The Premier League is arguably the world’s most thrilling and entertaining football league with a host of world class players plying their trade at their respective clubs. Often there are stand out performers who are known to win games for their clubs almost single-handedly with their work rate and impressive skills. Then there are players who have a massive influence on a game but their contribution is largely unnoticed.
Let us take a look at some of these players who aren’t really given credit and often criticized for what they fall short of rather than being applauded for what they consistently and crucially deliver for their clubs.
5)Victor Wanyama – Ever since his move from Celtic to Southampton, the Kenyan has been a strong presence in the midfield. Often partnering Morgan Schneiderlin in the defensive midfield area, the 24-year-old was the biggest support Schneiderlin had last season to perform in such a dynamic way, like he did. If Schneiderlin was ever caught out of position Wanyama would break up the play and recover the ball to bring his team back in possession. He was the key factor to one of the tightest defences in the premier league last season but the credit was given to Schneiderlin. While sometimes Schneiderlin deserved the plaudits, it was Wanyama who was often overlooked as the key ingredient to Southampton’s spectacular season.
4)Lukasz Fabianski – The polish stopper has always been an immensely talented goalkeeper but things didn’t pan out for him like they should’ve. He played for arsenal for 7 years but largely as the second choice. In the last year of his contract he won the FA Cup with the gunners thanks to his heroics in the tournament. He then moved to Swansea where he has been the undisputed number one. Last season in particular was the best for the 30-year-old as he came tantalizingly close to winning the golden glove only to be beaten on the last match day by Joe Hart. He didn’t win the golden boot but neither did he get any credit for being key to Swansea’s excellent campaign last season. Sometimes pulling off spectacular saves he is as good as any keeper on his best day.
3)Gylfi Sigurdsson – Another Swansea player on the list, Sigurdsson is one of the premier leagues most dangerous No.10 s. Moving to Swansea from Tottenham seems like a step down for a player of his calibre but he got more playing time as a result. The 25-year-old has been central to Swansea’s plans lately and is one of the best dead ball specialists, but he doesn’t get the tag of being world class. His offensive talents have time and time again been a delight to watch and his link-up play is second to none. Amassing 10 Premier League assists to his name last season, he was the closest to Cesc Fabregas in the charts only to be surpassed by Santi Cazorla on the last match day.
2)Olivier Giroud – The Frenchmen has been heavily criticized throughout his Arsenal career for simply not being able to be on the score sheet as regularly as a world class striker should, but his record says otherwise. Scoring 41 goals in 97 league appearances is not by any means a bad tally for a striker. He has been a strong physical presence up front and has done one particular thing that many other strikers would fail to do, bring the midfield into the game. Giroud specializes in back to goal style of play creating spaces for midfielders to score goals. This is his biggest contribution to Arsenal as the gunners are known to have the best midfield in the league and Giroud helps in playing to their strenghts. Apart from that he is easily the best one touch finisher in the Premier League. His goals against Villa in the FA cup final and Tottenham in the league are an absolute delight to watch.
1)James Milner – The most underrated player in the Premier League has to be James Milner. With fewer league minutes than any City midfielder except Lampard, the 29-year-old directly contributed the second most goals last season for City second only to David Silva. City claimed second spot in the league last season and James Milner was a stand-out performer and easily their most valuable player. The England international had saved City on many occasions last season winning them crucial points and saving them from humiliating defeats at the hands of small clubs. Yet he is not applauded for his tireless work rate and his versatility. He was a great servant to the Citizens and now having joined up with Liverpool for the next season, the man is ready to make his mark on Merseyside.