If you were asked to compile the 20 most underrated footballers right now, who would you have on your list?
The fundamental element of being classified as an underrated footballer is not receiving enough credit.
Well, why is this the case? None of the players on the list play for global footballing brands such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, et al.
Don't hesitate to comment below with underrated players who you believe should have been on this list.
Hajime Hosogai, Hertha Berlin DM, Age: 27
Hakan Calhanoglu, Hamburg LAM, Age: 19
Seamus Coleman, Everton RB, Age: 25
Patrick Ebert, Real Valladolid RAM, Age: 26
Matuzalem, Genoa CM, Age: 33
Winston Reid, last season's Hammer of the Year, is recuperating from ankle surgery, which is unfortunate since he had an impact in his first 10 league games this season.
He was rock-solid in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, a game in which he and James Tomkins combined to cancel out Jermain Defoe and Roberto Soldado, who came on as a second-half sub.
Reid completed three tackles, intercepted five passes and scored a goal.
Trevor Twohig at West Ham United fan website Knees up Mother Brown gave Reid an 8/10 for his display against Spurs.
Reid has not garnered more attention because he plays his international football in the developing Oceania zone for New Zealand and he spent five years at Danish club Midtjylland.
If Reid continues his strong performances for West Ham, the club will struggle to keep hold of him.
Borussia Monchengladbach's strike partnership of Max Kruse and Raffael defines Lucien Favre's team, but do not underestimate centre midfielder Christoph Kramer's influence.
Kramer is spending his second successive season on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, playing for Bochum last season and now Gladbach.
A skilled and athletic player, Kramer drives the midfield forward and controls the pace of play, having the second-highest pass-completion percentage on the team (90.6; behind Alvaro Dominguez's 91.5) for players with five starts or more.
If Club Brugge did not have scouts in Colombia, the Belgian club would not have signed Carlos Bacca, who went on to score 27 goals last season.
Like Ivan Perisic, Brugge made a handy profit of Bacca and is now getting into stride for Sevilla.
In the last 36 days, Bacca has scored four goals, including one against Real Madrid, while registering two assists.
There is a distinct difference when comparing Jonathan Schmid as a winger to Arsenal loanee Francis Coquelin.
Schmid is lethal when sending in crosses (38.9 cross-completion percentage is well above the expected average of 20-25), while Coquelin has failed to complete a single cross despite starting eight games on the flanks.
|Key Passes Per Game||0.8||2.9|
|Cross Completion %||0||38.9|
Coquelin needs to be playing as a centre midfielder, and Schmid should be on a better team.
When he sees the way former teammate Max Kruse has elevated his game at Borussia Monchengladbach, it gives Schmid a reason to force a transfer to a stronger club.
Keylor Navas leads La Liga in saves made (62) and is the only goalkeeper with 50 saves or more and six clean sheets.
Prior to conceding seven goals against Barcelona this season, he was the Man of the Match in a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in April.
He denied Barcelona from scoring eight times and saved David Villa's penalty.
Navas is an ideal transfer target for a mid-tier Premier League club looking for a top-class shot-stopper.
During Werder Bremen's 3-2 win over Hannover 96, Werder goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz was shifting his feet into position as the ball was cleared away.
Charging in from right-back, Hiroki Sakai thrashed the ball, which careened off the crossbar for Hannover's second goal.
Mielitz did not have enough time to react, giving you an idea how much velocity Sakai's shot had.
Sakai recently made his first Kicker magazine Team of the Week this season, and he needs to continue his good form.
When Felipe Gutierrez was subbed on during Chile's 2-0 win over England, he donned the No. 9 shirt, which was amusing considering his shooting has been his worst attribute at Twente this season.
He has yet to score a goal from 28 shots, but it isn't a problem because Gutierrez's main job is to win back the ball and orchestrate play in midfield.
He fulfills both tasks, averaging 5.8 possessions won back per league game and 67.1 passes per game.
Kelvin Leerdam was part of the Feyenoord team which crashed to a 10-0 defeat to PSV Eindhoven in 2010 and a 5-1 loss to Ajax in 2009.
Forward to 2013, and hard work is the reason why he is the starting right-back at Vitesse, Eredivisie's No. 1 team right now.
He's a full-back who is confident in aerial contests, netting three of his five league goals this season from headers.
Leerdam has started 11 of 13 games at right-back, but he has filled in as a defensive midfielder.
Only two Premier League players have made more tackles than Mile Jedinak (52) this season (Aaron Ramsey  and Lucas Leiva ).
Jedinak is tied with Youssouf Mulumbu for most interceptions (48).
Jedinak embodies everything Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis wants to see in his players: tall, strong, hard in the tackle and a leader on the field.
Going into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Jedinak is Australia's best-performing player in Europe's elite leagues, having won the 2013 Football Federation Australia's footballer of the year award.
