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FPL tips: Taking pointers from the most consistent managers

Grealish DCL Fernandes

If you are struggling to find your way through the Fantasy Premier League transfer market, you could do worse than take pointers from some of the game’s most consistent managers.

By looking at a sample of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their names, we can see just who the best bosses have decided to pick.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the go-to player for our elite panel, with Jack Grealish and Bruno Fernandes also selected by more than three quarters of them.

Calvert-Lewin’s rise continues

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, centre, wins a header against Liverpool

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is flying high (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

When the season kicked off, Calvert-Lewin was selected by 130 of our elite managers but became an essential pick as he scored seven in his first five games.

His ownership among the select group has increased every week, barring a net dip of 11 in gameweek seven, and he now appears in 850 of the 1,000 squads.

That is virtually twice as many as the second most popular striker, with Jamie Vardy chosen by 426 and Harry Kane 422. The Leicester and Tottenham stars currently cost £10.2million and £10.9m respectively in FPL, so Calvert-Lewin’s £7.9m price tag is an integral part of his appeal.

Save in defence…

The most-selected players in each position among our elite panel of managers

The most-selected players in each position among our elite panel of managers (PA graphic)

Looking at the most-selected players in each position does not produce a legitimate squad within the £100m budget but gives an indication of what the elite are thinking.

One clear trend is the presence of cheap defenders, generally with just one expensive star.

Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell and his Liverpool counterpart Andy Robertson occupy the big-money slot, with Chilwell in 641 teams and Robertson 315 to indicate most of the top managers probably have one or the other.

They are joined in the top five, though, by three sub-£5m players in Tyrick Mitchell, Tariq Lamptey and James Justin.

Tariq Lamptey, left, and Tyrick Mitchell

Tariq Lamptey, left, and Tyrick Mitchell have helped the top managers balance the books (Adrian Dennis/PA)

That trend continues beyond the top five, with Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo (£5.6m) and Chilwell’s team-mate Reece James (£5.1m) the most expensive in the remainder of the top 10.

The bias towards full-backs is also clear, with 10 in the top 11 places and bargain Wolves centre-back Max Kilman the only exception.

Goalkeepers Emiliano Martinez and Alex McCarthy also cost £4.8m and £4.6m respectively, with the £4.5m Mat Ryan and five base-level £4m picks ranking ahead of the first £5m-plus keeper, Edouard Mendy.

…and spend in midfield

Diogo Jota

Following the elite in midfield will cost you at least Diogo Jota’s £6.8m price tag (Clive Brunskill/PA)

In the middle of the park, by contrast, Liverpool’s Diogo Jota represents the cheap option in the in-vogue squad at £6.8m.

He appeared in 354 of the squads in gameweek 10, up hugely from 68 the previous week and none at all as recently as gameweek seven.

The four players ahead of him show the main reason this hypothetical squad is unaffordable, with Jack Grealish (£7.7m) and Bruno Fernandes (£10.8m) leading the way with 755 selections apiece – the most after Calvert-Lewin – and Son Heung-min (£9.5m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) completing the midfield.

Next up are Jota’s team-mate Mohamed Salah at £12.2m and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech at £8.3m before the sub-£5m pair of Yves Bissouma and Tomas Soucek provide some balance.

Jota and De Bruyne follow Vardy as gameweek 10’s most popular pick-ups, with 286 and 285 net transfers in respectively among the elite compared to Vardy’s 325.