Who is the best 4.5m FPL defender?
The 4.5m defenders can be some of the most important players in your FPL side.
Firstly, if you are able to pick out some 4.5m defenders who start week in week out for a decent side, that is obviously a good use of your money.
But perhaps more importantly, the 4.5m defenders can help you devote a larger amount of your money to other higher-scoring areas of your team, such as midfield and your forward line.
When selecting your team, it may be easy to start with your backline and fill it with numerous top players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Dias, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ben Chilwell.
As a starting back-four or back-three, that defence would no doubt do well for you over the course of a season.
However, it is also fairly expensive and limits your ability to have players like Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes in your side.
With the 4.5m players, though, you can still have a quality backline and earn some respectable points.
For example, if you wish to start with a back-three – a popular choice on FPL over the years – you could select one of Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson (the two premium defenders on the game once again). As your second defender, you could then opt for someone in the 5.5-6.0m price range, such as Ruben Dias or one of the Chelsea defenders. Then, your 3rd and 4th options should be 4.5m players.
These two or three players could be rotated each week depending on who their opponents are in any given gameweek.
But who are the best 4.5m defenders on FPL this year?
Brighton & Arsenal standouts
At first glance, there are two main teams who have several solid 4.5m defensive options this campaign.
The first of which is Graham Potter’s Brighton side. And whilst selecting defenders from a team that finished 16th last season may not seem wise, the Seagulls actually had a pretty decent defensive record las term.
Brighton would concede 46 times in the league during 2020/21, the joint-lowest of all the sides in the bottom half of the PL. But even further up the table Everton, Leeds, West Ham and Leicester would ship more than the south coast outfit.
So who are the best 4.5m defensive options from Brighton? Perhaps your best choice heading into the campaign is Tariq Lamptey.
The right-back would miss over two-thirds of 2020/21 due to injury. But before he was forced to the sidelines, he was proving himself to be a really solid budget FPL assist. In just 11 league ties Lamptey would score one and assist three.
And if he can keep up that sort of form for a full season when he returns in 2021/22, Lamptey may just be the best 4.5m option available this year.
The 20-year-old has already begun pre-season with Brighton as well, so him being fit for the opening weekend should not be an issue.
Joel Veltman could also be another decent 4.5m option from Brighton. And whilst he did help cover at right-back when Lamptey was injured, he is a centre-back by trade and should be back in that spot next season.
Elsewhere, Ben White is also, of course, another 4.5m defender you should be keeping an eye on.
However, though he is at Brighton now, he does look as though he will become an Arsenal player before the season commences.
Said move would no doubt only make White an even better budget option than he is now.
This is because Arsenal, despite finishing 8th, had the 3rd best defence in the English top-flight last season only behind Manchester City and Chelsea.
Said record also makes Rob Holding of Arsenal another one to look out for at just 4.5m.
More 4.5m options
Whilst Arsenal and Brighton do look to have some of the best 4.5m options this year, there are still plenty more out there to choose from.
For example, Wesley Fofana of Leicester City should be high on your list of 4.5m options.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a solid debut campaign with the Foxes. And whilst he did only feature 28 times in the league, most of his absences were injured-enforced.
Fofana’s teammate Luke Thomas could also be one-to-watch at the start of next season. The youngster was handed a starting role at left-back at the back end of 2020/21 due to James Justin’s injury. But with Timothy Castagne and Ricardo Pereira also vying for full-back roles at Leicester, there may be safer bets than Thomas at present.
Elsewhere, Luke Ayling of Leeds and Matthew Lowton of Burnley are fairly reliable options.
Both Burnley and Leeds United kept 11 clean sheets last season, seeing the aforementioned duo earn a respectable number of points for cheap options.
Tyrone Mitchell of Crystal Palace may also be worth considering this summer as he is now likely Crystal Palace’s starting left-back following Patrick van Aanholt’s departure. One risk with Mitchell, however, is that Palace are undergoing some serious changes at present and could find themselves sucked into a relegation battle this year.
Newly promoted picks
When looking at cheap defensive options, it is always a good idea to check out the newly-promoted teams.
John Lundstram from Sheffield United in 2019/20 and Stuart Dallas of Leeds in 2020/21 are great examples of this, with both excelling in their debut campaigns.
But who could be a potential bargain from Brentford, Watford and Norwich?
The Bees do not appear to have too many exciting options at the back currently and were not the most defensively sound side in the Championship last year, so it may be best to avoid them for now.
Watford, though, possessed the best defence in the Championship last year. This should make Kiko Femenia a decent option for your side.
Femenia usually starts as a right-back, but he can also play slightly further forward or on the left. The Spaniard would provide four assists in the league last seaosn, the joint second-most of all Watford players.
Finally, for Norwich, Max Aarons is a fairly reliable option that can sometimes chip in with attacking contributions. Jacob Sorensen may also be one to watch as though he played left-back a fair bit last season, he is a midfielder by trade and has been used further forward by Daniel Farke previously.
Top 4.5m defenders
Ben White, Brighton (maybe Arsenal soon)
Tariq Lamptey, Brighton
Wesley Fofana, Leicester
Rob Holding, Arsenal
Matthew Lowton, Burnley
Luke Alling, Leeds
Joel Veltman, Brighton
Kiko Femenia, Watford
Tyrone Mitchel, Crystal Palace
Luke Thomas, Leicester
Jacob Sorensen, Norwich
Max Aarons, Norwich
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This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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