These players are the ones that fantasy football players all over the world are seeking out, the cheap players that bring in goals, assists and clean sheets. These players are not ten-a-penny in the Premier League though.
These are a rare breed that flies under the radar of the football establishment, until a savvy media pundit points out that they might actually have some talent after all.
Here are my five current underrated Premier League players in no particular order:
1) James Morrison (West Brom)
The Scottish international midfielder has been slowly developing over the last few years. He started out as a winger in his early days, but in more recent times has been playing in the centre of midfield.
The switch to the centre of the field was a stroke of genius. He is capable of doing everything your modern day midfielder should be able to do. The 26 year-old has now even added goals to his game.
Morrison has played a crucial role in West Brom’s stellar start to their Premier League campaign. If they are to continue in the same vein then Morrison’s form could be the key.
2) Alex Kacaniklic (Fulham)
I have to admit I knew very little about the young Swede before the start of the season. He moved to England to join Liverpool’s academy, before moving to Fulham as part of the deal that took Paul Konchesky to Liverpool.
Fulham definitely got the better end of that deal. The young Swede made his debut last season, but has started this season in promising fashion. The 21 year-old has appeared in every Fulham game this season and never looked out of place.
Kacaniklic’s form has been that impressive that he has just been handed his first international call-up for his national team. Watch out for this youngster, like wine he will get better with age.
3) Leon Osman (Everton)
This may be slightly biased, but the little Everton midfielder gets in my top five. The 31 year-old has been a regular in the Everton team now for nearly a decade and he never lets the team down.
Osman’s skill is often overlooked due to his small stature and waif like appearance. He can be slightly lightweight at times, but his skill and work rate make up for his lack of height and strength.
It has always surprised me that Osman has never received an England call-up. I have seen far worse players representing the Three Lions than the lad from Billinge. Osman has turned down approaches from Turkey in the past hoping that a call would come from England.
Unfortunately for Leon, I think that time has passed and he will just have to be happy playing a part in Everton’s rise this season.
4) Wayne Routledge (Swansea City)
The Swansea winger has always been something of an enigma. This season he has a found a consistency arguably never seen in his game. His crossing and passing ability have created numerous goals for teammates this season.
He has even found the net for the Swans this season. For so long it was a standing joke that Routledge hadn’t found the net in the top flight, despite being such a talented and forward thinking player.
The former-England under-21 broke that hoodoo last season and in the absence of Scott Sinclair has excelled on the wing for the Welsh side.
5) Rickie Lambert (Southampton)
The Southampton striker has worked his way through the leagues and is now experiencing his time in the sun. The 31 year-old Liverpool-born star has already scored four goals in the Premier League and been the main focal point of the Saints attack.
His form has had people calling for him to be called up to the England national side and I don’t think it’s a bad shout. Lambert has so often been compared to Norwich captain Grant Holt, who like Lambert worked his way up the leagues and was prolific in the lower leagues.
However, I believe that comparison is unfair on Lambert. He is far more than just a big target man striker. The striker has more to his game than just winning the ball in the air. He has good passing ability and brings others into the game.
The quiet Scouser may have been underrated at the start of the season, but I’m sure by the end of the season every fan of the Premier League will know the name Rickie Lambert.
These are my choices for the five most underrated players in the British top flight. At Soccernews we always like to hear what our readers think.
Who are your five most underrated players in the Premier League?
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