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PICKING UP THE SLACK

Every club’s best player on Dream Team as the 2019/20 season resumes

Excited? You should be. 

The return of the Premier League is so close you can almost taste the ticker-tape (FYI: it tastes a little bit like hand-sanitiser).

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We’re ready to get back underway the moment the first ball is kicked in Aston Villa’s clash with Sheffield United on Wednesday, so it’s time to get fully invested in your Dream Team once more.

Remember to familiarise yourself with your team and check out everything you need to know about the game — including updates on transfers and fixtures in this pandemic-tinted reality.

In the meantime, let’s delve into the stats centre of the 2019/20 campaign so far and take a look at each club’s best player on the game.

Arsenal — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (148 points)

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It’s been  a season of upheaval at the Emirates, with Unai Emery making way for Freddie Ljungberg who made way for Mikel Arteta — and all before the New Year.

It’s been the same old Auba though, with the Gabonese striker his usual goal-happy self; 20 goals so far, including 17 in the Premier League and a points tally that puts him well ahead of his Arsenal teammates.

Aston Villa — Jack Grealish (131 points)

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Villa look like one of the favourites to go down this season and even if they don’t… they’ll be hard pushed keeping hold of Jack.

Grealish has been their main man this season; he’s their only player to reach triple-figures on Dream Team, while his WhoScored rating of 7.33 — boosted by his seven goals and six assists in the Premier League — sees him rubbing shoulders with the league’s very best.

Bournemouth — Philip Billing (72 points)

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Oh, Bournemouth. Where did it go so wrong?

Last term the Cherries were a rich source of Dream Team magic, with high-scoring Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser two of the most beloved players on our game.

Not this season though; both have struggled for form, and that’s meant Billing and Diego Rico (64 points) are about as good as it gets.

Brighton — Neal Maupay (72 points)

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Shane Duffy was the talk of the town last season, with the centre-back one of the surprise packages on Dream Team and a big favourite among frugal managers.

Not this season though, with new boy Maupay leading the Seagulls on points thanks to his eight goals in his first season in the Prem.

Burnley — James Tarkowski (95 points)

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Since their return to the Premier League in 2016, Burnley have boasted some memorable Dream Team gems — including Michael Keane, Robbie Brady and Tom Heaton.

Tarkowski has been a regular hit with gaffers too in that time and is perhaps the best bargain defender you can pick up right now.

Chelsea — Tammy Abraham (153 points)

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The Blues have been oozing in Dream Team loveliness so far this season, with youngsters Reece James (88 points) and Mason Mount (84 points) joining the likes of Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta as favourites among managers.

Abraham has been the pick of the bunch though, surprising us all with his impressive goal-tally in the early months of the season and topping our points table in the process.

Despite his form dipping since the turn of the year, he’s still mixing it with the best of the best.

Crystal Palace — Jordan Ayew (88 points)

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Perhaps one of the most disappointing aspects of Dream Team this season has been the lack of points from Luka Milivojevic.

The penalty-master has a measly haul of just 22 points, with Wilfried Zaha also failing to shine with just 67 points to his name.

So it’s been up to Ayew to pick up most of the slack, although only 0.1% of gaffers have transferred-in the striker.

It is worth pointing out that Vicente Guaita is among the top three goalkeepers on our game at the moment though, with only Dean Henderson and Nick Pope leading him.

Everton — Richarlison (137 points)

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Everton’s bleak campaign has enjoyed an upsurge under the wisdom of Carlo Ancelotti; who’s a far-cry from clueless Marco Silva.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (124 points) has flourished under the eyebrow-raising Italian but it’s Richarlison who leads the pack right now.

Leicester — Jamie Vardy (168 points)

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Leicester’s defenders have been the talk of Dream Team this season, with Ricardo Pereira (163 points), Caglar Soyuncu (116 points) and Ben Chilwell (89 points) all proving popular.

But Vardy rules the roost as the current top scorer in the Premier League with 19 goals.

Liverpool — Mohamed Salah (211 points)

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Salah’s currently leading the way as one of only two players with 200 points or more so far; the other being his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane with 207 points.

16 goals in the Prem as well as four more in the Champions League only tell part of the story of Salah’s campaign so far, which will almost definitely include a Premier League winners’ medal by the end.

Man City — Kevin De Bruyne (195 points)

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While Man City will have to make do with being second-best to Liverpool this term, they’ll still have their eyes firmly set on Champions League glory once Europe’s premier competition is back and open for business.

And for De Bruyne this has probably been his best season yet, with the Belgian putting his injury-hit 2018/19 campaign behind him and playing a blinder so far.

Man United — Marcus Rashford (186 points)

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Not too long ago, Rashford was wasting away at United under the charge of Jose Mourinho — with many of us believing the young striker would need to move away to find regular game-time.

But fast-forward to this season and Rashy has been his beloved club’s most eye-catching player; at times carrying them through difficult games with his goals and general attacking talent.

The England international has netted 14 times in the league while picking up his best points tally on Dream Team to date.

It did seem as though his season was over when he picked up a nasty back injury in January, but he’s since made a full recovery during lockdown and could play a big part in the remainder of the campaign.

Newcastle — Miguel Almiron (72 points)

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Considering Almiron has just two goals this season and a WhoScored rating on 6.64, we’re not entirely sure that Newcastle is the best club to pick from if you’re looking for Dream Team points.

But much like Crystal Palace, special praise belongs to goalkeeper Martin Dubravka who’s one of the best around with 71 points.

Norwich — Teemu Pukki (92 points)

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We were all invited to the Pukki party in the early weeks of the season, as the Finnish striker blew us all away with his goal-scoring exploits.

He had six goals by mid-September, including a hat-trick against Newcastle and the winner in Norwich’s glorious 3-2 win over Man City… but the goals, and Dream Team points, soon dried up.

However 11 in total this term and a haul of nearly 100 points is a decent return for a striker plying his trade in the league’s bottom club.

Sheffield United — Chris Basham (107 points)

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Sheffield United have been the Premier League’s surprise package this season and are very much in the hunt for a Champions League qualification place.

Their players haven’t exactly been popular with Dream Team managers though, despite their success.

Dean Henderson (92 points) is the game’s best goalkeeper and he’s been picked up by just 5% of managers, while Basham, George Baldock and Enda Stevens (both 96 points) are among the highest scoring defenders — and they’re all cheap as chips.

Southampton — Danny Ings (147 points)

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Ings has been a reliable source of goals and points all season long, and was tipped to be among Gareth Southgate’s front-runners for a place in England’s Euro 202o squad… before the pandemic halted the European Championships for another 12 months.

It’ll be fascinating to see if the Saints striker can continue his run of form for the remainder of the season — and into next year.

Spurs — Son Heung-min (168 points)

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Another lengthy injury for Harry Kane has been just one of a series of hardships Spurs have faced this season, alongside the sale of Christian Eriksen and the woeful form of Dele Alli.

Son has perhaps been the pick of their players then, although the South Korean also suffered a season-ending injury back in February when he fractured his arm in the win against Aston Villa.

But much like United with Rashford and Paul Pogba, the Premier League’s three-month pause have given both Son and Kane enough time to properly recover from their respective injuries in time for the restart.

Watford — Ismaila Sarr (74 points)

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In recent seasons, Watford have provided us with fantasy stars like Ben Foster, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Troy Deeney — but all three have failed to perform this season, although Deeney spent the majority of the early months on the sidelines through injury.

Much was also expected from Sarr this season and despite a slow start to life at Vicarage Road, he’s now settled in well — with his crowning moment being the two goals he netted in the shock 3-0 win over Liverpool, which earned him 20 points in Game Week 27.

West Ham — Sebastien Haller (106 points)

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It’s been a disappointing season for West Ham, not least because summer signings like Pablo Fornals, Albian Ajeti and hapless goalkeeper Roberto failed to get things going at the London Stadium.

Haller has undoubtedly been the best of the bunch, although seven goals in the league so far is still quite a poor return from a player who cost around £45m in the summer.

Wolves — Adama Traore (184 points)

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Any one of Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota could make our list of best bargains, but Traore is undoubtedly head and shoulders above his teammates.

The muscly man has been the breakout star of the season — not only wowing Dream Team fans with his points tally, but his equally impressive total of 10 Star Man awards.

He’s also picked up more 7+ ratings on WhoScored than any other player in the Premier League this term, which shows the extent of his consistency.