With Kevin De Bruyne ruled out with injury for up to six weeks, we offer our advice on the best replacements for the midfielder in Fantasy Premier League ahead of gameweek 20.
Son Heung-min – £9.7
With a goal and two assists in his last five league matches, Son Heung-min is currently going through his worst run in terms of end product this season. The funny thing about this, however, is the fact that his underlying numbers have actually improved lately.
As noted by Abubakar Siddiq on Twitter, Son’s shots in the box, big chances, and expected goals per 90 minutes have all increased in the past three gameweeks. Indeed, he has been recording two big chances per game over that period, as opposed to the one big chance per game he has averaged over the course of the season.
These statistics suggest a haul is incoming, and with a struggling Liverpool on the horizon next weekend, it could come sooner rather than later.
James Maddison – £7.2
Having suffered with injury for much of 2020, James Maddison has hit the ground running in 2021. The Leicester City midfielder has scored three from three this year, and also found the net against Brentford in the FA Cup to keep his hot streak going.
Maddison’s underlying stats are not the most impressive over the past five gameweeks – eight shots, three shots in the box, one big chance, 0.74xG – but it feels like he is only revving his engine at the moment and is getting ready to take off in a big way.
He certainly passes the eye test, but if you’re unconvinced then plump for Harvey Barnes (£6.8), who has three goals and an assist in his last five matches. With Jamie Vardy out injured, he could become the focal point in attack over the next month.
Ilkay Gundogan – £5.5
A man who has rarely if ever been a viable fantasy asset, Ilkay Gundogan is enjoying his best spell in a Manchester City shirt. No midfielder is on better form in FPL terms, earning 7.5 points on average over the last five gameweeks.
The German is the top scoring midfielder over the past five gameweeks with four goals and leads the way for shots in the box (13). In terms of shots (16), big chances (4), and expected goals (2.32xG) among midfielders over that time, only Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne have done better.
As expressed on The Fantasy Faithful podcast this week, I have reservations over Gundogan without De Bruyne in that City midfield. However, the team has been on fire lately and provided they can keep the momentum going, he is an excellent pick at just £5.5, particularly because he’s now on penalty duty.