Underrated Footballers 2019-20


Today we would be looking at 10 underrated heroes from this season. These are the players who don’t always get the credit they deserve. So, let’s get started:

Here is the list of Top 10 Underrated Footballers in European Leagues 2019-20 Season.


10. Roberto Firmino


It might seem silly to include Roberto Firmino on this list but he’s once again showed why he’s such an invaluable asset to Klopp’s dominant Liverpool side. On the face of it, it doesn’t look like the Brazilian has had a particularly strong year. He scored just 8 times and even more surprisingly in all competitions, he scored on just one occasion at Anfield in the champions league defeat to Atletico Madrid. It is the manner of his goals that make him such a hero. 6 of his 8 strikes have directly led to Liverpool winning the game with the former Hoffenheim striker scoring 3 times in the final 20 minutes of the match, that’s an additional twelve points gained from his goals. Between his link-up play, his killer instinct, and his defensive work-rate makes Firmino one of the most complete forwards in the game.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Roberto Firmino takes the 10th spot.


9. Juan Cuadrado


Despite the blatant heroics of Ronaldo, spare a thought for Juan Cuadrado. He’s been quietly putting in selfless displays week in week out in Turin. The 31-year-old this season has channeled his experience and pace into his defensive work making him a modern wing-back capable of getting forward while not neglecting his duties in the rear guard. Offensively this season he has just one goal and two assists to his name but importantly he still offers 1.4 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per ninety. As a defender, however, no player in the Juventus squad can match his 2 tackles a match. He ranks 4th in his side for the number of minutes played this year which is a testament to just how important Cuadrado has become.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Juan Cuadrado takes the 9th spot.


8. Yann Sommer


Borussia Monchengladbach may have dropped to 4th in the Bundesliga table but they’re only 6 points off the top of the table. The real stars of Marco Rose’s squad this campaign have without a doubt been their electric French pairing of Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea. Together they’ve contributed 14 goals and 13 assists. However, a lot of credit has to go to keeper and captain Yann Sommer. The Swiss number has been in imperious form this campaign. He has appeared in every match and no starting goalkeeper in the division has made more than his 3.6 saves per ninety this term. What’s even more impressive is the fact that 2.5 of those came from inside the box. Among the top 4, Sommer’s goal is easily the most attacked, yet the percentage of 74% shows he’s been more than up to the task. it’s fair to say Moenchengladbach’s title challenge would have faded a lot earlier had it not been for the monumental displays of Sommer in goal.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Yann Sommer takes the 8th spot.


7. Ivan Marcano


FC Porto’s most inconspicuous signing in the 2019 window was 32 years old Ivan Marcano. the center back returned from AS Roma for just over €3 Million. His performances have helped the Dragons hold a one-point lead over Benfica at the top of Liga Nos with 10 games to play. The Spaniard has been a dark horse this season and his excellent positional play has helped Porto conceded just 16 times this season. He may not be the most prolific tackler, making just 1.3 per game but no player in the squad makes more than his 1.4 interceptions or 2.7 clearances per ninety, showing how his years of experience have translated into sheer defensive displays. If Porto’s model for success is to be sustainable it’s vital they have senior and reliable figures like Marcano providing the framework for their young stars to develop around.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Ivan Marcano takes the 7th spot.


6. Teji Savanier


For the past two seasons, Teji Savanier eight has been staking his claim as one of the best and most underappreciated plays in League One. Savanier cost Montpellier just €9.5 Million and he once again has been exceptional this campaign making a mockery of that price tag. He only scored 6 times in 19 games but it’s his defensive displays however which is gaining him applause this season. The definition of a box to box midfielder, only three other midfielders in the whole division con better his 2.1 interceptions per ninety. He also completes 3.1 tackles and 2 offensive dribbles per ninety, both the highest in the Montpellier squad. He’s dispossessed just 0.8 times per game. He may be a late bloomer at 28 years old but Savanier is certainly here to stay.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Teji Savanier takes the 6th spot.


