The Most Underrated Premier League XI Of All-Time

The Most Underrated Premier League XI Of All-Time
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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We've all heard the GOAT debates, the "Invincibles v Treble Winners" debates - but what about the most underrated players in Premier League history?

Throughout the competition's history, plenty of players have gone under the radar, even on the biggest teams. Some multiple Premier League winners have made their way into our "underrated Premier League XI".

Our barometers were players who weren't adequately appreciated for what they brought to their teams, no matter the success they may have achieved with their team.

The most underrated Premier League XI

GK: Carlo Cudicini

Carlo Cudicini Chelsea

Carlo Cudicini in Champions League action for Chelsea in 2008 (Photo: Shutterstock)

An oft-forgotten man, given just how good Petr Cech was when he arrived at Chelsea, Carlo Cudicini was a terrific goalkeeper for Chelsea around the turn of the century, and put in a serious shift as the club's second-choice keeper once Cech took over.

Had a shorter, and less noteworthy spell at Spurs towards the end of his Premier League years.


RB: Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman underrated

24 September 2022; Seamus Coleman of Republic of Ireland after UEFA Nations League B Group 1 match between Scotland and Republic of Ireland at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It's easy for Irish football fans to forget that Seamus Coleman has been one of the best right backs in the Premier League for a decade now. It's not long ago that the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United were rumoured to be interested in the Donegal man, and he has captained Everton through thick and thin during all these years.


A solid, reliable player, and firmly falls into the category of "underrated" when it comes to the Premier League.

READ HERE: The Irish XI With The Most Premier League Appearances

CB: Sami Hyypia

Sami Hyypia

Sami Hyypia during his time in charge of Bayer Leverkusen (Photo: Shutterstock)

Sami Hyypia is a prime example of a player who has been somewhat forgotten as a result of the lack of team success he enjoyed during his career. He was a phenomenally talented centre back during his time at Liverpool - it's just a shame that his time at Anfield coincided with a relatively lean period in terms of silverware.

The highlight of his time at Anfield was the 2005 Champions League final. He deserves to be remembered among Liverpool's Premier League greats, but is rarely mentioned as such.


CB: Marcel Desailly (Chelsea)


Speaking of which...when discussing the Premier League's best ever centre backs, why is it that Marcel Desailly is so rarely mentioned?

He joined Chelsea off the back of France's 1998 World Cup win, and captained the side for six years, as they built their way towards the team that José Mourinho would ultimately take over and dominate with.

Perhaps it is the fact that he was around just before the great modern Chelsea team really kicked into gear that means he is forgotten - but, make no mistake, Desailly is one of the best centre backs in the recent history of the club.


LB: Gael Clichy

Gael Clichy underrated

5 August 2012; Gael Clichy, Manchester City, during the game. Soccer Friendly, Limerick FC v Manchester City, Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Gareth Williams / SPORTSFILE

A three-time Premier League winner, with two different clubs, and the youngest player in the competition's history to take a winner's medal.

It's a mark of how good Gael Clichy was in the Premier League that he slotted right in with no issues when the great Ashley Cole left Arsenal in 2006. He then became a crucial part of Manchester City's first two league-winning teams in the early 2010s. Deserves far more credit.

READ HERE: What Would A Premier League All-Star Game Look Like?

RM: Jose Antonio Reyes

When you look at the Invincibles team, the same old names always jump out - Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Denis Bergkamp, Robert Pires. And, of course, why wouldn't they? They are all among the greatest players in the Premier League's history - but one of the most underrated comes from that same team.


On his day, there were few players with the same style and excitement to their play as Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes.

The Spaniard tragically died at the age of just 35 in 2019. The outpouring of affection from Arsenal fans was a poignant reflection of the impact he left during his time at Highbury.

CM: Michael Ballack

Michael Ballack underrated

29 June 2008; Michael Ballack, Germany. UEFA EURO 2008, Final, Germany v Spain, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit; Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Michael Ballack is a curious one. Despite the fact he did win a Premier League medal in 2009-10, his best years at Chelsea fell directly between their two great teams (the mid-2000s, and mid-2010s sides).

For that reason, he is often forgotten when compared to the likes of Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas, but he was influential as an aggressive and goalscoring force from midfield in the 2008 Champions League final run, and that 2010 title win.

CM: Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick underrated

2 August 2017; Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Sampdoria at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Maybe the dictionary definition of an "underrated Premier League player", we were apprehensive about including Michael Carrick.

Can a five-time winner, who started the majority of those title-winning games, really be defined as underrated?

We justified this two-fold: firstly, Carrick never received the same plaudits as his partner Paul Scholes, and struggled to break into England's midfield during his time at United. Secondly, he replaced the seemingly irreplaceable Roy Keane, and immediately helped United to back-to-back-to-back Premier League titles, and a Champions League win. Deserves to be mentioned among the greats.

READ HERE: Remembering Roy Keane's Final Match For Manchester United

LM: Andrei Kanchelskis

In all honesty, it was initially hard to justify the inclusion of any Manchester United player in this team but, when you're successful for so long, you're bound to have some players who go under the radar.

Andrei Kanchelskis is never mentioned among today's football fans in the same light as many of the great United team of the 1990s, but he was a crucial player in so many of the biggest games of that time.

The highlight was a hat-trick in the Manchester derby in 1994, and he would go on to make an impact in a later spell on the blue side of Manchester, as well as with Everton. He remains the only man to score a hat trick in the Manchester, Merseyside, and Old Firm derbies.

ST: Jermain Defoe

Similarly to Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe never got the shot he deserved at the England side during his time in the Premier League.

That's somewhat understandable when you realise that he was up against the likes of Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen, but he deserved to be playing international football. After all, he is ninth in the all-time goalscoring charts with 162 goals.

On top of that, the streets won't forget his short-lived double act up top with Peter Crouch for Portsmouth in 2008.

ST: Edin Dzeko

Edin Dzeko Manchester City

31 July 2011; Edin Dzeko, Manchester City, scores a goal for his side. Dublin Super Cup, Inter Milan v Manchester City, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Just about every football fan who was alive in the 2010s remembers Sergio Aguero's winner for Manchester City against QPR in 2012 to seal the Premier League title. How could they not? It's arguably the greatest moment in the competition's history.

What people often forget is that Aguero's goal would have meant nothing had it not been for Edin Dzeko's equaliser seconds earlier. Dzeko scored 14 goals in that league-winning campaign, and would ultimately score 50 and claim another league winner's medal before departing Manchester in 2016.

One of the key figures of Manchester City's rise to the top, and yet so often forgotten, Edin Dzeko is one of the most underrated players in Premier League history.

SEE ALSO: Ronnie Whelan Recalls The Cutthroat Way His Liverpool Career Was Ended

ronnie whelan liverpool exit

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