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5 of the most unlikely top performers in the 2021/22 FPL so far

5 of the most unlikely top performers in the 2021/22 FPL so far

5 of the most unlikely top performers in the 2021/22 FPL so far

With almost a quarter of the 2021/22 EPL campaign underway, now is the ideal opportunity for FPL managers to take a step back and check out some of the surprise performers in the league thus far.

Below, we explore five high-scoring FPL players that weren’t expected to start the 2021/22 season in such blistering form.

Andros Townsend
30-year-old winger Andros Townsend left Crystal Palace after a five-year association with the Eagles. Few could have predicted the impact he’d make at his new club Everton, scoring three goals in seven appearances in Rafael Benitez’s new-look side. Everton and Townsend have the luxury of not being involved in European competition this season. This could end up being a blessing in disguise, particularly for the Toffees’ wide players like Townsend, allowing him to stay in top condition.

An academic study into the impact of fixture congestion on elite footballers revealed that players who have less than four days to recover between matches experience a loss of intensity in their running – even if they are still able to cover the same amount of ground in a match. Townsend’s game is based on explosive pace and being able to get that extra half-a-yard on the full-back. Maintaining that intensity will be crucial in the winter months of the 2021/22 season.

Pontus Jansson
Swedish international defender Pontus Jansson missed out on the chance to play Premier League football with former club Leeds United. He opted to leave for Brentford before United secured promotion back to the top flight. However, Jansson has skippered the Bees into the Premier League for the first time and taken to it like a duck to water.

At the age of 30, Jansson is in the prime of his career – and it shows. He has formed a hugely dependable central defensive partnership with Ethan Pinnock and has amassed 40 FPL points already. Just over 9% of FPL managers have Jansson in their team, but if Brentford can maintain their top-half position that will surely arise in the coming months.

Ethan Pinnock
It would be remiss not to talk about the second half of Brentford’s central defensive pairing. 28-year-old Ethan Pinnock has also racked up 40 FPL points so far, catching many FPL managers off guard with only 6.9% of managers naming him in their teams. Pinnock has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the English football pyramid. After a six-year spell with non-league Dulwich Hamlet, Pinnock was snapped up by Forest Green Rovers. He would then spend two seasons with Barnsley, before joining the Bees in 2019.

Pinnock has a great blend of attributes that make him a credible Premier League defender. He is no slouch on the deck and is very comfortable with the ball at his feet. At an imposing 6ft 4”, Pinnock is also aerially dominant, so it’s easy to see why Brentford have conceded just seven goals in their first eight PL games.

Trevoh Chalobah
Homegrown Chelsea starlet Trevoh Chalobah has been one of the biggest success stories in Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side this season. At 22 years of age, Chalobah has taken some time to develop into being Stamford Bridge material, with loan spells at Ipswich, Huddersfield, and Ligue 1 side Lorient. However, he’s grabbed his chance this term with both hands. He’s made five appearances and even managed to get on the scoresheet twice.

Chalobah drew significant praise from Tuchel for his assured central defensive display in the Blues’ 1-0 win over Brentford, earning him more valuable FPL points in the process. With 38 points to his name, he has been worth a steady five-to-six points per week which is great value at £4.8m.

Gabriel Jesus
At the start of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, most would have expected Raheem Sterling to be at the fulcrum of the Manchester City attack. Especially given Sterling’s heroics at the EURO 2020 finals with England. However, it has been Brazilian Gabriel Jesus who has started to stake a claim for a regular start. Two goals and four assists in seven Premier League appearances have seen Jesus ranked in the top four strikers so far this term.

At a cost of £8.6m, it’s somewhat surprising that only 6.4% of FPL managers have plundered Jesus in their fantasy line-ups. With City well and truly in the mix for the Premier League title once again, Jesus could be a cost-effective option for FPL managers, particularly if Raheem Sterling’s future at the Etihad Stadium is increasingly called into question. He could even be a savvy pick in the Champions League fantasy football, with Guardiola desperate to win a European trophy with City for the first time.

Thanks for reading 5 of the most unlikely top performers in the 2021/22 FPL so far

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