston Vila, where he stormed onto the scene under Martin O’Neil down the right flank. Since then Albright has struggled to fit into Aston Villa’s plans. At just £4.5m he’s the cheapest midfielders come this season, and is a speedy winger who is going to get game time. Marc has valuable Premier League experience, which is an important factor for Leicester City in their bid to avoid relegation back to the Championship in their first season up. Expect Albright to start on the right wing and look to play balls into David Nugent up front, who knows where the back the net is – scoring 20 goals last season in 43 appearances. From what little game time Albright got last season, he still managed 4 assists – finishing with 38 points. He’ll almost defiantly finish with more points this time out, and the new bonus point system will help him too. Alright is the perfect filler player for your squad, in case of emergencies. Just over 12% of Fantasy Premier League Managers have Albright in their teams at the moment, so looks a safe bet.
Coming in at number two is highly promising and hyped English winger Thomas Ince. Ince has been chased by some of the biggest clubs in Europe over the past 12 month, including Liverpool (where Ince was previously part of their youth setup) and Inter Milan. But Ince wanted game time and to stay in the English Premier League – so Hull City is were he has ended up. A lot of that has to do with Hull City manager Steve Bruce, who is a family friend of the Ince’s. Thomas was a breath of fresh air in 2012/13 when he scored 18 in the Championship, an impressive tally for a winger. At £5.5 million Ince isn’t dirt cheap, but if Hull City get going, then Ince may well be a runaway this season. Along with the pace of Shane Long up front, and Robert Snodgrass on the opposite wing, Hull are building quite the strike force for the new season. Expect Hull City to be a mid-table club and steer clear of relegation. Hull also have a nice first 5 game weeks to get their confidence up – QPR (A) Sto (H) Villa (A) WHam (H) New (A). Ince is all about hype & potential, if he delivers, you want him in your team. So far he is Hull City’s most selected midfielder, with just over 3% of Fantasy Premier League Manager banking on Ince to explode into the new season.
3. Dean Marney £4.5m
Time for another super cheap option in midfield, at number three it’s Burnley’s journeyman Dean Marney. Marney was a rock for Burnley last season, on their way to earning auto-promotion to the English Premier League. He played 38 matches, scoring 3 goals and getting 7 assists along the way. He generally plays in the middle with David Jones and has previous Premier League experience with Tottenham Hotspur. You’d be wanting to look at Marney if you are going to play with just 3 strong midfielders in the middle, and two weaker ones on the bench. He’s not going to set the world on fire, but for £4.5m – the cheapest midfielders can get -he’ll get a good share of game-time and setup the odd goal or too. Nice move for unexpected team selections or emergency points.
4. Jonjo Shelvy £5.5m
Former Liverpool and Charlton man Jonjo Shelvy hits the lists of budget midfielders at number four. Jonjo had a solid season for Swansea City last year, after his transfer from Liverpool. Shelvy delivered Swansea 6 goals and 7 assists last season, amassing a points haul of 122. Shelvy is an attacking minded central midfield player and could strike up a partnership with new Swansea signing Gylfi Sigurdsson from Tottenham Hotspur. He is the kind of player who looks world class one for one half, then goes missing for the next – but he’ll certainly push that triple figure mark you want for a cheap option in midfield. Swansea have recruited well over the summer, managing to hold onto powerful striker Bony as well as bringing in quality attacking midfielders – so expect some more goals them them this season. Just ovver 10% of managers have Shelvy in their Fantasy Premier League teams, and seems good value for money. But there is a risk that Sigurdsson’s arrival may mean less game time for Shelvy, or an attacking midfield partnership.
5. Steven Davis £5.0m
Rounding out the Top 5 Cheap midfielders for 2014/15 is Southampton midfielder Steven Davis. Southampton have been busy in the summer months, not signing talent to push them up the ladder this season, but selling much of their squad to the ‘big four’ clubs. Shaw, Lambert, and importantly for Steven Davis Adam Lallana have all left Southampton, mostly on big money transfer fees. Lallana’s departure means there is a whole to fill in Southampton’s midfield, and at the moment that spot is up for grabs between Steven Davis and James Ward-Prose (£5.0m). Davis had a good return from what game time managed last season, with 2 goals and 7 assists, breaking into triple figures with 110 points last season. He’s a more attacking option for new manager Ronald Koeman to deploy and prove himself a permanent starter. Davis probable has the edge over James Ward-Prose, who is equally suitable for a place in this top 5. Southampton’s bank balance is very health though, so we may see some incoming big money transfers later in August.