While the big players of big glamorous clubs in the Premier League often make trending news, there are many players who still play, simply to make their team proud.
Many players who have managed to make their way from the Middle of the league table to the Top of the Player Rankings.
Every season brings out the underdogs who turn heads and get all hearts racing.
As we approach the end of the 2020 season, here’s a list of the Premier League boys who have made it to the ‘Big boys gang’ despite playing for mediocre clubs.
1. JACK GREALISH
The 24-year-old captain of Aston Villa FC has had an impeccable season.
With 13 goal involvements in 34 matches, the Englishman is an integral element of the Aston Villa attack.
Grealish plays a central role in attack and is involved in the distribution of the ball throughout the game. His aggressive attacking and electric speed coupled with precise footwork makes him a joy to watch!
Another aspect of his game that one cannot help but notice is the physicality in his game play. With great fitness and a well-built physique, he causes big problems for defenders!
His vision in the midfield is exemplary and progressive. He looks to keep the ball moving on the pitch and advance further in attack to create more and more chances. He also holds the record for Most chances created from open play at 50 chances in the Premier League.
He even scored the winner for Aston Villa in the last game of the Premier League to keep the team from relegation.
The midfielder has been a joy to watch throughout the season and has caught the attention of several big clubs including Manchester United, Tottenham & Manchester City.
However, the chances of him leaving are very high incase Aston Villa finished at the bottom of the PL table.
2. JAMES MADDISON
The Leicester City midfielder is nothing short of perfect!
The 23-year-old runs the show in the Leicester midfield and is extremely confident in holding, attacking as well as distribution of the ball.
Having a total 7 goals & 7 assists in the Premier League this season, James Maddison has been consistent with his performance. Time & again he has proven to be the perfect midfielder making his presence felt all over the field throughout the game!
The youngster is extremely graceful on the ball and dribbles with the greatest of ease and has created over 56 chances from open play this season. With an average of 2.8 shots per game in the Premier League, the attacker is a huge threat to defences.
His performance with the club has made him a favourite and is also expected to win him a spot in the English national team.
His current contract with Leicester expires in 2024 however, the chase to sign this prodigy is already underway.
3. RAUL JIMENEZ
The Mexican is the Hero for the underdog team of Wolverhampton who have been a nightmare to all the big clubs in the league over the past couple of years.
The attacker has been regular and has managed to retain the central attacking role for Wolves for quite a while now.
Since his transfer to Wolves in 2018, Jimenez has scored 29 goals for the club in the Premier League. He has also provided 13 assists. Adama Traore and Ruben Nevez have also performed well this season.
Raul’s game is impressive. He is an aggressive & bold player who does not hesitate to shoot.
With an average of 0.39 goals per game, he can easily break open defences.
The Wolves number 9 is a perfect striker with his heading ability being just as good as his shooting.
Having formerly played in Spain, the Mexican has the ability to move the ball beautifully throughout the field. His neat footwork further makes him a threat in & around the 12-yard box.
4. WILFRED ZAHA
No list of ‘Big boys- Small Clubs’ can be complete without this man!
Wil Zaha has undoubtedly been the most dangerous and consistent attacker in the Premier League out of the top 6 clubs. At 27 years of age, Zaha has already scored a total of 32 goals in the Premier League during his career at Crystal Palace.
With an average of 1.86 shots per game, Zaha is the lifeline of the Crystal Palace attack and poses a big threat to opponents.
Though 2019-20 was not the best season for him and Crystal Palace, one cannot overlook the fact that Zaha has maintained his standard over the past few years & refuses to step back.
His athleticism and great use of physique continue to impress one and all as the player refuses to get old!
With his regularity in the game, Zaha remains a great option for clubs considering to buy attackers this season. These include possible interests from Arsenal and Tottenham too.
5. DEAN HENDERSON
Well with the season Sheffiled United has had, it would have been unfair not to include a player from the club.
The goalkeeper, Dean Henderson has arguably played one of the most crucial roles for the team this season. With 13 clean sheets in 36 appearences, this has been the breakthrough season for the 23-year-old. With 98 saves in the league, the keeper has been nothing short of a wall protecting the Sheffield goal with a Save Percentage of 77%.
Having conceded fewer goals than Pickford & Pope this season, he may also be the first-choice keeper for the English national team very soon.
The Englishman who is currently playing in Sheffield on loan from Manchester United is one of the favourites in the upcoming transfer window.
Well the list of Unlikely heroes shall never end.
Yet to reach the prime of their career, these players seem to give us a sneak-peak of the thrill that the future of the PL holds for us.
We’ve got to continue to recognize, appreciate and enjoy the underdogs as they continue to break through & shake up the Premier League in their pursuit to the top!