The EPL is an extremely competitive league, and rightfully so, with so many players of immense talent and skill. However, in a league as competitive as this, it becomes very easy to overlook certain players who might get overshadowed by the comparatively “popular” ones. Here’s a look at 5 underrated players in the EPL this season.
1.Herrera – Manchester United
In a side which lacks energy, pace, and a killer instinct, Herrera’s instant-impact style of play, attacking mentality and outstanding footballing capabilities have the ability to turn games on their head. Herrera has a brilliant eye for a pass and often seems to come up with a goal here or there to save the skins of his fellow teammates. He has an average pass accuracy of 86%. His powerful and well placed headed goal against Everton is a clear indication of the Spaniard’s keen goalscoring instinct, while his penalty against the other Merseyside team, Liverpool, was near perfect.
2.Fernandinho – Man City
Although Fernandinho is a regular starter for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, he rarely gets the attention he deserves. Manchester City’s turnaround from their less than memorable 2014/2015 campaign can be largely attributed to the Brazilian midfielder.
Fernandinho is constantly on the prowl, making things happen for City. In nineteen appearances, he’s found the back of the net twice and created fifteen chances. He has an incredible 89% pass accuracy, which is surprisingly more than fellow team-mates David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne
The work that goes particularly unnoticed, not just in Fernandinho’s game but in general, is his defensive capabilities.
3.Marc Albrighton – Leicester City
While Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy receive much of the headlines for Leicester City’s ultra-impressive season, Albrighton has also been a revelation for the Foxes. The former Aston Villa winger has never commanded a transfer fee (joined Leicester in 2014 for free) nor has he been capped by the senior England national team. Nevertheless, Albrighton’s six assists rank seventh in league play and equal players such as Christian Eriksen and Sadio Mane. The 26-year-old has also racked up more chances created and key passes than Philippe Coutinho, Juan Mata and Pedro.
4.Nacho Monreal – Arsenal
Despite the fact that Monreal plays for a top team such as Arsenal, many seem to forget just how talented and stable the left-back is. Monreal is a significant piece of the puzzle to Arsenal’s stellar defensive record in the calendar year. The Spaniard has more interceptions during league play this season than Cesar Azpilicueta, Aleksandar Kolarov, and Ryan Bertrand, as well as boasting more tackles than all of the aforementioned players aside from the Chelsea defender. The Arsenal left-back also aides his teammates going forward, as evident by his 16 key passes and two assists at the halfway point of the season.
5.Eric Dier – Spurs
Eric Dier. Hats off to Pochettino for spotting that he had a defensive midfield player in him. I was critical in the summer that we hadn’t bought to strengthen that part of the team but Dier has been just what we needed. His positioning and intelligent reading of the game have been the heartbeat of the team.