A bargain midfielder gives you options elsewhere, and can come in when either an injury strikes or they just happen to be a fantasy gem. In this article I will try and pick out the options you should be looking at that will provide you with more than just the 2 points for playing, and the possible 1 for a clean sheet.
Mark Noble (£5.0m) – West Ham
The perennial Irons center midfielder. He takes pens, he takes a few freekicks and he gives his all every game. Noble picked up 99 points last season and I would expect similar returns this season as he is a consistent performer, and with the increased competition for places in the forward line at West Ham, he may benefit from a few more penalties in the new VAR world we live in.
Jorginho (£5.0m) – Chelsea
After an unsettled first year due to him being seen as the whole problem behind ‘Sarriball’, Jorginho is looking to start with season beside the best CDM in world football and have the handbrake released. Chelsea’s first few preseason games look like the midfield won’t be as slow to build up, and I fully expect Kante to play where Jorginho did last year, and this could result in further attacking returns for Jorginho. There is also the possibility now Hazard has left that Jorginho will be first choice penalty taker.
Solly March (£5.0m) – Brighton
I was really impressed everytime I watched March play last year. He managed 6 assists and 1 goal last year in a poor Brighton side that was very defensively set up. This year however they may be a more attacking proposition and I can see March being a decent attacking option at times. You can not currently guarantee his minutes, and with Trossard coming in his time on the pitch could be limited, but he is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Pierre-Emile Hojberg (£5.0m) – Southampton
Hojberg came out of his shell once Hasenhuttl took over as Southampton manager for the second half of the season. He provided 4 goals and 3 assists in a struggling team, and at times really looked like a talisman, driving them forward in games and making a real difference. If he maintains that rate of improvement in a better side, it would not be a surprise to see him score 7 or 8 goals and assist the same. Not bad for a 5 million midfielder.
Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.0m) – Wolves
Morgan was impressive at times last year, playing just behind the strikeforce and looking like he could be a real creative force if he’s given a run in the team. He only got 1 assist last year in around 7 games, but with Wolves playing in the Europa league this year I can see him getting more minutes and being a force. Another for the watch list, not gameweek 1.
Oliver Norwood (£5.0m) – Sheffield United
Norwood is a key set piece taker for Sheffield United, and as a promoted team I can see them being very dangerous from corners and set pieces. Last year Norwood amassed 9 assists and 3 goals, and I can see him shouldering a lot of responsibility for delivering balls into the box, much like Moutinho does for Wolves. Norwood is a nailed starter in the centre of the pitch and is a more than competent set piece taker, so he’s a solid pair of hands for your £5.0m to come off the bench, or slot in as your 11th choice.
Leander Dendonker (£4.5m) – Wolves
Currently Dendonker is the obvious choice at 4.5. He was a regular starter in the second half of last season and had a surprising xG of 0.25, benefitting from the fact Moutinho and Neves sit so well for an attacking wolves team. At 4.5m he is a must in my eyes as a dangerous asset, compared the the other 4.5m options which are essentially defensive midfielders.
Issac Hayden (£4.5m) – Newcastle
A solid performer last year for Newcastle, even though he handed in a transfer request in January. Hayden popped up with a goal and 4 assists in a very defensive team, and a move has not materialised as of yet for the box to box midfielder. Who knows how this Newcastle team will line up, or perform this season but if Hayden can keep his place he can be a second solid 4.5 option.
Personally I will have Dendonker from day 1, his underlying stats are really impressive for his price and I just can’t see past him. Of the 5 million options I really like Hojberg and Norwood, they offer different things but I think they will both basically play every minute and offer a decent return if you need another cheap midfielder.
Written by @LotmerFPL