On Twitter, we asked Premier League fans to submit their choice for most underrated player in the English top flight right now. There were a host of fascinating answers, with plenty of different teams represented.
Tottenham and Liverpool players appeared a lot, not surprising given they reached the Champions League final but have just a handful of true superstars on the roster, with Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino preferring to put together a squad that plays as a greater whole than the sum of its parts.
Reply to this tweet with the most underrated player in the Premier League right now ⬇️
So, with that in mind, we thought we should take it one step further and put together a full-blown starting XI of underrated Premier League players.
While putting these together, obviously being just five matches, prior seasons are of course taken into account, but this season’s early performances are also heavily weighed. Behold, our most underrated players all together in one squad. How well would these lineups perform in the league?
Heung-Min Son was probably the most often mentioned name in our Twitter question, and so he earns a spot on two of the lineups. A number of Liverpool players also cropped up, and Bonn responded with the inclusion of do-it-all striker Roberto Firmino and defender Joel Matip, who often finds himself in Virgil Van Dijk‘s shadow but has risen from injury substitute to regular starter.
Also appearing twice are Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, Wolves center-back Willy Boly, Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, and Foxes full-back Ricardo Peirera. Otherwise, the writers all went in their own directions!
Jack Grealish is mentioned on Karrell’s list, and he has already proven a divisive topic amongst our writers. Mendola included Reds midfielder Fabinho while also singing the praises of West Ham attacker Felipe Anderson who is doing his best to make up for the departure of Marko Arnautovic. The Hammers also appear on Karrell’s lineup with Manuel Lanzini, who owns two assists on the young season. Many folks may still be learning Emiliano Buendia’s name, but the young Argentine has been the brains behind Teemu Pukki‘s breakout season at the head of the Norwich attack.
Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is mentioned, although is he really underrated after moving for $60 million this summer? Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves could lay claim to the label as the best player outside the Premier League top six clubs, although Declan Rice might claim he’s not even the best midfielder. Who is a bang-on starter for your most underrated Premier League squad?
Liverpool overcomes early blip, dominates Newcastle
Liverpool is now 5-0, the only perfect team in the league, while Newcastle’s four points through five matches have them above the drop zone for now.
Three things we learned
Soothed, soothed Sadio — Mane’s two goals came in very Mane fashion; The drama of last match week behind him, the Senegalese winger curled a powerful shot home for his first goal, and put off Dubravka with his pace and industry to produce an easier second. This will be exactly what Liverpool wanted: A quick cleansing of whatever residue was left by his very public displeasure with Mohamed Salah, although it is a little bit of an eyebrow raiser that they didn’t celebrate together much over the course of three goals.
Almiron absent — There were not too many signs that Miguel Almiron’s Paraguay goal, his first in 27 appearances for club and country, snapped him out of his slump. Over 67 minutes, the ex-Atlanta United man continued his PL struggles: 64 percent passing, just one successful dribble, and 30 total touches.
Firmino the Man — It’s not often a first half sub makes the opposition feel worse about its chances, but the game changed when Roberto Firmino entered the match for injured Divock Origi. He created a few beautiful moments, none better than the dizzying assist to Salah.
Newcastle took a shock lead with a vicious counter attack, Christian Atsu getting behind the back line to collect a long ball before playing Willems into the box for a thunderous shot.
It was all Liverpool going forward, and Jamaal Lascelles was very fortunate not to have conceded a penalty for a foul of Joel Matip in the box.
Mane made it 1-1 within moments, as Liverpool finally got its first shot on target. Andy Robertson fed Mane for a rocket of his own in the 28th minute, as Jonjo Shelvey could not catch up with the Senegalese star.
An Atsu giveaway sent the ball and Mane toward goal, and Martin Dubravka failed to collect the ball with a slide as Mane leapt over him. The striker was there to tap home the loose ball.
Georginio Wijnaldum nearly scored a sensational goal in the 49th minute when he used the outside of his boot to nearly writhe a shot around Dubravka.
Great work from Atsu was nearly redemptive for the score line, as Emil Krafth couldn’t settle the cross and could not take advantage of a slow-to-react Virgil Van Dijk.
