The absence of Premier League football this weekend due to the international break has not stopped Fantasy Premier League managers from entering the transfer market ahead of gameweek 30.
And the transfers themselves have a decidedly local flavour, with many of the popular picks currently on duty with Gareth Southgate’s England side.
Luke Shaw had to settle for a place on the bench against San Marino on Thursday evening but his exploits at club level have seen his ownership rise faster than any other defender since GW29.
Shaw has delivered a return in seven of Manchester United’s last nine Premier League matches, including a goal, four assists and five clean sheets, so it’s easy to see why his ownership has risen by almost 50,000.
Away from the England camp, Chelsea’s impressive defensive performances have seen the stock of captain Cesar Azpilicueta rise as well.
His £5.8m price tag would have looked poor value before Thomas Tuchel stiffened up the Blues’ back line, but recent clean sheets against Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United have demonstrated their new-found reliability.
Jesse Lingard is enjoying a renaissance at West Ham after being frozen out of the first team at Manchester United and was rewarded this week with his first England cap since 2019.
He is also the most popular player in the FPL at the moment, with almost 120,000 more owners than he had in GW29.
While signing players on international duty can be risky, eight attacking returns in as many matches for a midfielder costing just £6.2m is difficult to ignore.
Another midfielder who has impressed both Gareth Southgate and a significant number of fantasy bosses is Mason Mount, who started alongside Lingard at Wembley.
Chelsea’s form means that many of their players are in demand, and as their top points-scoring midfielder this season Mount is leading the way.
Hurry for Kane
FPL managers will have breathed a sigh of relief when Harry Kane was named on the substitutes’ bench against San Marino, given his domestic exertions this season.
Kane is rarely rested by Jose Mourinho and with struggling Newcastle up next for Spurs in GW30 many of his new owners will surely be planning to captain him.
Ollie Watkins came on for Dominic Calvert-Lewin on Thursday night instead, but it’s the Everton man who is replacing Watkins in fantasy managers’ thoughts.
Watkins’ ownership has fallen more than any other forward since GW29, while only three forwards have added more net owners than Calvert-Lewin.
However the most popular forward signing of all so far this week has been Kelechi Iheanacho.
Having been Jamie Vardy’s understudy for much of his Leicester career, the Nigeria international has now started alongside his mentor for four successive gameweeks and rewarded Brendan Rodgers’ faith with five goals in that spell.