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How Dream Team World Cup bosses should replace their eliminated England stars

England’s players are coming home but football, sadly, is not.

The Three Lions were more than competitive against France in the last of the four quarter-finals but the contest boiled down to moments, those taken by Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud and a golden one missed by Harry Kane.

Several of Gareth Southgate’s troops were among the most-popular players in Dream Team World Cup, leaving swathes of gaffers in need of replacements ahead of the semi-finals.

Let’s run through the most-appealing options.

Harry Kane (£7.5m)

Kane still features in over a quarter of teams

Kane still features in over a quarter of teams

England’s skipper is the joint-most expensive player in the game alongside Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

It just so happens that the latter pair are in a two-horse race to finish the tournament as Dream Team World Cup’s best performer.

Argentina’s No10 holds a narrow lead at the top of the rankings right now with 50 points to his junior club team-mate’s 48.

Croatia and Morocco have proven to be defensively resolute but surely it makes sense to back Messi or Mbappe in Kane’s place ahead of the midweek fixtures.

Alternatively, Olivier Giroud may fit the bill.

France’s all-time top scorer has four goals at this tournament, one fewer than Mbappe, and he has 29 points to show for efforts after his headed winner against England.

Harry Maguire (£4m)

Morocco are brilliantly organised out of possession but they don’t offer too much going forward.

Swapping Maguire for Theo Hernandez, France’s most attack-minded defender, seems like a wise move if you think Didier Deschamps’ men will put an end to the Atlas Lions’ impressive underdog run.

Dream Team World Cup’s top defender

Dream Team World Cup’s top defender

Conversely, if you think the North Africans have at least one more upset in them then Achraf Hakimi is your man – he leapfrogged England’s No6 to become Dream Team World Cup’s best defender with a five-point haul against Portugal, taking his overall tally to 34.

Croatia will hope to mirror the rearguard that frustrated Brazil when they meet Argentina on Tuesday night.

Dejan Lovren has the most points among their defenders but Josko Gvardiol has looked most impressive to the naked eye – the pair cost £2.5m each, almost half Maguire’s price.

If Zlatko Dalic’s side have a weakness it’s their relative bluntness up front so perhaps backing an Argentina clean sheet is the way to go, in that case it’s a toss up between certain stater Nicolas Otamendi or right-back Nahuel Molina.

The latter scored the Copa America champions’ opening goal against Louis van Gaal side – he has 18 points to his name.

Jude Bellingham (£4m)

Bellingham is the most-selected of England’s midfielders

Bellingham is the most-selected of England’s midfielders

The two best midfielders still active in Qatar are Hakim Ziyech (18 points) and Adrien Rabiot (16 points) but given the expected pattern of the semi-final, Ousmane Dembele may be a more tempting replacement for England’s teenage star.

The Barcelona winger is more attack-minded than his team-mate and will probably see more of the ball than Morocco’s talisman.

Those gaffers with a spare £1m could wait for Argentina’s starting line-up to be announced and then bring in Angel Di Maria if he was selected.

The Albiceleste’s No11 is more likely to register a goal involvement than the more defensive-minded midfielders available to Lionel Scaloni such as Enzo Fernandez or Rodrigo de Paul, although the former has contributed in the final third in this tournament.

Luka Modric is a class act but his efforts have only returned five points so far, Ivan Perisic has three times than total and is the same price as Bellingham.