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Premier League: Underrated XI 2021/22

It doesn't matter which end of the table you find yourself at, every team has at least one player that doesn't get the credit they deserve.

We have picked our 'Underrated XI' for the Premier League season so far, take a look and see if you agree with our selections.

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Martinez had already shown his ability at Arsenal towards the end of the 2019/20 season, with many Gunners surprised when they decided to let him join Villa.

The Argentinian has gone from strength to strength at Villa Park and in a team that has been far from watertight at the back.

Consistent performances for his club have also seen the 29-year-old become a regular squad member for his national team – helping them win the Copa America last year.

Full Back: Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Eyebrows were raised when Arsenal paid £25million for Tierney, who had been impressing at Celtic but was seen as young and raw.

After injuries hampered him at the start of his time at the Emirates, Tierney has shown just how key he is to the Gunners backline. Arsenal have kept eight clean sheets in the 24-year-old's 15 Premier League appearances.

Centre Back: Kurt Zouma (West Ham)

After seven years at Chelsea, where he mainly warmed the bench, Zouma made the permanent switch to West Ham and looks an inspirational signing by David Moyes.

The Frenchman was outstanding and a key member of the Hammers push towards the top four, before suffering a muscle injury in early December.

Zouma returned from injury before the league's winter break and West Ham are 7/1 to claim a Champions League place this season.

Centre Back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Ever since Azpilicueta arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2012, pundits have questioned his lack of pace and his diminutive stature for a defender.

10 years on, the Spaniard remains a mainstay of one of the best defences in the Premier League and has now made over 300 appearances for the Blues.

Chelsea have conceded just 18 goals in 24 league games this term, the third best record in the top flight, with Azpilicueta still happy to play centre-half or full-back.

Full Back: Joao Cancelo (Man City)

Cancelo joined City from Juventus as a right back back in 2019 and he struggled in his first season in the Premier League.

But Pep Guardiola weaved his magic again and turned the Portuguese into a left-back and Cancelo has arguably been City's best player this season and is top of the Premier League stats for passing.

A decade a go people would have questioned how much impact a player can have from full back, but Cancelo is one of those to show they can, racking up 12 clean sheets, five assists and one goal in 22 appearances so far.

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Midfield: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Recently described as the best free-kick taker in the Premier League by Pep Guardiola, Ward-Prowse continues to be a massive influence on the Saints.

The Englishman has six goals and two assists to his name this season and his all-round game has improved over recent times, with Ward-Prowse also having a 63 percent tackle success rate in 2021/22.

Midfield: Fabinho (Liverpool)

When pundits talk about key figures in Liverpool's recent success, it's normally Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Allison that are mentioned….but Fabinho deserves to be talked about on the same level as those other big names.

The Brazilian - 66/1 to be named PFA Player of the Year - has a Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup winners medal to his name. Since the start of the new season, Fabinho has been on the losing side in just two of 30 games for both club and country.

Midfield: Jakub Moder (Brighton)

Moder has played in 21 of Brighton's 22 Premier League games this season and his performances have helped the Seagulls move in the top half of the table.

The Polish midfielder cost £11m back in 2020 and that is looking like very good business from Graham Potter, with Moder currently Brighton's joint-top assist maker with three to date.

Brighton are now just six points outside of the European places and are 20/1 to finish in the top six.

Forward: Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

His move to Anfield was questioned by many, who felt Jota would not be able to break into the Liverpool front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino.

But the Portuguese ace has become a regular and ousted Firmino out of the front three and has bagged 10 goals already this season.

Jota has already beaten his season's best Premier League tally and what is also impressive is the different types of goals he scores – three with his head, two with his right foot and five with his left foot.

Forward: Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

What a difference a season makes, with Wolves sat in eighth and just two points outside the top six – compared to 14th at this stage last season, when they were nine points worse off.

The big reason for that is the return of Raul Jimenez, who played just 10 games last term following a sickening head injury when he suffered a fractured skull.

The Mexican has only bagged four goals to date in the 2021/22 campaign, but his presence and all-round game has massively contributed to the Wolves upturn.

Forward: Lucas Moura (Tottenham)

The Tottenham fans certainly appreciate the Brazilian, but he has struggled to win over his Spurs managers until the arrival of Antonio Conte.

Moura is a player who has suffered from not having a consistent run of games and is now playing under his fifth manager since moving to London in January 2018.

When Son Heung-min is fit to return, a front three of Kane, Son and Moura should see Conte's men at least challenge for a top-four place.

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