Leicester City goalkeeper Danny Ward, £4.1million valued on Fantasy Premier League - FPL Bargain with unlimited transfers

An XI of FPL bargains to consider after the World Cup break

The Premier League is almost back – and with it, selection headaches over your FPL team.

The World Cup break means there’s something a bit different in Fantasy Premier League this year; you’re blessed with unlimited transfers.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably spend a considerable portion of Christmas daydreaming about how you can fit Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah in your team. To afford a few big hitters, you’re going to make some sacrifices elsewhere but fear not – we’ve got you covered with some brilliant bargain options.

Here’s an XI of Fantasy Premier League’s best budget options to consider before the Boxing Day deadline, arranged in a 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Danny Ward – £4.1m

Following Kasper Schmeichel’s shock move to Nice in the summer, there were some question marks over who would guard the net for Leicester this season.

Wales international Ward appears to have won that battle. He didn’t cover himself in glory at the World Cup, and he endured a shaky start as Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes looked like relegation fodder in the early weeks of the campaign, but he’s improved as the campaign has gone on.

The 29-year-old kept five clean sheets in his last six Premier League appearances before the break, conceding just one goal – and that was to Manchester City.

Only Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale have kept more clean sheets this season. £4.1million is an absolute steal.

Defence: Ben White – £4.7m

White left England’s camp for still-undisclosed personal reasons midway through Qatar 2022, but there’s no suggestion he’ll be kept out of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal XI. He returned to training right away and featured in the Gunners’ mid-season friendlies.

The versatile defender was exceptional before the World Cup break. Slotting in at right-back, White has extra license to get forward, as he demonstrated with an excellent assist against September back in October.

£4.7million is a bargain.

Defence: William Saliba – £5.3m

Another Arsenal defender to consider is Saliba. He’s a bit more expensive, but justifies the fee.

Having taken White’s pace alongside Gabriel in the centre of defence, the Frenchman has arguably been the best-performing centre-back of the Premier League season so far.

Saliba barely featured for France so should return from Qatar relatively fresh. He’s produced a number of man-of-the-match displays and has even contributed a couple of goals so far.

His price has risen exponentially since the summer, when it was unknown the extent to which he was in Arteta’s plans, but £5.3million still represents relatively good value.

READ: 14 brilliant stats that show how good Arsenal have been in 2022-23 so far

Defence: Sven Botman – £4.4m

It was a bit of a head-scratcher that Louis Van Gaal omitted the brilliant Botman from his Netherlands squad for the World Cup, but Eddie Howe and legions of excitable Newcastle fans aren’t complaining.

The 22-year-old didn’t look entirely convincing on his first couple of Premier League appearances following his summer move from Lille, but he’s grown into the campaign and already looks incredibly assured. Botman is a key pillar of the Magpies’ superlative defensive record this season – no side has conceded fewer, and no side has more clean sheets.

Kieran Trippier, given what he offers going forward, is the obvious Newcastle pick – but Botman is a whole £1.5million cheaper and a guaranteed starter. Plus, given his 6’4″ frame, you imagine it’s only a matter of time before he gets on the end of a set piece.

Defence: Ben Mee – £4.6m

The experienced ex-Burnley defender has had his ups and downs this season, but he’s helped Brentford keep clean sheets against Bournemouth, Brighton and Chelsea and contributed a goal against Wolves and an assist against Man City before the break.

Not the kind of player you want in your starting XI every week, but at £4.6million a decent bench option to rotate in when Brentford face lower-half opposition.

Midfield: Crysencio Summerville – £4.4million

The young Dutch winger burst into life just before the break, forcing his way into Jesse Marsch’s best Leeds XI with goals in successive games against Fulham, Liverpool, Bournemouth and Tottenham.

Unfortunately, Summerville suffered a knock during the Whites’ mid-season friendlies, so it’s unlikely he features against Manchester City on December 28th, but he should be back soon enough.

“[Summerville] was on the pitch today and he should be in training as well this week,” announced Marsch in his latest press conference.

Midfield: Miguel Almiron – £5.8million

There’s a question mark over whether the World Cup stunted Wor Miggy’s momentum, but he was absolutely on fire prior to the break, with seven goals and an assist in his last eight Premier League appearances.

If he can pick up where he left off, there isn’t a better value player in FPL this year.

That form has seen Almiron’s price dramatically – he was valued at just £5.0million at the start of the season. A price of £5.8million is pushing the definition of “bargain” somewhat, we know, but it’s still a fantastic price for FPL’s top-performing midfielder (93 points) of 2022-23 so far.

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Midfield: Leon Bailey – £4.5million

The Jamaican midfielder’s return of 48 points isn’t especially impressive, it’s true, but 22 of those points came in the four games after Steven Gerrard’s sacking at Aston Villa.

Bailey got a goal and assist in Villa’s stunning 4-0 victory over Brentford and scored in Unai Emery’s first game in charge, a 3-1 win over Manchester United. At just £4.5million, he’s a solid shout if you’re all aboard the good ship Emery.

Midfield: Andreas Pereira – £4.6million

Fulham sit ninth, having taken 19 points from their opening 15 matches. It looks increasingly unlikely that they’ll be going straight back down this season.

Joao Palhinha and Aleksandar Mitrovic have been the Cottagers’ standout players, but Mitrovic commands a relatively hefty £6.8million fee, and Palhinha isn’t the kind of player that racks up FPL points.

But Pereira is another player worth considering from Marco Silva’s side. The Brazilian notched three assists and two goals in his last seven appearances before the break. 17 midfielders have racked up more points this season, but all of those are more expensive – many of them considerably so – than £4.6million-valued Pereira.

Forward: Bryan Mbeumo – £5.8million

Forwards are the most difficult area to find value in FPL, and where you’re most justified in spending big on the likes of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.

Looking for a forward priced at less than £5.0million that will get you any kind of half-decent points return is a fool’s errand. So Mbuemo, at £5.8million, is as close to a bargain as you’re likely to find.

The Cameroon international doesn’t have a brilliant return (three goals, one assist) so far this season, but with every chance that Brentford’s main man Ivan Toney serves a lengthy suspension for alleged betting offences, Mbeumo may find himself with more goalscoring responsibility.

Forward: Wilfried Gnonto – £5.0million

If you’re really looking for cut-price forwards in FPL, you’re going to have to accept taking a punt. If you are willing to take a punt, you can do worse than Italy international Gnonto.

Leeds United’s deadline-day signing didn’t make his debut until late October, but he came on and caught the eye with a key role in Summerville’s late winner away to Liverpool. The following match he came on and registered an assist as Leeds came back from behind to beat Bournemouth 4-3.

Gnonto has been among Leeds’ liveliest players in their December friendlies, and with injury question marks over Summerville, Patrick Bamford and Luis Sinisterra, there’s every chance he has a role to play. £5.0million represents a risk, but any forward for that price is.

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