Mendy has been a key FPL asset this season so far, registering 6 assists from left back in just 9 matches that he featured in. This is second only to Alonso and Wilson and helped him accumulate 57 FPL points – averaging over six points per match.
FPL managers wasted no time bringing him into their teams. After starting the season with just 440,000 owners Mendy’s ownership steadily increased, peaking at about 2.1 million in GW5. Unfortunately for those that owned him, he then succumbed to injury and missed the next three gameweeks. Returning in GW8 he immediately staked his claim to be back in our teams (or remain there for those that never took him out) with 21 points over the following three gameweeks, and going into the most recent fixture there were over 1.1m managers with the Frenchman in their squad.
Once again the Man City fullback finds himself sidelined following knee surgery, not uncommon for a 24 year old that is no stranger to missing extended periods of the season.
Always looking out for FPL managers and never one to miss an opportunity to tweet, Mendy has been kind enough to confirm that he will be missing the upcoming Premier League matches. So for those of us with him in our FPL squads… what are our options?
Direct replacements: players in a similar price range that won’t change team structure too much.
Alonso (7.1m) / Robertson (6.4m)
The remaining two parts of the holy trinity/RAM/ARM look even more appealing now that Mendy is missing. As highlighted in our earlier article these fullbacks have so much potential and value they’re hard to ignore. If I didn’t have both already they’d be straight into my team.
Laporte has played every minute of the PL season so far. As the only naturally left footed centre back at the club he seems key to the way Pep wants his team to play, giving him an edge over his competition. Stones is cheaper still, but unless your bench is up to scratch this feels risky with Otamendi and Kompany waiting on the sidelines and the busy Xmas period looming. Ten shots and one goal isn’t to be sniffed at, but his main source of points will be clean sheets in a Man City defence that is giving up the least chances in the league. Additional benefits are that he can also play left back and doesn’t play international football.
Van Dijk (6.0m)
I’m not even going to mention how many shots the mountainous Dutchman has had, or how he’s “due a goal” because it’s been that way for so long it’s become slightly ridiculous. With both Gomez and Alexander Arnold likely to miss occasional matches, especially over Christmas and Champions League weeks, Van Dijk is a safe route into a Liverpool defence that has a 50% clean sheet rate so far and even managed to keep Man City from scoring.
Cheaper alternatives: these would allow extra funds to be spent in midfield or attack.
Doherty – 4.9m
The fixtures look good again for Wolves, and even in the tougher matches Doherty is still attacking enough to return points without a clean sheet – 19 shots so far and I expect that to keep rising. Huddersfield and Cardiff are his next two fixtures and I fancy him to get back to his best, maybe even adding to his three attacking returns so far. Slight injury doubt but should play, even if it’s with some sort of facial mask.
Dunk – 4.4m
Marginally cheaper than his partner Duffy, a goal in each of his last two gameweeks has really brought Dunk into the debate. Despite starting the season without a clean sheet in seven, Brighton have stiffened their defence since the fixtures eased up and look particularly tough to score against at home. Next four fixtures look great, but try to make sure you aren’t playing him in the tougher matches by checking how he rotates with your other options.
Yedlin – 4.5m
Newcastle have excellent fixtures all the way through until Boxing Day, and along with Brighton have started to find clean sheets now that their fixtures aren’t quite as tough. Offers more going forward than Dummett, and more certainty of starts than the similarly priced centre backs. A goal and an assist so far probably flatters him slightly, but with buckets of energy and pace to burn he does find himself in the final third more often than you might think. Played every minute that he’s not been suspended for.
Obviously every team is different, and I think the decision comes down to your current team structure and where you want to take it.
If you want to stick with a premium defender I think I’d look at Alonso, Robertson or Laporte in that order.
With a lot of managers looking to squeeze in an extra premium attacker, this could be a good time to free up funds and either upgrade a player or perhaps restructure their team. Unhappy Mane owners could move to Salah. An extra Man City attacker looks like a good move right now, and those with a mid priced midfielder could bring in either Silva. Perhaps shifting from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 by upgrading a budget attacker to someone like Arnautovic is on the cards. Bringing in a cheaper defender could help fund any of these moves.
Are you a Mendy owner? What are you planning on doing? Let us know in the comments!