Most expensive midfielders:
10.0m – Kevin de Bruyne.
9.5m – Thomas Muller.
9.0m – Dele Alli, Philippe Coutinho, Angel Di Maria, Christian Eriksen, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil, Paul Pogba, James Rodriguez.
Splashing the cash on those afore-listed midfielders leaves you a bit pushed, right? Fear not. FIFA.com’s McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Fantasy scouts have identified four cheaper options – between 5.5 and 7.5 million – to help ease your budget.
Jesse Lingard (7.5m)
A superb season for Manchester United, in which he netted 13 goals in all competitions and provided a series of assists, has helped establish the pacey attacking midfielder in the England team. Lingard’s goal from outside the box earned a 1-0 victory away to the Netherlands in March, before his intuitive free-kick enabled Jamie Vardy to score in the 1-1 draw with Italy. England will be going for goals in their first two games, against Tunisia and Panama, knowing that a group which also features Belgium could be decided on goal difference. The man who Gareth Southgate hailed as “a fantastic link between midfield and attack” will expect to be among them.
Yannick Carrasco (6.5m)
The Red Devils score for fun. And like the Three Lions, they will be going all out for goals in Group G. Carrasco is renowned for setting them up, but he has also scored five times in his last 18 internationals. A rapid winger formerly of Monaco and Atletico Madrid, the 24-year-old links up well with Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard.
Keisuke Honda (6.0m)
Cometh the hour, cometh the Honda. The 31-year-old is the only Japanese player to have scored in multiple World Cups, while he hit seven goals in Russia 2018 qualifying and always seems to produce on the big stage. The former AC Milan man enters the tournament fresh from three goals in his last four appearances for Pachuca, and the free-kick specialist – who is expected to be deployed just off a lone striker – will fancy himself to get on the score-sheet against Colombia, Senegal and Poland.
Mateus Uribe (5.5m)
The 27-year-old, who only made his international debut last year, has played himself into the Colombia side with 11 goals in his last 18 appearances for Mexican outfit America. Uribe has started their last three matches, playing on the left of an attacking-midfield triumvirate also featuring James Rodriguez and Juan Caudrado in their final warm-up friendly. Colombia, who face Japan, Poland and Senegal, are among the favourites to be the highest scorers of the 32 teams in the group stage.