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Riyad Mahrez is the only midfielder with 100+ points despite starting just six league games

A couple of weeks back we published an article saying that Bernardo Silva (£3.7m) had taken his rightful place at the top of the midfield rankings.

Clearly, Riyad Mahrez (£6.0m) took that personally.

Since then, not only has the Algerian regained his crown, he’s extended his lead over his fellow midfielders by a considerable margin.

In fact, the 30-year-old is the only player in his position with 100+ points at this stage of the season – 119 to be exact.

Top of the pile

Top of the pile

After a ten-point haul against Newcastle on Sunday, Mahrez has a 27-point lead over the next-best midfielder, Mason Mount (£4.6m).

The Chelsea playmaker has 92 points and the aforementioned Bernardo is one point further back to complete the podium.

Mahrez’s superiority is curious in many ways.

His talent is unquestioned but he’s started just six league games this season.

Granted, he’s made a further eight appearances as a substitute but 662 minutes doesn’t seem like enough action in the bread-and-butter competition for him to be so dominant.

For comparison, Bernardo has racked up 1,436 minutes in the Premier League this term already.

The secret to Mahrez’s success is that he’s started every one of Man City’s six Champions League fixtures, helping himself to five goals in Europe’s premier competition.

Add in two goals and an assist in two Carabao Cup games and the left-footed winger has earned 70 of his points in the additional competitions – 58.8% of his overall total.

Not a minute wasted

Not a minute wasted

His league statistics appear very healthy after he capitalised on two of the league’s most vulnerable defences: Leeds and Newcastle.

A goal and an assist in each of those fixtures, plus a Star Man award, resulted in an influx of 25 points at a time when Bernardo somehow missed out on all the fun – the Portuguese has added just two points in his last three outings.

The biggest blockade for Dream Team bosses thinking of recruiting the ex-Leicester man in the coming days is the Cup of Nations.

Mahrez will join up with Algeria in just over a week’s time meaning the Foxes’ visit to the Etihad on Boxing Day is likely to be his last City fixture for a while.

Depending on the Greens’ progress, Mahrez could be absent until mid-February – Algeria are the reigning champions of Africa having won the Cup of Nations in 2019.

It will be interesting to see where City’s No26 will be in the midfield rankings by the time he returns from international duty – will he still be top dog?