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FPL tips: Elite bosses drop Salah but stick with other Reds

By December 31, 2021No Comments

Elite FPL managers appear to have decided to drop Mohamed Salah a few games early ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

By analysing the movements of a group of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their names, we can find out what the best of the best have done with the Egyptian star.

And after Liverpool’s GW19 fixture was postponed, many of the best managers opted to ditch Salah before games against Leicester and Chelsea.

FPL tips: Elite bosses drop Salah but stick with other Reds PLZ Soccer

The FPL midfielder was owned by 988 top bosses in GW18 out of our 1,000 strong sample, before dropping to 215 in GW19.

And while he bounced back to 483 elite managers in GW20, that represents a net loss of more than 500 managers in two games.

At £13million, selling Salah frees up a lot of funds that could be used to bring in any other premium asset while the Egyptian is playing for his country.

Afcon is clearly the deciding factor in this case – Salah’s team mates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota also saw ownership drops ahead of GW19, but both bounced back to roughly the same ownership.

In fact, the two most popular players among the cream of the FPL crop are defenders: Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo.

FPL tips: Elite bosses drop Salah but stick with other Reds PLZ Soccer
(Zac Goodwin/PA)

Cancelo has been backed by more than 90 per cent of our elite sample for three consecutive gameweeks now.

At £6.9m the Portuguese represents good value when compared to the £8.3m price tag of Liverpool’s right-back, while he ranks first for Threat among defenders.

One goal, seven assists and 11 clean sheets paint a picture of a player who offers value at both ends of the pitch, and his team’s form will not hurt his ownership either.

City have ominously pulled clear in the title race having won 10 games in a row, scoring 31 and keeping six clean sheets in that time.

They face Arsenal and Chelsea next in what could prove a pivotal month at the top.

One player who could fill Salah’s FPL boots is Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, whose elite ownership has risen from 37 in GW18 to 526 in GW20.

FPL tips: Elite bosses drop Salah but stick with other Reds PLZ Soccer
(John Walton/PA)

The £10.5m FPL midfielder ranks fifth for Creativity and seventh for Threat among midfielders, and won round many managers with four goals in the four gameweeks ahead of GW20.

He rewarded his backers with an assist against Southampton and has now registered 42 points in his last five games.

The most popular elite addition of the week however – with a top ownership increase of 347 – is Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.

The Spaniard is in the middle of a favourable festive fixture run under a new manager, with Ralf Rangnick’s side facing Crystal Palace, Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley over Christmas.

At £5.2m the United stopper kept two clean sheets in that time, and could add more with games against Wolves and Aston Villa next.

United are now unbeaten in six matches and look set to challenge for a top four spot, but FPL backers will need to see more than the four clean sheets De Gea has managed so far this term.