What Premier League players get unnecessarily torn apart on twitter? Who do you believe deserves to be playing at a bigger club? Which players will someday be topping the scoring charts and we just haven’t fully recognized them yet? Below we outline who we think is the most underrated player at each Premier League club. Sometimes players are underrated by the general public and sometimes they are underrated within their own clubs or by their manager, so keep an open mind as you read.
Arsenal: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has been absolutely prolific from the moment he joined Arsenal back in January 2018. The joint Premier League top goalscorer last season, he has continued his hot run of form this season, 2nd in the scoring charts with 17, only behind Jamie Vardy. This is even more impressive when one considers the fact he has played the majority of his games on the left wing. Despite his goalscoring habits, he is rarely talked about in the same vain as other top Premier League strikers. He deserves more respect across the football world.
Aston Villa: Conor Hourihane
Doesn’t start every game for Villa, which confuses us as he is very strong going forward and is a goalscoring threat because of his set-piece capabilities. The Irishman is blessed with a wand of a left-foot, and should feature more in a Villa team struggling for goals.
Bournemouth: Junior Stanislas
Another player who doesn’t seem to be too highly rated by his own manager, but impresses us whenever he plays. Although injuries have disrupted his playtime throughout his career, he has a decent goalscoring record and great speed and technical ability.
Brighton: Dale Stephens
A player who certainly divides opinion between the Brighton fanbase, but those who like him see him as a vital cog in the team. Stephens sits in front of the back four and keeps the ball ticking for the Seagulls, and has formed a very solid partnership with Davy Propper since their promotion to the Premier League.
Burnley: Dwight McNeil
McNeil has made great strides since making his first-team debut in 2018, making the left midfield spot his own. Often unrecognized and under appreciated because of the team he plays for, there is no doubting McNeil is a very talented player, and will surely be at a bigger club sooner rather than later.
Chelsea: Olivier Giroud
There is a reason that, at the age of 33, Giroud still starts for the French national team. Although he is not as prolific as the elite strikers of the Premier League, Giroud is still a dependable goalscorer and a fantastic hold-up striker, and has warranted his induction into Chelsea’s lineup since Abraham’s injury.
Crystal Palace: Jordan Ayew
In a Crystal Palace team struggling for goals, Ayew has been the standout player this season, scoring eight Premier League goals thus far. Jordan Ayew has been keeping Palace afloat this season and even has them pushing above their weight as they currently sit above Everton and only a couple of points behind Spurs and Arsenal. Ayew has certainly outshone Wilfried Zaha, but it is the latter who gets the attention.
Everton: Mason Holgate
Mason Holgate, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship West Brom, came back to Everton this year and initially struggled for game time before securing his spot as one of the two center backs, and has not looked back since. Quick, physically strong, and dependable in the tackle, don’t be shocked by an England call-up if he continues his form.
Leicester City: Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans has been a stalwart at the back for Leicester ever since his move from Manchester. The fact that he was deemed surplus to requirements at United has resulted in him being incredibly underrated. He has developed a formidable partnership next to Söyüncü and it’s no mistake that Leicester have the third best defense in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool: Georginio Wijnaldum
It’s certainly not easy to select an underrated Liverpool player in a very rated Liverpool side, but we don’t feel as though the Dutch midfielder gets enough credit. Liverpool fans felt underwhelmed when he was signed from Newcastle in 2016, but they have certainly eaten their words since. His stats don’t highlight his importance, but he is often the driving force in the Reds’ midfield.
Manchester City: Riyad Mahrez
Again, Man City is another difficult club to pick an underrated player from, but the Algerian winger is the definition of the word “sauce” and is a fantastic player who rarely gets the recognition he deserves. Probably the least favored attacking player out of City’s broad selection, Mahrez is supremely talented and has scored seven Premier League goals in just 15 starts this season.
Manchester United: Nemanja Matic
Another who divides opinion at his own club, Matic has become indispensable for United in the last few months. He plays in the most under appreciated position in football, sitting just in front of the back four, but goes about his business quietly while doing a fantastic job of transitioning the ball between defense and attack.
Newcastle United: Jonjo Shelvey
He-who-must-not-be-named has consistently been one of Newcastle United’s best players this season. He controls the game, knows how to pick a pass, and can hit one from outside the box. If Jonjo had the hair of Jack Grealish he’d be playing for a top-6 side. In all seriousness though, when he’s started this year (15 games), Newcastle has accumulated 25 points or 1.66 points per game. When he hasn’t started (14 games), they’ve earned only 10 points or 0.71 points per game. This shocking statistic shows how vital he is to their success and that he needs to play more often.
Norwich City: Emi Buendia
It can be difficult for players on a relegation battling side to show their quality, but Emi Buendia has done just that this season. Played an unforgivingly little amount by Daniel Farke since their promotion to the Premier League, the Santi Cazorla-like midfielder has created 30% of Norwich’s chances this season. A player of diminutive build but fantastic technical ability, expect him to be in the Premier League next season, regardless of whether or not Norwich are there too.
Sheffield United: Jack O’Connell
A member of the defense (and team) that has surprised everyone this season, the Liverpool-born defender has battled his way up the English divisions and is now reaping the rewards. An ever-present in the 2nd best defense in the league, O’Connell deserves more recognition than he gets. His occasional bombs forward in Sheffield’s dynamic formation are just as eye-catching as his dominant defending.
Southampton: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
In the last few months, Southampton’s form has improved dramatically, with much of the praise being heaped on Ings for his terrific goalscoring form. However, their upturn in results must also be attributed to the work of their midfield, in particular this Danish workhorse. A midfielder with the rare ability of being efficient in both the defensive and offensive third, Hojbjerg makes crunching tackles and timely interceptions but also has the eye for a killer-pass and the ability to strike a ball from long-range.
Tottenham Hotspur: Moussa Sissoko
The case of Sissoko is rare in that he is arguably overrated by his own teams’ fans, but perhaps this over-the-top praise makes other fans’ views of him skewed. Under-appreciated by Spurs supporters in his first year at the club, he is now deemed an integral part of their side. Sissoko is the definition of a physical specimen, perhaps not appreciated enough by opposition fans because of his lack of goalscoring threat, but he is the type of midfielder every team could do with.
Watford: Ben Foster
When discussing quality keepers outside of the primary top six clubs, the first names that spring to mind are usually Kaspar Schmeichel and Lukas Fabianski. We think Ben Foster deserves to be in that category too. The 36 year-old has been in tremendous form for Watford this year, keeping 9 clean sheets and making 89 saves.
West Ham United: Michail Antonio
If you watched Michail Antonio in West Ham’s last few games before the pandemic, you’ll know that he was by far their most effective player. It was hard to pick an underrated player from West Ham because they have been massively underperforming, but if anyone fits the bill it’s Antonio. A player who makes up for a lack of technical ability with a commanding physical presence and a tireless work ethic, Antonio scares the mightiest of defenses.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Raul Jimenez
Choosing Wolves’ most underrated player was a difficult decision to make. Wolves have quite drastically overachieved since their promotion to the Premier League just two seasons ago, but this fine form has led to most of their players being “rated” by both their own and opposition fans. Yet, despite all the credit the Mexican forward gets, we don’t think he is as highly regarded as he should be. With 13 goals and six assists in the league this season, Jimenez should be talked about along with the best strikers in the country – yet he isn’t. There is a reason rumors are spreading of Real Madrid’s interest…
Who do you think is the most underrated player for your club? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @TopBinsTalk