The Reds could’ve put it to bed twice in the next five minutes, Firmino unable to head an Alexander-Arnold cross past Dubravka and Robertson missing wide from an acute angle.
Firmino’s assist on Salah’s goal was magnificent, and the match was over with 17 minutes to play.
The Reds enter the international break as the PL’s lone perfect team, finally collecting a clean sheet in the process. They’ve won 13-straight league games and are unbeaten in 21.
Burnley isn’t usually as easy to beat as this, and Sean Dyche will have a word for his men after a loss that was far too straight-forward for the Reds.
The high press kills even when it’s not pressing hard — Burnley’s awful giveaways gave the Reds chance after chance, and Firmino’s cool feed of Mane for an even cooler finish was birthed by the Liverpool attack’s positioning high up the pitch. Yeah, Firmino is a center forward and will normally be in a position in any formation, but the goal is simply our example of a phenomenon which could’ve seen the Reds up several after 45 minutes
Firmino the straw that stirs the drink — Mohamed Salah is the irreplaceable part of the Liverpool trident and Sadio Mane perhaps the fan’s favorite, but its Brazilian center forward is a special part of the club’s force. Firmino became the first Brazilian player to score 50 Premier League goals when he belted a shot through a Burnley defender’s legs to make it 3-0 in the 81st. Goal, assist, win.
Fabinho is a special wrecker — When the Brazilian arrived from Monaco, there were some worries about his yellow card record. Fabinho has proven to be far more than a hatchet man, and looks even calmer now that Klopp has made him a mainstay in the XI.
Man of the Match: Fabinho
Both sides had chances in the first five minutes, with Chris Wood unable to convert for Burnley and keeper Nick Pope touching Mohamed Salah’s smash off the post at the other end.
Lively Salah thought he had Pope beaten when Jordan Henderson picked out the Egyptian with a gorgeous ball from the right, but the ball popped just wide of the far post.
Liverpool fooled Pope when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s accidental goal took a big turn off Chris Wood’s back and looped over the keeper. The expert crosser watched his would be cross fly over a flailing Pope to nestle into the top corner.
Mane made it 2-0 when Ben Mee gave the ball away to Roberto Firmino, who spotted the Senegalese star for a super cool finish.
The first Brazilian to 50 Premier League goals! Roberto Firmino gets Liverpool's third!
We here at ProSoccerTalk are trying to put a new spin on our weekly Premier League power rankings this season, and we’ve got a few weeks to figure out the best way to track the most powerful teams in the world’s top league.
20. Watford — Many were tipping Watford for bigger things after a very decent 2018-19, and those opinions were rewarded by conceding three goals at home to a club that scored 16 away goals last season. Shoulder shrug emoji? Last season’s final power ranking: 11
Opening Day: Lost 3-0 v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Everton
19. Southampton — Maybe Burnley’s Erik Pieters and Ashley Barnes traded bodies with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino, but Saints need to be better than a 3-0 opening day loss to Burnley. Last season’s final power ranking: 15
Opening Day: Lost 3-0 at Burnley
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Liverpool
18. West Ham United — Not many teams can make Issa Diop look like an episode of “my very first time as a professional.” Ain’t too many teams like Man City. Last season’s final power ranking: 10
Opening Day: Lost 5-0 v. Man City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Brighton and Hove Albion
17. Norwich City — Let’s be real: The 4-1 loss to Liverpool could’ve been 6-4. The Canaries created plenty of chances. Last season’s final power ranking: N/A (Championship)
Opening Day: Lost 4-1 at Liverpool
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle United
16. Newcastle United — Arsenal did the St. James’ Park faithful a solid by keeping Lacazette, Pepe, and David Luiz on the bench. Last season’s final power ranking: 13
Opening Day: Lost 1-0 v. Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Norwich City
15. Bournemouth — Eddie Howe‘s teams are usually a bit more savvy against the lower lights of the league. Last season’s final power ranking: 14
Opening Day: Drew 1-1 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Aston Villa
14. Crystal Palace — Could’ve use WilfriedZaha in the Starting XI, and how Roy Hodgson settles the Ivorian will go a long way towards its season fate. Last season’s final power ranking: 12
