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Football News: Underrated Premier League XI

Underrated Premier League XI
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Underrated Premier League XI

 

By popular request, ok two people but that is far more popular than I have ever been before in my life so I will take that as acclaim, it is time for an underrated XI. Thanks to HugoEFC for being the first to suggest it. Just to point out, before I start, these are not the best players in their respective positions, just the most underrated compared to their actual ability.

 

Goalkeeper:
I only really saw two options here and one, Tom Heaton of Burnley, missed most of the season with a shoulder injury. That only left Lukasz Fabianski, who still seems to be hidden under the stigma of his time as a youngster with Arsenal. He has improved massively since then and become a competent Premier League keeper.
Lukasz Fabianski - Swansea City

 

Right Back:
Another fairly easy choice, Cedric Soares was the only other player I considered before realising it had to be Seamus Coleman. Everton look a completely different team when he plays. They have been extremely lucky to have him playing for them without someone jumping in with a huge offer to pry him away in the past. One of the better full backs of the last decade or so.
Seamus Coleman - Everton

 

Centre Backs:
This came down to deciding who to partner Ben Mee with. Mee is an excellent centre half who has managed to make a number of partners look far better than they are. Michael Keane got a big money move and James Tarkowski got in the England squad simply by standing on his shoulders and letting him carry them. Mee had to be in this team, he is outstanding but no one seems to spot it, for some bizarre reason. Alongside him I considered Phil Jagielka, but he has had too many injuries in recent years to be considered. Shame because a fit Jagielka is an excellent defender. I also thought about Florent Lejeune, who has been overshadowed by Jamaal Lascelles for some reason, however I decided on Christopher Schindler, who was also under the radar because of his partner, though for different reasons. Schindler was excellent but the decision by his centre back partner to name himself after a character from the movie 'Cool Runnings' has meant that is about all you hear from commentators whenever they mention the Terriers defensive pairing.
Christopher Schindler - Huddersfield Town
Ben Mee - Burnley

 

Left Backs:
This one was a bit more difficult, there were a few left backs that seem to get underrated. I considered Paul Dummett, Charlie Daniels and Stephen Ward, all of who have played really well last season, at times, but got little respect from the media. However I plumped for Monreal because he flies under the radar and it seems like even Arsenal fans have little time for him. He is far from world class, but he is one of the few members of the Arsenal defence that can actually defend when called upon. Less spectacular than Sead Kolasinac on a good day but a more solid and reliable performer.
Nacho Monreal - Arsenal

 

Midfielders:
There were a lot of choices here and two of these might seem odd choices, but there is a reason why I picked them. Starting with Kante, the guy has been carrying Chelsea all season, he was the outstanding player in the FA Cup final, yet Eden Hazard was getting the acclaim from the pundits and all we hear about Kante is about him as a great defensive midfielder. Kante is more than a defensive midfielder, he is an all round midfielder of stellar quality, a truly world class player. You could argue that having Messi in some teams would unbalance them and not actually improve them, though those teams are very few in number, however there is not one team in the world that would not benefit and improve by having the Kante twins in midfield. He does so much more than provide protection to the backline, he drives forward with the ball and makes runs off it. And he has done it all while carrying Cesc Fabregas on his back. Kante is highly rated, but he is so good that even that underrates him. He is, without doubt the best player in the world in his position right now. It is a similar story with David Silva, he makes the difference for Man City, they are half the team without him, yet all we hear about it Kevin De Bruyne. De Bruyne is an excellent midfielder, but Silva makes them tick, he is the key to City's play. Finally there is Cork. His arrival, along with the form of Defour before his injury, made a huge difference to Burnley. I think his performances last season deserved an England place for the World Cup, sadly for him it was not to be.
N'Golo Kante - Chelsea
David Silva - Manchester City
Jack Cork - Burnley

 

Forwards:
There were a few options other than those I picked, such as Roberto Firmino and Son Heung-Min, that I discarded as this season they started to finally get a lot more of the credit they deserve. However, one player stands out as someone that never seems to get the recognition he deserves. Giroud has a lovely touch on the ball, he scores goals, can hold the ball up and is strong in the air. It does seem that his lack of mobility is enough to make him criminally underrated as a player. Gross seems to suffer from a similar problem, added to the fact he does not really do the showy things that players half his quality, ie Wilfried Zaha, do and get worshipped for. Instead Gross is stunningly effective. He works damn hard and delivers quality balls into the box to create chances. He puts the ball into places defenders and goalkeepers hate it to go and where attackers love it. If Gross had better quality forwards to feed, his assists would go through the roof. My final choice, Pereyra, stepped up his game during the season, as he found his feet after a long injury lay-off. He offered a real creative outlet for the Hornets when Richarlison faded.
Olivier Giroud - Chelsea
Pascal Gross - Brighton & Hove Albion

Roberto Pereyra - Watford

Written by Tris Burke June 10 2018 14:11:01

 

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