The Premier League is filled with a number of star players who continue to dominate the headlines – and rightly so – as a result of their pieces of individual brilliance.
However, there are other players that, for whatever reason, simply don’t get the recognition they deserve. It is a cruel old world, isn’t it?
So with this in mind, here is each Premier League club’s most underrated player…
AFC Bournemouth – Philip Billing
Things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Bournemouth this season, with the Cherries currently just two points clear of the relegation zone. However, summer arrival Philip Billing has been a shining light for Eddie Howe this season.
The midfielder has started 22 of Bournemouth’s opening 26 league games and while he may not score many goals, he has shone defensively. Billing, on average, has made the most tackles of any player in the squad, while he has also made the most interceptions of any player in the team.
£15m looks like a relatively shrewd piece of business for the big Dane.
Arsenal – Bukayo Saka
Where do you start with Arsenal, eh? The Gunners currently find themselves sat in tenth place in the league after 25 matches – that says it all, really.
Despite the obvious on-field (and off the field) struggles at the Emirates this term, Bukayo Saka has been a bright spark.
He may not be the finished article yet, but it’s astonishing to think how important he is for Arsenal already at just 18 years of age. Whether that says more about Saka or Arsenal is a matter of opinion.
Although naturally a winger, he’s been required to fill in at left back, as well and has five assists and three goals in all competitions, while only three Gunners stars have made more Premier League tackles.
Saka may not get the plaudits that teenage sensation Gabriel Martinelli does, but he has a very bright future too.
Aston Villa –
With Jack Grealish dominating the headlines for Villa due to his fine performances this term, it means little attention has been paid to new arrival Guilbert, who has been impressive.
He has played right back, left back and right midfield, emphasising his versatility and overall importance to Dean Smith. Yes, he may not be a ‘star name’ but he has proven to be a valuable squad member.
No Villa player has made more tackles or interceptions than the Frenchman.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Dan Burn
The signing of Aaron Mooy on a permanent basis was a major boost for Brighton, while equally, Neil Maupay has been bright this season. But the true unsung hero of the team is big Dan Burn.
At 6’5, few would expect him to be a left back, let alone…a good one. However, he has been resolute at the back for the Seagulls, while he also marauds up and down the flank to provide an outlet.
Graham Potter’s men missed him during his absence through injury recently, with the team conceding eight goals in the four matches he missed.
Burnley – Chris Wood
While Dwight McNeil deserves a mention, it is Chris Wood who is Burnley’s most underrated player.
The striker has ten goals and one assist to his name in the league this season and, while he may not be the most elegant of strikers, he is certainly effective. Wood is an old fashioned attacker, hurling himself at crosses and working hard for the team.
Wood has proven that he often only needs one chance to find the net and his goals have been crucial for Sean Dyche this season.
No player in the Premier League has had more six-yard box shots than Mr Right Place Right Time.
Chelsea – Cesar Azpilicueta
Captain, leader…legend? We’ll leave that up to you.
One thing that is for sure is that Azpilicueta is a world-class defender and with Chelsea now having a very youthful look about them, the Spaniard’s role has become even more important.
He has missed just two league games this season, underlining his importance to the team. With Reece James beginning to force his way into the starting lineup, such is Azpilicueta’s ability and understanding of the game, he has often shifted over to play left back numerous times.
Not to mention, he has also popped up with a few important goals and assists this season, as well…
Crystal Palace – Patrick van Aanholt
Everton – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
It was only ever going to be Jordan Pickf…oh wait *checks notes*, no, it’s not.
Since Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Everton, Calvert-Lewin has scored six goals in eight league games. This is in stark contrast to the previous 17 rounds of fixtures, where he managed just five. Once renowned as a workaholic without any end product, the Englishman has now forced his way into Gareth Southgate’s thinking ahead of Euro 2020.
Perhaps surprisingly DCL ranks seventh for aerials won in the Premier League this season,
Leicester City – Jonny Evans
Let’s not be mistaken, Ricardo Pereira is still a wonderful player, but he’s hardly underrated anymore. Meanwhile, Jonny Evans continues to shine week after week without any much recognition.
The Northern Irishman has started all 25 league games so far for Leicester this season, helping his side concede the third-fewest goals of any team in the division. His role and importance to the Foxes cannot be understated.
In 25 games he has been dribbled past eight times (by far the fewest of any of the Foxes regular backline), yet he has conceded half the fouls (10) of his central defensive partner Caglar Soyuncu (20).
Liverpool – Georginio Wijnaldum
Liverpool are running away with the league. In fact, they’re no longer in sight. With 25 matches played, Jurgen Klopp’s men are a staggering 22 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
The Reds are also looking to defend their Champions League crown. Not too bad is it, Reds fans?
There have been claims that Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back to have ever played the game, while the rest of the team have received huge praise – and rightly so – for their stellar performances so far this campaign.
However, it is Georginio Wijnaldum whose performances continue to go somewhat under the radar. The midfielder is a crucial player at ball retention and transitions for Klopp and the Reds are a much better side (how is that possible?!) when he is in the team.
Liverpool simply must tie him down to a new deal.
Manchester City – Bernardo Silva
While Pep Guardiola’s men have struggled at points this campaign, there is no denying the quality in this Manchester City team.
Bernardo Silva does, of course, get recognition for his performances, but it’s nowhere near what he deserves. The Portuguese is as versatile as they come, playing on the right, the left or even in the middle – and he never looks out of place or uncomfortable.
Equally, he never kicks a fuss over the fact that he may not be playing in his preferred position, instead, he works tirelessly to help his side.
This attitude mixed with his ability on the ball (and goal threat) makes him a truly outstanding footballer.
Manchester United – Fred
Manchester United spent a whopping £50m to bring Fred to Old Trafford in the summer of 2018 and it’s fair to say he…didn’t quite live up to expectations – at first.
He didn’t score, he didn’t assist and just to top it off, he was caught in possession on countless occasions. As a result, he was not even included in any of United’s first four league games this season. However, injuries to other players saw him given a chance.
The midfielder is now considered a key first-team player, playing the full 90 minutes in each of the Red Devils’ last 18 league games. He also picked up the club’s Player of the Month award for January as a result of his fine performances.
A remarkable turnaround.
Newcastle United – Isaac Hayden
Contrary to many peoples predictions, Newcastle have actually performed pretty well this season!
It’s astonishing to think that the club’s main forward Joelinton has scored…once in the league, while Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin’s returns aren’t much better.
However, the likes of Isaac Hayden do the unseen dirty work to keep the opponents out. He has featured in 25 matches in all competitions this term, playing in a variety of positions, acting as a reliable player for Steve Bruce.
He is top of the Magpies rankings for tackles in 2019/10, while he is second overall for both passes (for an outfield player) and interceptions.
Norwich City – Emiliano Buendia
Norwich appear as though they are heading straight back down to the Championship, but one player who deserves to be playing Premier League football is Emiliano Buendia.
The 23-year-old Argentine is a Fantasy Football favourite with seven assists in the league to his name, while he also ranks third in chances created by any player in the division. Moreover, he also ranks top for most accurate through balls.
A top player were he at a different club, he might be in consideration for the Premier League’s end of season awards.
Sheffield United – John Lundstram
Lundstram made just 12 appearances in all competitions last season for Sheffield United, but he has been a key figure for the Blades in their dream 2019/20 season in the top flight.
He was taken out of the starting lineup recently following the arrival of Sander Berge, but such is his character and desire, he took his opportunity as a substitute in the last game, scoring a late winner to give his side the win over Bournemouth.
Another Fantasy Premier League legend lives on.
Southampton captain Højbjerg has started 23 of Southampton’s 25 league games this term and although the Saints have had some very low moments this campaign (such as that 9-0 defeat), they have since moved away from the relegation zone and are playing some delightful football.
At the heart of that is the former Bayern Munich man. He is composed and controlled in possession, picking out his teammates time and time again – he keeps things ticking over.
Defensively, however, Højbjerg is equally impressive. He ranks second for tackles, interceptions and passes blocked, while he is the club’s top pass maker.
Tottenham Hotspur – Giovani Lo Celso
It may seem like an obvious choice, but it is remarkable how quickly the narrative has changed regarding Giovani Lo Celso.
The player struggled to adapt to life at Tottenham initially, but he is now playing some wonderful football and fans are beginning to realise how good a player he is. However, he still has his critics as a result of his slow start, but he really is a special talent and the fact that Spurs were able to secure his signature on a permanent basis for around £27m reaffirms just how underrated he is.
The scariest part? The best is yet to come.
Watford – Etienne Capoue
Gerard Deulofeu, Ismaila Sarr, Troy Deeney and
West Ham – Robert Snodgrass
Erm, well, this was a tough one – and not for the right reasons.
However, Robert Snodgrass’ work has often been disregarded as a result of West Ham’s poor form this season. David Moyes’ men are flirting with relegation, which quite frankly, just shouldn’t be happening, but Snodgrass is a player that never stops running, pressing and looking to make things happen.
His set-pieces also pose a real threat and the fact that he has been involved in more league goals this season (five goals and four assists) than any other West Ham player speaks volumes about his importance to the team.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Raul Jimenez
Joao Moutinho? Conor Coady? Pedro Neto? Leander Dendoncker? It would be hard to argue against any of these players being seen as underrated considering their performances this season.
Not only that, Wolves’ campaign up to this point is made all the more impressive by the fact that Nuno Espirito Santo has used the fewest players of any team in the league, while his side have also played the most matches of any team in the top flight in all competitions.
While the aforementioned players have been impressive, it is Raul Jimenez who continues to be overlooked, when, in reality, he should be regarded as one of the best strikers in the division. 20 goals and nine assists in all competitions so far in 2019/20 is a very strong return for the Mexican, but his game is so much more than just goals.
A tireless team player that deserves much more recognition.