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FPL tips: Top managers let down by bargain buys

Manchester City Training – UEFA Champions League Final – Estadio do Dragao
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Elite managers will need to be patient after their gameweek three transfers failed to reward them immediately.

By analysing the movements of a group of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their name, we can find out what the best of the best do to prepare their sides.

And much of what they did ahead of GW3 did not pay dividends right away.

A graphic showing the most popular FPL transfers in ahead of gameweek three for elite managers

In fact, the three players whose ownership rose most among the elite between GW2 and GW3 – Said Benrahma, Tino Livramento and Shane Duffy – scored just four points between them.

Benrahma saw his ownership rise from 305 to 738 of our elite 1,000 managers after two opening games in which he scored twice and assisted twice.

At £6.4m, the midfielder represented excellent value for those contributions, and with West Ham facing Crystal Palace in GW3 he looked impossible to ignore.

Alas, Benrahma put in his first underwhelming performance of the league campaign, registering just two points in the 2-2 draw, with weak Threat and Creativity scores also.

West Ham United’s Said Benrahma during the pre-season friendly match at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading. Picture date: Wednesday July 21, 2021

Said Benrahma (Steve Parsons/PA)

The second highest ownership rise among the elite went to Southampton defender Livramento, whose £4m price tag at the start of the season made him an attractive proposition.

Furthermore, Livramento played 90 minutes in both of the Saints’ opening fixtures, prompting his top ownership to rise from five per cent of our sample to 31 per cent.

The 18-year-old repaid that faith with another 90 minutes in GW3, but only registered one point in a 2-2 draw against Newcastle.

Livramento’s price however will be enough to convince managers to stick with him as long as he plays regularly for Southampton, allowing funds to be spent in more important areas than fifth defender.

Meanwhile there was no let-up in terms of disappointment for the top managers’ third most popular transfer, Brighton’s Duffy.

Brighton and Hove Albion’s Shane Duffy celebrates scoring their side’s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton. Picture date: Saturday August 21, 2021

Shane Duffy (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

Duffy’s goal and clean sheet in GW2 against Watford was enough to see his ownership among our group of managers rise from 1.5 per cent to 14.9 per cent in a single gameweek.

That’s no surprise given – like Livramento – he started the season at £4m, however he returned just one point against Everton.

Still, with Brentford, Leicester, Palace, an out-of-sorts Arsenal and Norwich to come, keeping the number-one ranked defender for Threat so far this season may yet prove a wise course of action.