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The Most Underrated Player At Every Premier League Club Right Now

The Most Underrated Player At Every Premier League Club Right Now
By Mikey Traynor

With so much room for analysis in modern football, with rival stations and rival pundits clamouring to be the first to point out the secret behind a team's success or the reason behind a failure, you would think that every player operating at a Premier League club will get their time under the microscope, for good or for bad.

And yet, the same players like Diego Costa, Paul Pogba, and Sergio Aguero will dominate most of the coverage. While you'll occasionally get someone like Jamie Carragher pointing out how Juan Mata's great work has flown under the radar... That then leads to them no longer being underrated.

We've gone through each Premier League team in an effort to find a player who the fans are absolutely loving, but never gets the praise his play deserves when it comes to MOTD or Monday Night Football or whatever.

It was tough. Some teams just don't have any underrated players, but we've done our best to show some love where it's needed and these are the players we have picked.

AFC Bournemouth - Charlie Daniels

One of many 'adapted' full-backs in the Premier League, Charlie Daniels' attacking threat is his strength, although he has also shown an ability to defend in Eddie Howe's impressive Bournemouth side.

Having excelled in the Championship, Daniels looks comfortable in the top flight, and with 3 goals and 3 assists so far this season, he's one of the difference makers in a team that is always competitive in a fixture.

Arsenal - Santi Cazorla

Arsenal badly miss their diminutive Spaniard's influence when he is away. While he doesn't have the athleticism of some of the other Arsenal players, he has the brain, and total trust of his teammates to dictate the attacking play while on the pitch.

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He had 2 goals and 2 assists in 8 games before his injury, and Arsenal could really have used him in recent weeks. Every Arsenal player will tell you that Santi is the best in training, the most skillful, whenever they do those 'teammates' interviews, yet Cazorla is rarely analysed or talked about compared to Alexis or Ozil.

Burnley - Stephen Ward

While Ireland fans are well aware in the new and improved Ward we have seen since he broke into the Burnley team around this time last year, it feels as though the wider Premier League audience doesn't give the former Bohs striker enough credit.

He's been a standout player under Sean Dyche, with Joey Barton going as far as to attribute his arrival in the team as the turning point in Burnley's promotion season.

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Chelsea - Nemanja Matic

The lanky Serbian is someone who was talked about as one of the best midfielders in the league a few seasons ago, but was sort of forgotten about after a dip in form that coincided with Chelsea falling apart under Mourinho.

But Matic has quietly become one of Chelsea's most important player again, and while Kante deservedly takes most of the plaudits for making the midfield a no-go-zone for opponents, his partner is also a big part of it, particularly in covering for David Luiz when he goes off on one.

Crystal Palace - James McArthur

5 goals and 2 assists is an incredible return for a central midfielder in a struggling Crystal Palace team. The wee Scot has added a knack for popping up with a goal to his combative midfield play.

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Like his former Wigan teammate James McCarthy, he seems to raise his game for the big occasion, he's one of Palace's most important players yet never seems to get much coverage.

Everton - Idrissa Gueye

Ok, so he's not so much underrated in terms of him not being talked about as a ket player, because he has indeed been the subject of a number of MOTD spotlights, his skill still doesn't get the recognition it deserves.

He does not stop running, and you can guarantee he will have the most distance covered in every game, but he has surprisingly good feet and is always involved either in either defending the ball or mounting an attack.

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Hull City - Harry Maguire

Watching the body-frame of a traditional 'British centre-half', in the pints-of-Carling-after-a-match sense, carry the ball out of defense on one of his marauding runs to the opposition box is something to behold.

At face value he looks very much like the type of defender who will win every header and kick lumps out of anything that will try to go around him, he's actually really hard to stop once he gets going and knows how to beat a man. And he can defend too, by the way.

Leicester City - Shinji Okazaki

Leiceser City seem to have spent a ridiculous amount of money to replace one of their best players in the season they won the league.

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Okazaki was immense for Ranieri during the title run in, but hasn't been a regular since the big money arrivals of Slimani and Musa, and now they've gone and signed another striker in the January window.

Shinji did the job and got the best out of Jamie Vardy too. A nightmare to play against, how a struggling side hasn't gone all out to bring him in is really odd.

Liverpool - Joel Matip

Liverpool are simply a better team when Matip partners Dejan Lovren at the heart of the defence. The Cameroon international has adapted not only to the Premier League instantly, but to the demands of the club's fans who have had to put up with erratic play at the position for some time now.

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The fact that he was signed on a free makes him a candidate for best signing of the summer window, but is also perhaps the reason he is not talked about as a really key player for Klopp's side. Regardless, Liverpool fans want him in the team, a fantastic bit of business.

