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The three best Dream Team transfers of the season

For a hardcore Dream Team gaffer, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a rewarding transfer.

When you ditch a popular player for a risky differential and the latter bags a huge double-digit haul while the former blanks, it’s nothing short of euphoric.

So what were the best transfers of the 2021/22 season?

OUT: Bruno Fernandes (£6.2m), IN: Jarrod Bowen (£3.1m) – Game Week 14

A new hero among Dream Team managers

A new hero among Dream Team managers

Prior to Game Week 14, Man United’s Portuguese midfielder had amassed an impressive 82 points and looked destined to finish among the top assets in his position once again.

At the same time, West Ham’s No20 had shown evidence of his transformation but four consecutive blanks meant he lagged 29 points behind Fernandes.

At this juncture, a barely perceptible slither of Dream Team bosses made the swap and brought in Bowen just before West Ham faced an in-form Chelsea at the London Stadium – it’s worth noting he was half the price of the Red Devils’ talisman at the time.

What possessed these brave gaffers to pull the trigger on this transfer we’ll never know but it proved to be a stroke of genius.

Bowen banked ten points as the Hammers beat Thomas Tuchel’s side 3-2 in East London while Fernandes blanked at home to Crystal Palace.

The ex-Hull winger continued to build momentum, taking a further 56 points from his next eight outings.

Meanwhile, Fernandes took Norwich, Newcastle, Burnley, Wolves and Aston Villa for a grand total of… minus one – his price dropped £1.2m as a result.

By the end of Game Week 19, Bowen was 38 points ahead of the Old Trafford resident in the overall rankings – an astonishing turnaround.

OUT: Mohamed Salah (£7.9m), IN: Son Heung-min (£4.9m) – Game Week 29

Gold standard

Gold standard

The fact Liverpool’s prolific No11 returned from the Africa Cup of Nations stripped of the superhuman form he possessed beforehand was something of an elephant in the room for Dream Team managers.

Such was Salah’s dominance between until then that many felt it was sacrilege to even consider the possibility that there might be a better alternative.

However, a few savvy gaffers recognised the Egyptian’s return to the mortal realm and opted to switch him for Spurs’ South Korean superstar just before Game Week 29.

Lo and behold, Salah was benched for the Reds’ FA Cup match-up with Nottingham Forest while Son scored a brace against West Ham to claim the Star Man award and 18 points.

This was the start of a late surge that eventually led to Tottenham’s No7 sharing the Golden Boot with Salah – he followed a goal and an assist against Newcastle with a hat-trick at Aston Villa.

This spree saw him add 61 points in the space of three fixtures at a time when Salah could muster just five points across five games.

The Anfield hero rallied with 30 points in two Game Weeks soon after but Son responded with 53 points in his final five outings to comfortably outscore Dream Team’s overall best performer in the last quarter of the campaign.

OUT: Riyad Mahrez (£7.1m), IN: Wilfried Zaha (£3.7m) – Game Week 29

Drinking rival fans’ tears

Drinking rival fans’ tears

Last but not least, it’s a stroke of genius from a gaffer we can only assume is a Crystal Palace season ticket holder.

Somebody brought the Eagles’ dribble-loving winger into their XI on the eve of Game Week 29 in place of Man City’s top scorer for the season.

Mahrez was by far and away Dream Team’s best midfielder at the time but he had blanked in his two previous outings, including a trip to Selhurst Park (the puzzle is all coming together).

The timing could not have been better as Zaha plundered 28 points in his next two games as Palace battered Everton and Arsenal.

Further strong showings against Leeds, Southampton, Watford and Man United meant the Ivorian banked 66 points after the ingenious transfer – Mahrez pouched 34 points in the same time frame.

When all was said and done, Zaha scored 15 goals in all competitions and finished as the fifth-most expensive asset in his position.

Huge kudos to the visionaries who made this hugely effective transfers – here’s to more of the same next season!