Football is a game that involves a team which comprises of 11 players. As such, not all players get the credits that they deserve; only the exceptional ones take all the glories most times.
Here, we look at 20 underrated footballers in 2022.
1. FEDERICO CHIESA
Chiesa is a winger who plays for Juventus. During his time at Fiorentina, he was the best player, but when Juventus signed him, many expected him to fail due to the calibre of players at Juve. But Chiesa has proven them wrong with his solid performances and his vital goal contributions. He was in spectacular form for Italy at the Euro 2020, but injuries have hampered his progress.
He still doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his efforts, though.
2. GERARD MORENO
Villareal striker is surely one of the most underrated players in the world. He scored 18 goals in the 2019/20 season and even went better last season as he scored 23 goals and provided 7 assists as he helped Villareal win the Europa League.
He scored in the final against Manchester United. In the 2021/22 season, he scored 11 goals in all competitions.
3. FRANCK KESSIE
Having been touted as a young prodigy since his early years at Atalanta, he was signed by AC Milan, initially on loan. He recently earned a move to Barcelona on a free transfer.
The Ivorian is a skilled midfielder with physical and technical prowess. He is also a superior penalty-taker and passer, yet he’s still very underrated.
4. MARCOS LLORENTE
After struggling to establish himself at Real Madrid, Llorente moved to Athletico Madrid and has become an integral part of the team. Last season he scored 13 goals and provided 12 assists as Diego Simeone’s men won the La Liga title years ago.
5. PABLO SARABIA
An attacking midfielder by trade, Sarabia is a fine footballer who has impressed since his days at Sevilla. Now at PSG, he has established himself despite the huge transfer fees of his teammates.
6. TOMAS SOUCEK
One of the most consistent performers for West ham, the Czech Republic midfielder’s box-to-box style of play and his huge/tall stature make him an attacking threat in the opposition area. Despite being a defensive midfielder, he finished as West ham’s joint topscorer last season alongside Michael Antonio, with 10 goals.
7. WISSAM BEN YEDDER
He has been a good striker since his time at Sevilla and now at Monaco. Ben Yedder finished as joint Ligue 1 topscorer with Mbappe in 2019/20 and finished as runner-up behind the PSG striker last season.
His performances earned him a place in the French Euro 2020 squad. In the 2022/22 Ligue1 season, Ben Yedder finished behind Mbappe as the top scorer.
8. LUIS MURIEL
Awarded the Serie A Best Young Revelation in 2012, Muriel hasn’t gotten the attention his performances deserved since. He has played for various clubs, which included Sampdoria, Sevilla, and Fiorentina. He currently plays for Atalanta, and he’s one of the team’s most consistent performers.
9. RAPHAEL GUIRERRO
The Portuguese defender who plays for Dortmund is very versatile as he can easily play at left-back, left midfield, or as a wingback. His overlapping runs make him an attacking threat throughout matches, and he regularly chips in with goals or assists.
Guirerro was part of the Portuguese side that won Euro 2016.
10. NICOLO BARELLA
Having been likened to Pirlo and Gerrard since his early days at Cagliari, Barella has always been under media pressure. He was finally signed by Inter Milan in 2019 amid tense competition from other suitors. He has shone under the spotlight with his impressive displays for the Nerrazurri and helped them win the Serie A last term.
Barella carried his form to the Euros, as he has a goal and two assists already, helping Italy reach the semifinals in the process.
11. PEDRO NETO
Neto is a consistent performer for Wolverhampton Wanderers, with his selfless and energetic displays helping the club establish itself in the Premier League and also playing in the Europa League.
12. JOSE GIMENEZ
Since joining Athletico Madrid in 2013, Gimenez has always been on top of his game. He formed a strong partnership with Diego Godin and became the team’s defensive leader when the latter left. He has won 5 trophies with Athletico, which included two La Liga titles, with the latest one being last season.
13. ISMAEL BENNACER
Bennacer came to prominence when he helped Algeria win the 2019 AFCON, where he finished as the joint-top assist provider. He was named as the best young player and best player of the tournament. He subsequently moved to AC Milan and has established himself there, helping the club qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 7 years, and winning the Serie A title.
14. RODRIGO DE PAUL
The former Udinese captain had been linked to various top clubs before he made the move to Atlético Madrid. He is a tireless and combative box-to-box midfielder. The Argentine played a key role as Argentina won the Copa America last year, yet his impressive performances are usually swept under the radar.
15. FILIP KOSTIC
The Serbian winger has been a consistent performer for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga with his work rate. He was instrumental as his former club won the 2021/22 Europa League. However, he recently secured a move to Juventus.
16. SERGEJ MILINKOVIC-SAVIC
Dubbed the “complete modern midfielder,” SMS has been a top performer since joining Lazio in 2015. He gets linked with a transfer to the top sides every transfer window.
17. SEKO FOFANA
Another impressive midfielder who doesn’t get enough accolades is Seko Fofana. The Ivorian plays for Lens in the French Ligue 1 and has one of the top players in France. He is a physical, aggressive, and versatile player with a decent goalscoring record.
18. ISI PALAZÓN
The Rayo Vallecano winger is had to forget for any Barcelona fan. Isi Palazón is a technically gifted player who possesses sublime dribbling and passing skills. The 27-year-old always turns up against the big clubs and is very underrated for his talent.
19. PIERRE-EMIL HOJBJERG
Having failed to establish himself at Bayern, Hojbjerg made a name for himself at Southampton and made a move to Tottenham last summer. He was a consistent performer in Jose Mourinho’s side and played all 38 league matches.
He set the record for the most minutes played in a single Premier League season (3420 minutes!).
During his time at Bayern, Hojbjerg won the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, UEFA Champions league and FIFA Club World Cup.
20. JAMES TAVERNIER
Tavernier is the captain of Scottish side Rangers. He plays at right-back, and is one of the best full-backs in the world. He led the team to its first league in 10 years a few seasons ago.
Despite being a defender, Tavernier has already scored over 80 goals in his career!
- Hakan Calhanouglu
- Luis Alberto
- Lucas Paquetá
- Lucas Vazquez
- Gonzalo Montiel
- Nathan Aké
- Zambo Anguissa
- Benjamin Andre
- Mikel Merino
- Hans Vanaken
- Martin Terrier
- Benjamin Bourigeaud.