5 most underrated players in the Premier League

Paul Merson

#3 James Ward-Prowse | Southampton

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League

When James Ward-Prowse played in England’s friendly last month, his performance was convincing enough to warrant a place in the squad. England were looking for an additional player at the time and with Ward-Prowse toying with his opponents and spraying the ball around the pitch, I find myself at a loss to believe that he didn’t accompany England at the Euros.

James Ward-Prowse is arguably the best set-piece taker in the world at the moment and has been one of Southampton’s best players this year. In my opinion, England were too safe in their midfield at the Euros and a player of Ward-Prowse’s profile could have completed their jigsaw.

That being said, James Ward-Prowse is a popular figure in the Premier League and his talents are known to those involved in the league. The Southampton man deserves a few more chances with England, however, and will remain underrated until he’s given an opportunity to prove his mettle on the big stage.

#2 Chris Wood | Burnley

Burnley v Liverpool - Premier League
Burnley v Liverpool - Premier League

From what I’ve seen of him, Chris Wood is a proper handful. All you need to do is put the ball into the box and the Burnley striker will be sure to wreak havoc. Wood is one of the most underrated forwards in the Premier League and all-round ability makes him a nightmare to defend against.

Alongside Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood has become Burnley’s talisman over the years and is arguably their most important player. I’d also say that Wood is probably the primary reason his team continues to survive in the Premier League season after season.

Chris Wood is also deceptively quick both on and off the ball and works very hard to create chances for his side. He’s as good as anybody else when it comes to crosses into the box and has all the makings of a Premier League great.

#1 Raul Jimenez | Wolverhampton Wanderers

Crewe Alexandra v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Pre-Season Friendly
Crewe Alexandra v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Pre-Season Friendly

I have been following Wolves’ Raul Jimenez for quite some time now and I’m shocked that the big six have not made a note of his abilities. Jimenez has propelled Wolves to a mid-table finish and his side has struggled in his absence this year.

Raul Jimenez is crucial to Wolves’ fortunes and their former manager Nuno Espirito Santo effectively lost his job because of the strikér’s absence. Santo’s Wolves side suffered devastating defeats to the likes of Burnley last season and nearly lost their place in the Premier League.

With Nuno Espirito Santo now in North London, Spurs may well have an alternative to Harry Kane this season. With the England captain possibly on his way out, Santo will need to sign a replacement and Raul Jimenez suits the role to perfection.

The center-forward could also bring the best out of Heung-Min Son and make him look like one of the best in the Premier League. Son’s new four-year contract at the club could either indicate Harry Kane’s decision to stay or could prepare Tottenham for a future with an alternative striker.

Raul Jimenez’s involvement with the Mexico national team could deny him a move to a big club, however, given that the travel and time difference could complicate matters pertaining to his Premier League ambitions. I cannot possibly think of another reason why he has not been signed by a bigger club – Raul Jimenez is one of the best strikers on offer at the moment and is the most underrated player in the Premier League.

Also Read: Jim Beglin column - Best possible starting XI for Liverpool next season

Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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