Analysis

Asia 50, 2018: Five Southeast Asian players who could make the list

Over the years, a few Southeast Asian players have done enough to earn a spot on our annual Asia 50. Do you think any of these local stars have what it takes to make it in the future?

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Neil Etheridge - Philippines

His loyal legion of Filipino fans say Etheridge is criminally underrated and they might just have a point.

The London-born stopper has bounced between clubs in England but it is with Cardiff where he is truly shining. Handed the No.1 role after an injury to Lee Camp, Etheridge has taken full advantage of the opportunity.

Etheridge's Cardiff side is flying high in the Championship and is in line for direct promotion back to the English top flight. A key reason behind their outstanding showing this season has been a solid defence - the Bluebirds have conceded the least goals in the league (34), with Etheridge keeping 16 clean sheets.

On current form, the Filipino is the best goalkeeper in Southeast Asia and he should easily make the list next season should he continue in the same vein.

Matthew Davies - Malaysia

Davies has been a picture of consistency for club side Pahang this season, playing every minute of their Malaysia Super League (MSL) campaign, as the Tok Gajah have steadily climbed the table. He also had a standout campaign with the Malaysia side which made history at the AFC Under-23 Championship, as they made the final eight.

Pahang currently sit in second spot in the MSL, with the joint-best defence, conceding just two goals. A former A-League player, Davies clocked 16 senior appearances with Perth Glory and the 22-year-old is currently showing why he would not look out of place in the bigger leagues.

With a long career ahead of him, the Pahang skipper could well be the next big hope of Malaysian football and we wouldn't bet against him having a crack at the list sometime soon.