It’s time for an annual event that blows the Oscars out of the water, it’s Dream Team’s end of season awards for 2022/23!
Please humour us as we rattle through a host of imaginary gongs designed to recognise the good, the bad and the ugly of an eventful campaign.
The Value-For-Money Award
WINNER: Kieran Trippier (£5.3m)
While the England international’s price has been lofty for a few months now, it’s important to remember that he started the season at just £3m.
Trippier was half the price of Virgil van Dijk (£5.5m) prior to Game Week 1 and he’s produced 98 more points than the Dutchman at this stage.
With 222 points in total, he’s 57 ahead of his closest rival among defenders and has been in a bracket of his own since August if truth be told.
It could be argued that a Brighton player deserves this award but it’s incredibly rare that an asset dominates to Trippier’s degree having started at such an affordable price.
The Breakout Star Award
WINNER: Kaoru Mitoma (£4.4m)
There can only be one winner here.
The Seagulls’ winger is the very definition of a breakout star in that 99.99% of Dream Team gaffers had no idea who he was at the start of the campaign but the majority have admired his efforts since.
Mitoma has registered ten goals, eight assists and five Star Man awards in his debut Dream Team season.
The Japan international’s total of 153 points is only bettered by by six midfielders at this late juncture – Bruno Fernandes (£6.9m) and the best offerings from Man City and Arsenal.
Hearty congratulations to any gaffers who backed Mitoma when he cost just £1.5m!
The Constantly Overlooked Award
WINNER: Solly March (£4.8m)
Some more appreciation for Brighton here and well deserved given the south coast club have officially qualified for Europe for the first time in their history.
Dream Team bosses were quick to jump on Mitoma and at one point even Pascal Gross (£3,3m) was among the most-popular players in the game but March’s ownership never got above 3% for whatever reason.
The 28-year-old is a man reborn under Roberto De Zerbi; where before he was a dutiful utility player, now he’s a fully-fledged attacker who enjoyed by far his best spell for the club in terms of tangible returns before his recent injury.
The long-serving No7 has nine assists, seven goals and six Star Man awards in 2022/23 – nobody predicted that prior to Game Week 1.
March deserved to be more popular than he was this season – we suspect he’ll receive a boost in 2023/24, especially with European fixtures to bolster his schedule.
The Biggest Game Week Haul Award
WINNER: Erling Haaland (£10.2m)
Gabriel Jesus (£5.6m) won this award last season thanks mostly to a four-goal rout at home to Watford that steered him towards a haul of 43 points.
Incredibly, Man City’s new No9 has equalled or bettered that score THREE times in 2022/23.
Haaland took Crystal Palace and RB Leipzig for 43 points in Game Week 26 and he registered 45 points in Game Week 8 at the expense of Man United and Copenhagen.
But his greatest haul came early on in Game Week 4 when he plundered 51 points against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest through back-to-back hat-tricks – talk about a statement of intent.
The Biggest Flop Award
WINNER: Mason Mount (£2.8m)
We hate to be harsh but there’s no denying that popular players who underperform play a significant role in how a Dream Team campaign plays out.
Several Chelsea assets were in contention for this award but we gave it to the English midfielder purely because gaffers have come to expect so much more from him.
Last season, Mount was one of just three players who made it into double figures for both goals and assists in the Premier League, a noble effort that resulted in plentiful points.
This term, the Cobham graduate tapped out with three goals and four assists in all competitions for a return of 50 points in total.
Circling back to the last award, Haaland earned more points in the space of one fruitful Game Week than Mount did all season!
The David-vs-Goliath Award
WINNER: Fabian Schar (£3m)
This award goes to the asset who has ferociously punched above his weight.
The aforementioned Solly March was a strong candidate for this one, as was last season’s winner, Ivan Toney (£6.1m), but in the spirit of spreading out the love and crowning a new winner, Newcastle’s Swiss centre-back takes the accolade.
Schar started emphatically with an 18-point haul in his first outing and a steady stream of clean sheets throughout the first two thirds of the season meant he’s spent months on end above expensive assets from Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal in the rankings.
2022/23 has been the 31-year-old’s best Dream Team campaign by far and despite a dip in returns recently, his tally of 139 points still puts him sixth among defenders.
The Most Valuable Player Award
WINNER: Erling Haaland (£10.2m)
The most predictable winner of the lot and the most worthy too.
It’s easy to forget that one of the most prevalent conversations before Christmas revolved around whether or not the Norwegian had actually made Pep Guardiola’s side worse.
That talk soon evaporated as Haaland rapidly chased down the record for most goals in a Premier League season while also putting Man City on track to win a historic treble.
The prolific poacher has 430 points to his name with four fixtures still to fulfil – Cristiano Ronaldo’s all-time record of 477 is under threat.
For Dream Team gaffers, 2022/23 will always be known as ‘the Haaland season’.