Premier League's 10 Greatest Unsung Heroes of the Season so Far

Max TowleAnalyst IDecember 4, 2012

Premier League's 10 Greatest Unsung Heroes of the Season so Far

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    The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea dominate the back pages and casual fans' discussions, but this season has seen the emergence and development of a number of quality Premier League players who are equally deserving of recognition.

    These are the men who ply their trade week in and week out at the less glamourous clubs without the fanfare and widespread praise they deserve.

    Here are the league's ten greatest unsung heroes of the 2012/13 season so far.

10. Sean Morrison (Reading)

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    Reading's back line may have shipped a boatload of goals in all competitions this season, but that hasn't prevented the emergence of Sean Morrison as an excellent prospect at centre-back.

    According to WhoScored.com, the 21-year-old has been the statistically best young player of his position across Europe, leading his peers with an average of 7.4 aerial duels won and 12.2 clearances per game.

    Unsurprising then that he was recently linked with a potential move to Arsenal (via Daily Star).

9. Gerhard Tremmel (Swansea City)

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    You could be forgiven for never having heard of Swansea City's backup goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel before this season.

    The 34-year-old German has never been a first choice shot-stopper for a top club. Tremmel made the move from Red Bull Salzburg to South Wales in 2011. He could hardly have expected much playing time behind the elite Michel Vorm.

    But with the Dutch keeper's injury earlier this season, Tremmel has been nothing short of a revelation, conceding only four goals in six starts and making several key saves.

8. Leon Osman (Everton)

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    All eyes have been on Marouane Fellaini during Everton's fine start to the Premier League season, but midfielder Leon Osman is close behind his teammate in terms of efficiency.

    According to WhoScored, he is his side's second most accurate passer, averaging over 87 percent, while also being the most prolific passer for the Toffees.

    The Englishman earned his first international cap earlier in 2012 as a reward for his dogged and determined approach to the game this term.

7. Robert Huth (Stoke City)

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    No player better typifies Stoke City's tough-guy reputation than central defender Robert Huth.

    Ryan Shawcross has earned the majority of admiration for the Potters' excellent defensive displays, but the German behemoth has been equally impressive.

    Although they may not be Britain's most attractive team to watch, Stoke have conceded only three goals in their past six games, and have perfected the art of grinding out results when it matters.

6. Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion)

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    There are few central defenders in the Premier League more feared than West Brom's Swedish beast Jonas Olsson.

    The Midlands club have been one of the real stories of the season so far. They currently sit fifth in the table, level on points with third-place Chelsea.

    Olsson has been a key component of the side's defence, keeping opponents at bay with his uncompromising physicality and aerial dominance.

5. Chico (Swansea City)

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    Bought for a paltry £2.2 million in the summer, Swansea City recruit Chico has steadily grown and adapted to the British game.

    The Spanish central defender perhaps looked a little overawed in August and September, but in recent months he has really thrived in Michael Laudrup's new-look team.

    The Swans have been one of the most consistent defensive teams in the Premier League, conceding only three goals in their last five games with Chico at the heart of the back line. 

4. Kevin Nolan (West Ham)

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    It would take a fool to write off a Sam Allardyce team in the preseason—if this were a list of unsung managers, he'd be near the top.

    Kevin Nolan has been his on-field general this term, tackling the attacking midfield role with relish and delivering unselfish quality for West Ham on a regular basis.

    The former Newcastle man has already scored five league goals this season and will no doubt bang in a few more before next May.

3. Youssouf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion)

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    West Brom's Congolese midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu has been an underappreciated star this season for Steve Clarke's side.

    Playing in a box-to-box role alongside Claudio Yacob, Mulumbu now seems to be truly beginning to fulfil his potential since making the move from Paris Saint-Germain in early 2009.

    He has averaged a phenomenal 87.4 percent pass completion average, as well as attempting the second most dribbles per game for the Baggies (via WhoScored.com).

2. Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City)

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    Not much was made of Sebastien Bassong's £4 million transfer to Norwich City in the summer—Bassong was a player who always seemed to struggle in his attempts to break into Harry Redknapp's first-choice Tottenham Hostpur team.

    But the Cameroonian centre-back has been an immense defensive presence this season for a side that has crept in under the radar in recent weeks.

    The Canaries currently sit in 12th position in the Premier League, having conceded only four goals in their last eight games.

1. Mohamed Diame (West Ham)

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    Of all the unsung heroes in the Premier League this season, West Ham's Mohamed Diame surely tops the list.

    He has averaged over four tackles per game, attempted close to two dribbles and completed over 82 percent of his passes (via WhoScored.com).

    Diame's contribution as a marauding box-to-box midfielder with tough tackling and a blistering shot has been a massive difference-maker for a side that embodies the traditional style of British football.

     

    Which other unsung heroes of the Premier League season so far deserve to be included here?