Manchester City - Pablo Zabaleta

More so for the service he has given to Man City, Zabaleta is the type of player that fans absolutely adore. A huge influence in the City dressing room, a player of Zabaleta's mentality is essential in a dressing room full of star players on big wages.

And when he plays he is still highly influential too, his attacking abilities even getting Pep's men out of some tricky situations this season in a difficult transition to a new system.

Manchester United - Antonio Valencia

Once the players' and fans' POTY at Old Trafford, Valencia took a huge dip in performance that coincided with his switch to the #7 shirt. His confidence was clearly shaken, but having slowly improved under Louis Van Gaal he has been a revelation for Mourinho.

A converted winger who was played at right-back out of necessity during one of Man Utd's annual defensive injury crisise, Tony Valencia always offered a good attacking threat, even if he just blasted crosses at shin-level, but was a liability in terms of defensive positioning.

Now he is one of the most consistent and important players in Mourinho's team. He has been rock solid defensively and has shown confidence in his dribbling not seen in years. Bombing forward and whipping crosses in, Valencia is back to his best in a new position, and he should be considered one of the best full-backs in the league.

Middlesbrough - Ben Gibson

Having played every minute of every game so far in Middlesbrough's return to the top flight, it's clear that he's not underrated by his club, but Gibson is another player who has proven his ability to play Premier League football after coming up from the Championship.

Gibson is behind everything good Boro do defensively, as his partner Barragan can go rogue on occasion. He's also a threat from set-pieces, and will be the foundation on which Karanka's team remain mount their push for safety in the second half of the season.

Southampton - Steven Davis

Despite a number of ambitious midfield signings since Southampton returned from the wilderness to establish themselves as a stable and healthy Premier League club, Norn Iron's Davis has been a constant.

And with good reason, he's an outstanding all-around player who seems to fly under the radar for whatever reason. Solid and consistent.

Stoke City - Peter Crouch

As much as we would have loved to go for Jon Walters here, Old man Crouch was written off as a token substitute for Mark Hughes' Stoke City, who seem to love nothing more than the illusion that signing shiny new strikers will change their style of play.

Then along comes big Pete with two goals in two games, showing that at 35 he can do the job that Wilfried Bony is finding so difficult, being in the box and using your body to put the ball into the goal.

Sunderland - Jan Kirchhoff

A strange signing from Bayern Munich that provided some much-needed composure and well, ability in midfield under Sam Allardyce, Kirchoff was a driving factor behind the Black Cats staying in the Premier League.

His absence for large parts of this season has had a direct impact in how easy Sunderland have been to play through, yet he doesn't seem to be someone that pundits are factoring in when discussing Sunderland's problems.

Swansea City - Gylfi Sigurdsson

There aren't really any underrated players at Swansea, but while Sigurdsson is celebrated as one of the better attacking midfielders in the league and his club's one and only hope.. The sheer fact that he is allowed to play at Swansea secures his place on this list.

While he clearly has strong feelings for the club, it is also clear that he should be playing at a team much further up the table. A master of the dead ball and one of the more dangerous creators in the league, he certainly won't have to worry about the prospect of Championship football next season, even if Swansea go down.

Tottenham Hotspur - Moussa Dembele

Dele Alli is the golden child, and Christian Eriksen is unquestionably a pundit's favourite for his near-flawless technique, so that results in less time to celebrate what Moussa Dembele brings to the side.

Even Victor Wanyama is praised ahead of the Belgian, who is another one appreciated more by his teammates than the wider football world. He's as strong as an ox, and may actually have never given the ball away in his career. A tremendous player.

Watford - Roberto Pereyra

Walter Mazzarri's weird Serie A invasion on the Premier League saw some classic journeymen like Zuniga, Okaka, and Behrami arrive at the club, they also managed to pull a remarkable deal for a player who proved himself to be very useful at Juventus in recent years.

It's weird that Roberto Pereyra plays for Watford. While at times his desire is questionable, his ability is not and it seems strange that the Hornets were able to entice him to join the club after leaving bloody Juventus.

West Bromwich Albion - Gareth McAuley

It honestly seems like Gareth McAuley scores every week. So regularly is his name the one that pops up on Sky Sports vidiprinter (because so few of the Baggies' games are televised), and he's 37-years-old.

37.

He's playing the best football of his career in a Tony Pulis side that has surprised everyone this year, when most would have expected him to have retired or be playing in League One by now. What a man.

West Ham United - Aaron Cresswell

At the start of the season this would have been Michail Antonio comfortably, but his performances have been so good that he is now recognised as one of the key players in the West Ham team.

But so too is Aaron Cresswell, and he is simply irreplaceable in Bilic's team. His return after an injury inflicted on him by a disgraceful challenge in pre-season, it's no surprise that West Ham have improved defensively. On his day he's as good as any left-back in the league.

[imagery and stats via PremierLeague.com]

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