In recent years, many players have gone under the radar in the Pl due to the league’s intensity and competitiveness and unrealistic standards set by fans. It also doesn’t help that football fans tend to under-appreciate rival players due to their hate for the team the player plays for, rather than judge a player after watching them play.
So here are my list of players who deserve more recognition and praise.
Arsenal: Kieran Tierney
The young, Scottish left-back is criticised by many rival fans, but it is hard to see the cause behind this criticism. Tierney has been a decent LB for Arsenal during a period when Arsenal have been absolutely dismal. He has a great eye for a cross, tackles well, and is generally solid. While he does make the occasional error, he is still a young player, and has lots of time to learn.
Aston Villa: John McGinn
The Scottish winger has been struggling with injuries lately, but on his day is one of the best attackers in the league. The Villans’ no.7 was even recommended to Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson himself due to his talent. Inhibited by injury, McGinn hasn’t seen much Premier League football as he would have liked due to his injury troubles, but has looked impressive in his appearances so far, with his slick dribbling and great movement off the ball.
Burnley: James Tarkowski
While the English defender IS rated quite decently, he certainly is more than just a decent centre-back. Tall, composed on the ball and a rock in defence, the Center-back is certainly one of the reasons why Sean Dyche’s men have done decently well by their standards in recent years. However, Let me just make it clear that he still isn’t worth 50 million. Burnley really need to realise that quickly.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Lewis Dunk
Another solid, composed and towering English Center back, Lewis Dunk is not really rated by anyone but Brighton fans. While many PL fans do acknowledge his solid defending and tough tackling, the 28 year-old really doesn’t get his due credit. While he has had a drop in form this season, he has been generally consistent with his good form for the past 3 years, although he does have a tendency to score an own goal every now and then.
Crystal palace: Andros Townsend
Townsend will always be known as a player who never reached his full potential, but the Englishman is pretty good and underrated for Crystal palace. The former Spurs academy graduate may not be world-class, but he has struck up an impressive partnership with Wilfred Zaha, and can be relied on for some creative influence every now and then.
Chelsea: Mason Mount
I’m sure many will disagree with this choice, but I feel that although Mount isn’t criminally underrated by fans, he is over-hated by rival fans. The young, versatile midfielder has blossomed under Frank Lampard and remains undroppable despite the arrival of some of the most talented attackers in Europe. However, it is true that he isn’t world class yet to be picked for literally every England game by Gareth Southgate.
Everton: Lucas Digne
The former Barcelona left-back is one of the best left-backs in the league, but not many seem to recognise that. Lucas Digne is both defensively and offensively talented, and occasionally even pulls out a world class free kick to get a goal for the Toffees. The Frenchman is approaching his peak years, and hopefully will continue to be a important part of this impressive Everton side.
Fulham: Alphonse Areola
The French goalkeeper is another player who never really reached their potential. The French ‘keeper is on loan at Fulham from PSG, but is quite possibly one of their best players. Areola may not be the league’s best keeper, but is certainly a reliable and solid ‘keeper.
Leeds United: Helder Costa
The Portuguese winger has been a vital part of the current Leeds United team, and looks like he will continue to be so. Quick, a dangerous crosser and a decent finisher, Costa doesn’t get any Praise by rival fans despite his recent impressive performances. Hopefully, after his latest performances, fans will realise his worth.
Leicester City: James Justin
The Foxes’ young fullback may have joined Leicester only a year ago, but he is already playing week in week out despite the high competition within the squad. The full-back’s talents were first highlighted when he was used to replace the injured Ben Chilwell during the last few weeks of the 2019/20, and did so effortlessly. With great attacking abilities and amazing positional sense, James Justin looks like the next big thing from the Foxes first-team.
Liverpool: James Milner
The English veteran has had a stellar career full of trophies, yet remains one of the most under appreciated players in the Premier League. Milner is one of the most versatile players in Premier League, having played at ALL positions in outfield except centre-back in his career. Even at the age of 34, Milner continues to be a vital part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad, and hopefully will continue to be for a few more years.
Manchester City: Joao Cancelo
The Portuguese right-back may have got off to a rough start with the Citizens, but has excelled at left-back for Man City this season, after he was switched to the position by Pep Guardiola. Despite his stellar performances, many rival fans still underrate him due to his huge price tag. While I don’t deny that his price tag was quite exorbitant, the stick he gets from others is undeserved.
Manchester United: Scott McTominay
The McTerminator may be loved by every Red Devil fan, but words used to describe him by other fans include ‘over-hyped’ and some other words i better not mention. While it is true the Scotsman does not have the tricks and flicks or the creative influence expected of all midfielders nowadays, he does have the qualities of an out-and-out defensive midfielder. McTominay is not only a defensively solid, tough-tackling midfielder, but also often controls the tempo and flow of play for the Red Devils with his long balls and distribution. He also has a decent long shot too.
Newcastle United: Isaac Hayden
I haven’t seen much of Hayden playing, but from the matches I’ve seen him play in, I can realise that despite being quite inexperienced, Hayden has a lot of footballing intelligence. The Arsenal academy graduate has been an important part of this Newcastle side, and is often overlooked by many fans. He may not have world class talent, but the versatile Englishman is certainly more than average. He has even been used at centre back by Steve Bruce in the absence of the Newcastle regulars, which shows the amount of trust Isaac Hayden gets.
Sheffield United: Sander Berge
The young Norwegian midfielder just recently joined the Blades, but seems to be the engine to a lacklustre Sheffield United. The Blades have had a horrendous season so far, but Berge continues to impress in the centre of the park. A box-to-box midfielder, the 22 year-old has it all, with great aerial ability, dribbling and tackling. However, he still needs to work on his passing and needs to commit less fouls to become a more complete player.
Southampton: Stuart Armstrong
The Scottish midfielder has been an important part of Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side, but often goes unnoticed due to the attention around other players like Danny Ings. A long-range shooter, with great passing vision and ability, the Scotsman remains an unsung hero of this Saints’ side. And yet, according to WhoScored.com, he doesn’t have any significant weaknesses in his playing style. Strange. Hopefully, after that goal against Sheffield last week, fans will appreciate him more.
Tottenham Hotspur: Eric Dier
The Englishman is often criticised for his rash style of play, and his strengths are often overlooked. Dier has improved by leaps and bounds under Jose Mourinho, and looks like he will continue to do so. His versatility has helped him slot into centre-back under Mourinho, and it has also helped him to be both offensively and defensively talented. A positionally disciplined, strong and aerially solid defender, he also is a great passer and long range shooter too. And he can take decent penalties.
West Bromwich Albion: Sam Johnstone
The former Man United academy graduate has been a solid keeper for the Baggies for quite a while now, and doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves. While he may not be a David de Gea or a Manuel Neuer, he is quite a reliable goalkeeper, with Johnstone saving multiple shots against top teams to keep the Baggies’ survival chance alive. Impressive, considering he plays for West Brom.
West Ham United: Aaron Cresswell
The left back was considered an upcoming talent a couple years ago, and despite not reaching the heights people thought he would reach, he still is one of the best left backs in the league. Despite playing in a back three, Cresswell still helps out with the attack, with his beautiful set pieces and great runs. He is also good at stopping counter-attacks due to his speed, and his awareness often goes unnoticed. All in all, Cresswell is a crucial player for the Hammers, and will be, for a long time.
Wolves: Rui Patricio
We have reached the last underrated player, and to me one of the most underrated players in this list. The shot-stopper has been a solid ‘keeper for Wolves for quite a while now, but doesn’t get his due respect. A fast, athletic and reflexive goalie, Patricio is one reason why Wolves have done so well in recent times. Oh, and he’s great at saving penalties too.
So that’s it. Overall, the most underrated players in the list for me is James Milner and Scott McTominay, but I’d love to know if I missed any player out or you feel someone else on the list is the most underrated. Till next time, adios!