Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville opened the floodgates on Monday night.
Sky Sports’ premier pundits both gave their opinions on which players should be included in the PFA Team of the Year, prompting every man and their dog to do the same.
And we certainly don’t consider ourselves detached from the mainstream.
Except we’re keeping our opinion firmly to ourselves and have constructed the XI using Dream Team points as the sole deciding factor.
This could all change before the season ends of course but we feel obligated to follow Carra and G Nev’s lead.
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GOALKEEPER: Edouard Mendy (£4.0m) – 156 points
After the horror of Kepa Arrizabalaga (£3.2m), Chelsea’s goalkeeping problem has become an area of great strength with the addition of the Senegal international.
Mendy is Dream Team’s best custodian despite joining a few weeks into the season.
DEFENDER: Joao Cancelo (£5.6m) – 242 points
The Portuguse full-back remains the only defender with over 200 points to his name.
In many games, Cancelo has been a defender in the loosest possible sense of the word this campaign, spending most of his time as an auxiliary midfielder.
DEFENDER: Reece James (£5.1m) – 192 points
Man City reigned supreme for a while but it looks as if Chelsea defenders will ultimately triumph as a collective.
James’ ability to influence the game at both ends of the pitch has earned him an array of 7+ ratings on top of the clean sheets.
DEFENDER: Ben Chilwell (£4.6m) – 189 points
The England international would have 200+ points under his belt had Thomas Tuchel not taken a shine to Marcos Alonso (£3.3m).
Chilwell is still learning how to play as a wing-back but it hasn’t taken him long to adapt to the role and his points tally is reflective of an impressive first season at Stamford Bridge.
MIDFIELDER: Bruno Fernandes (£5.4m) – 311 points
The undisputed king of midfielders.
It’s ultra rare for one player to be over 100 points clear of their closest rival but that’s the situation the Portuguese midfielder’s relentless output has manufactured.
Sure, he’s benefited from a healthy dose of penalties but his overall quality is evident.
MIDFIELDER: Phil Foden (£5.1m) – 208 points
In the space of what feels like a few weeks, we’ve gone from the Man City youngster being seemingly hopeful of a spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad to a clamour for Gareth Southgate to build the starting XI around him.
Many expected Foden to take David Silva’s mantle but he’s proved most effective as the left prong of City’s front three, such is his eye for goal.
MIDFIELDER: Kevin De Bruyne (£6.1m) – 194 points
By now it’s almost taken for granted that the Belgian will be among the best Dream Team assets as long as he doesn’t miss too many games through injury.
He continues to carve out a legacy as one of the Premier League’s all-time best midfielders having reached double-figures for league assists for the fourth time in five seasons.
MIDFIELDER: Riyad Mahrez (£5.5m) – 190 points
It wasn’t that long ago the Algerian appeared to be something of a luxury player at the Etihad, one who sat on the bench and was only deployed to dismantle lower league opposition in the domestic cups.
However, over the course of several months, Mahrez has established himself in Pep Guardiola’s best XI – three goals over two Champions League semi-final legs against PSG cemented his lofty status.
FORWARD: Harry Kane (£7.1m) – 329 points
There are many ways of describing Spurs’ talisman but this season his brilliance evidenced by the fact he is simultaneously the league’s top scorer and top assist-provider.
The next fitness concern is never far away but he continues rack up points with carefree abandon – a Dream Team titan.
FORWARD: Mohamed Salah (£5.7m) – 247 points
Returns from Anfield may have diminished but Liverpool’s No11 has not allowed himself to be suppressed.
The Reds have had a season to forget but Salah could console himself with a Golden Boot if he’s able to hunt down Kane in the final weeks.
FORWARD: Marcus Rashford (£4.5m) – 246 points
20 goals and 14 assists in all competitions represents an excellent Dream Team campaign for Man United’s boy wonder.
In recent times, too much responsibility has been placed on his young shoulders but with Fernandes and Edinson Cavani (£3.8m) providing ample threat, Rashford has been allowed to flourish without excessive pressure.
Eight of these players are likely to feature in Dream Team Euros – our fantasy football offering for this summer’s premier international tournament – so there’s every chance the points will continue to flow.
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