Staying on top of your Dream Team during the festive period can be tricky.
No doubt there a plenty of gaffers out there who need to whip their XI into shape this month, especially with January’s monthly competition about to get underway – the winner will take home a brand new PlayStation 5!
With that in mind, allow us to suggest some hypothetical transfers that will think could be profitable.
As always, bear in mind that these recommendations are unlikely to apply specifically to your team but you should still be able to extrapolate the logic.
OUT: Ben White (£4.3m), IN: Fabian Schar (£4m)
On the surface this suggestion looks counterproductive.
After all, there’s no doubt whatsoever that Arsenal are performing at a high level right now and so ditching one of their most consistent players feels wrong.
However, the Gunners are scheduled to face Oxford, Spurs and Man United this month, Mikel Arteta is likely to rest his regular starters against League One opposition in the FA Cup and many supporters would back both teams to score in the following league fixtures, which would likely mean blanks for White and his fellow defenders.
Newcastle boast the best defensive record in the Premier League this season and they’ll be hopeful of more clean sheets in the coming weeks when they face Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester, Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Kieran Trippier (£5.7m) reigns supreme among Dream Team defenders with a whopping 148 points but Schar is the current runner-up with 95 points to his name at an average of 5.3 per game.
Eddie Howe’s side have conceded just 11 goals in 18 league games this term and three of them were inflicted by Man City in the third fixture of the campaign.
OUT: Virgil van Dijk (£5.1m), IN: John Stones (£5m)
Liverpool’s No4 is set to see a specialist about his hamstring injury and is facing a longer spell on the sidelines than first thought.
The Dutchman currently features in 15.1% of teams so plenty of gaffers are in need of a replacement and, given the schedule, a Man City defender looks to be a clever option.
Pep Guardiola won’t be happy with how many goals his side have conceded this term but still the defending champions boast the third-best defence in the league at this stage.
With Ruben Dias sidelined, Stones is expected to start at the heart of defence this evening for the foreseeable future – City face Chelsea (x2), Southampton, Man United, Spurs and Wolves before the end of the month.
No City player is immune from rotation but the England international should get more than his fair share of minutes in the coming weeks.
OUT: Jarrod Bowen (£3.6m), IN: Bryan Mbeumo (£2m)
Now here’s a wildcard!
West Ham haven’t won a game outside the Europa Conference League since late October and Bowen, last season’s breakout star, has mustered just three points in his last eight outings.
The 26-year-old has scored two goals in 18 league starts and is yet to provide an assist, hence his disappointing Dream Team returns – his backers should have changed strategy a while ago in all honesty.
If you’re after a cheap differential option with favourable fixtures ahead then look no further than Mbeumo.
The 23-year-old is generously categorised as a midfielder but essentially plays up top for Brentford and with Ivan Toney (£5m) out injured he’s momentarily the main man, as evidenced by his Star Man showing against Liverpool this Game Week.
The Bees face West Ham, Bournemouth and Leeds in their next three games, all of whom are struggling at the wrong end of the table and have issues at the back.
This switch has the dual purpose of freeing up plenty of cash to invest in improvements elsewhere.
Right now, Mbeumo has an ownership of 0.5% – dare you go so dramatically against the grain this month?