The 2020-21 edition of the Premier League has been surreal in more ways than one. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the year, the last Premier League season ended quite late, and the new season came about after a very short turnaround.
Most top teams in the competition, like Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have looked off the pace, while an expensively-assembled Chelsea are only just beginning to get into their stride. The congested fixture schedule has meant that most Premier League teams have been stretched to their limits and are grappling with a slew of injuries to key players.
Nevertheless, several star performers in the Premier League over the years have continued to live up to their statures in the competition, with some of them managing to do so without hogging much of the limelight.
Five Premier League stars who have flown under the radar this season
Despite the unique challenges the 2020-21 Premier League has had to offer, some key players have continued to their teams in much the same vein, doing so without drawing much attention onto themselves.
On that note, let us have a look at five such players, in no particular order, who have largely operated under the radar in the 2020-21 Premier League.
#5 Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
Hector Bellerin has been an Arsenal player for almost a decade. In over 200 appearances in all competitions for the London club, the Spanish right-back has scored eight times and assisted on 29 occasions.
A serious knee injury last year saw the 25-year-old miss almost nine months of action. Nevertheless, Bellerin has been a regular under Mikel Arteta, such is the pedigree of the player and his impact on the team's performances.
The player is beginning to return to his best this season, as mentioned by Arteta, who has played Bellerin in all eight Premier League games this season. Arteta said :
“I think when you have a big injury like that, it can take almost a year for your brain to reset and accept that injury and biomechanically become the same player. After that you have to recover and rediscover those performances, that consistency in the minutes you are able to play, which is something he has struggled with in recent years, but when something starts to get more natural, you start to get the flow."
"He is more confident, he is playing regularly, he is able to do more things, he ends the game in a much better way physically, and he recovers better."
Bellerin's form could be crucial to Arsenal's fortunes in the 2020-21 Premier League, as the club has already lost four times and find themselves languishing in the bottom half of the table.
#4 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Despite being hindered by a two-transfer window ban, the Blues earned a creditable fourth-place finish on the last day of the season to qualify for the Champions League.
The Chelsea academy graduate impressively stepped up to the plate for Chelsea, scoring 15 Premier League goals and producing four assists in his first full season for the club.
The Englishman has made a slow start in the 2020-21 Premier League, scoring three times in eight games, as new arrivals Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have hogged more of the limelight.
Although Chelsea would like to see Abraham score more goals, they aren't complaining just yet, as the Englishman has lost none of his goal-scoring potency.
With fixtures coming thick and fast heading into the hectic Christmas/New Year period, Abraham could look to play a more pivotal role alongside the likes of Werner and Ziyech.