Three Most Underrated Newcastle United Players This Season
Newcastle United have what is on paper their worst ever Premier League squad in terms of quality, but thanks to the tactical nous and motivational skill of their world-class manager, this squad is admirably performing above itself and is highly unlikely to be relegated now.
Here are the three who I believe are most underrated in the squad, especially perhaps by a majority of their own fans:
Having been injured on the opening day of the season against Spurs, Dummy went on to miss 18 Premier League games with what was a bad hamstring pull. In that time, Newcastle’s fortunes were mixed but ultimately the defence struggled badly without another trustworthy specialist left-back in the team.
Since his return, Rafa’s side has played 11 league games, losing only to Man City and Liverpool, conceding only 11 goals in the process, having played the aforementioned big names plus Manchester United.
Now we all know he’s no Roberto Carlos, but Dummett’s fitness levels, positional sense and professionalism mark him out as not only a genuine Premier League quality left-back but also as one of the most underrated in the business.
Now, anyone who is gym fit can run around for 90 minutes and I appreciate that. However, that quality alone doesn’t make a Premier League footballer. However, in the case of Perez, we have to bear in mind the bigger picture at Newcastle – they simply don’t have a top quality squad of players and all we can ask is that the ones they have, perform to their utmost ability.
In Ayoze, Newcastle United have a player who puts everything into each performance. He’s not a prolific scorer but when the Toon attack, he busts a gut to get into the box and when they defend, he comes back immediately from his No.10 position and invariably makes his admittedly slight presence felt.
In terms of overall ratings on whoscored.com, which in this case I agree with, only Jamaal Lascelles rates higher than Lejeune at Newcastle this season when taking out the likes of Martin Dubravka and Kenedy who have only played a handful of games.
Making an average of 1.1 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and an excellent 7 clearances per game, the 26-year-old has contributed significantly to the cause and has done this while being booked only 3 times – some feat for a central defender at the wrong end of the league.