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Is Joao Cancelo becoming the Bruno Fernandes of defenders?

So often the enemy of Dream Team managers everywhere, Pep Guardiola pulled off a rare heroic move on Sunday night.

With 20 minutes to go at the Etihad and Man City 3-0 up against a resigned Crystal Palace side, he substituted Kevin De Bruyne (£6.4m) for Joao Cancelo (£4.9m) after the Belgian had suitably enjoyed himself.

And just like that, the Portuguese defender added five points to his tally.


Out on his own

Out on his own

The hosts saw out the game without concern, adding a fourth through Raheem Sterling (£6.7m) in the 88th minute, allowing Cancelo to continue his excellent Dream Team form without breaking sweat.

The 26-year-old has gathered 46 points since City drew with West Brom in Game Week 12.

This hot streak has coincided with Chelsea’s dip in form and, consequently, a downturn in returns for the defenders who dominated Dream Team for much of the season: Kurt Zouma (£3.1m), Ben Chilwell (£3.8m), and co.

As a result, Cancelo has become the outright best Dream Team of 2020/21, topping the charts with 123 points.

And there’s a considerable gap of 19 points to his closest rivals, the aforementioned Zouma and team-mate John Stones (£4.4m).

So is fair to say that Cancelo is becoming the Bruno Fernandes (£5.7m) of defenders?

Not you, Pepe!

Not you, Pepe!

Man United’s talisman set the bar for dominance in his position when he went 50 points clear of the next-best midfielder a few weeks back.

The gap has reduced since De Bruyne shifted gears but Fernandes remains 38 points clear of the Belgian.

Such efforts gave gaffers little choice but to relent to Fernandes’ brilliance — his current ownership of 71% is one of the highest in Dream Team history.

It’s not inconceivable that Cancelo, another Portugal international residing in Manchester, will experience a similar surge in popularity if he continues to collect points so keenly.

However, where Fernandes is in a league of his own entirely compared to Man United’s other midfielders, it’s almost impossible for Cancelo to get too far ahead of Stones and Ruben Dias (£4.4m) given how points are allocated to all defenders involved in clean sheets.

Certainly you should expect Cancelo’s ownership of 14.9% to increase, spiking when transfers are replenished in February.

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