Time to nail our colours to the mast.
With Dream Team gaffers eagerly submitting their XIs ahead of the new season, we’ve decided to rank the five absolute best midfield options.
This is just our opinion of course and if you see it differently then we encourage you to go with your gut – that’s the beauty of Dream Team – but here’s hoping this helps the undecided out there get their engine rooms locked in with Game Week 1 rapidly approaching.
Before we get into the list, it’s worth noting we’ve taken into account each player’s point-scoring potential as well as their starting price – so a £5m midfielder expected to score 150 points would rank lower than a £3m one forecasted to bank 130 points because of the value-for-money factor. Got it? Good.
5 Bukayo Saka (£4m)
Still just 20 years old, Arsenal’s No7 scored 12 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions last season for a return of 160 Dream Team points.
The Gunners would have been disappointed to miss out on Champions League qualification but the thought of an ever-improving Saka taking on some Europa League minnows should be on the mind of Dream Team bosses.
With Mikel Arteta having recruited a couple of old acquaintances from Man City, his side look well set to go again this term – they’ve won four out of their five pre-season friendlies so far, including a 4-0 win over Chelsea.
Saka will be a key player for Arsenal once again and at £4 he’s cheaper than several of his England colleagues who may end up providing fewer goal involvements over the course of the year.
4 Dejan Kulusevski (£3.5m)
The Sweden international adjusted to life on English shores remarkably quickly upon signing for Spurs in January.
He scored five goals and provided eight assists in the second half of the campaign at a rate of one goal involvement every 97.5 minutes!
It goes without saying that if he were to maintain that output over the course of a whole season then he’d finish among the very best players in the game.
Kulusevski has the luxury of servicing Harry Kane (£7.5m) and Son Heung-min (£6.5m), two of the best finishers in Europe, and more broadly we expect to Spurs to continue their uprising under Antonio Conte after their recent transfer window activity.
With an ownership of 13.7% he’s comfortably the most-popular midfielder in his price bracket right now.
3 Mason Mount (£5m)
Only three players in the England international’s position have a higher starting price but here gaffers are paying for reliability.
The Cobham academy product has played over 50 games in each of his three seasons with Chelsea’s first team and has been a regular source of goals and assists from the get-go.
Last term, he was one of only three players to reach double figures for both metrics in the Premier League alongside Jarrod Bowen (£4.5m) and Mohamed Salah (£7.5m).
Essentially, Mount is the first name on the teamsheet for one of the three best clubs and he specialises in goal involvements, Dream Team’s primary currency among midfielders.
The 23-year-old racked up 194 points in 2021/22 and has shown no signs of slowing down as his career progresses.
2 Luis Diaz (£5m)
Liverpool’s Colombian winger is the most-popular asset in his position as things stand.
38.2% of Dream Team bosses are backing Diaz to pick up where he left off after he hit the ground running in English football following his signing from Porto in Janaury.
Six goals and four assists from 21 appearances (five as a substitute) sounds good but his stats don’t reflect just how influential he was for the Reds at the back end of 2021/22.
Tenacious and skilful in equal measure, the 25-year-old resembles the player Jurgen Klopp would grow in a laboratory to suit his exact needs.
With Sadio Mane having departed, the left flank is all Diaz’s this season and 20+ goal involvements looks very achievable.
1 Kevin De Bruyne (£7m)
Even taking value-for-money into account, we had to place Man City’s playmaker-in-chief at the top of the pile.
Simply put, the brilliant Belgian has already done enough to be remembered as one of the greatest players in Premier League history.
Last season was his best ever in front of goal, finishing with a tally of 19 in all comps – several of them long-range screamers.
De Bruyne will start 2022/23 as the most-expensive midfielder but that’s mostly because he topped the rankings in his position last time out with 245 points.
It says a lot that even among Pep Guardiola’s star-studded squad, KDB is in a bracket of his own.
Fitting him into your XI requires a significant investment but the fear of missing out when you don’t have him in your XI can be crippling – remember his four-goal rout against Wolves?
Will have noticed we’ve omitted some huge names, Raheem Sterling (£5m), Jarrod Bowen (£4.5m), Phil Foden (£5m), Bruno Fernandes (£5.5m), James Maddison (£5m) and Riyad Mahrez (£5.5m) to name a few.
We’re happy to be proved wrong!
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