Phew, we survived the international break lads and this weekend Premier League football is back in action! We couldn’t stand the hype any longer and started getting in a Premier League mood by talking about who the most underrated players are in the English top flight. I have put together a starting eleven of player who have a much larger impact than they get credit for. See if you agree here.
Yeah, I know, there are some seriously controversial choices in and among them, but trust me they have all been taken into careful consideration. Let me start by defending my choice of left back, because although he has been getting some attention, Jordan Amavi has not been getting the media love his performances deserve. Don’t believe me? Let me throw some stats your way - he is the player in the Premier League with most completed tackles (28), the player with the most interceptions (30), which are basically the two most important traits as a defender. To add to that he is the player in the league with the second most successful take-ons (Second only to Riyad Mahrez). He was also the best left back in Ligue 1 last season, but people must have forgotten that.
Chris Smalling could cause some controversy too, but he has always had a bad reputation, which he has completely improved in my eyes. He has been by a mile the best centre back in the Premier League this season, so it’s about time he got some credit.
Moving swiftly on let me express my disbelief at how Scott Dann isn’t in the England squad instead of Phil Jones, I mean it's complete ludacris and I’ll just leave it at that. Ryan Betrand is traditionally a left back, but deserves to be in the lineup, so will have to play out of position.
The midfield was tough, very tough. The list of players who could have been there instead is endless, but this is where I ended up and if you totally disagree, then feel free to tell me in the comment-section down below. One name does stand out if you look at my underrated midfield and that’s Willian. He has been immense for Chelsea for 2-3 seasons, but is still not rated as one of the best wingers in the league. This season so far, he has been the only Chelsea player that hasn’t been shameful, awful and terrible beyond belief.
Steven Davis - fantastic player and totally underrated just because he is from Northern Ireland and not England. Kouyate - has been in the shadow of all the media attention Dimitri Payet has been getting, but has arguably been just as good in a more defensive role. Nathan Redmond - young, English, a winger - why haven’t Manchester City signed him for 50 million pounds yet? (Alright, he isn’t as good as Sterling, but he is definitely worth more than the 3 million Norwich signed him for)
Swansea are once again going quietly under the radar, they have been entertaining and free flowing, without people expecting too much from them. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been central to that and is on the team as an attacking midfielder, because quite frankly I was struggling to find strikers that fit the bill perfectly. One striker however that does suit the description as underrated, is Obian Ighalo. What an absolute BEAST! 5 goals and actually the only Watford player who has scored any goals. Invaluable to them and therefore underrated.
Also a list of my honourable mentions, or the substitutions if you will: Francis Coquelin (Would have made the list, but Arsenal fans won’t shut up about him, so he can’t be considered underrated - #SSHQCoquelin), James Milner, José Fonte, Jack Butland, Ashley Williams, Mame Diouf, or Gomis.
The team has already done exactly what I expected it would and caused a massive debate at the Unisport office. Are you as up in arms as some of my colleagues and is there someone you think doesn’t get the credit they deserve? If so let us know in the comment-section down below.