This season has been dominated by the big names. With players like Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba, Dele Alli, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Diego Costa, and Alexis Sánchez (to name a few) all having such great years many players are being left behind. There have been some players who have been so influential in their teams, and some would say, more than these superstars. Obviously, the season is only a half way through but these three players have been having career seasons with their club and will be players to watch out for a surprising Team of the Season bid or maybe, a move to a bigger club.
Victor Wanyama (CDM) - Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
After the season Tottenham had and with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal buying premier midfield talent, there was a lot of pressure on Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy to buy someone who had experience and was good enough to battle players like Eric Dier, Dele Alli, and Mousa Dembélé. When they signed Wanyama there were mixed opinions; the Kenyan had a reputation for being a "body guard-type" player as he was known for red cards and hard tackles. Since he moved, he has proved to be so much more than that. Wanyama has played every Premier League match for Tottenham with an 88% pass accuracy (third on Tottenham) which is even more impressive due to his 19m pass length average, and his long ball is 39m. If you watched the Chelsea vs. Spurs match on Wednesday, you would have seen exactly what makes him such an important player for Spurs. He played a physical match, as he completely silenced that Chelsea midfield and bullied N'Golo Kanté which is no easy fete. This season his average Match Rating is 7.18 which is second for all Defensive Midfielders (if you count that have played ten games or more). What a buy for only 11,000,000 pounds.
Comparision to some of the Big Club Defensive Midfielders (All Stats are Per Game Average)
Matt Phillips (M/F) - West Bromwich Albion F.C.
It's been a great rise back to the Premier League for Matt Phillips. Last season he was with QPR in the Championship, and as like the entire West Brom team, he has quietly been going under the radar as one of the best stories of the season. With how defense Tony Pulis teams are for him to have four goals and eight assists at this point of the year is pretty remarkable. He is second behind Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne at the top. This is with a striker that is worse than what other top 10 clubs have at their disposal (no disrespect to Rondon who is a good player). Going into the season many people and pundits believed the key to WBA success would be the newly signed wide midfielder Nacer Chadli as he came from such a big club in Tottenham but due to his injuries someone needed to step up and that's exactly what Phillips has done. With the amount of talent, the Premier League has in the midfield no one would believe that a 5.5 million pound signing from QPR would be out playing them.
Robert Snodgrass (Winger/F) - Hull City A.F.C.
Going into the season there was many to debate, who would get top four, who would be sacked first, but one thing most people agreed on is that Hull City with their manager, owner and lack of depth were completely screwed going into this season. There have been two players on Hull who have exceded everyone's expectations. One of those players is Robert Snodgrass. So far the Hull forward has seven goals and two assists. He has been playing so well he has been getting looks from West Ham United and Crystal Palace. Snodgrass doesn't have many weaknesses; he is a world class free kick taker, a good finisher and even good going back defensively. No matter where Snodgrass goes, Hull should be forever grateful for how influential he has been this season and seasons in the past. Even though his average match rating is 6.99, anyone who watches Hull City knows the importance of the Scottish international.
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