As the highest scoring player in Fantasy Premier League this season, Kevin De Bruyne’s hamstring injury, which will rule him out for up to three weeks, will hit a lot of pretend managers hard.
At the time of writing, the Belgian schemer had been the most transferred-out player since the end of gameweek six, with 226,968 bosses opting to swap the Manchester City man for another option.
In case you’re one of the few still deliberating whether to stick or twist with the flame-haired midfielder, here are three possible routes to take:
Adam Lallana – Liverpool – £7.2m
Getting rid of De Bruyne, at a cost of £10.7m, means you’ll be able to afford any one of the Reds’ many attacking-midfield trinkets, but Lallana should get the nod.
As the second-highest scorers in the division, and climbing to that position despite often playing without a designated striker, the merits of having a Liverpool midfielder on board are obvious.
But while Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino may be the most attractive options, it’s the England man, who has three goals and three assists so far, that is the wise choice ahead of the Reds’ trip to Swansea.
Theo Walcott – Arsenal – £7.6m
Heung-min Son’s hot streak of three goals in two all-competition appearances may have many jumping on the South Korean’s bandwagon, but a short distance across north London lies a similarly on-fire midfielder.
Walcott has notched in three consecutive appearances for the Gunners, including Europe, and has a better run of fixtures in which to continue his form.
Son will face a De Bruyne-less City this week, followed by West Brom, Bournemouth and Leicester. Meanwhile Walcott has the chance to bag against Burnley, Swansea, Middlesbrough and Sunderland over the course of the next four gameweeks.
Juan Mata – Manchester United – £7.4m
With Wayne Rooney watching on from the bench, Juan Mata recaptured some of his Chelsea Player of the Year-form in his favoured number 10 role.
Any decision to piggy-back on that performance will likely have to be a one-week deal though, with the Red Devils – who scored four against Leicester last time – welcoming Stoke in gameweek seven.
After that Jose Mourinho’s men have consecutive trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge, so managers will be banking on Mata going big against the Potters.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing