It’s the news that has sent fantasy football managers into meltdown.
With Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne set to miss at least three months of the season with a ‘serious’ knee injury, the Premier League title race suddenly looks a lot more interesting.
The news has also impacted the race for first place in Premier League fantasy football mini leagues everywhere, with managers frantically rushing to get the Belgian out of their teams.
De Bruyne was the third most-selected player at the time of his injury, with a whopping 46% of managers splashing out £6.5m on the Belgian.
The injured City maestro was by far the most-selected midfielder on Dream Team, with his teammate Leroy Sane the closest competitor having been picked by 28% of gaffers.
With De Bruyne’s injury set to rule him out for at least three months, he could miss 16 Premier League fixtures, as well as six Champions League games, rendering him useless in fantasy football.
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Fantasy football tips: The best Kevin De Bruyne replacements
With managers everywhere having £6.5m to reinvest after transferring out De Bruyne, it’s time to start drawing up a list of potential replacements for the injury-stricken star.
We’ve done the hard work for you and come up with five potential replacements for the injured star…
1 Bernardo Silva – £3.5m
We’ll start closest to home with our first pick.
Silva could be the perfect replacement to fill the shoes of De Bruyne during his teammate’s spell on the sidelines.
The Portuguese wizard got his season off to a great start with an impressive performance in City’s opening day victory against Arsenal, scoring one goal and picking up a 7+rating.
Silva is currently sitting pretty on eight points after gameweek one.
Resisting the temptation to go with the likes of Sane, Raheem Sterling or Riyad Mahrez, Silva is the safest bet, with his place in City’s starting lineup now all but certain after De Bruyne’s injury.
The three wingers however are all set to fight it out for the two starting spots in the wide positions in Pep Guardiola’s side this season.
Silva has so far been selected by just 4.1% of Dream Team managers and is a far more cost effective option than other alternatives out there.
The diminutive playmaker has a relatively small price tag of £3.5m, which leaves you with some spare funds to reinvest in your team later in the season.
HOW ABOUT THIS?
2 Eden Hazard – £6m
Having shrugged off speculation of a transfer to Real Madrid, Hazard remained with Chelsea and has a point to prove this season.
The Belgian took no time in replicating his outstanding form from last season’s fantasy football game, making an immediate impact off the bench in Chelsea’s opening victory over Huddersfield.
Hazard turned provider for Pedro’s goal, assisting the Spaniard’s effort and picking himself up five points from gameweek one.
Chelsea’s No10 has been selected by 26.4% of Dream Team managers and this percentage is expected to rise as news of De Bruyne’s injury spreads.
The 27-year-old was the third-highest points scoring midfielder in last season’s game after racking up a hefty 281 points, in what was an otherwise underwhelming season for Chelsea.
Priced up at £6m, swapping De Bruyne for Hazard in your team will leave you with an additional £.5m to spend, which could come in handy later in the season.
3 Sadio Mane – £6m
Mane is one part on Liverpool’s deadly attacking trident that has blown away so many teams in recent seasons.
The Senegalese ace chipped in with 20 goals and ten assists for Jurgen Klopp’s side last season, helping him to rack up 244 points in fantasy football.
The 26-year-old could be the perfect replacement for De Bruyne, with Liverpool expected to a mount a serious challenge on all four fronts this season, and Mane set to play a key role.
At £6m, Mane is also a cheaper alternative to De Bruyne and got his season off to a great start, scoring twice in Liverpool’s opening day 4-0 rout over West Ham.
The Liverpool man picked himself up an impressive 18 points after gameweek one, the joint highest in fantasy football so far.
Mane has been snapped up by 24% of managers so far, and is rather cheekily listed as a midfielder on this year’s game, despite the fact that he effectively plays as a striker for Klopp’s side.
4 Christian Eriksen – £6m
Eriksen has been one of Spurs’ best performers since they signed him from Ajax in 2013.
The 26-year-old has thrived in the Premier League and has since become one of the best creative midfielders in Europe.
Eriksen poses a large goal-threat, particularly from free-kicks, alongside his playmaking antics, as he netted 15 times for Spurs last season.
The Dane picked up an impressive 220 points in last year’s fantasy football game and is the closest player you could get to a like-for-like to De Bruyne.
Eriksen has rather surprisingly only been snapped up by 12% of Dream Team managers so far, despite being a consistent points-scorer in fantasy football over the years.
The Spurs man, who is priced up at £6m on Dream Team, is expected to play a large part in Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season as Spurs look to compete in all four competitions.
5 Paul Pogba – £5m
Where else better to look for a replacement for a Man City star than down the road at Man United.
Pogba could be the spark to kick-start your fantasy football campaign, after suffering the frustration of an injury to De Bruyne.
The Frenchman was one of the standout performances in gameweek one, earning himself 13 points after netting in his side’s season-opener against Leicester.
Jose Mourinho’s man picked up 135 points in last year’s game, which was a disappointing tally by his high-standards and one that he will thrive to better this season.
The Frenchman has been snapped up by 14.4% of Dream Team managers so far, a number that is constantly rising after his Manchester rival sustained the lengthy injury.
Pogba is a relative steal at £5m in this year’s fantasy football game.
The extra £1m you will save in swapping De Bruyne for him could well prove invaluable later in the season.
READ MORE FANTASY FOOTBALL TIPS AND HINTS TO HELP YOU OWN YOUR MATES:
- The insiders guide to mastering Dream Team Weekender this season
- Hardly anyone has picked this potential must-have bargain
- Why Aaron Wan-Bissaka is already a fantasy football legend
What are the Dream Team rules?
Every single season the Premier League gets more intriguing – and playing Dream Team really is the perfect way to enhance your experience of it.
You’ll be assigned a total budget of £50m for each side you pick and you’ll be able pick a maximum of 10 free teams.
The Game Weeks run from Friday to Thursday, effectively meaning the new Game Week starts after the last Europa League games are completed.
You get three transfers a month on the first Friday of every month so using them wisely is essential.
Every player on the game will be assigned a price at the start of the season which will then vary and fluctuate on a weekly basis dependent on their performances.
For example, last season we valued Mo Salah at £4m at the start of the season but the Egyptian King rocketed to over £11m by the end after his stunning goalscoring form.
Make sure to check out our website or app to see how our simplistic points system works.