- Sergio Busquets
He was always an underrated player. Have you ever wondered why players like neymar have been allowed to do all sorts of gimmicks and tricks and whatnot even though he ends up losing the ball many times? Shouldn’t that be a defensive question mark? Well, neymar has been given the full freedom because of this one person. Funny how Kante is being appreciated so much for it(he deserves it) but not so much for Busquets. He has an important role but a rather thankless one. He initiated the positional play from the back and is the insurance to win the ball back when things go haywire in front.
2. Ander Herrera
Since you said currently, this is one of the biggest examples. If you check herrera’s stats, you’ll realise he has one of the most impressive contributions to Manchester United and dictates almost everything in the team. He takes on the opposition, tackle if necessary, and do the dirty work while allowing pogba to find a passing route by going forward. He is also able to nullify the opposition like no o e can. A big game player and is dependable at any point of time. However, he is hardly appreciated.
3. Naby Keita
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It’s funny that many football fans have never even heard this name. He has been one of the most complete player I’ve seen since Roy Keane and Patrick Viera. This Leipzig talisman has been the engine behind RB Leipzig’s impressive season. However, the lack of popularity for bundesliga and the hatred for Leipzig has been a major factor behind him being underrated. Although we are yet to see if he can do this every season.
4. Nicolas Ottamendi
Manchester city had forgettable seasons in terms of defence in 15/16 and 16/17. However, one man was a huge exception to this. That’s right. Nicolas Ottamendi has one of the most impressive tackling rates as well as take ons. However, ageing full backs and an inexperienced John Stones meant that his work was gone unseen by most.
5. Eric Bailly
Manchester United has one if the best defensive records in the 16/17 season along with Tottenham Hotspurs. However, if you were aware of their season, you’ll realise maroxs Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were all injured at different points in the season. Not to mention by April when almost all of them were injured. Yet, this impressive record was maintained due to the strength and talent of this beast of a defender. Almost played every game when united competed in all competitions and compensated for the defensive partners’ injury by putting extra work. But do you see his name anywhere when mentioning great defenders? Nope. Hence vastly underrated.