Having already looked at the Fantasy Premier League midfielders in the lowest price rung, we now turn our attention to those in the £5.0m bracket.
With a handful of £4.5m options available for bench fodder status, the £5.0m midfielder has to offer something more to justify the extra outlay.
David Brooks was one such asset last season but has been handed a price rise to £6.5m after returning 123 FPL points in his debut Premier League season.
The £5.0m rung is a curious mixture of defensive midfielders, deep-lying playmakers, reserves, academy products, summer signings and assets from the newly promoted clubs.
At the time of writing, there are 43 midfielders available for £5.0m and we will take you through them all here.
Players who aren’t in this rung have their prices written in brackets.
Players from the ‘Big Six’ Clubs
Of the ten players from the top half-dozen teams available at this price, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are perhaps of most interest.
Kante, indeed, is the most-owned FPL midfielder under £7.0m at the time of writing.
Should Jorginho stay in west London then the pair might be reunited at the base of Frank Lampard’s 4-2-3-1, with the new Chelsea boss having been full of praise for the Frenchman at his first press conference.
Kante played almost all of last season to the right of Jorginho in a three-man central midfield and was afforded more license to get forward as a result.
The former Leicester spoiler’s total of eight attacking returns was his best ever in FPL but we may see him back where he arguably belongs next season, at the base of the Chelsea midfield, now that Sarri has departed.
That may in turn free Jorginho up, although it would seem likely that the former Napoli ‘regista’ will still be sitting deep.
It will be intriguing to note who takes over from Eden Hazard as Chelsea’s first-choice penalty-taker, with Jorginho having scored from the spot in Gameweek 1 of 2018/19.
There’ll likely be little interest in Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira, who did return two goals and four assists last season but who was a substitute in ten of his 34 league appearances and who picked up seven bookings.
Manchester United midfielders Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic (none of whom recorded more than two attacking returns last season) have been joined in the £5.0m bracket by starlet Angel Gomes, who will be among a cluster of academy products hoping for more pitch-time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
At present, though, there is nothing to excite Fantasy managers at Old Trafford at this price in midfield.
Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama look to be further down the pecking order following the arrival of Tanguy Ndombele (£6.0m), while Moussa Sissoko‘s fine contribution to the Spurs cause isn’t reflected in his Fantasy returns (just one league goal since his move from Newcastle in 2016).
Players from Other Top-Half Clubs
There are a cluster of players available for £5.0m who represent Wolves, Everton, Leicester and West Ham, all of whom finished in the top ten last season.
At Molineux, Ivan Cavaleiro, Morgan Gibbs-White and Adama Traore were very much second-string players last season.
Not one of these players hit double figures for starts in 2018/19 but Wolves’ Europa League commitments could see them increasingly called upon, while it would be amazing if Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had the same incredible injury record next season.
Helder Costa has departed for Leeds United, meanwhile.
Wilfred Ndidi – an ever-present last season – is likely to be widely ignored given the number of attack-minded options elsewhere in the Leicester City side.
The Nigeria international did score two goals last season, though, and had more shots in the box than any Premier League midfielder now available at £5.0m.
Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye is a similar type of player, while Ademola Lookman will find it hard to record more starts on the flank (he made only three last season) unless there are a spate of injuries at Goodison Park.
Declan Rice’s FPL position has changed since last season and gone with it is his ‘out of position’ tag, so he is now not eligible for four points when West Ham keep a clean sheet.
Jack Wilshere made only four starts in yet another injury-ravaged campaign but Mark Noble at least offers the incentive of being the Hammers’ first-choice penalty-taker as the Premier League gets ready to embrace VAR.
No midfielder in the £5.0m bracket scored more top-flight goals than Noble last season, with four of his five strikes coming from the spot.
Players from the Three Promoted Clubs
Aston Villa’s Andre Green will likely be a backup option out wide this season, having made just eight starts in the Championship in 2018/19.
Kenny McLean was a pivotal figure for Norwich City in the second half of last season, starting all of the Canaries’ final 16 fixtures after returning from injury.
The Scotland international registered an eye-catching three goals and six assists in his 20 appearances in the second tier, although has tended to play in a deep role under Daniel Farke and there is competition for places in the engine room.
Sheffield United pair John Fleck and Oliver Norwood also racked up the assists from deep last season.
Fleck supplied ten goals from midfield and took his share of corners, while no Sheffield United player created more ‘big chances’.
The Scotland international only failed to start one Championship fixture.
Fleck may have registered more assists than Norwood last season but the former Reading, Brighton and Fulham midfielder was the creative heart of the Blades’ midfield.
Pablo Hernandez was the only Championship player who supplied more chances than Norwood in 2018/19, while no-one in the second tier took more accurate corners or free-kicks than the Blades’ playmaker.
Mario Lemina may be on his way out of Southampton this summer but in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg the Saints possess one of the popular bench fodder options of last season.
Hojbjerg registered four goals and three assists in 2018/19, having started the campaign at £4.5m.
The Dane has been handed a minor price rise this time round and is obviously less appealing as a result, particularly as he will likely be one of the two sitting midfielders should Ralph Hasenhuttl proceed with a 4-2-2-2 as expected.
No midfielder available for £5.0m had more shots on target in the Premier League than Hojbjerg last season.
The options at Bournemouth are limited to a reserve winger – Jordon Ibe – and four central midfielders.
Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook failed to register a single attacking return although were hampered by injuries, while Jefferson Lerma picked up an off-putting 12 yellow cards.
Dan Gosling, like Lerma, recorded two goals and as many assists but would seem likely to be behind Cook in the pecking order once his teammate has recovered from an ACL injury.
The injured Yves Bissouma is set to miss the start of the season at Brighton, while teammate Davy Propper offers little in the way of goal threat from central midfield.
Solly March, who registered one goal and six assists under Chris Hughton last season, would be a semi-interesting prospect should he nail down a starting spot under the more attack-minded Graham Potter but competition for places is fierce in the wide areas, particularly after the purchase of Leandro Trossard (£6.0m).
Aaron Lennon may well be third in line on the right flank at Burnley, while Jack Cork offers not much more than security of starts – the central midfielder only missed one of the Clarets’ 38 league games last season and registered three attacking returns in the process.
Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate is another midfield spoiler who contributes little going forward and is far from sure of his place in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI, while Tom Cleverley and Ken Sema look set to be backup options at Watford again after each failing to hit double figures for starts in 2018/19.
The influential Etienne Capoue is available at the same price, although his seven-goal season in 2016/17 is looking increasingly anomalous – the ex-Spurs midfielder has found the back of the net only twice in the past 24 months.
Newcastle United trio Jonjo Shelvey, Ki Sung-yueng and Sean Longstaff are more creative than Isaac Hayden (£4.5m) alongside them but there is much uncertainty over who will line up in the Magpies’ central midfield come Gameweek 1, with a new manager yet to be appointed.
Newcastle’s opening run of fixtures is one of the worst in the division, too.
Longstaff is fighting his way back from a knee injury and is a reported target for Manchester United, while Shelvey made only two starts from Gameweek 12 onwards.
Ki recorded just one assist from 14 starts.
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