£50million is a generous budget for Dream Team gaffers to work with but with the likes of Harry Kane (£7.0m) and Bruno Fernandes (£6.5m) proving popular, most will need some cheaper options to make their XI work.
Identifying the best value-for-money options often means the difference between mediocrity and mini-league glory.
Enter Raphinha (£3.0m).
In terms of pure entertainment value, few players impressed quite like the Brazilian winger last season.
It took a few weeks for him to establish himself in Marcelo Bielsa’s first-choice XI after signing from Rennes for £17million in the summer but it soon become clear he had the talent necessary to make things happen in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old oozed confidence from every pore as he revelled in the Whites’ breakneck attacking styles, embarrassing defenders on a weekly basis with his skills in the wide areas.
His outrageous turn on Gary Cahill at Elland Road was arguably the standout trick of the whole campaign.
Crucially, there was plenty of substance on top of style as Raphina ended 2020/21 with six goals and nine assists in the league despite only starting 26 games.
A goal involvement every 158 minutes in the Premier League is a fantastic rate for a winger so it’s no wonder Raphinha is among the most-popular midfielders in Dream Team at this stage.
With an ownership of 6.3% he’s the eleventh-most popular player in his position, not far off Riyad Mahrez (£5.0m) and James Maddison (£3.5m).
Bielsa adjusted his approach as the season progressed with Leeds’ results becoming more normal towards the end of the term but El Loco will demand his team attack in numbers once 2021/22 gets underway, making Raphinha an appealing asset.
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Leeds finished 9th last season, a very respectable finish upon their return to the top flight, but obviously their players won’t have additional European fixtures in which to score points this coming season.
Ideally you want your players to compete in as many competitions as possible so there may be times when it’s best to rotate Raphinha out for a midfielder with a busier schedule.
It’s not the easiest start for the Yorkshire club either, with Man United, Everton and Liverpool to play in their first four games before their fixtures become more favourable.
However, last season showed Leeds are very much a team for Dream Team bosses to keep track of, particularly when the goals are flowing.