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How to use your February transfers with European football set to return

Dream Team gaffers will be tucking into a breakfast of five steaming transfers tomorrow morning.

February is a key month as it signals the start of the Champions League and Europa League knockout stages.

For the past two months, you could have enjoyed the returns of players like Tomas Soucek (£3.6m), Patrick Bamford (£3.2m) and Nick Pope (£4.0m) without worrying too much about the schedule.

This month however, you should prioritise players with as many fixtures (points-scoring opportunities) as possible.

We’ve identified three possible transfers that may help you in your quest for mini-league glory.

Remember, even if these specific suggestions don’t apply to your team, you can extrapolate the logic and apply it to your XI.

DREAM TEAM SPECIAL: Marcos Alonso to score against Spurs and Chelsea to keep a clean sheet — 22/1 (was 16/1)

Are you bored of us recommending him yet?

Are you bored of us recommending him yet?

OUT: James Rodriguez (£3.6m), IN: Harvey Barnes (£3.2m)

The Colombian playmaker has rediscovered some form recently but he sat out Everton’s win at Elland Road and the Toffees have just four fixtures remaining this month, three of which are against teams also battling for Champions League qualification.

Whereas Barnes has the potential to feature in seven more games this February as Leicester play Slavia Prague home and away in the Europa League round of 32.

Rodriguez averages more points per game than the Foxes’ winger but for sheer volume, Barnes is the better option.

OUT: Emiliano Martinez (£3.2m), IN: David de Gea (£2.4m)

Again, this one is all about squeezing the schedule for all it’s worth.

The Argentine keeper is likely to play four more games this month and with just two clean sheets in his last eight games, how many points is he likely to take from Arsenal, Brighton, Leicester and Leeds?

Man United’s No1 could play seven more games before March, depending on whether or not Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decides to use Dean Henderson (£2.6m) in the other competitions.

De Gea is reasonably priced and enjoyed his best Game Week of the season most recently by accumulating 16 points in the games against Arsenal and Southampton.

Are you neglecting last season’s best performer?

Are you neglecting last season’s best performer?

OUT: Harry Kane (£7.2m), IN: Mohamed Salah (£6.5m) OR Raheem Sterling (£6.2m)

Dream Team’s top points scorer is injured and his return date is unknown for now so the first task for tens of thousands of bosses will be to find a Kane replacement.

And there’s no value in trying to be cute, you need an equally prestigious forward.

Liverpool’s Egyptian sensation is the Premier League’s top scorer and has rarely disappointed in recent years but the Reds’ recent revival was thrown into reverse with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Brighton.

Sterling has 45 points fewer than Salah at this stage of the season but Man City are on the warpath having linked 13 consecutive victories.

City have one more game than Liverpool this month by virtue of an FA Cup tie against Swansea but of course it’s hard to predict how often their electric No7 will feature as Pep Guardiola continues to rest and rotate his talented squad.

One last thing, remember to keep at least two transfers back to combat any injury concerns later in the month — football moves fast these days!

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