In Premier League or any football league in the world, not everyone gets the credits they deserve. With players like Kane, Aguero or De Gea always making the headlines and receiving plaudits from fans and pundits, there are certain players who work tirelessly giving their all without much praise. In this article we aim to bring some of the most underrated players in the Premier League history into limelight.
Here are our top 10 most underrated players in the Premier League history –
2. Ledley King
On his day King was the best defender in the Premier League bar none.Loyal to Tottenham Hotspur throughout his career, this one-club man called an end to his playing time in 2012 after 14 years as a professional.
Ledley Brenton King’s chronic knee injury limited his game time and often saw him unable to train ahead of matches. The extent of his injury problems is clear when you find out he only featured in 321 club games, meaning in all competitions, on average, he featured in 23 games per season.
Had his career started 10 years later then he’d be a £50 million centre-back in the current market. He may have also been managed better due to the enhancement of modern treatment.
It is no exaggeration to say that on his day he would have walked into any Premier League team in the country. Yes, he was that good. The media may not have appreciated his talent but his peers certainly acknowledged it.
“He is the only guy who doesn’t hold players. He will get the ball off you without you even knowing. That’s the sign of a good defender.”
– Thierry Henry, 2006.
1. Gareth Barry
Despite being the record holder for the all-time Premier League appearances, Barry has never been truly appreciated by those that haven’t watched him on a regular basis.
Barry moved to Aston Villa from Brighton & Hove Albion as a youngster, and spent 12 years at the club. He captained Aston Villa and is eighth in their all-time list of appearances, with 441 across all competitions, of which 365 in the Premier League. In June 2009, he joined Manchester City, where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title the following season. After a season on loan, he joined Everton on a three-year contract in July 2014. He then moved to West Brom in 2017.
“Barry was perfect,” wrote Rafa Benitez in his book, ‘Champions League Dreams’. “He could play as a central midfielder, of course, but he had some experience as an attacking left-back, which would be a useful option for home games where we were expected to go forward, and even as a left-winger.”
“I have never seen a player with such an incredible professionalism as Gareth Barry,” Roberto Martinez said in an interview.
“Gareth is one of those players who gets underrated. The reason we have so many developing young players is there are leaders in the mould of Gareth Barry. It is no coincidence when we have Gareth Barry around them.”
What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in nous and there are very few out there who read the game quite like him. He may not be one of English football’s greatest ever players, but Barry deserves a lot more credit for a prolonged career at the top.
As we could only include 10 players, we must have missed out on some. If you think there’s someone more underrated than the above mentioned players, let us know in the comments below.