Lists

The most underrated player at EVERY Premier League club

Jesse Lingard

Forget the 20-goal-a-season strikers and fancy-dan No.10s: these are the unsung heroes rarely lauded by the wider world – but loved by their home support

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Arsenal: Nacho Monreal

Nacho Monreal

Monreal is the type of reliable performer that every club needs. The Spaniard has maintained a consistent level of performance ever since he arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2013, with his football intelligence and reading of the game making him an essential part of the Gunners’ backline.

The 32-year-old has spent the majority of his Arsenal career at left-back, but he demonstrated his versatility by excelling as a left-sided centre-half during the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s tenure. He’s an excellent passer too, and chipped in with five Premier League goals last season.

Bournemouth: Steve Cook

Steve Cook

Eddie Howe continues to keep faith with a core of players who helped Bournemouth reach the Premier League in 2015, with Cook, Simon Francis, Charlie Daniels, Andrew Surman, Marc Pugh, Callum Wilson and Adam Smith all still prominent members of the first-team squad.

Of those listed above, Cook is probably the player who doesn’t quite get the attention he deserves. Strong in the air despite being ‘only’ 6ft 1in tall, the 27-year-old defender is dominant in both boxes and a decent passer from deep.

Brighton: Glenn Murray

Glenn Murray

When Brighton failed to land a new striker in the 2017 summer transfer window, many fans immediately tipped them for the drop. Although Murray had notched 23 Championship goals the season prior, few believed he would make any impact on the top tier as his 33rd birthday approached.

Yet the ex-Crystal Palace striker was similarly written off following the Eagles' promotion in 2013, and he once again confounded the critics by netting 12 times as Albion survived. His deft finish in a 3-2 win against Manchester United in the second game of this season was a fine example of his technical ability, which often goes unnoticed.

Burnley: Ben Mee

Ben Mee

Michael Keane’s performances for Burnley in 2016/17 earned him a move to Everton the following summer, while James Tarkowski received plenty of plaudits – and an England call-up – for his displays last term.

Mee has played alongside both men over the last few seasons, but his contributions to the Clarets’ terrific defensive record have never received the same level of recognition. A no-nonsense centre-half, he’s a key cog in the defence-minded system Sean Dyche has created at Turf Moor.

Cardiff: Joe Ralls

Joe Ralls

Cardiff’s surprise promotion last season owed more to the collective than any one individual star, but there’s no doubt that Ralls was one of the Welsh club’s standout performers in the second tier.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who graduated from Cardiff’s academy in 2011, and is now one of the first names on Neil Warnock’s teamsheet. Described as a “Rolls-Royce” of a player by his manager, the player we'll call Ralls-Royce is adept at breaking up play and distributing the ball efficiently.

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