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NMA Reader Poll: Best EPL Central Midfielder - 2019-20

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Who is the best central midfielder in the EPL?

Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City - Premier League
Kevin De Bruyne has been spectacular all season. Are there any better central midfielders in the EPL?
Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Arguably the central midfielder position is the most important position on the field. He’s the quarterback, the point guard, the playmaker who connects the dots in transition. We have seen the central midfield position take on specialized roles too: the defensive mid, the box to box, and the more attacking player. We have also seen the effect that different formations have on how a central midfielder is utilized. From a fantasy football perspective the central midfielder, especially the attacking ones, have often been key players in any fantasy lineup.

This is one position however where on-field success doesn’t always translate into fantasy success. So I’ll be taking the fantasy football perspective here, with some additional players of note mentioned at the end.

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Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City

He’s the clear favorite here and perhaps the most consistent and best player in the EPL this year from start to finish, both on the field and in his fantasy numbers. Sixteen assists tops the league with only Trent Alexander-Arnold coming close at twelve. KDB has also netted eight goals (6th in the league), leading the Manchester City attack which has the most goals in the league (68). He is also second to TAA in both Accurate Crosses and Corners Forced. Also, KDB is just fun to watch. He plays the game right: creative, fast, strong, decisive with a touch calm and panache. He’s truly a unique player.

Jack Grealish - Aston Villa

It’s a little bit of a push to say Grealish is a central midfielder, as he spends a bit of time out on the left side, but he certainly is the one leading the charge in the midfield for Aston Villa. It’s also hard to make a case for him given Aston Villa’s struggles this season. But one has to say that he leaves it on the field each game and that he has proven himself to be a consistent and stellar fantasy league performer this year. Only De Bruyne scored more points, and along with De Bruyne he is the only true midfielder who has averaged double digit scoring this season. Seven goals and six assists are solid numbers, but his true value comes in his number of Fouls Suffered: 127. At nearly five per game, that’s 33 more than Wilfried Zaha who was second most. At a point a piece, his regular bodily sacrifice adds up to consistent fantasy points in Fantrax.

James Maddison - Leicester

On the surface, it looks as if Maddison had an average year. Six goals (tied for 12th) and somehow only three assists. But it’s worth taking a closer look at the central midfielder who helped Leicester to the 3rd highest Goals For and 3rd best Goals Against average in the EPL. Certainly he had a lot of help this year, with a much improved side overall and Jamie Vardy finding his form again. From a fantasy perspective, he does a lot of things that add up quickly on the score sheet as well as on the field, and he has helped his team to a solid 3rd in the EPL. He ranked 3rd in the league in fouls suffered and 4th for Accurate Crosses (only behind KDB for midfielders). At age 23, Maddison is already showing that he has a lot to offer.

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Honorable Mention

Jordan Henderson - Liverpool

From a fantasy standpoint, Jordan Henderson was not someone you needed on your team week in and week out (he was the 9th best Liverpool player!), although he did have a few really solid games. But on the field and in the locker room, Liverpool’s captain was a key to their success. It’s hard to imagine Liverpool having the level of success they had without Henderson. He should be up for multiple awards this year, and some have argued he deserves Player of the Year.

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Mid Season Value

Bruno Fernandes - Manchester United

Bruno began his time at United on February first. Since that date, no one has scored more fantasy points (70) than he has (granted it was only 5 games). United have not lost since his arrival. He has 2 goals and 3 assists in that short time, and he is averaging 14 points per game in Fantrax from the many little things that add up on the fantasy scoreboard. Clearly, with only 5 games he can’t be considered best on the year, but I would be remiss if I did not give him a shout-out so you can include him in your league-resumption fantasy plans.

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(all statistics quoted are from the Fantrax, 2019-2020 Premier League NMA-blog-Yahoo11)

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What do you think of our selections? Who was best so far this season? Who else is missing and deserves some plaudits?

Please cast your votes in the poll and comment on your reasons why!

Poll

Who is the best Central Midfielder of the 19/20 EPL Season so far?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Kevin De Bruyne
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    Jack Grealish
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    James Maddison
    (0 votes)
  • 14%
    Jordan Henderson
    (3 votes)
  • 28%
    Other - Add in the comments below
    (6 votes)
21 votes total Vote Now