Unless Jedinak turns back into the Central Coast Mariners version, when he was scoring goals, Australia won't be making much of a World Cup impression in Brazil.
Under Hamburg manager Bert van Marwijk, Pierre-Michel Lasogga has turned a corner by scoring eight league goals this season, showing precise finishing.
The problem facing Hamburg is keeping Lasogga, because he is on loan from Hertha Berlin.
"Pierre-Michel Lasogga will return to our club next summer," Hertha BSC manager Jos Luhukay said, per Berliner Zeitung via Thomas Zocher at Sky Sports. "We will then sit down with him and review his situation in detail."
Fabian Lustenberger was Hertha Berlin's second-best player last season in the 2. Bundesliga, according to Kicker magazine.
The first was Ronny, who has been mainly played off the bench in the Bundesliga this season, whereas Lustenberger has continued to put his body on the line for Hertha BSC whether it's at centre-back or in the No. 6 position.
The main strength of Lustenberger is his clean tackling, as he's conceding only 0.9 fouls per game and picked up three yellow cards in his past 30 games.
Mehdi Benatia is 6'3", and his towering headed clearances make him so easy to notice.
Roma's outstanding defensive record in Serie A—four goals conceded from 14 league games—has been mainly attributed to Benatia being one of the best centre-backs in the world right now.
But he has a centre-back partner who has contributed to Roma being so strong at the back.
His name is Leandro Castan, 6'0", who has a slightly higher tackle-success percentage (75) than Benatia (72).
Subjectively speaking, Benatia is a more dominant presence, but you should still give Castan the praise he has been searching for throughout his career.
Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel is primarily using Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in a super-sub role just like then-Hamburg manager Huub Stevens.
It didn't work for Stevens, but it's working for Tuchel, as Choupo-Moting has responded positively by decimating teams as an impact sub.
In Choupo-Moting's last four games off the bench, he has scored three times.
What makes him so dangerous is his ability to take the ball past opposing defenders as Borussia Dortmund’s players found out last Saturday when Choupo-Moting completed six dribbles in 45 minutes.
When Jorginho scored during Verona's 4-3 defeat to Fiorentina, he only took one shot.
His six goals from 14 games gives the false impression of him being a gunner from midfield.
Four of his six goals have come from the penalty spot, and his playing style is sitting midfield, being pass-first and making tackles.
He's a polished midfielder for someone relatively young (21) and under the radar.
Some people may only know Joel Ward as the guy who got shoved in the face by Ravel Morrison.
Those who follow the Premier League closely will know Ward as one of the most efficient ball-winners in the competition.
He has won back possession 77 times while conceding six free-kicks.
Should Crystal Palace suffer relegation, Premier League teams will swoop in to sign Ward, who is good enough to have a lengthy career in the top-flight.
Who has created more goalscoring chances per game from a deep-lying position than Xavi (1.9)?
Roberto Trashorras (2.9).
Can you name a player who averages more passes per game than Sergio Busquets (71.8)? Trashorras (84.8).
The only player in La Liga to average 10 long passes or more per game is Trashorras (14.8).
Considering the number of difficult passes he has attempted, his pass-completion percentage is still high at 85.8.
Forget about the number crunching; when you watch him, you see a genius on the field.
Then again, it should not be a surprise because he is a Barcelona alumnus.
Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin has the potential to be Gianluigi Buffon's successor.
Perin made seven saves against Juventus and 10 saves against AC Milan.
His performance against Milan included a personal highlight in denying Mario Balotelli from 12 yards out; Balotelli had been 10-of-11 from the penalty spot in 2013 leading into the game against Genoa.
Roberto Firmino has excelled in a free-roaming position behind Anthony Modeste.
It will be interesting to see if Firmino can perform just as well with Sven Schipplock getting a run in the No. 9 position.
Firmino has made more tackles (31) than Philipp Lahm (15) and completed more dribbles (43) than Arjen Robben (37).
It is stupendous how Firmino, a player with skills you'd see on FIFA street, is not a household name yet.
Need a striker? Sign a Colombian because the nation is filled with attacking talent making a name in Europe.
Radamel Falcao, Jackson Martinez, Carlos Bacca, Luis Muriel and Adrian Ramos come to mind.
Speaking of Ramos, he can beat opposing centre-backs physically by winning headers and technically by dribbling past them.
Allan, who has accumulated 50 tackles in 12 league games, is as proficient of a tackler as Arturo Vidal was during his Bayer Leverkusen days.
What made Vidal special was scoring 13 goals in what turned out to be his last campaign (2010-11 season) for Leverkusen while also being a pitbull in midfield.
When you watch Allan in possession, you see a player who gets himself into good positions but either does not take a shot or loses the ball.
His defensive game is world-class, but if he can improve his attacking game (he doesn't have a goal or an assist in Serie A this season), he can be to a team what Vidal is to Juventus.