Everton sprung a nasty surprise on Dream Team bosses on the eve of Game Week 10 with the announcement of Lucas Digne’s (£2.6m) impending absence.
The Frenchman is set to miss approximately two months after suffering ankle ligament damage in training.
Two assists against Fulham in Game Week 9 looked promising for the 10.9% of gaffers relying on the Toffees’ left-back for regular points, but those very same individuals will now need to identify a replacement.
A red card against Southampton and defeat to Man United caused Digne’s price to drop considerably and so we must browse the bargain aisles for a suitable player to transfer in.
For starters, how about Ezri Konsa (£2.0m)?
The Aston Villa centre-back is the only defender in the top ten currently cheaper than Digne.
His 40 points are made up mostly of four clean sheets, two goals and a Star Man.
While the 23-year-old is the most obvious choice in some ways – Dean Smith’s side have relatively favourable fixtures until Christmas – there are drawbacks to mull over.
The Villains have lost their last three home games in the Premier League, conceding nine goals in the process.
If you like the idea of sticking by Everton then Michael Keane (£2.2m) may appeal.
Like Konsa, Everton’s centre-back has chipped in with the odd goal here and there this season, boosting his points total in the process.
Although 33 points seems like a modest return for a player who features in 15.4% of teams and it’s difficult to predict whether Keane will remain a goal threat for the duration of the campaign.
West Ham have been surprisingly organised this season with Aaron Cresswell (£1.9m) reminding everyone of the quality he possesses in his left foot.
No Premier League defender has created more chances than the 30-year-old in 2020/21 and no team have kept more clean sheets than David Moyes’ Hammers.
There’s no need to worry about Cresswell’s disciplinary either, he is yet to commit a single foul this season.
At £1.9m the ex-England international represents excellent value for money, having returned 32 points — a tally superior to those of Harry Maguire (£4.2m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£4.8m) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£3.4m).
Some of you may have some budget stored away for a rainy day such as this.
In which case you can consider some players ever so slightly more expensive than Digne.
James Justin (£2.8m) is just £0.2m more costly and is only one point behind Andy Robertson (£4.3m) at this stage.
He was comfortably ahead of the Scottish full-back before Game Week 9 but Leicester’s defeats to Liverpool and Braga took their toll.
Those who could afford Hector Bellerin (£3.0m) would be wise to analyse the Spaniard’s potential.
Arsenal may be struggling in the final third this season but only Spurs have conceded fewer league goals.
Eight points in Game Week 9 has taken Bellerin to the brink of the top ten defenders.
The speedy right-back has assisted four goals in all competitions this season and has arguably been the Gunners’ most encouraging outlet.