The talk of most fantasy teams this international break is how and if to fit in the big four of Hazard, Aguero, Kane and Salah. But aren’t we all missing an obvious member of what should be a big five?
Just as every five a side team has a player who no one seems to rate who then proceeds to run the show; just as Girls Aloud wouldn’t have been the same without Nicola Roberts; our fantasy teams won’t be the same without the unheralded fifth member of the big five – Raheem Sterling.
The young Englishman seems perpetually in the nations bad books for no obvious reason and now he seems to have slid into FPL anonymity. The Manchester City forward is owned by only five percent of the game despite being the fourth highest scorer in the game a year after being the the second highest scorer in the game. Sterling is also cheaper than Salah, Kane, Hazard and Aguero.
Last season was Sterling’s best ever and being the highest City points scorer in their centurions season was no mean feat. Unlike Salah and to some extent Kane, Sterling has brought last seasons form into this season and his seven games have brought 50 points, 4 goals and two assists, and only two blanks. He also registered a first half brace away in Spain this week as England slaughtered Spain in the UEFA Nations League. The first was a blistering finish into the top corner of de Gea’s goal while the second was a now typical poachers goal as Sterling showed his ability to steal tap ins from the six yard box. Both goals speak to Sterling’s increasing confidence and maturity.
Since returning from suspension in gameweek four last season, Sterling has proven himself to be an invaluable part of Guardiola’s front line and about as rotatio6n proof as a Manchester City player can be. Guardiola has again praised Sterling this season “we are delighted with him and would like Raheem to stay. We’ll do our effort to make him feel we count on him. And we do count on him”, the Catalan coach has also praised Sterling’s cleverness gave the team a balance and has used him both wide right and wide left whilst Mahrez, Sane and Mendy have all been left out of the side this season Sterling has been accommodated one way or another.
Guardiola has also challenged Sterling to beat last seasons goal tally of 23, another clear sign how valuable he believes Sterling to be. If Guardiola rates him so highly why have nineteen of every twenty FPL managers ignored him?
Manchester City Premier League minutes since start of 17/18
De Bruyne: 3103
Combined FPL goals and assists since Guardiola arrived in England
De Bruyne: 53