Every season, FPL managers are looking for budget midfielders to bring back great returns and this year they have blessed us. Last year we had Josh King who scored 16 goals from midfield and the most famous hidden gem, Riyad Mahrez, who bagged 17 goals and 11 assists in Leicester’s unprecedented title winning season. So, who are the budget midfielders this season? I have picked out three players who could be a key component to every FPL team.
Richarlison is the most expensive option out of the three due to a steep rise in his price because of his fantastic recent form. He’s valued at £6.5m and has 66 points so far this season in a Watford side who have impressed many. The Brazilian winger has five goals and four assists in total and has played the full 90 minutes in all of his last ten matches.
His fixtures are difficult after their match away at Newcastle. They play Man United and Tottenham in consecutive games but this may not be a problem for Richarlison as he has previously brought back returns from matches against the top six. From gameweek 17-21, their fixtures are all rated 2 on the fixture difficulty ranking which is very promising.
Gross is the highest scoring player out of these three budget midfielders. He has 68 points this season in a recently promoted Brighton side who are adapting well to Premier League football. His high points tally gives him a place in the overall dream team which is a fantastic achievement for a player who is playing his first season in the Premier League in a team who are too playing their first season in the Premier League.
His price of £5.9m is a bargain and was previously £5.4m before his huge 18 point haul in gameweek 3 which ultimately ignited the Gross bandwagon. The German playmaker has just over 1000 minutes of Premier League football under his belt and has scored three and set up a further five for his team mates. Fixtures are getting very tough for the Seagulls as they play 3 of the top 6 in their next half a dozen matches, 2 of which are away from the Amex.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Choupo-Moting is the cheapest option out of the three but does have the lowest overall score. He has 54 points so far this season which includes three goals and three assists. The Cameroon international plays up front for Stoke which makes him all the more intriguing as an FPL option. He scored his first goal since gameweek 4 during Monday night football which has led to the forward gaining interest from many managers. He could and maybe should have notched an assist on top of his goal but was harshly denied by the Opta panel as he seemingly headed it down for Zouma, (this opinion coming from a Choupo-Moting owner!).
He faces Liverpool and Spurs within his next four matches which may put off FPL managers, but his other two games are against the current bottom two (Swansea and Crystal Palace). After Spurs in gameweek 16, their next fixture against the top six comes in gameweek 21 at the reigning champions, Chelsea. Choupo-Moting’s biggest return thus far has come up against a top six side. He bagged a brace and the three bonus points in a 2-2 draw against Man United at the Bet365 Stadium.
This is a very tough decision for any FPL manager. I personally have Choupo-Moting who I incidentally brought in for Richarlison a few weeks ago. Richarlison looks to be the best option looking at form and fixtures but he could be liable to a two match ban for diving as he has previously gone down under little contact which could get him in trouble in the future.
Gross is higher scoring than Richarlison and constantly brings back returns but may go quiet in big games unlike the Brazilian who thrives in them. Choupo-Moting for me is the best option and that’s not just because I own him. What he and Gross have which Richarlison doesn’t is a magnet to bonus points, but due to the easier fixtures and the fact that he plays up top, I believe Choupo-Moting will return the more points in the upcoming weeks.
Written by Harry Clark (@HarryClark67)