GIROUD

The 5 most underrated players in the Premier League.

When a talented player doesn’t get the recognition they deserve, they can often fade into oblivion. Such disrespect can lead to a player’s true value being undermined, and once that happens, they’ll never gain true respect.

The players on this list are all players who silently go along with their day job, without being recognised. Not all players grab headlines, but these players should certainly be sprawled all over the papers.

Here are the 5 most underrated players in the Premier League.

#5 Idrissa Gueye

IDRISSA

Idrissa Gueye has made 4,076 passes in 74 PL appearances

Nobody in the Premier League last season made more tackles than Idrissa Gueye, the Senegalese midfielder made 135 tackles in the 2016/17 campaign. That’s more than what N’Golo Kante produced, but the Frenchman still receives more plaudits. Is it because Gueye plays for a smaller team? Perhaps, but nobody can say his performances don’t resemble that of a big-game player.

His influence in the middle of the park for Everton is there for all to see. He doesn’t stop working all game, always ensuring that breaks up play for the Toffees, quickly turning defence into attack.

He has exceptional defensive attributes, but he’s also a firm contributor to build-up play. His short passing is usually quick & accurate, thus allowing Everton to travel up the pitch at a faster rate. Being a defensive midfielder will never grab you headlines, but Idrissa Gueye is a player truly deserving of more praise.

#4 Cédric Soares

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Cédric Soares has kept 17 clean sheets in 60 PL appearances for Southampton

It was almost an impossible job to replace Nathaniel Clyne at Southampton, but Cédric Soares has done just that. The Portuguese national silently does his job every game up and down the right flank. Let’s not forget that the right-back is a European Championships winner. He’s quick, good in 1v1s, works hard, averages 3 tackles per game, has a 78% tackle success and maintains a 76% passing accuracy.

He’s the one constant in an ever-changing Saints team and his exploits seem to go unnoticed every week. Until he moves to a bigger club, it’s guaranteed Cédric Soares will forever be underrated by the masses.

#3 Victor Wanyama

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Victor Wanyama signed for Tottenham in June 2016 for £11million

People seem to forget that without a holding midfielder, the engine of the team cannot operate. The work of players like Victor Wanyama gives midfielder superstars like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen the license to roam forward to assist & score.

Kane, Ali & Eriksen may always grab the headlines, but Victor Wanyama is undoubtedly Mauricio Pochettino’s most important player. His ability to win possession and travel up the pitch on the counter-attack, helps Tottenham to be the destructive force they are.

Last season, Tottenham won 24 out of 34 games in which the Kenyan started, that only reiterates his influence. He successfully completed 69% of his 90 tackles, made 40 interceptions, made 69 clearances and won 236 duels. He was the rock in the middle of the park for Tottenham and his work certainly goes under the sheets.

#2 Marouane Fellaini

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Marouane Fellaini has contributed to 49 goals in his PL career

Perhaps it’s his unorthodox look or sizeable price tag, but Marouane Fellaini has never fully been accepted at Old Trafford. His awkward style of play has led to many people disregarding his ability. However, when you look closely it’s not hard to see why Jose Mourinho adores him so much.

He may not have the best ball control but his physical presence allows him to hold up the ball comfortably. Fellaini ensures he does his best to improve the solidity of the team, using his strength to win duels. Whenever called into action, the Belgian does his job and fulfills his instructions down to the tee. He’s hated by many, underrated by the masses but should be rated by everyone.

#1 Olivier Giroud

GIROUD

Olivier Giroud has scored more headed goals in the PL than anyone since arriving in England.

There’s no striker in the Premier League today that receives more stick than the Frenchman. From some angles, it’s understandable that Arsenal fans direct their frustrations at him, but truly it’s because they’re frustrated with another Frenchman, in Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal fans have always felt Wenger never sufficiently replaced the goalscoring talents of Thierry Henry or Robin Van Persie, so they take that frustration out on Giroud. However, in his 161 appearances for the Gunners, Giroud has scored 99 goals, that’s a decent return.

The 30-year old is a strong physical presence, links up well with others, holds up the ball, has exceptional ball control and is formidable in the air. Now that Alexandre Lacazette is up & firing for the Gunners, the exploits of Olivier Giroud as an impact sub can finally be appreciated.

About the Author Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with a soft spot for Pascal Cygan.

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