Goalscoring midfielders are absolute gold dust in FPL terms. If we manage to ride the wave of a midfielder just as he’s hitting a goalscoring streak then we’ll be seeing those beautiful green arrows whilst overtaking everyone in our mini-leagues. Here’s an assessment of a few of the best options available to us this season.
Alexis Sanchez (£11m)
Sanchez is the epitome of a goalscoring midfielder, which is why he’s listed as the most expensive midfielder in the game. With 13 goals last season and 16 the year before he clearly knows where the back of the net is and it’s very dangerous to leave him out when he hits red-hot form. Sanchez is a ruthless finisher who can score goals with both feet, his head and is a danger from set-pieces on the edge of the box. With more penalty box touches and shots inside the box than any other Premier League midfielder last season it’s clear that Sanchez is always in the thick of the action when Arsenal are going forward, making him the premium goalscoring midfielder.
Riyad Mahrez (£9.5m)
Riyad Mahrez embarked on a truly sensational season last year as his spark and creativity in the midfield inspired Leicester City to their first ever Premier League title. As the highest FPL points scorer last season, Mahrez’s ability to create something out of nothing and score crucial goals made a mockery of his initial starting price. 17 goals (including 4 penalties) made him the highest scoring midfielder last season, 4 ahead of the aforementioned Sanchez, with all of his goals coming from inside the box. Mahrez’s was not one to waste opportunities with 45% of his shots being on target and a goal conversion rate of almost 20% making him a prolific attacking midfielder. If Ranieri can maintain the balance of the Leicester squad, despite the departure of Kanté to Chelsea, then Mahrez’s exploits in front of goal will be key to how they fare this season.
Sadio Mané (£9m)
Liverpool have a wealth of goalscoring midfielders with Firmino, Coutinho and Dutchman Wijnaldum recently joining the ranks but the most consistent of their attacking threats is new recruit Sadio Mané. Another purchase from Southampton, Mané has scored 11 goals in each of his previous two Premier League season and will be hoping to replicate the goalscoring form that convinced Klopp to splash the cash on him this summer. Two of his goals last season came from set plays and he’s unlikely to take free kick duties away from Coutinho and Firmino, which lessens his appeal slightly, but it’s his pace and high-energy attacking ability that will be put to best use by Klopp’s tactics. With 192 penalty box touches and 68 attempts in the box (both second only to Sanchez), Mané clearly likes to get himself in dangerous positions but the number of attacking midfielders at Anfield, each with lower prices tags, will put FPL players off Mané as the goals are expected to be shared around.
André Ayew (7.5m)
André Ayew’s first season in the Premier League has to go down as a success as he scored 12 goals putting him behind only Mahrez and Sanchez. The Swansea midfielder had a very strong start to the season with 5 goals in his first 10 games but then didn’t really offer a lot during the middle part of the season before scoring 4 in his last 3 games to remind us what he’s capable of ahead of the new season. Ayew is unlike most of the other midfielders on this list in terms of style as his main strength is his aerial ability, having scored 4 of his goals with his head (second only to Antonio) and having the most headed attempts at goal of all midfielders. He spent significant chunks of last season as an out-of-position option as he played up front which, if it continues, will enhance his appeal for our FPL teams, despite the inconsistency which is recognised in his lower price tag.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (9.5m)
Mkhitaryan arrives at Man Utd with a growing reputation as one of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in European football and will be a sure starter for Mourinho’s Old Trafford revolution. The midfielder can play in the no. 10 role but is more likely to start his Utd career on the right wing, where he excelled last year, earning the Bundesliga Players' Player of the Season award. 11 goals in 31 Bundesliga games last season, coupled with his 7 from 15 in European matches shows he’s more than capable of finding the back of the net on a regular basis and Mourinho will be hoping to develop a system that gets the best out of his new recruit’s main attributes, namely his electric pace, his rocket of a shot and his ability to arrive in the box at just the right time.
Mohamed Diamé (£5.5m)
Mo Diamé is a familiar name to most FPL players as he’s been in and around the budget midfielders for a few years now having represented Wigan, West Ham and current club Hull City in the Premier League since 2009. Over that time the powerful midfielder has scored 3 or 4 goals each season, which isn’t prolific by any means, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better prospect for goalscoring midfielders from the promoted clubs. With 9 goals in the Championship last season, including the winner in the play-off final, Diamé’s box-to-box style could pay dividends as FPL this season forces us to look at budget options across the board, especially when you consider that during his last campaign in the Premier League he managed his 4 goals in just 12 games.
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