THE early stages of a season always throws up a few Dream Team surprises.
And 2022/23 is no different with Alexis Mac Allister currently sitting fourth in the midfield rankings after four and a half Game Weeks.
The Argentina international (yes, he’s got five senior caps) has accumulated 31 points from six outings so far.
Some of the assets in his position he’s outperforming at this stage include popular selections Raheem Sterling (£4.8m), Luis Diaz (£5.2m) and Bukayo Saka (£4m) as well as Manchester City trio Bernardo Silva (£4.7m), Ilkay Gundogan (£4.4m) and Phil Foden (£5.2m).
In fact the only midfielders above Brighton’s No10 in the rankings at the time of writing are Martin Odegaard (£3.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£7.3m) and Pascal Gross (£2.8m).
The most remarkable thing about Mac Allister’s flying start is that he features in just 0.1% of teams!
In the realm of Dream Team, he’s less popular than Joe Willock (£2m), Fred (£2.1m), Jefferson Lerma (£1.3m), Tyler Adams (£1.9m) and a host of other midfielders whose returns have barely registered.
Over half of the 23-year-old’s points were earned at the weekend when he scored a brace against Leicester.
Initially it looked as if it might be a frustrating afternoon for Mac Allister as his Goal of the Season contender was chalked off for one of the most ineffectual offside infringements you’ll ever see – though the decision was correct.
However, the Seagulls’ attacking midfielder was granted considerable compensation as he converted a penalty before capping his side’s victory with a beautiful free-kick deep into stoppage time to make it 5-2 to the hosts at the Amex Stadium.
Mac Allister’s efforts earned him the Star Man award which meant he banked 17 points at full time – it would have been 18 points had he not been only the Brighton player to be booked on the day.
Add in previously successful penalties against West Ham and Fulham and Mac Allister has four goals from 540 minutes of Premier League action this term – all from set-pieces.
Dream Team gaffers should already know the value of spot-kick takers as all goals count for the same points, whether they’re penalties or 30-yard thunderbolts.
Being on penalty duty will almost certainly help Mac Allister achieve his best-ever goal tally for a single season – he only needs one more to equal the five he got in 2021/22.
If he’s to continue to mix it with Dream Team’s best midfielders then he’ll need a few goals from open play on top of his penalties but it’s always worth flagging a 0.1%-owned asset who is flying high.
More broadly, Brighton deserve plenty of praise for winning four of their first six league fixtures.
Graham Potter’s side are currently fourth in the table and Robert Sanchez (£2.5m) plus Joel Veltman (£2.9m) have also offered superb value for money alongside high-riding midfielders Gross and Mac Allister.
With the European competitions set to get underway properly, it’s likely Brighton’s assets will drop a few places in the rankings but they’re worth keeping an eye on.
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