5. Joao Moutinho


Out of Wolves’ many millions spent on new foreign imports, €5.6 Million for Joao Moutinho looks like the best piece of business today. In his 2 years in the Premier League, Moutinho has quietly shown what made him one of the most fussed over midfielders in Europe during his heyday at FC Porto and Monaco. Despite having turned thirty-three last September, this campaign is proving to be one of his best yet. Acting as a deep-lying playmaker Moutinho has been Wolves’ main instigator in retrieving possession and started attacks. He attempts 6 tackles and completes 2.9 per ninety. In fact, he’s posting his best-ever defensive figures as a professional, and not only that, he’s the leading figure for key passes per ninety in his side, making 2.3 per game. Moutinho’s assured quality has been instrumental to Wolves’ success. You don’t reach 121 caps for Portugal without a touch of class.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Joao Moutinho takes the 5th spot.


4. Marquinhos


Marquinhos has emerged as one of the team’s unsung heroes this season that it’s easy to forget that the Brazilian center-back is still just 25 years old. He not only had to play in the shadow of his illustrious attacking teammates but also his fellow countryman Thiago Silva in defense. There are signs that Marquinhos than ready to step into his shoes with Silva turning 36 in September. This campaign Marquinhos has been PSG’s sixth most used outfield player with 1467 minutes of League One action. What makes him even more useful is the fact that he can fill in in central midfield too, managing three goals and one assist from that position despite splitting his playing time between defense and that more advanced role, with a pass accuracy of 93%. With 278 appearances for PSG to his name already Marquinhos deserves the heroic status, although his best years in the spotlight could be yet to come.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Marquinhos takes the 4th spot.


3. Bernd Leno


Ever since his arrival from Leverkusen in the summer of 2018, Bernd Leno has been a solid, if the unexciting figure in the Arsenal goal but this season he’s really come into his own keeping the Gunners in touching distance of European qualification despite a tumultuous campaign that saw them sack Unai Emery at the end of November, stutter under Freddie Limburg before appointing Arteta to draw 13 games, 4 more than they have won. At the time of writing in 2019-20, they faced on average 14.8 shots per game, the 5th worst rate in the division. Fortunately for them later has chosen this season to post his best goalkeeping statistics to date. He has made 102 saves from a 136 on target faced giving him a save percentage of 77%. even with the barrage of efforts he’s faced, the 28-year-old has managed to keep 7 clean sheets, matching his return in 2018-19 when he wasn’t busy. €25 Million is slowly beginning to appear excellent value for a keeper. He could yet be a mainstay in north London for many years to come.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Bernd Leno takes the 03rd spot.


2. Harvey Barnes


One of the things that will please Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers most this season is the emergence of Harvey Barnes. Barnes has been exceptional for the foxes scoring five times. While James Madison and Jamie Vardy get all the praise, it is actually Barnes who leads the side for assists, having registered 6 this season, that’s despite making just 1.6 key passes per ninety. His growing stature in the eyes of Rogers is plain to see. Since the new year, he’s completed the full 90 minutes 5 times. At thirty-three Vardy isn’t getting any younger, so the development of Barnes from a winger to a forward could be an option and he might well be capable of filling Vardy’s enormous shoes.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Harvey Barnes takes the 2nd spot.


1. Mikel Merino


Mikel Merino has been an integral figure in a robust Real Sociedad side that has got everyone talking this season. Not only are they threatening to claim their first top-four finish in La-Liga since 2012-13, this youthful and versatile squad has also reached the Copa del Rey final to be played against Athletic Bilbao still to play. Much of that success has been attributed to the likes of Martin Odegaard and the other forwards in the side. They may provide the attacking flair but the real star of the show has been Merino in Central midfield. Not afraid to do the dirty work, the Spaniard leads his side for tackles and interceptions and in the air, he reigns supreme with no other midfielder in La-Liga coming close to his 5.5 aerial wins per ninety. The former Dortmund man has proved himself to be such a nuisance to the opposition that he wins 2.3 free kicks per game. He has his attacking qualities too but his defensive work provides the lifeblood of the side and that’s what makes the 23-year-old so crucial.

In this 2019-20 list of underrated footballers, Mikel Merino takes the No.1 spot.

By Rishik Sarkar

Content writer for the Sports of Football, Cricket, and Badminton. A sports enthusiast, I hope to deliver content in a precise and lucid manner with my knowledge and ability of in-depth analysis of a particular sport.

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