Five most underrated Manchester United players
Manchester United is arguably one of the biggest clubs in the world, having enjoyed tremendous success over the years. The Red Devils has always boasted of brilliant footballing icons and homegrown talent. One of the characteristics that set United apart, during the era of Sir Alex Ferguson was the understated presence of effective players who did not really hog the limelight. We take a look at five such Manchester United players in the current squad.
The Argentine No.1 goalkeeper has been a mainstay of the national team since 2009, garnering close to a hundred caps, making him the most capped keeper in the history of the Albiceleste. He has represented Argentina at two World Cups and three Copa America tournaments, finishing second in the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa. An Olympic gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Games, Romero is the second-choice keeper behind David de Gea, at Manchester United, and understandably so. He enjoys frequent starts in cup competitions though, having done exceedingly well in the Europa League that United won under Jose Mourinho. Even though his distribution is not the best at times, he more than makes up for it with his agility and outstanding positional sense that defy his age of 31.
The Swedish centreback is a promising young talent who joined the Red Devils on a big money move of EUR 35m from Portuguese side Benfica. Having joined Manchester United in 2017, Victor Lindelof has already succeeded in emerging as the best defender at the club, surprising many a pundit, who had endlessly criticized him on his arrival. An excellent ball-playing defender who could read the game well, he is a towering presence in the backline, and is assured with regards to his footballing attributes. A terribly underrated defender, Lindelof has managed to usher in a sense of calmness and has solved a vital problem for United and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. His defensive abilities came to the fore during Sweden’s quarterfinal run at the World Cup in Russia.
A surprise entrant to this list, Juan Mata was at the peak of his powers during his vastly successful spell with Chelsea, having won the UEFA Champions League (he assisted Drogba for the equalizer in the final), Europa League and the FA Cup with the Blues. Mata was part of the glorious Spanish side that won the World Cup in 2010 and the Euros in 2012. After falling down the pecking order behind Brazilian Oscar, Mourinho sold him to Manchester United for a fee of EUR 46m, which was a club record then. He has had his fair share of ups and downs at United, although he shows now and again why he is a player to look out for. Possessing incredible vision and technical prowess, the diminutive Spaniard is a treat to watch, on his day. He is terribly underrated as a footballer, which is a bit hard to digest.
A Manchester-bred player throughout his career, Jesse Lingard represents the England national team. The talented attacking midfielder came through the ranks at United and was touted to be brilliant by Sir Alex, during his youth days. Lingard was instrumental in England’s scintillating semi-final run at the World Cup in Russia, proving to be a thorn in the opposition defence. He has won the Europa League, the FA Cup, the EFL Cup and the Community Shield for the Red Devils. A proponent of one-touch and quick release, Lingard is a constant threat in the enemy box, and his significance in the current squad can not be emphasized enough. The 26-old player from Warrington is a potential great in the making.
The quintessentially underrated player, Ander Herrera’s presence in the Manchester United team is indispensable. The player from the Basque province in Spain is famous for his undying commitment, dedication and no-nonsense brand of football, and joined the Red Devils from Athletic Bilbao for EUR 36m. Having represented Spain at the international level, Herrera is a born leader who is not afraid to throw a tackle or two for the sake of the team. United has vastly benefitted from him being in the side, as the Spaniard’s low-lying defensive positioning and occasional box-to-box play allow Paul Pogba and others to play freely. Known for his outstanding man-marking ability, Ander Herrera is often compared with club legend Paul Scholes.