Opening Day: Drew 0-0 v. Everton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Sheffield United
13. Sheffield United — 33-year-old Billy “Mr. Sheffield United” Sharp getting his first Premier League goal to draw the Blades’ first PL match in years was my favorite moment of the weekend. Last season’s final power ranking: N/A (Championship)
Opening Day: Drew 1-1 at Bournemouth
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Crystal Palace
12. Chelsea — Frank Lampard is right in that the Blues were better than a 4-0, but he’s also wrong in ignoring Jose Mourinho’s overall point; The young lineup to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Opening Day was as naive as the players in it, even if Mason Mount was a nice surprise. Last season’s final power ranking: 4
Opening Day: Lost 4-0 at Man Utd
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Leicester
11. Everton — A second-successive season opening red card at Palace. The 0-0 result is respectable, but not great if you want to be a Top Six side. Last season’s final power ranking: 5 Opening Day: Drew 0-0 at Crystal Palace Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Watford
10. Leicester City — Controlled play but really should’ve been able to get it over the line against a Wolves team who was in Armenia a few days earlier. Last season’s final power ranking: 8 Opening Day: Drew 0-0 v. Wolves Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Chelsea
9. Wolves — To get a point at Leicester despite playing Thursday in Armenia is solid. Last season’s final power ranking: 6 Opening Day: Drew 0-0 at Leicester City Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday v. Man Utd
8. Aston Villa — Showed discipline under siege. Last season’s final power ranking: N/A (Championship) Opening Day: Lost 3-1 at Spurs Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth
7. Arsenal — The problems Arsenal had winning the ball versus Joelinton, a promising player and big signing, makes you wonder what will happen against Roberto Firmino and Harry Kane. Last season’s final power ranking: 7 Opening Day: Won 1-0 at Newcastle Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Burnley
6. Burnley — We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We have too often bet against Sean Dyche, who like his Clarets is tactically smart and physically terrifying. Last season’s final power ranking: 16 Opening Day: Won 3-0 v. Southampton Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Arsenal
5. Brighton and Hove Albion — Raise your hand if you saw the Seagulls going on the road and professionally out-maneuvering Watford at nearly every turn. Put your hand down. Dishonesty isn’t cool. Last season’s final power ranking: 17 Opening Day: Won 3-0 at Watford Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. West Ham
4. Liverpool — Mohamed Salah was wonderful and Fabinho a treat, but you’d be naive to gloss over another shaky defensive performance after a summer of rough ones. Last season’s final power ranking: 2 Opening Day: Won 4-1 v. Norwich City Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle United
3. Tottenham Hotspur — Thoroughly dominated Aston Villa and, most important, found its way through the packed in back. Last season’s final power ranking: 3 Opening Day: Won 3-1 v. Aston Villa Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Man City
2. Manchester United — Spare a thought for David De Gea, whose first half allowed for the Red Devils’ standout final half hour. Last season’s final power ranking: 9 Opening Day: Won 4-0 v. Chelsea Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday at Wolves
Manchester City — Raheem Sterling is unfair, and City hasn’t even really worked Joao Cancelo into the mix. And Bernardo Silva was injured. Last season’s final power ranking: 1 Opening Day: Won 5-0 at West Ham Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Spurs
Rodri: 5 – Caught on the ball so many times. Has to get use to the pace of the game in England. Fast.
David Silva: 7 – Proper magician. Glides around the pitch with ease and set up Sterling’s goal.
Kevin De Bruyne: 8 – Constant threat, even though his final pass or shot was a little off.
Leroy Sane: 4 – Injured early on, which is a big shame. Last minutes in a Man City shirt?
Raheem Sterling: 8 – Scored one, but should have scored a few more. Superb pace, but poor finishing.
Bernando Silva: 7 – Another classy and tireless display. Criminally underrated.
Subs Gabriel Jesus on for Leroy Sane (14′): 6 – Scored the winning penalty kick and put himself about. Ilkay Gundogan on for David Silva (61′): 3 – One of the worst sub displays ever. Gave the ball away countless times. Scored his penalty kick though. Phil Foden on for Kevin de Bruyne (89′): N/A