Every year, the Premier League awards players who excel in the competition and assist their teams in winning the title or mounting a title challenge. Players from “smaller” teams, which are unable to compete for the Premier League title, have received very little consideration.
However, players from these smaller teams frequently outperform the big guns, but they do not receive the recognition they deserve. Many players are not called up to their national teams as a result of this, which feels unfair to them.
Individual awards do not provide a complete picture of the Premier League’s best performers.
The Premier League has end-of-season PFA and FWA awards for outstanding performances, but these are frequently given to players from the title-winning team.
Here is a list of five players who have caught the eye with their consistency in the Premier League but have not received due recognition:
Number 5: Dwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil, a 21-year-old English midfielder for Burnley, shows maturity far beyond his years. In the 2018-19 Premier League season, the 19-year-old wide midfielder established himself as a regular for Sean Dyche’s side. McNeil made his Premier League debut as an 18-year-old on the final day of the 2017-18 season.
Since his debut, the midfielder has been one of the first names on Burnley’s team sheet, and he has gone on to make 108 Premier League appearances for the Clarets. The youngster has impressive footwork and close control, and he can swing in lethal crosses with his left foot like a wand. His defensive positioning and awareness are also commendable, qualities that one would expect from a Burnley regular.
McNeil has never played for England’s national team or U21s. Young Lions like players with less experience than McNeil, raising the issue of how things might have gone if he played for a bigger club.
Number 4: James Ward-Prowse
Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse has established himself as one of the Premier League’s best central midfielders. He, like McNeil, has only ever played in the Premier League for one club, Southampton.
Ward-Prowse is one of the league’s cleanest passers, helping his club move the ball quickly and intelligently. Roy Hodgson called the 27-year-old a “genuine prospect” in 2014, but he hasn’t played much for England.
He wasn’t selected for Euro 2020 and has only played nine times for his country, a poor payoff for his talent.
Number 3: Lewis Dunk
Brighton and Hove Albion captain Lewis Dunk is another player who has excelled in the Premier League but has gone unnoticed. Since his debut in 2017, the Englishman has scored the joint-most goals (11) in the league.
Due to his distribution and calmness on the ball, the two-time Seagulls Player of the Year has been an important member of Graham Potter’s Brighton side. He was chosen to start in goal after goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was sent off against Newcastle in the Premier League last weekend, highlighting his importance to the team.
Despite his consistency and form, Dunk has only played once for England, with his only cap coming in 2018. Gareth Southgate, the manager of the Three Lions, has repeatedly passed over the 29-year-old in favor of others.
Number 2: Vicente Guaita
Vicente Guaita, a Spanish goalkeeper, has been a regular for Crystal Palace in the Premier League. The experienced shot-stopper joined the Eagles on a free transfer from Getafe and has claimed the club’s no.1 shirt.
Guaita has received numerous accolades and praise for his performance since moving to Selhurst Park. He’s helped Crystal Palace’s defense avoid relegation season after season.
Under Patrick Vieira, Guaita has only allowed 14 goals in 11 Premier League games this season. They’ve conceded fewer goals than Manchester United, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Everton. Guaita’s spectacular saves and presence in goal have helped their defense this season.
Number 1: Jarrod Bowen
Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United has been one of the league’s standout performers this season. The 24-year-old midfielder joined the Hammers from Hull City in the Championship midway through the 2019-20 season and has been a standout for the club.
In 11 Premier League appearances, he has two goals and four assists for the Hammers. West Ham ended Liverpool’s seven-month unbeaten streak with two assists from the Englishman. Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho are back, but there is no room for Jesse Bellingham or Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Surprisingly, despite impressing since his move to the Premier League, Bowen has never been called up to the English national team. If he can maintain his current level, it won’t be long before he receives a call from Gareth Southgate.