Premier League Unsung XI

Premier League Unsung XI

Traditionally forwards grab the headlines, and combustible suave midfielders in the vein of Gerrard or Scholes or Giggs are the second tier of popularity amongst fans.

unsungxi

However there has been a huge wave of “Unsung Heroes” contributing to their teams Premier League success this year. I’ve made an XI with a player from all 20 clubs (with an extended Subs bench of 9 players).

Manager wise I have opted for Mauricio Pochettino, pretty unsung, under the radar for his 18 months at Spurs (and to a degree his 18 months at Southampton.) 5th place with Spurs last year with no huge investment and a mis-matched squad and a win rate of 38% at Saints and 49% at Spurs is mightily impressive. He has also brought on a host of young players in their development at both clubs.

Goalkeeper

Jack Butland at Stoke has been mightily impressive, 5 clean sheets having played every single minute for Stoke, and deputising for Joe Hart in the England side.

Defence

Eric Dier, deployed in Midfield for Spurs at the moment but hugely impressive with his versatility. Contributed 2 goals and is accomplished in possession and has excellent positional sense.

Otamendi has slotted in well from Valencia with 2 clean sheets and 1 goal, he looks commanding and at ease with the physicality of robust strikers like Lukaku and Benteke.

Scott Dann, bought from the hinterland of Blackburn very cheap, 2 goals 3 clean sheets and 1 assist. Mighty impressive stats and he vocally commands that Palace defence.

Midfield

Drinkwater gives the license to Mahrez and Albrighton to play, with an impressive 4 assists. Balances the Leicester midfield providing solidity.

Schneiderlin the £25m buy from Southampton has been their 2nd best player after Chris Smalling. Tactical awareness, mobility and has been instrumental in Uniteds 7 clean sheets with 1 goal.

Lucas, been very much maligned, but speaks volumes, a “gugenpressing coach” like Klopp has such faith in him. 8 years of unstinting loyalty as a squad member with total and utter professionalism.

Willian, always likely to be in the shadows of Hazard, Oscar and Fabregas, but has dutifully provided 2 Premier League goals and 2 assists. Impactful from the bench as well as in the starting XI.

Dusan Tadic, 4 goals and 3 assists, technically a very adept player, suiting Koemans system and enhancing the menace of Pelle.

Strikers

Lanzini, a loan from Al Jazira a UAE club (with a £6m buyout clause) previously played for River Plate, 4 goals and 2 assists. Taken to the Premier League like a duck to water.

Igahlo, 7 goals 3 assists, a bargain £2m buy from Lyn in Norway to Udinese also owned by the Watford owners the Pozzo family, subsequently on loan at Watford.

Subs

Kone 5 goals 4 assists relatively cheap £6m from Wigan.

Rondon, slotted in seamlessly at WBA with 3 goals 1 assist.

John JoShelvey, been value at £6m 1 goal 3 assists.

Rudy Gestede, impactful £6m buy from Blackburn with 3 goals.

Coquellin, vital holding cog in Wengers offensive midfield.

Jens, bright spark in a struggling Sunderland team, 2 goals 3 assists, with that delicious lob v West Ham.

Ayoze, £1.5m Geordie buy from Tenerife precisely the skill, desire and composure needed by the Geordies 3 goals 1 assist.

Cook, marauding Bournemouth defender 2 assists, energy stamina and pace.

Ruddy, commanding keeper, had a dip but will be vital to the Norwich cause.

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This squad has contributed 41 goals and 27 assists, would likely put them in a Top4 position, costing circa £145m to assimilate those 20 players. They fly under the radar with the media and the pundits often but are key critical in all their respective teams on going success.