Now let’s be honest – selecting defenders isn’t the most glamorous task for Dream Team bosses.
The majority of time is often spent trying to cram Harry Kane (£7m), Bruno Fernandes (£6.5m), Kevin De Bruyne (£6m), Sadio Mane (£5.5m) and Mohamed Salah (£6m) into the same squad – tried it, doesn’t work.
But ignore defence at your peril.
Eight of the top 22 highest-scorers last season were defenders and Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo (£5m) registered more points than Diogo Jota (£4m) and Jack Grealish (£4.5m) combined!
Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£4.5m) and Andrew Robertson (£4m) will likely be viewed as the ‘must haves’ heading into the 2021-22 campaign.
But a familiar face with an extraordinarily large head might just prove the best option for
hat manufacturers gaffers this season.
That’s right, Harry Maguire (£4.5m).
The Manchester United captain earned 184 points and finished the campaign as the fifth highest-scoring defender in Dream Team last year.
In fact, Maguire was 16th in the entire game – beating the likes of Raheem Sterling (£4.5m), Ilkay Gundogan (£4.5m) and Jamie Vardy (£4m) with a fraction of the ownership.
The 28-year-old was an ever-present under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having played every minute of every Premier League fixture up until his ankle injury.
And his dominant displays at the European Championships – where he helped England reach their first major final in 55 years – prove that his fitness needn’t be of concern.
Put bluntly – if he’s fit, he starts.
Priced at £4.5m, Maguire could represent an even better option this season given United’s new additions.
The Red Devils splashed out £115million on Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho (£4.5m) and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane
Sancho should help United sustain pressure upfield and has a wicked set-piece delivery, while Varane’s arrival should see an increase to last year’s tally of 13 clean sheets.
Varane and Maguire could hit the ground running in their partnership with a generous opening six fixtures against Leeds, Southampton, Wolves, Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa.
Of course, clean sheets aren’t the only source of points for Maguire.
The centre-back scored twice and produce two assists in the 2020-21 campaign and registered 36 attempts on goal – a record bettered only by Stuart Dallas (£3m) and Alexander-Arnold.
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