Who are the most underrated and overrated 'big six' players?

30th Dec 2018

Footballing reputations take years to carve out, but can be lost in a matter of seconds.

The sport is a game of opinions and while some players are well regarded by fans, others are derided as no better than your average Joe Bloggs.

Cutting the mustard at elite level is no mean feat, with those who represent the big guns under particularly intense scrutiny to produce the goods on matchday.

But whose ability is exaggerated? And who does not get the recognition their talent deserves?

We asked a fan of each 'big six' club to name the most underrated and overrated players plying their trade at the top of the Premier League to find out....

Daily Football Tips

Manchester City Fan

James Iberson-Hurst

Underrated: Mesut Ozil. The media loves getting on his back for whatever they can conjure up, but the stats and his output do not lie. The now ex-Die Mannschaft international has a combined 81 goals and assists in just over 150 Premier League games and tops the charts for the most goals from a German in the competition’s history.

His work-rate is knocked, then it appears he runs more than the majority of his teammates and opposition. His commitment is criticised, then his new manager makes him captain. Ozil is a genuinely terrific footballing talent whose aura on the pitch means he is left without the plaudits he deserves.

Overrated: They come in fits and spurts as players have a few good weeks then fall by the wayside shortly thereafter, such as the early season love-ins for Lucas Moura, Marko Arnautovic and James Maddison.

One player who started his career off looking like a real star in the making was Eric Dier, but he’s now failed to capitalise on that promise and still hangs around in a Spurs starting XI regularly as well as the national side.

Technically, he’s more limited than others in his position(s) and seemingly whenever there is a defensive error at Tottenham he is at the forefront of it. He's not a bad player, but absolutely not one who I think is deserving of being a sure-fire starter for a Champions League outfit or pulling on the captain’s armband for his country at times either.

Liverpool Fan

Neil Perry

Underrated: Rob Holding at Arsenal, who just seems to get on with his job without much attention and is the kind of player most sides in the top six could do with in their squad.  

Oddly Mezit Ozul seems to fit both of those categories, as he has the potential to be the best player in the league (if he can be bothered) or an extremely expensive luxury who has been phoning it in on past glories.  

Overrated: Without doubt the most overrated is Paul Pogba. You could put together a highlights video of him looking like a world beater, but whenever I watch him he never seems to deliver the gold standard a player of his calibre should be delivering.

Chelsea Fan

Jamie Collett

Underrated: James Milner has been an underrated player since his Manchester City days. At Liverpool, he is a cornerstone of a midfield with his undervalued quality on the ball complimenting his fantastic engine. In Jurgen Klopp’s high-octane running style of football, Milner’s running power is highly valuable while his ability in crossing positions has been an underappreciated facet of his game ever since he joined City. Liverpool’s side features more fashionable players, particularly in the front-three, but Milner’s mix of grit and actual ability make him a key player for Klopp’s side.

Overrated: David De Gea is widely regarded by many quarters of the media as the world’s best goalkeeper. He’s not even the best goalkeeper in Manchester. De Gea has undoubtedly performed well in a Manchester United team that has struggled to assert authority in recent seasons, however, his mistakes are never criticised and often disregarded, while there is always an excuse if he doesn’t perform to the required standard.

The main criticism I have of De Gea from a technical perspective is a real lack of authority in his penalty area, both from crosses and his sweeping. He is often routed to his line, posing difficult questions for a United defence that could be enhanced by a dominant goalkeeper who commands his penalty area.

Meanwhile, for Spain, his performances at the World Cup cost his side victory against Portugal in the opening group game whilst his pitiful attempts in his side’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Russia also escaped scrutiny. Another mistake against Croatia in the UEFA Nations League has seen calls in the Spanish media for him to be replaced by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga. Maybe this is what it requires for De Gea to be judged to the same standards as his counterparts and not be exempt from any criticism despite a plethora of errors in recent months. 

Spurs Fan

Steve Jennings

Underrated: Kyle Walker. He has gone up in the estimations of many onlookers since joining Manchester City, but he's been one of the best right-backs in Europe for four years now. Kieran Trippier has done a decent job stepping in for him at Spurs but we're desperately missing Walker's pace and versatility.

Overrated: I've never quite understood what Nemanja Matic brings to the table. He's a tidy player but he doesn't seem to particularly excel at anything and I don't recognise any unique attributes to his game.

Arsenal Fan

Linus Morris

Underrated: I'm going to go with Arsenal's (surprise, surprise) Lucas Torreira. I'm only going for him because he won't be underrated for very long - that's for sure. To be honest, I'm not really looking forward to that. It's only a matter of time before the likes of Barcelona come sniffing around him.

Overrated: Dele Alli - by a country mile. I'm desperately trying not to allow tribalism cloud my judgement but, man, the guy can get away with murder and you have pundits and journalists drooling at his feet. How many dives is the Englishman allowed to get away with before he is called out? 

Manchester United Fan

John Wilde

Underrated: Full-backs often don't get the credit they deserve and I'm a big fan of Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta. He has played across the entire back line for the Blues and is a terrific, solid no-frills defender.

Overrated: Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City, who I'm not sure is making the progress he should be under Pep Guardiola for someone of his age, reputation and potential. His goalscoring output is simply not good enough in such a powerful team.

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