West Ham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Liverpool and Swansea men feature.
Today is Dirk Kurt’s birthday, and the former Liverpool man turns 35-year-old.
A striker in his youth, Kuyt has come to be known as the ultimate jack of all trades, willing to play in any position required of him to benefit the team.
And what makes him better than many players is his work rate and desire to always play to the best of his abilities, regardless of his role in the team.
He is most well known in England for his time at Anfield, where he was often considered a good, if uninspiring player. However, the Dutchman was vital to Rafa Benitez’s system, and he was arguably one of the most valuable players in the team during his spell on Merseyside.
He was unappreciated during his time in the Premier League, and to celebrate his birthday we take a look at five players currently in the top flight who do not get the praise they deserve.
Mark Noble - West Ham
Although appreciated by his own fans, Noble is frequently overlooked by other Premier League spectators, with his style of play considered to be very much that of a water carrier. However, Noble is impressively technical, and is involved in both attacking and defensive phases of play - and is one of the best penalty takes in Europe.
Jack Colback - Newcastle United
A tough tackling midfielder, Colback has a strange reputation due to leaving Sunderland for St James’ Park, where he spent his first season in a relegation battle. However, he was one of the better players in the Newcastle team during 2014/15, and was frequently the main playmaker in the side despite his apparent defensive style.
Lee Cattermole - Sunderland
Like Colback, Cattermole is considered as nothing more than a tough-tackling midfielder, who should have been playing in the 1970’s rather than the 2010’s. Yet, for the past few seasons, Cattermole has overcome technical limitations to show an impressive range of passing, and Dick Advocaat sees him as the central player to any success Sunderland may enjoy in the future.
James Milner - Liverpool
Let go by Manchester City, and now with Liverpool, Milner is a player who divides opinion. Well respected for his work rate and fitness, he is also derided as a winger who cannot really attack, and is seen as a player to select when better players are out of action. However, he is incredibly technical, and City have lost a key figure to their team stability, whilst Liverpool look to benefit next season from his signing.
Jack Cork - Swansea City
Arguably the most underrated player in the Premier League, Cork was vital to Southampton’s rise to the Premier League, and their establishment as a top half team. He has since joined Swansea City, and his style of cultured midfield play is unlike any other English midfielder. If the FA had any real sense, Cork would be a shoe-in for international selection, and a key part of the Three Lions midfield for the foreseeable future.