Englands Euro 2020 stars proving popular with Dream Team bosses – but should they be?07/27/2021
Never underestimate the shock waves of a major tournament.
England reached the final of a European Championship for the first time ever earlier this summer as Gareth Southgate and his troops briefly galvanised the nation.
It ultimately ended in penalty heartbreak but, aside from a few idiots on social media, the Three Lions have been lauded more than at any time in the last 25 years.
And this feeling of goodwill has spilled over into Dream Team.
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Ahead of the new season, Dream Team gaffers are heavily backing England’s Euro 2020 stars – but should they be?
Jordan Pickford (£2.5m) was undeniable brilliant this summer – as he was in Russia three years ago – but his form in Everton colours has been inconsistent at best.
At the time of writing, the Toffees’ No1 appears in 10.8% of Dream Teams, making him more popular than Kasper Schmeichel (£3.5m), Dean Henderson (£3.0m), Hugo Lloris (£3.5m) and other keepers who outperformed him last season.
Incredibly, Pickford is only 2.3% less popular than Edouard Mendy (£4.0m), the outright best Dream Team player in his position last term.
Luke Shaw (£4.0m) is by far and away the most-popular defender among Dream Team managers at this stage.
The 26-year-old features in 43.2% of teams despite the fact both Harry Maguire (£4.5m) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£3.5m) ended 2020/21 with more points to their name.
Evidently, the masses are focusing on Shaw’s impressive Euro 2020 campaign, in which he provided three assists before scoring the opening goal in the final.
The rest of Southgate’s preferred back four, Maguire, John Stones (£4.0m) and Kyle Walker (£3.5m), all feature in the top eight most-popular defenders.
It’s a similar story in midfield.
Bruno Fernandes (£6.5m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£6.0m) are the two most-selected players in their position but no fewer than SIX England internationals follow: Jack Grealish (£4.5m), Raheem Sterling (£4.5m), Mason Mount (£4.5m), Jadon Sancho (£4.5m), Phil Foden (£5.5m) and Bukayo Saka (£3.5m).
Sterling was arguably England’s standout player at the tournament and his three key goals have clearly erased memories of his relatively significant tail off at the back end of last season for Man City.
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Naturally, Harry Kane (£7.0m) is extremely popular too.
England’s top scorer at Euro 2020 currently features in 57.9% of teams, making him the second-most popular player in the game.
There’s plenty of crossover between Southgate’s favourites and genuinely appealing Dream Team assets.
Kane scooped the Golden Boot and Best Playmaker award last season and may well be Man City’s centre-forward in a few weeks’ time.
Maguire, Stones, Grealish, Mount and Foden all provided healthy returns when fit throughout 2020/21 and so their popularity can also be attributed to their efforts at club level.
Shaw has been excellent for Man United in recent times but his brilliance didn’t always translate to Dream Team points last season as 13 other defenders racked up more points than his tally of 138.
There’s no doubt his ownership is riding their Euros wave along with that of Pickford and Saka.
All the players mentioned are perfectly fine selections but Dream Team gaffers would do well remove sentimentality from the situation.
By all means, pick players if you think they will do well once the new season is up and running but if your decisions are rooted in loyalty to England based on Euro 2020 then you should question whether that’s the best strategy.
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