The most expensive signings in Premier League history
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The Premier League is back this weekend and that means the return of your favourite often time-consuming, occasionally frustrating and always addictive pastime. Fantasy Football has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, taking over the thoughts of many football-obsessed people and dominating conversations among many friendship groups.
Creating your initial 15-man squad can be a daunting prospect, with a blank canvas staring back at you.
But luckily, Express Sport is here to give you some pointers. You won’t see many outside shouts or niche picks here – or Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku, who are yet to complete their mooted transfers to Manchester City and Chelsea respectively.
Instead, these are the players you simply have to find the funds for – those who will punish you if you opt to go without.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United – £12m)
No team is complete without Fantasy Football’s biggest hitter. People that think Fernandes is about to drop off and go a few games without a goal or assist are invariably proven wrong.
The Portuguese playmaker is a points machine: he picked up 244 of them last season, the most of any player, and will undoubtedly be in the mix once again this campaign.
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Fernandes hits the sweet spot of playing as the link man in an attacking side, taking set pieces (including penalties) and not being shy of trying things.
He returned 18 goals and 14 assists last season, as well as 13 clean sheets and 36 bonus points. The ultimate must-have.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool – £12.5m)
One of Fernandes’ main rivals for the crown of top points scorer, Salah has been ludicrously consistent in Fantasy terms over the past four seasons.
The Egyptian wide man has returned 303, 259, 233 and 231 points since he joined Liverpool from Roma in 2017.
Salah was arguably not even at his best last season but still picked up 22 goals and six assists in the Premier League.
With Jurgen Klopp’s side looking in better shape this season and ready to challenge Manchester City for the title, Salah looks to be another must-pick.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham – £10m)
Kane would always be another guaranteed pick for Tottenham, but with the England striker angling for a transfer to Man City, Son has inherited that status.
The South Korean forward has performed the role of Kane’s partner in crime for the past few years, but has played as a lone striker in pre-season.
Like Salah, he counts as a midfielder on Fantasy Football, meaning his goals are worth five points instead of a striker’s four and he scored 17 of them in 2020/21.
Another ultra-consistent player, Son could actually benefit from Kane’s departure – at least in Fantasy terms.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United – £5.5m)
Most of your points come from attackers, but you still have to select defenders. While players like Trent Alexander-Arnold may be tempting, his price tag of £7.5m can prove prohibitive.
That’s why Shaw is an attractive proposition, offering a guaranteed starter, attacking output and clean sheets.
Shaw enjoyed his best-ever campaign in a United shirt last season and should be backed to build on it this time around.
Mason Mount (Chelsea – £7.5m)
When he is confirmed as a Chelsea player once again, Lukaku will go straight into many peoples’ teams. But for now there are few stand-out Chelsea players.
Mount was the club’s top points scorer last season with 147 – just beating goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (140) – and is a strong cheaper midfielder pick.
The England international is a Thomas Tuchel favourite, takes corners and returned a commendable six goals and seven assists last season.
Jack Grealish (Manchester City – £8m)
So far the biggest transfer of the summer has been Grealish’s £100million move to Manchester City and it will be intriguing to see how he gets on after leaving Aston Villa.
Man City are absolutely stacked with creative players, with Pep Guardiola’s selection roulette a constant irritant for Fantasy players, but it seems likely Grealish will go straight into the team.
Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden are both doubts for the start of the season, while Bernardo Silva is the subject of transfer interest, meaning Grealish should pick up the creative mantle.
He struggled with injuries last season but still picked up six goals and 12 assists for Villa and £8m represents a decent price.
Patrick Bamford (Leeds United – £8m)
Before Kane and Lukaku have their futures confirmed there is a dearth of obvious striker picks.
Bamford is priced at £8m – the same as Villa’s new signing Danny Ings – and has already shown he has what it takes to score goals in the Premier League.
Leeds have a tricky start to the season, with games against Manchester United and Everton first up, but Bamford’s quality is beyond doubt after 17 goals and 11 assists last season.
Ben White (Arsenal – £4.5m)
The Gunners’ £50m summer signing is available for just £4.5m on Fantasy Football and looks like a decent value selection.
White will surely be a fixture in Mikel Arteta’s side and will be eased into things with newly-promoted Brentford first up on Friday.
Arsenal’s defence has not had much to write home about in recent seasons but they may just surprise a few this campaign.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester – £10.5m)
Vardy always scores goals, that much is simple. He has been hugely consistent for Leicester and bagged 15 goals and 14 assists in the Premier League last season.
Kelechi Iheanacho finished last season strongly and Patson Daka has arrived to provide more back-up, but Vardy will always be Brendan Rodgers’ first choice.
Leicester have finished fifth in the past two seasons and could well challenge the top four once again. If they do so, Vardy’s goals will be key.
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa – £5.5m)
Martinez was one of the surprise hits of the game last season, turning in performance after performance for Aston Villa in goal.
The Argentine stopper helped his country win the Copa America over the summer and will be full of confidence for the new season.
Martinez scored 186 points last season – the most of any goalkeeper, more than any defender and Sadio Mane – and is deserving of another place in your side this season.
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