Football

Top five: Premier League underrated stars

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Arteta has been a consistent performer for Arsenal this season  (©GettyImages)
Arteta has been a consistent performer for Arsenal this season (©GettyImages).

The past couple of weeks have been dominated by footballing awards - The PFA Player of the Year, The PFA Young Player of the Year and the Football Writers Player of the Year were all won by Tottenham's Gareth Bale.

This begs the question as to whether there are some players in the league that are not getting the recognition they deserve. In response to this, I have come up with my top five underrated Premier League stars. 

1. Jonathan De Guzman

Jonathan De Guzman signed for Swansea this season on loan from Spanish side Villarreal. He has a pass completion rate approaching 90% and in a recent game against Arsenal, a side that are well known for their domination of possession, De Guzman completed an impressive 89 passes.

De Guzman has also chipped in with a fair few goals, scoring five in total this season including a significant brace in the Capital One Cup final against Bradford. His all round game though has earned him a place here, making 47 interceptions in total as well. 

2. Morgan Schneiderlin

Morgan Schniedelrin, signed by Southampton in 2008, is another of their stars who has come up through the divisions and flourished in the Premier League. 

Far from being intimidated by the challenge of facing international stars Schniederlin has helped his team reach survival.

He has made 35 appearances, scored five goals and has a pass success rate of just under 85%. 

3. Mikel Arteta

Although playing for Arsenal, one the most publicised and talked about clubs, Mikel Arteta has not received the praise his deserves from too far outside of Ashburton Grove. 

Arteta has made 32 appearances, averages around three tackles and three interceptions a game. 

He also has attempted a staggering 2,674 passes of which 91.9% have been accurate. Arteta has developed his game since moving from Everton to Arsenal in 2011 and become less flamboyant in style, he is now a player of the same ilk as the much appreciated Michael Carrick. 

4. Jean Beausejour

Jean Beausejour is perhaps the least spoken of on this list. Regardless, he has had a tremendous season. Not only is Beausejour one of the most adaptable players in the league, with Roberto Martinez playing him as a left back, left midfielder and most recently in the notoriously difficult position of wing-back in a defensive five, Beasajour has helped his team's bid for survival significantly. 

He has made 32 appearances, scored one goal and made an impressive seven assists from defensive positions. He has also a 77% pass accuracy and an average of two  key passes a game.

5. Ashley Westwood

Along the same lines as many of the other choices. Ashley Westwood's midfield performances have gone much unnoticed by the goal driven focus on most media coverage another debutant to the Premier League, Westwood was playing league two football for crewe last season. 

He has become the beating heart of the Aston Villa team and deserve as much credit as the likes of Benteke and Agbonlahor for the likely survival of the Claret and Blue giants. In a team that has lost 8-0 and 4-0 to the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham, Westwod's passing success rate of just under 85% is incredibly high and he averages at least one key pass again from a defensive midfield position. 

He played a superb ball to set up Andreas Weimann in the 6-1 mauling of Sunderland and this was probably the first time the media took notice of his talent. He still has a lot to learn, but credit where credits due.

 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Aston Villa
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