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The Premier League's top five unsung heroes

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Toby Alderweireld

For many a season now Tottenham have struggled defensively, they were a side renowned for shipping unnecessary goals. often halting the club's progress. However, after the summer signing of Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid, that trend seems like it could be slowly but surely leaving the club.

The mobile Belgian centre-half has been sensational for Spurs this campaign, forging a hugely effective partnership with international colleague Jan Vertonghen. Powerful in the air, impressive awareness and great in the tackle, Alderweireld has been a revelation at White Hart Lane this season, helping his new club establish defensive solidity for the first time in many years.

His impact upon the back four also seems to have raised the standards of often criticised full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, an impressive achievement in itself.

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If Spurs do go on to achieve any success this season you can be sure it will have something to do with the impact Alderweireld has had, a shrewd piece of business indeed.

Scott Dann

Another defender makes the list with the Crystal Palace man enjoying a fantastic campaign thus far. Much has been made of the Eagles' attacking prowess and pace with the likes of Yannick Bolaise and Wilfried Zaha but defensively Alan Pardew's side has been at the top of their game.

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Dann, alongside Damien Delaney, have been a solid platform all season and the rest of the team has thrived off their impressive form. A no-nonsense defender with great defensive nous, Dann has proved himself to be an invaluable asset to Pardew in 2015.

A threat from set-pieces too, Dann scored the winner from a corner against Liverpool in Palace's 2-1 win while also scoring in the 1-1 draw against Everton recently.

An outside shot for a place in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad? Stranger things have happened in football.

N'Golo Kante

When you mention the name Leicester City in any form this season you are more than likely to be bombarded with superlatives about in-form duo Riyad Mahrez and record-breaking Jamie Vardy. While the pair have been fantastic, the input summer signing Kante has produced for Claudio Ranieri's team should not be underestimated.

Often operating in a two-man midfield with Danny Drinkwater, Kante's energy and positional awareness has been vital in helping Leicester achieve their recent success. He leads the Premier League charts for interceptions this season and his all-round performances have been second to none.

He may not be the man you're seeing on the back pages but Kante has been one of the finds of the season and a move to a bigger club could be on the cards in the foreseeable future.

Manuel Lanzini

Time for a forward thinking player to make the list with Lanzini enjoying a very good season under the leadership of Slaven Bilic. Dimitri Payet has been the man for West Ham who has grabbed the headlines, but the Argentine has also produced some impressive displays for the Hammers which may have slipped under the radar.

Quick, tricky and with a knack for scoring goals, the former River Plate winger has proven his worth to this West Ham side in recent months. Goals against Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham typify how he has gone from strength to strength in the Premier League and West Ham fans will hope he can continue to perform for the club in a similar manner.

Aged only 22-years-old, Lanzini's future is certainly looking bright, whether the Hammers can hang on to their loan-star is another thing.

Troy Deeney

This year is the first time Deeney has played in the Premier League and the Watford captain has taken full advantage of it. Despite strike partner Odion Ighalo stealing most of the limelight with his goals, Deeney has been a vital cog in what so far, has been an effective Hornets machine.

The striker links up the play, creates chances and above all, scores important goals which is not easy at Premier League level. He seems to be relishing the opportunity and his commitment to the plight of his club is refreshing to see from a neutral perspective.

Whether Watford can continue their impressive form is a question which cannot yet be answered, but if they do survive you can be sure Deeney would have had a big hand in it.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United
Crystal Palace
Premier League
Football
Watford
Leicester City

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