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5 players who are performing way above expectations this season

Having spotlighted a few popular players who have been below par since the start of campaign, it’s only fair we balance things out with a more positive approach.

We’ve identified five players who have performed way above expectations in 2020/21.

For those who rolled the dice at the start of the season, these guys have been the Dream Team equivalent of finding a crumpled tenner in a jacket pocket.



On the plane for Euro 2021

Getty Images - Getty
On the plane for Euro 2021

We couldn’t start with anyone else, could we?

The man the kids call DCL is the Premier League’s joint-top scorer at this stage and, more importantly, only Harry Kane (£7.5m) has stacked up more Dream Team points.

Carlo Ancelotti has made it his mission to turn the 23-year-old into a taller Pippo Inzaghi (without the offsides) and the ambitious project is progressing better than most would have estimated.

There are few better centre-forwards in European football in terms of aerial ability but Calvert-Lewin has shown he’s not a one-trick pony since the change of management at Goodison Park.

13 league goals in 2019/20 hinted at the Englishman’s potential but not even his most optimistic family members would have predicted he’d be averaging a goal every 88 minutes by mid-November.

Let’s take a look at a comparison between Calvert-Lewin and a forward most would have considered to be a Golden Boot favourite this season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£5.5m).


The comparison only becomes more flattering the further you dig into the stats.


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Beyond the call of duty

AP:Associated Press
Beyond the call of duty

Extremely shrewd Dream Team gaffers may have fancied the Leicester youngster before the season got underway because of Ricardo Pereira’s (£4.0m) lengthy layoff.

But even the smartest of alecks surely wouldn’t have expected Justin to be one of the outright best defenders in Dream Team at this stage.

In fact, the Foxes full-back is currently the best performing defender out of all those who don’t play for Chelsea.


The south coast’s answer to David Beckham

Getty Images - Getty
The south coast’s answer to David Beckham

Perhaps unfairly, Southampton’s No8 has a reputation as the quintessential solid Premier League midfielder.

The St Mary’s faithful have long recognised their lad’s ability but he has generally been underestimated and underrated elsewhere.

This season, with Saints flying high, the set-piece specialist has finally convinced a few doubters that he operates above the average.

Only five midfielders boast more points than the 41 Ward-Prowse has accumulated this season.

While goals from open play don’t come along as frequently as some would like, he poses a constant threat from free-kicks.

Whether he can maintain his lofty Dream Team ranking remains to be seen but he’s proven to be great value for money so far.


Not too posh to press

Not too posh to press

Without fail, every pre-season review of Leeds questioned whether their violin-playing striker was clinical enough to hold his own in the Premier League.

A tireless presser and tactically astute, he suits Marcelo Bielsa’s system perfectly but his efficiency in front of goal (or lack thereof) suggested a player who might find goals hard to come by upon his return to the top flight.

What a load of nonsense that turned out to be!

With seven goals in eight league games, Bamford is thriving in the Premier League, much to the pleasant surprise of Leeds fans everywhere.

Imagine the reaction of Yorkshire’s most cynical if you had met them on the eve of the new season and told them Bamford would have nearly three times as many Dream Team points as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£5.6m) at the November international break.

KURT ZOUMA (£3.3m)


Getty Images - Getty

Finally we come to the joint-best defender Dream Team currently has to offer.

Such was Kepa Arrizabalaga’s (£2.0m) unnerving presence between the sticks, Dream Team gaffers were initially hesitant to stock up on Chelsea defenders.

Edouard Mendy’s (£3.2m) angelic arrival at Stamford Bridge has transformed the Blues in quick time, to the extent they now boast the top four defenders in terms of points.

Zouma has chipped in with three goals on top of the clean sheets to rack up a whopping 73 points — not bad for someone who hasn’t always been a guaranteed starter.

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