SOMETIMES it pays to remain loyal to a Dream Team asset.
Other times, retaining a stuttering star can cause significant harm.
With that in mind, we’ve identified five players we believe are more popular than they deserve to be right now…
Luke Shaw (£2.7m)
After capping an impressive Euro 2020 campaign with a goal in the final, Manchester United’s left-back was by far and away the most-selected defender ahead of Game Week 1 but he’s struggled to justify his popularity.
Man United’s top attacking assets have generally produced the goods despite the Red Devils’ shaky form but their defenders have paid a heavy price.
Shaw has just 13 points to his name after eleven Game Weeks – that’s the same tally as Newcastle’s Javier Manquillo (£1.7m)!
The England international features in 24.1% of teams, meaning he’s still the fourth-most popular asset in his position.
The issue being, Shaw’s price has tumbled from £4.0m to £2.7m which makes finding a direct replacement of a similar standing almost impossible.
Kasper Schmeichel (£2.3m)
Leicester’s captain has been a reliable option between the sticks in recent years so his relative popularity is understandable – he’s the fourth-most popular goalkeeper at the time of writing.
However, Schmeichel is not producing his usual returns this season with the Foxesunable to keep things tight at the back this term – they haven’t kept a clean sheet since the first week of the season.
Only four teams (Aston Villa, Watford, Newcastle and Norwich) have conceded more goals than Brendan Rodgers’ side in the league at this stage and, consequently, their Danish stopper has mustered just six points.
Aaron Ramsdale (£3.4m) is almost half as popular as Schmeichel but has 40 more points!
Raheem Sterling (£3.9m)
Another player who was heavily backed after a strong summer showing in England colours but whose form has dipped since returning to club duty.
Sterling has played more games under Pep Guardiola than any other player, recently overtaking Lionel Messi, but his minutes have dried up this season with significant competition for places in Manchester City’s front three.
The 26-year-old has started just three league games and one Champions League fixture this term which equates to nowhere near enough playing time to justify his ownership of 10.2%.
For comparison, Said Benrahma (£3.9m) is currently the same price as Sterling and has 72 points to his name to the latter’s 26.
Harry Maguire (£3.3m)
There’s no denying the theme of Euro 2020 stars suffering brutal hangovers.
Man United’s skipper has been criticised for his performances in recent weeks with many questioning whether he’s 100% fit.
Maguire has contributed to just two clean sheets in all competitions this season and has incurred minus points in six fixtures – hence his lowly total of 13.
The fact he’s still more popular (14.3% ownership) than Reece James (£5.9m), Ben Chilwell (£4.9m) and several other successful Chelsea defenders almost defies belief – like Shaw, this seems to be an example of the sunk cost fallacy.
Jack Grealish (£4.4m)
In truth, Jadon Sancho (£2.8m) deserves to be on this list but we’ve already referenced his plight enough – we’re assuming the 9.8% of gaffers still backing him despite the fact he’s yet to score a single point have just given up on Dream Team this year.
Perhaps more relevant is the punchy 31.4% ownership of Man City’s £100million man.
Grealish is the second-most popular midfielder right now and while his points total of 42 is certainly respectable, it’s surpassed by no fewer than 15 players in his position.
The 26-year-old has done well enough since his high-profile transfer, he’s certainly performed better than the other names on this list, but he’s hit something of a blockade in the form of Phil Foden’s (£5.7m) impressive showings – both men prefer to operate from the left flank.
It was notable that Grealish didn’t play any part in City’s Manchester derby victory, a confident performance Guardiola will hope to repeat as often as possible.
Ditching the popular No10 is not a matter of urgency by any means but it’s hard to see why he’s more widely selected than all but one other midfielder at this point.
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