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Champions League Fantasy: Top transfer targets

UEFA.com looks at the early data to see which players are already proving popular among Fantasy managers.

POOL/AFP via Getty Images

With some of the best players in Europe available for selection in your squad, UEFA.com highlights a number of players in all four positions already proving popular among #UCLfantasy managers.

Pick your Champions League Fantasy team

UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season 2020/21 - Edouard Mendy
UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season 2020/21 - Edouard Mendy

GOALKEEPERS

Edouard Mendy (€6.0m) was a standout player throughout Chelsea's UEFA Champions League-winning campaign last season, keeping nine clean sheets including one in the final defeat of Manchester City. This helped him to a final #UCLfantasy score of 66 points, a total bolstered by 32 saves. Mendy has carried his form in the new campaign, conceding just one Premier League goal so far, and it's no surprise to see him already the most popular goalkeeper on Champions League Fantasy at 26%.

New Paris Saint-Germain signing Gianluigi Donnarumma (€6.0m), who has joined the French giants fresh from his star performances for Italy at UEFA EURO 2020, where he was named Player of the Tournament. Donnarumma conceded just four goals over the course of the tournament and that has captured the eye of #UCLFantasy bosses, with more than a fifth of them selecting him so far.

Watch brilliant Neuer double save
Watch brilliant Neuer double save

Always a popular selection is Bayern captain Manuel Neuer (€6.0m), who features in 14% of teams at the time of writing. Neuer recorded three clean sheets in last season’s Champions League, helping him to an overall score of 35 points, a total boosted significantly by his 35 saves which added ten points to his score.

Other popular choices: Jan Oblak (10%), Ederson (9%), Thibaut Courtois (7%)

DEFENDERS

Combining defensive stability with attacking potency, Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (€6.5m) has often proved worth his weight in Fantasy gold. Last season brought the right-back six clean sheets and two assists which resulted in 59 #UCLfantasy points. The 22-year-old is often to be found in attacking positions for the Reds and also takes the majority of their set-pieces, hugely boosting his appeal from an offensive perspective.

2005 final highlights: Milan vs Liverpool
2005 final highlights: Milan vs Liverpool

However, while at 34% Alexander-Arnold is currently the highest owned defender, he is not the only member of the Liverpool back line in demand. Centre-back Virgil van Dijk (€6.0m) has already been recruited by over a quarter of #UCLfantasy managers despite missing all last season's UEFA Champions League through injury. Van Dijk not only offers clean sheet potential and attacking threat from set pieces, but also through the ball recovery points system; the Dutchman picked up a bumper 81 recoveries in 2019/20 and also recorded the highest tally on a single matchday with his 19 against Leipzig in the group stage.

Another new arrival at Paris, Achraf Hakimi (€6.5m), is close behind Alexander-Arnold in terms of popularity having last season played a huge part in Inter's first Serie A title since 2010. A full-back who joins attacks at every opportunity, Hakimi represents a goal threat despite being a defender and has already opened his account for Paris in Ligue 1.

Third on the list of most popular defenders, at 28%, is Joshua Kimmich (€6.5m), who could well line up in midfield for Bayern, which only increases his appeal for prospective owners. In the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League, Kimmich recorded four assists, a goal and 35 ball recoveries. Such numbers are impressive enough for a midfield asset on #UCLfantasy, but when you add in the potential clean sheet points, it makes him one of the most enticing prospects out there.

Other popular choices: Sergio Ramos (26%), Raphaël Varane (26%), David Alaba (21%)

MIDFIELDERS

UEFA Midfielder of the Season 2020/21 - N'Golo Kanté
UEFA Midfielder of the Season 2020/21 - N'Golo Kanté

N'Golo Kanté (€5.5m) is both the highest owned #UCLfantasy midfielder and the most popular player in all positions with over 50% of managers having already recruited the UEFA Champions League winner in their squad. A cheap price tag, and his exceptional ball-recovery prowess, makes him an attractive #UCLfantasy pick having acquired 16 points last season through a total of 56 ball recoveries. However, those that own Kanté would be wise to monitor his injury status, with the French international struggling with an ankle injury.

Those looking for alternative Chelsea cover may want to consider Jorginho (€6.0m) instead, who sits in 31% of teams at the time of writing. Another ball recovery magnet, the Italian is coming off a memorable summer during which he has become a European champion for both club and country. With an incredible 80 ball recoveries in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League, and also Chelsea's likely penalty taker, he could prove a huge #UCLfantasy bargain.

2020/21 Player of the Year - Jorginho
2020/21 Player of the Year - Jorginho

Attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes (€10.5m) enjoyed a fantastic first full season at Manchester United both home and abroad. So often the key talisman for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side, Fernandes racked up 18 goals and 14 assists in the 2020/21 Premier League, alongside four goals, one assist and 35 #UCLfantasy points in the UEFA Champions League group stage, meaning 21% of managers have already brought him in.

When it comes to selecting players who have proved themselves in previous UEFA Champions League seasons, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (€10.5m) is one of the most reliable assets. Fielded as part of a front three by Jürgen Klopp, Salah represents one of the Reds’ biggest goalscoring threats and scored six goals in last season's competition. The Egyptian has provided two goals and two assists across Liverpool's three Premier League fixtures so far, leading to 19% of #UCLfantasy managers investing.

Other popular choices: Edson Álvarez (42%), Pedri (24%), Paul Pogba (18%)

FORWARDS

UEFA Forward of the Season 2020/21 - Erling Haaland
UEFA Forward of the Season 2020/21 - Erling Haaland

Ever since he made his debut on the UEFA Champions League stage, striker Erling Haaland (€11.0m) has lit up the competition with his insatiable appetite for goals: an incredible 20 in just 16 appearances. Last season Haaland's ten goals and two assists help him pile up 62 Fantasy points and considering how well he has started the new campaign for Dortmund, logging six goals and three assists in his five games in all competitions, it's no surprise that over 50% of #UCLfantasy managers have already recruited Haaland. It would take a brave manager not to own the 21-year-old.

Lionel Messi (€11.0m) may have swapped Barcelona for Paris but his #UCLfantasy popularity remains as high as ever. Set to form a formidable attacking trident with Kylian Mbappé and former team-mate Neymar, more than a third of managers have splashed out to sign the Argentinian.

Ronaldo: great Manchester United goals
Ronaldo: great Manchester United goals

Another UEFA Champions League great who has changed clubs this summer is Cristiano Ronaldo (€11.0m), who has left Juventus to rejoin former club Manchester United. A UEFA Champions League winner with the Red Devils back in 2008, Ronaldo is expected to be utilised as a central striker at Old Trafford so, despite managing an unusually low four goals last season, he will be expected to significantly improve on that tally this time round, especially with Fernandes and Pogba feeding him chances from midfield. Add that to his likely command of penalties and it is no surprise that Ronaldo's #UCLfantasy ownership is above 25%.

Other popular choices: Kylian Mbappé (25%), Memphis Depay (21%), Romelu Lukaku (20%)