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Premier League Unfancied XI

SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 13 Dec 2014, 01:37 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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This is a starting XI that any Premier League manager could hope to buy for a budget of 100-110 million pounds, and still reasonably expect of them to at least finish in the top half of the table, and fight for the Europa League at the very least. The criteria for inclusion in this list is that the player must not have had a single transfer fee of more than 6-12 million pounds in their career (depending on playing position), and they must be playing for a team that did not finish in the top 7 of the league last season.In deciding the XI, once the player is deemed to be within budget, considerations of comparative transfer fee vs performance will not be made and only ability and performances play a role. This team comprises mainly of players who have been solid, if somewhat unspectacular professionals in their career thus far, and have featured in this year’s Premier League, irrespective of which league or division they played in till last season.The team will line up in a 4-1-3-2, and will be set up with the aim of taking the game to the opposition, both physically and stylistically. Keep in mind that the performances of the player over their career are of more importance than their performances this season solely, or in other words, if a player has been objectively a more consistent/better player over the course of his career, he will more likely be included despite not having had that great a season. Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the site

#1 Asmir Begovic (Goalkeeper - Stoke City)

Hailing from the war-ravaged nation of Bosnia & Herezgovina, Begovic is one of the genuinely underrated goalkeepers of the world, not just the Premier League. Having escaped the unrest at the age of 4 to migrate to Germany from the erstwhile Yugoslavia, Begovic was trained in Canada and made a few appearances for them at youth level before moving to England with the youth setup at Portsmouth.

Having graduated, he was sent out to various clubs on loan as David James continued as their no. 1 goalkeeper. He was signed by Stoke in January 2010 for 3.25 million pounds, where Danish international keeper Thomas Sorensen was initially no. 1, but constant injuries gave Begovic the opportunity to usurp the starting berth.

Although he had a few shaky turnouts including a 5-0 loss to Bolton, his class eventually shone through as he was named Stoke’s Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season for his role in keeping the Potters afloat. Although rumours have linked him to various big clubs, Begovic continues at Stoke.

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Published 12 Dec 2014, 14:17 IST
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