Premier League’s underrated XI

XI players who I think are some of the most underrated players in the Premier League.

GK: Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton Wanderers): Been at Bolton since 1997 and is probably one of the most underrated keepers in the league. Last season he made 139 saves and a save/shot percentage of 67%, the second highest in the league. But the reason he goes in ahead of first placed Brian Jensen of Burnley is because of the sheer amount of years he has been doing it at the top level.

RB: Vedran Corluka (Tottenham Hostspur): nickname ‘Charlie’ the Croatian is a regular for both his country and Tottenham. He is versatile enough to slot into the right-back or a central role and possesses a good understanding of the game as well as having a strong physical presence. The defender was a big part of the Spurs defence over the last season (29 league starts). The Tottenham back line only conceded 41 goals in 2009/10 and helped the Lilywhites finally break the top four finishing in the much coveted fourth spot.

CB: Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers): Sam Allardyce’s team are hard to score against (especially at Ewood Park) and their captain is one of the main reasons why. He is an absolute rock at times, which is why the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United struggled against Blackburn at Ewood Park last season.

CB: Alex (Chelsea): With Ricardo Carlvalho’s injury woes over much of the last 18 months the Brazilian has played regularly under Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti. He also helped sure up a shaky defence this last season when Carvalho missed games through injury once again and revelations about John Terry’s personal life seemed to affect his game at times.

LB: Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic): Apart from scoring one of the most spectacular goals this season against Stoke, he has caught the eye of some high profile clubs in the past like Manchester United and Tottenham. Should the 26-year-old Honduran impress in the World Cup the Latics may find it hard to hold onto him.

To see who makes the midfield click here:
RM: Park Ji Sung (Manchester United): There is a reason why Sir Alex Ferguson likes to play Park in the big games and that is because the guy is one of the hardest workers in football (he just runs and runs). The United manager rates him so highly that he said leaving the South Korean out of the Champions League final in 2008 was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make as a manager.

CM: Mikel Arteta (Everton): The uncapped Spaniard is one of the most underrated central midfielders around. This is probably because Spain have a hell of a lot of talent in his position Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas. But as a playmaker Everton he has been fantastic, which is why he has been mooted as a possible replacement for Fabregas should the player leave Arsenal for Barcelona.

CM: Mohamed Diame (Wigan): Is a rock in midfield for Roberto Martinez’s side and had the second best tackle success rate in the Premier League last season after Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano. Diame made 176 tackles in total (just two behind Mascherano), with a success rate of 71%.

LM: Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool): Probably a victim of his own versatility Benayoun has never been able to stamp down a regular spot in the Liverpool ranks, but he was fantastic for West Ham and many feel that Rafael Benitez overlooked him at times during his reign at Anfield.

However, he has reportedly caught the eye of Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who deems the 30-year-old good enough to be a direct replacement for outgoing midfielder Joe Cole.

To see who the forwards are click here
CF: Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers): Lacked goals in his first season (just nine in the Premier League) playing for Mick McCarthy’s Molineux side, but his work rate is commendable and was recognised by his fans who votes him Wolves’ player of the season.

CF: Darren Bent (Sunderland): 24 Premier League goals last season and still not regarded as good enough to get into the England squad ahead of Emile Heskey, who only managed 3 goals last term (to put that in perspective that’s the same as Emerson Boyce and one less than the likes of Christopher Samba and Nelsen). Some argue he is a bit of a tap-in merchant, but you have to be in the right place to score and he has done it in a fairly unfashionable side.

Of course there are many fans who will have their own ideas on who are the most underrated stars in the Premier League, who do you think deserves a place?

Follow me on Twitter: ajwilliams1987

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