THIS may be a Dream Team first.
At the time of writing, Everton currently have three midfielders in the top ten: Andros Townsend (£3.7m), Abdoulaye Doucoure (£2.4m) and Demarai Gray (£2.4m).
After a successful penalty against Norwich at the weekend, the former became the outright best player in his position.
Having scored four goals and provided three assists already, Townsend has raced onto 53 points – the next-best midfielder is Riyad Mahrez (£5.5m) on 41 points, so it’s not even a particularly close race.
The Toffees’ second goal against the Canaries was scored by Doucoure, who also scooped the Star Man award for his troubles.
The Frenchman has been given licence to get forward more since Rafa Benitez took charge and has cashed in with two goals and three assists six league appearances this season.
A 13-point haul at the weekend catapulted Doucoure to joint-sixth in the midfield rankings with an overall tally of 31 points, level with Ferran Torres (£3.7m) and Jack Grealish (£5.0m).
Gray didn’t score against Norwich but he assisted Doucoure’s strike to continue his fine start to 2021/22.
The 25-year-old is the tenth-best midfielder in Dream Team right now having amassed 29 points.
Somewhat curiously, Gray is the most-popular of Everton’s three high-flying midfielders with an ownership of 7.4%.
Townsend appears in 5.9% of teams while Doucoure has an ownership of just 0.6% – he’s somehow less popular than Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£2.0m) and Dan James (£1.8m).
How long the Goodison Park residents will be able to mix it with the top midfielders without European fixtures to fulfil remains to be seen there’s reasons to be hopeful.
Everton are level on points with Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Brighton at this stage – a feat made even more impressive when you consider they’ve been without the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.7m) since Game Week 3.
Benitez’s side travel to Old Trafford this weekend before a testing home fixture against West Ham after the international break.
Stacking your midfield with three Everton assets feels counter-intuitive (although it would have worked out pretty well so far) but the evidence suggests backing one of them is wise, especially given their relatively affordable prices.
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