2021/22 has broken new ground.
For the first time ever in Dream Team’s long history, three defenders are currently priced at £7.0m+.
The immense form of Joao Cancelo (£7.1m), Virgil van Dijk (£7.1m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m) now means any gaffer wishing to recruit the trio would need to account for a whopping £21.2m of their overall budget – that’s 42.4% of the starting £50million limit!
Experienced Dream Team managers have become accustomed to high prices for the game’s most prolific goalscorers but the this season has highlighted the way football has evolved in recent years.
Both Cancelo and Alexander-Arnold have achieved 200+ points at this stage because of their significant influence in attack.
Liverpool’s homegrown right-back has provided 16 assists already this term – a number any playmaker would be envious of let alone the England international’s fellow full-backs.
Man City’s Portuguese full-back has registered 11 goal involvements in all competitions but even that impressive figure doesn’t do justice to how influential he’s been to the success of Pep Guardiola’s side.
Cancelo essentially operates as an additional midfielder, exhibiting technical quality and confidence in possession to help unlock low blocks – no City player has taken more shots in the Premier League this season.
Van Dijk’s route to an eye-watering price has been a more traditional one.
No Liverpool player has played more minutes in the league than the imperious Dutchman in 2021/22, such is the difference in the Reds’ defence when he’s present compared to when he’s absent.
The 30-year-old has chipped in with three goals and an assist but his points tally of 188 is built on a mountain of clean sheets and a relentless stream of 7+ ratings.
This is how other defenders have crossed the £7.0m barrier in the past.
Truth be told, Reece James (£5.7m) would probably also be included in the ultra premium group had he not been sidelined with injury.
Chelsea’s rampaging wing-back produces more points-per-game than both Cancelo and Van Dijk – he’s also averaging a goal or assist every 108 minutes in the Premier League.
Alexander-Arnold has added 23 points to his total this Game Week so Dream Team bosses should expect his price to rise even further this Friday!
From a practical viewpoint, defenders have been so dominant that the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 formations are preferable to 3-4-3 this season.