The Premier League is arguably the most entertaining league in Europe at the moment and regularly features some of the most competitive football matches on the continent. England has become the favorite hunting ground for the most promising talents in the sport and the league’s quality has in turn given the national team a boost on the European stage.
With so many players vying for supremacy in a highly competitive environment, however, it is only natural that a few talented names don’t get their due. While the Premier League has served as a stepping stone to several all-time greats, the sheer number of high-profile names often denies a selection of great players the spotlight they deserve.
The word "underrated" can be incredibly fickle at times, particularly when it comes to football. The fact remains that ardent fans of the Premier League will be well aware of most of its underrated players and might even disagree with the tag.
Nevertheless, there are players plying their trade in the Premier League who deserve much more credit for the work they’ve done over the past year. Without further ado, here is my take on the five most underrated players in the Premier League.
#5 Jonny Evans | Leicester City
With the likes of Wesley Fofana and Caglar Soyuncu for competition, the fact that Jonny Evans is a regular starter for Leicester City is a testament to his ability in itself. I thought he was quite unlucky at Manchester United and was still learning the ropes at the time. West Bromwich Albion managed to bring the best out of Evans and he hasn't looked back since.
The Northern Irishman has grown into one of the Premier League's most reliable defenders. I was all for Arsenal signing him at the time – the Gunners could have done with a seasoned center-back.
Evans decided to move to Leicester City, however, and has subsequently aged like fine wine. He keeps getting better with age and has formed a brilliant partnership with Caglar Soyuncu. Jonny Evans is the leader of that Leicester City backline and will always play when he’s fit, and it is a travesty that he rarely gets a mention.
#4 Ezri Konsa | Aston Villa
It comes as quite a shock to me that Ezri Konsa is yet to make his senior debut with England. Konsa belongs to that rare breed of defenders who excel at everything they do. Konsa is great at reading danger and his strength and pace are the ideal qualities you should look for in a Premier League center-back.
Konsa also bursts forward and has already shown that he has plenty of goals in him. He’s a massive aerial threat and loves getting to the end of crosses in the box. At the moment, I reckon there’s not much separating him from Tyrone Mings in that Aston Villa defense.
The Premier League has a lot of highly-rated players and this could be a factor in the lack of discourse around Ezri Konsa’s ability. I do occasionally wonder if I’m missing something when he isn’t talked about as much as his illustrious colleagues.