Who are the best Matt Doherty replacements in FPL?

We’ve yet to hear official news from Tottenham Hotspur about the severity of Matt Doherty’s (£4.9m) knee injury but widespread media reports suggest he will be out for the remainder of the season.

The Irish wing-back had been in good form before limping out of Saturday’s win over Aston Villa and was well owned in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), sitting in over 75% of the top 10,000 squads as of Gameweek 32 (figures below via LiveFPL ):

Who are the leading candidates to replace him in our FPL squads, then?

Naturally, there are a plethora of premium options who are very obvious candidates to step in, should a spare million or three be available.

But here we look at some of the frontrunners in the budget and mid-price bracket, with defenders up to £5.5m under consideration.


Low-owned FPL pick Emerson Royal can thrive as a wing-back under Conte 1

Gameweek 33 ‘doublers’ are key transfer targets this week but as a longer-term investment, Emerson Royal (£4.5m) Sergio Reguilon (£5.1m) are worthy of serious consideration.

Since Antonio Conte first took charge of the Lilywhites in Gameweek 11, Spurs players are dominating the expected goal involvement (xGI) tables among £5.5m-and-under defenders:

Above: Defenders priced at £5.5m and under sorted by xGI from Gameweek 11 onwards (min. five apps)

It’s Reguilon who immediately leaps out. He has the best rate of goal attempts, shots in the box, efforts on target, penalty area touches and xGI among Doherty replacements under £5.6m, while only two options have created chances at a better frequency.

When he’s on the pitch, Reguilon is the stand-out pick. But is he assured of game-time from now until Gameweek 38? It may only take a bad display or two from the Spaniard for the fit-again Ryan Sessegnon (£4.3m) to come back into the thinking, as it was he who was keeping Reguilon out of the side before injury struck.

Emerson, by contrast, would seem to stand a better chance of retaining his spot for the run-in, devoid of natural competition down the right flank. Dejan Kulusevski (£6.4m) had previously been mentioned as an option in that position by Antonio Conte but would the Italian really redeploy a now first-choice member of his front three?

Emerson can’t really match Reguilon for much statistically but he’s ahead of most other potential Doherty replacements for the key metrics.

Favourable fixtures surround Spurs’ Double Gameweek 36 and there’s a top-four spot to play for, so rotation should be kept at a minimum.

And let’s not forget the points potential at the other end of the pitch: since Conte took charge, only the top two have kept more clean sheets. Spurs are also the third-best side for fewest ‘big chances’ conceded in that time.

Above: Premier League teams sorted by clean sheets from Gameweek 11 onwards


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