Some players in football, have the natural ability to stand out among others. Playing in forward positions, tearing defence apart or playing for a big club can bring the best out of these types of player beyond fans’ memories.
From these players, some are noticed, but others don’t get credited they way they ought to have while others may even go out as far from the being noticed. Here, we have selected 3 talents who are probably underrated in the EFL Championship despite their incredible work for their respective clubs.
Ciaran Clark (Newcastle)
First on the list, we have a third centre-back for Newcastle who have gone unnoticed despite his impressive displays for the Magpies. It has now become a common habit in football that defenders in general, and more particularly, centre-backs don’t get the credits they deserve. Clark is representing a top club and one which may well win the division in some couple of months. However, that brings with it some huge pressure and in this case, St. James outfits is a team which often allows the opposition plenty of possession.
Such tactic is based on their manager’s confidence in his defenders to clear the danger. This is something that has been backed up by Clark’s impressive average of almost 10 clearances per match. The fact that he was already coping with top flight football before moving to St. James Park, is a better play now and will be better in the season aftermath. He is a proven player who can make the headlines in the Premier League.
Marc Roberts (Barnsley)
Barnsley have had a good season at this level, and are being managed well by Paul Heckingbottom. A major share of credit has been directed to some other in their rank. At the back, they have Andy Yiadom along with Adam Hammill while Adam Armstrong, and Tom Bradshaw firing up front have been impressive. However, much of this praises has to go to Roberts.
Having spent the first chapter of his career in the non-league ranks with Wakefield, Worksop, and Buxton, a free transfer from Halifax two years ago has seen him begin reaching his true potential. His rise to fame and being announced as Barnsley captain is what the game is all about and his solid displays at the back this season have let nobody down. Having bagged Barnsley man-of-the-match awards 7 times is another issue why he deserve to be praised. His importance at Oakwell Stadium is well recognized by the club fans but he has largely been overlooked by the general footballing public.
Tom Clarke (Preston)
Preston are a difficult side to beat and that is largely down to the influence of Tom Clarke at the back. The former Huddersfield and Leyton Orient defender man makes an average of 2.5 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per game, which is superb. Having done this in a year when Dwight Gayle, Matt Richie, Tammy Abraham and many others have fired in a lot of goals in Championship, should not be taken too lightly.
Having represented England under-18’s and under-19’s while at Huddersfield, we would have perhaps seen this coming. At age 29, he is reaching his peak as a centre-back. Hopefully, his recognition in the game reaches a peak too.