The word ‘underrated’ is thrown around a lot when talking about football in the present day.
Everyone who watches the sport has their opinions on the players they believe are worthy of the complimentary label.
And we here at GIVEMESPORT are no different. So, with the Premier League season coming to an end on Sunday, we’ve had a go at naming the most underrated XI in the division for 2021/22.
Some big names make the cut in our chosen team, though…
GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton)
He hasn’t kept many clean sheets, but Everton would probably already be relegated were it not for Pickford’s heroics between the sticks.
CB – Dan Burn (Newcastle United)
The signing of Burn from Brighton in January was viewed with scepticism by many at the time, but the giant centre-back has completely transformed Newcastle‘s defence.
He’s forged a stellar partnership with Fabian Schar, one that Eddie Howe will surely stick with next season – even if the club spend lavishly in the summer window.
CB – Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)
Remember when Dier was a bit of a laughing stock at Spurs? Well, he’s anything but that these days and might just be the club’s most important defender. Yes, even over Cristian Romero.
In the middle of a back three, Dier has been quietly magnificent and the reborn defensive leader is now one of the very first names on Antonio Conte’s team sheet.
CB – Joel Matip (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk gets a lot of plaudits and rightly so. However, no one seems to be shouting about the fact that his partner at Liverpool has probably been the second-best centre-back in the Premier League this season.
Matip has thwarted strikers for fun and has even chipped in with crucial goals – including the crucial winner away at Southampton. One of the greatest free transfers in modern football history, of that there should be no doubt.
RM – Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Unlike West Ham‘s Jarrod Bowen for example, Sterling’s numbers in 2021/22 have really slipped under the radar. Despite spending the start of the campaign confined to the bench, he’s still managed to rack up 13 goals and four assists in Premier League action.
For context, only De Bruyne has scored more times in the league for City this season. Not bad, Raheem.
CM – Christian Norgaard (Brentford)
Part of the reason Brentford will be a Premier League team in 2022/21 is their superb Danish midfield general.
No player has made more tackles than Norgaard this season (109), while he’s also chipped in with three goals and four assists. The 28-year-old is a seriously good footballer and we’re quite surprised Europe’s elite aren’t being linked with him.
CM – Joelinton (Newcastle United)
If a year ago you’d have told us we’ll be creating an underrated XI with Joelinton in the centre of midfield, we’d have fallen off our chairs laughing. Football really is a funny old game, isn’t it?
The Brazilian has been a box-to-box menace ever since Howe moved him into a deeper role and he was recently crowned Newcastle’s Player of the Season. A quite incredible turnaround.
LM – Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Like Sterling, Zaha’s stats really aren’t being given the credit they deserve. He’s scored 13 goals in a Palace shirt this season, which is comfortably his most prolific campaign in the English top-flight to date.
Zaha has been questioned for having a lack of end product down the years, but now no one can aim that criticism at him.
CAM – James Maddison (Leicester City)
If Maddison were at a bigger club, his 2021/22 season would be praised to rafters. Ten goals and seven assists in 31 outings? That’s form worthy of an England call-up in our opinion.
But because Leicester have performed well below their usual standards, Maddison isn’t being mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Mason Mount and Phil Foden – which he certainly should be.
ST – Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Toney has been one of the best strikers in the Premier League this season, yet you don’t hear his name brought up anywhere near enough.
He’s scored 12 goals and contributed five assists in a newly-promoted side, a return that simply cannot be undervalued. Gareth Southgate, we really hope you’ve been watching Brentford’s talisman on a regular basis…
ST – Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
He should be in the mix to win the division’s most prestigious individual accolades, but was somehow omitted from the final list for the Premier League’s Player of the Season award – something we’re still scratching our heads about.