The Premier League has produced so many legendary players across its 29-year history.
From Wayne Rooney to Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard to Steven Gerrard, England’s top-flight has played host to some of the world’s most celebrated players since its 1992 rebranding.
However, not everyone who makes a success of themselves in the Premier League necessarily gets the credit they deserve and will forever be remembered as one of the division’s underrated gems.
Underrated Premier League legends
We all know a Premier League hero that so often delivered the goods at the highest level, but is regularly missed off and forgotten from conversations about the competition’s finest ever players.
And thus, in celebration of these underrated stars, we wanted to set the record straight here at GIVEMESPORT by compiling our picks for the most underrated Premier League XI of all time.
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Ultimately, the selections will come down to the opinion of your humble writer and my perception of just how big the discrepancy between these players’ legacy and their actual quality really is.
In other words, the players that I’m looking for can best be described as the greatest players whose hype and status amongst footballing conversations wouldn’t have you believe that they were great.
Most underrated Premier League XI
However, enough with the chit-chat because our selections might actually be rated by the time we’re finished, so be sure to check out the most underrated Premier League XI in history down below:
GK: Mark Schwarzer
Despite boasting the third-most clean sheets in Premier League history, Schwarzer never seems to get the credit that he deserves as one of the safest pair of hands that the division has ever seen.
RB: Pablo Zabaleta
An unsung hero in Manchester City’s rise to the top of the English footballing pyramid, Zabeleta was an absolute warrior with only two players in the division’s history having made more tackles.
CB: Ricardo Carvalho
How often do you hear Carvalho spoken amongst the Premier League’s greatest ever centre-backs? Not often enough when you consider how integral he was to Chelsea‘s iconic 2004/05 back-line.
CB: Lucas Radebe
Famously lauded by Sir Alex Ferguson and still adored by the Elland Road faithful, Radebe was one of the most intelligent centre-halves in the business and even bagged the FIFA Fair Play Award.
LB: Denis Irwin
Arguably the most underrated player in Premier League history, Irwin is an Ashley Cole away from being the division’s left-back GOAT with eight titles in ten seasons and over 500 appearances for United.
RM: Darren Anderton
Lazily branded as ‘Sick Note’ despite making over 300 Premier League appearances, Anderton’s selection has less to do with stats and more to with his thoroughly underrated technical ability.
CM: Michael Carrick
Carrick is so often overlooked among the protagonists of United’s later success under Ferguson despite being a truly world-class midfield operator with a penchant for gorgeous passes.
CM: Gareth Barry
Similarly, Barry was a victim of the glut of English midfield talent in the 2000s because his achievements as the Premier League’s record appearance and tackle maker needs more limelight.
LM: Gary Speed
With more than 500 top-flight matches to his name and a goal in every Premier League season he played in, the late, great Speed deserves more of a mention when the league’s royalty is discussed.
ST: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
So seldom mentioned amongst the Premier League’s goalscoring greats, Hasselbaink deserves more praise as a truly lethal finisher who won two Golden Boots and broke into the 100-goal club.
ST: Andrew Cole
If you looked at the criminal lack of respect for Cole’s goalscoring achievements online, you wouldn’t have a clue that he was actually the Premier League’s third-greatest marksmen with 187 strikes.
Give them due credit
It’s about time we say these players getting the hype that they deserve.
Although Schwarzer might not compete with Peter Schmeichel and Cole might not match up to Alan Shearer, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be revered amongst the Premier League’s finest.
That being said, perhaps it’s just inevitable that a league with so many top quality players over the years would lead to some of its finest operators blending into the background of all that brilliance.
And who knows, maybe there are some players who are so underrated that we’ve underrated their underratedness by not including them in our underrated XI of underrated players. You get me?