Fantasy Premier League managers may now find it harder to choose between Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) compared to last season.
The pair spent the 2019/20 campaign with a huge disparity between their prices, the Belgian starting £2.5m cheaper than his English colleague.
By the end of last season, he had risen £1.1m while Sterling ended it as he begun, priced at £12.0m. However, now the two players share the exact same price-point, budget concerns have become irrelevant and it is now a straight shoot-out between them.
READ MORE: FPL release first batch of player prices
De Bruyne comes into the new campaign on the back of a record-breaking 2019/20 season, registering 251 points, more than any other player.
That was the midfield maestro’s best-ever FPL score, after he involved himself in 36 of Manchester City’s goals. 13 of those were his own, his highest-ever tally in a Premier League season (13) while he equalled Thierry Henry’s record for most assists in one season (20, rising to 23 when adding Fantasy assists into the equation).
Surely with statistics like that, De Bruyne is still an auto-include for the new season? Right?
The Belgian is certainly an admirable option for 2020/21, a view we won’t dare try to disagree with, but it is worth saying that Sterling could be set for a big season based on the way he finished the last.
While De Bruyne registered an impressive 10 double-digit hauls in 2019/20, Sterling came very close to his colleague, posting a total of nine.
Five of those came during Project Restart where the Englishman outscored his Belgian colleague by 86 FPL points to 73. De Bruyne’s score of 19 on the final day made the comparison more respectable than it could have been too. Going into Gameweek 38+, Sterling was ahead by 78 to 54.
The question is whether or not Sterling can sustain such form across a whole season. He will need that if he is to rival De Bruyne for FPL value and backing. The fact that only the Belgian (2,798) and Ederson (3,072) recorded more minutes played among Manchester City players than Sterling last season (2,660) is an encouraging start – although both players could miss the start of the campaign if they are granted a delay because of Champions League involvement.
But in order to fully assess his potential as a premium set-and-forget midfielder, we need to look at Sterling’s underlying data.
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