Van Persie and Toure join list of Fantasy Football underachievers

Whilst Euro Fantasy League players who selected Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer will be happy that their heavy investment of fantasy football funds has paid dividends, there are a number of players who came with a big price-tag, but have yet to being points to users.

Stefan Kießling 

Coming in at 12.5m, the former Germany international has brought in only 30 points this season from his seven appearances for Bayer Leverkusen. Kiessling also, despite netting 15 league goals last term, has only found the goal once this term.

Alexis Sanchez

Following his big money move from Barcelona to Arsenal, it’s not worked out quite as the Chilean would have hoped. His return of 45 points from five appearances is a poor return for the player that costs users £12.5m. The attacker has struggled to find his ideal position in Wengers side, and got 0 points from the last two clashes against Tottenham and Chelsea.

Yaya Toure 

The player of last season who appeared to go from end to end at will, seems to have disappeared. The Man City midfielder has struggled to find form this year, and at a price of £12.5m, a return of just 25 points from his six Premier League appearances is disappointing.

Robin Van Persie

Possibly a surprise name on the list but the Dutchman has made six Premier League starts under Louis Van Gaal, netting twice, and making no assists. Whilst two goals is not a disaster, users will have spent £12m for a man who has maybe not made the most of his position in a free-scoring United side that has netted 11 in the last four games.

Man City’s Toure best value in Europe’s top 10 midfielders list

The presence of Yaya Toure, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard and Marco Reus in the top positions in Euro Fantasy League’s midfielder rankings suggests that you generally get what you pay for when it comes to players in the middle of the park.

Bale was the most expensive of the group, with the general consensus being that Real Madrid paid Tottenham Hotspur £86m for the Wales winger. Then comes Eden Hazard, who cost Chelsea £32m from Lille. Yaya Toure’s price-tag puts him third at £24m, leaving Reus in fourth at a bargain £14.5m. That’s a combined fee for four players of £156.5m. You could buy entire clubs for that.

The top 10 Euro Fantasy League midfielders is generally a mix of expensive purchases and home grown talents. Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid’s Koke fall into the latter category as, technically, does Cesc Fabregas of Barcelona, although La Blaugrana did pay £35m to repatriate the former Arsenal captain from England.

Raffael is the closest thing to cheap in the list and his 15 goals in 32 games have helped Gladbach to a decent position in the Bundesliga, having cost a reported €5m. But the Brazilian is very much the exception that proves the rule.

Goal-scoring midfielders are at a premium and tend to move for fees usually reserved for strikers. But when Toure is netting 19 times, Bale and Hazard 14 and Reus 16, not to mention the best part of 40 assists between them, it’s clear to see why clubs with cash are willing to splash it on midfielders.

A midfielder who reaches double-figures in both categories is akin to having two players for the price of one. They ease the burden on the front man – usually a lone striker with 4-2-3-1 still a fashionable formation – and create chances for their colleagues. In the case of Hazard, he is Chelsea’s top scorer this season, and without the Belgian the Blues’ Premier League title challenge would never have got started.

They’re each accordingly expensive to have in your Euro Fantasy League team, too, although James Rodriguez offered far more value here than in the real world. A €45m signing for Monaco cost €7.5m in Euro Fantasy League; nine goals, 12 assists and 435 points suggests the Colombian would have been money well spent.

But it is Toure who boats the best points-to-value ratio. The Ivory Coast powerhouse cost only €8.5m in Euro Fantasy League and would have delivered 560 points. His 19 goals and 6 assists have put Manchester City in third in the Premier League and while they might yet overhaul Liverpool with the help of their game in hand, if Toure had been fit all season the title could have been wrapped up already.

Indeed, none of the top four players represent teams at the top of their domestic league. Toure, Hazard and Bale could all still claim winners’ medals and it appears clear that to stand a chance of lifting silverware, a goal-scoring midfielder is a must. If you can afford it.