When Claude Makelele left Real Madrid in 2003, Zinedine Zidane famously said, “Why put another layer of gold on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?
In a 38-game Premier League season, the star players will always receive the most plaudits. But, in any team, there are individuals who quietly go about their business and rarely get proper recognition.
The Ladbrokes News crew got chatting and came up with three of the most underrated players in England’s top-flight this term…
The Brighton and Hove Albion captain has been a mainstay of the Seagulls set up for years now. In fact, the 26-year-old made his debut eight years ago now after coming through the youth ranks.
And Dunk has made an immediate impression on the Premier League. Chris Hughton’s side defied the critics to stave off relegation.
And a large reason for that was down to the defensive partnership of Dunk and Shane Duffy. The Sussex outfit kept 10 clean sheets with Dunk an ever-present. He also had the second-most blocks in the league and the fifth-best interception rate.
Considering the season Huddersfield have just had, it’d only be right that one of their players made this list. And Christopher Schindler has been a rock at the heart of the Terriers’ defence all season.
The 28-year-old was a little-known capture from Bundesliga second division side, 1860 Munich back in 2016. But the German has thrived under David Wagner.
He’s ranked 4th for most interceptions, 8th for most blocks, 13th for most tackles, 3rd for most clearances, and fifth most aerial battles won.
Huddersfield were another side who defied the critics, and Schindler was a huge reason for that.
His rise to prominence at Liverpool may not have gone unnoticed, but it’s arguable his contribution is still undervalued.
Simply put, the Brazilian is the most vital component of the current Reds’ squad. Mohamed Salah may have scored a truck-load of goals this season. But Firmino knits it all together.
The 26-year-old is the complete striker. His ability to play up top on his own, or drop a little deeper and play-make made the decision to sell Philippe Coutinho much easier.
The former Hoffenheim forward has managed 26 goals and 14 assists in all competitions so far this term. The Anfield hero could play in any of Europe’s top sides.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication