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FPL tips: Bosses swap London’s finest midfielders for Villa’s Coutinho

Aston Villa v Manchester United – Premier League – Villa Park
(Image credit: Isaac Parkin)

FPL bosses are trading the capital city’s finest midfielders for a Brazilian in Birmingham ahead of gameweek 23.

Yes, Philippe Coutinho has arrived at Aston Villa and is making waves in the fantasy markets just one game in.

But who joins him as the week’s most popular transfer, and which players have been sold at his expense?

Phil your boots

A graphic showing some of the most popular midfield purchases among FPL managers ahead of gameweek 23

Coutinho has seen his ownership rise by 310,000 ahead of GW23 thanks to an immediate impact at Villa.

The former Liverpool man scored the equaliser as Steven Gerrard’s side came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 against Manchester United.

Despite playing just 22 minutes of the game, Coutinho’s effort earned him six points and a Threat score of 44.

At £7m plenty have decided he is worth a try, and Villa’s fixture list won’t hurt either – they face Everton, Leeds and Newcastle next.

Coutinho’s best season in the FPL saw him bag 13 goals and eight assists, while his value was £9.1m when he left Liverpool.

Elsewhere in midfield Kevin De Bruyne’s ownership has risen by 139,000, no doubt in part due to his winning performance against Chelsea in GW22.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (right) celebrates with Raheem Sterling after scoring their side’s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday January 15, 2022

(Martin Rickett/PA)

The Belgian scored the only goal of the game to help City triumph 1-0, strengthening their grip on the title race.

De Bruyne now has four goals in six games, while the defending champions face Southampton, Brentford and Norwich next in a favourable fixture run.

Meanwhile Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher has enjoyed a transfer bump of 44,000 after a goal at Brighton earned him nine points.

Midfield misery

A graphic showing some of the most popular midfield transfers out among FPL managers ahead of gameweek 23

What goes up must come down, however, and three of London’s best midfielders bore the brunt of the sales in the middle of the park this week.

Son Heung-min was a casualty in more than one sense of the word – the 29-year-old faces a spell on the sidelines with a muscle injury.

As a result he has seen his FPL ownership drop by 200,000 – he is currently on a run of six games where he has managed at least one goal or one assist.

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, meanwhile, has seen an ownership drop of 92,000 after a number of postponements brought the Gunners’ fixture list into question.

The £5.9m man’s recent record of appearing as a substitute may not have helped his case either, despite a run of goals from the bench.

Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe scores the second goal during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Wednesday December 15, 2021

(Nick Potts/PA)

With eight goals and two assists this term, his backers may return once Arsenal’s fixtures seem more concrete.

And over at Chelsea Mason Mount was not spared either, his ownership dropping by 56,000 ahead of GW23.

Mount has enjoyed a decent season up to now, ranking seventh for Creativity among midfielders and 11th for Threat.

However, while the England man has scored seven and assisted six this term in the FPL, he has returned just one assist in his last six games.

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