Attacking players often receive all the glory but who are the men that make the team tick? Briefly.co.za looks at the players who don’t necessarily get all the acclaim but are critical to their team’s success.
Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City
Laporte just edges out Fernandinho as the most underrated player at Manchester City.
Whereas Fernandinho is widely regarded as crucial to the way City operate, Laporte still flies under the radar.
John Stones has done remarkably well this season but the Frenchman has been the bedrock of the defence since his arrival.
City are yet to lose a game in which the 24-year-old has started.
Andre Gomes – Everton
The Portuguese midfielder oozes class in the middle of the park for the Toffees.
He acts as the perfect foil to Idrissa Gueye’s all-action style of play.
More of a controller, his composure has brought added solidity to Everton this season.
Since Gomes has been introduced, Everton’s record has been impressive – 3 wins, a notable draw away to Chelsea and 1 loss away at Manchester United.
Gomes struggled to feature in a star-studded Barcelona team but made a name for himself while at Valencia.
He is slowly doing the same at Goodison Park.
Etienne Capoue – Watford
Capoue has been a wonderful addition for Watford and has been key to their great start this season.
While the Hornets boast numerous underrated players, Capoue stands out for his immense contribution in the middle of the park.
His work rate has been excellent, including his pressing and harrying of opponents.
In terms of tackling and interceptions combined, only 2 players have racked up higher numbers than Capoue.
Shane Duffy – Brighton
The Irishman may not be the modern ball-playing centre-back that seems to be all the rage now.
However, what he offers is defensive resilience and a goal threat from set-pieces.
Brighton’s defensive record has been remarkable this season and have conceded fewer goals than Manchester United.
No EPL player has made more clearances than Duffy this season.
He is also 2nd on the chart for most shots blocked.