If the traditional fantasy coaches will have to wait until the Epiphany to begin to hope, suffer and celebrate, the Euroleague coaches have never stopped; not even during the holidays. The
Premier League, as usual, has continued to propose shows and tips for fans of fantasy football, the one that allows you to “fish” in the five best continental tournaments. The most competitive championship in the world has just passed the twentieth game week, the first round of the second part of the tournament. There are, therefore, enough elements to identify which players are doing well and which ones, instead, are disappointing those who believed in them. In this article, we recommend the best midfielders of the English teams for the first part of the season. A list in which there are some surprises.
Leading the top 10 of Premier’s midfielders is one of the Arsenal academy’s finest products: Emile Smith Rowe. Gunners number ten came up with more bonuses than people than Fernandes and De Bruyne. He earned a lot of credit in the eyes of Mikel Arteta and played as a starter most of the 18 games in which he was called up. Eight goals and two assists is the score of the young trequartista, the protagonist of a legendary season.
The best English youth can boast another Londoner who has missed the stages: we are talking about Mason Mount, pillar of the Chelsea of Thomas Tuchel. With 7 goals and 5 decisive passes, the 22-year-old Blues is the second-best midfielder of this special fantaranking. In the 3-4-2-1 of the German coach, he moves on the three-quarter to tie the departments and to hit when the opportunity happens. By mid-season, he has already equaled the personal record of goals and assists set in 2019-20. Now he can be listed among the best ones for this role.
The podium is completed by Raphinha, for two years the undisputed leader of Leeds. The Brazilian is the penalty taker chosen by Bielsa and is the player to whom the Argentine coach concedes more licenses. He overcomes the man with an unsettling naturalness, he is a skilled cross maker and does not tremble in front of the goalkeeper. In 16 matches he made 8 goals and served an assist. He is the top scorer – ex aequo with Smith Rowe – among the midfielders, despite the environment around him is not exactly top class: the Whites, in fact, float dangerously just above the relegation zone. The numbers are clearly on his side; there is a contraindication for estimators, however. In January, the winger could leave the English championship to land to Bayern, who has been corteggiando him for a few weeks. Taking him now could be a risk.
The Premier’s top group had an undisputed ruler: Manchester City. Among the Citizens – momentarily +8 on the pursuers – there is the shining star of Bernardo Silva, who became a universal player under the wise guidance of the master Guardiola. Very often, the Portuguese acts as a falso nueve, a position that allows him to reach the conclusion several times per game. From the point of view of achievement, the current season will soon become his best English season: in 20 games he drew the 7 centers (in 36 games) of 2018-19. If the present is represented by Silva, the future can only be a hunting ground for Phil Foden. The wonderkid raised by the Sky Blues’ academy is, like the Portuguese, a precious offensive wild card. Preferably to be used when the game is in progress when the opponent falls physically in front of the top-flight dribble. He decided the away match with Brentford – the last of 2021 – bringing to 5 his goals in the Premier League, accompanied by 3 assists. If from January onwards he manages to “dribble” the physical problems, the double figure – only grazed last year -It will become a huge goal that he can reach.
Of course even Bukayo Saka (20 years old only in the “registry office”) wants to be part of the England team that is coming. For three seasons he has been a permanent presence in the Arsenal of “the professionists”, after having amazed all the managers of the Gunner academy between 2008 and 2019. The current championship did not start in the best way for him, perhaps still conditioned by the weight of the decisive penalty failed at Wembley against Italy. But he has overcome the disappointment of Euro 2020 with unusual mental strength for a boy of his age. He ended the year with a high rating – a brace at Norwich – and repeated himself by “stamping” at the New Year’s match against City. In the 20 games he took part in, he put his hand in 10 of the goals scored by his team (6 goals and 4 assists). To quantify his performance in terms of fantasy football, just compare the initial quotation to the current one: he has increased his value by 10 fantamilioni, rising from 15 to 25.
A place among the virtuous midfielders is rightfully up to Jorginho, infallible eleven-meter specialist: with 10 centers (out of 10) from the penalty mark in the 2021 beat the record of penalties turned into a goal during the solar year that belonged to Steven Gerrard. At Chelsea – with whom he scored 6 goals in the current season – he did not lose the coldness that seems to have lost in the national team. The blue and the comrade Mount are, numbers in hand, the best pieces of the argenteria of the Blues. Unlike Kai Havertz, a body quite alien to Tuchel’s game. The 22-year-old German, decisive in the last Champions League final, collected little bonuses this year: only two goals and an assist. Numbers that have affected the collapse of his evaluation, dropped from the initial 30 to the current 19. If you like betting, go for it.
James Maddison and Youri Tielemans are distinguishing themselves in the swinging Leicester, involved in the mid-ranking bagarre. The number ten of the Foxes are recovering after an opaque championship start, well below his capabilities. The last month was a triumph for the English trequartista: 4 goals, 3 assists, and the return to the center of the offensive plots of Rodgers. The Belgian had a great start before surrendering to an injury. The former Monaco plays a few meters further back than Maddison, but his numbers are not affected by the position and work in the two phases to which he is called: 5 goals and 2 decisive passes for the 24-year-old.
Honorable mention for the two kings of past seasons: Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes. The Citizens player, slowed down because of a physical problem between November and December, he seems to have regained his superpowers: 3 goals and an assist in the last 5 releases. The same cannot be said of the Portuguese, who might need a few days to immerse himself in the new tactical scheme designed by Rangnick. The show’s debut – a hat-trick at Leeds – suggested the next amazing year by the scoring level. So far, though, the Red Devils’ trequartista has the “handbrake pulled”. will he go back to 2020-21 levels?
By Giovanni Maggio