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Premier League Unsung Heroes: The Ten Secret Stars Of 2017/18

The 2017/18 Premier League season has given rise to some incredible individual displays.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane has been in record-breaking form, Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah has revived his reputation in his second spell in England, whilst David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City have firmly established their reputations as some of the best midfielders in world football.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ten players who have been in excellent form so far this campaign but haven’t quite gathered the attention that their displays deserve.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – Watford

The Mali midfielder has been in sensational form for Marco Silva’s side so far this season.

Doucoure has found the net seven times for the Hornets, often in spectacular fashion. He offers Watford a real presence in the middle of the field, and he is the heartbeat of an ever-improving side. Should Doucoure maintain his current form into the second half of the campaign, the bids will come flying in for the former Rennes man.

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Kieran Trippier – Spurs

The absence of Kyle Walker has gone relatively unnoticed as Trippier has established himself as one of the finest full-backs in the league.

His crossing ability, pace and tenacious defending set him apart from other defenders, and his importance to Spurs is immeasurable both in defence and attack. On present form, the Spurs man is staking a serious claim to challenge Walker’s starting place at the 2018 World Cup.

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Ashley Young – Manchester United

The perfect example of taking your opportunity when given a chance.

Young has been a sporadic figure at Old Trafford since Alex Ferguson’s departure, but at left back this season – he has seen a recall to the national team, as well as being named Player of the Month for November by the club’s fans. His recent brace against Watford was a reminder of the ability which never quite came to fruition at United, but his contribution has been telling, with four assists and two goals to his name this campaign.

He will be important in United’s challenge for honours in the New Year.

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Fabian Delph – Manchester City

While many consider Delph the weakest link of an otherwise faultless Manchester City side – to play out of position in a team that has won 18 consecutive league games is an unprecedented feat.

Benjamin Mendy’s absence has not been felt given Delph’s consistent versatility, and like Young – the former Aston Villa man has revived his career this campaign. A Premier League winner’s medal looks all but a formality – and Delph has played his part just as much as any other.

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Everton

The young forward has shown glimpses of star quality at Goodison Park this season.

He has formed a decent partnership with Wayne Rooney, and since Sam Allardyce took charge – the Englishman has adapted well to his tactics. Seven goals and four assists in all competitions is an impressive return, and it is no wonder why the youngster is fast becoming a fan favourite at the club. The big clubs will be keeping an eye on his progress in years to come.

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Maxim Choupo-Moting – Stoke City

The 2017/18 campaign has seen many new signings adapt seamlessly to English football, and Choupo-Moting is no exception.

A brace against Manchester United early in the campaign was a sign of things to come, and with four assists to his name – the Cameroon international has also been instrumental in supplying the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Peter Crouch with chances. Though Stoke may find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle come the end of the campaign, players like Chuopo-Moting will certainly have their say in keeping the Potters in the Premier League.

An excellent signing so far.

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Demarai Gray – Leicester City

Denied opportunities under Claudio Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare, Gray is now enjoying his best form yet in the Claude Puel era.

Three goals in nine appearances so far is a sign of things to come, and Gray looks very much a star of the future at the King Power Stadium. Should he break into the first team more regularly in the coming weeks, Leicester will likely reap the rewards.

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Laurent Depoitre – Huddersfield Town

A controversial choice, but if you want to stay in the Premier League, one thing is more important than anything else – a goalscorer.

Depoitre has been finding the net as of late for Huddersfield, his recent header against Chelsea is a prime example of his excellent aerial ability. The Belgian has grabbed five goals for the Terriers so far this campaign, scoring against the likes of Manchester United – and with him in the box, Huddersfield have a much better chance of maintaining their status as a Premier League club.

Expect to see Depoitre’s name on the scoreboard in 2018.

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James Tarkowski – Burnley

For me, Tarkowski deserves a place in the PFA Team of the Year as of now.

Having come in from the dark to make up for Michael Keane’s departure, Tarkowski has replicated, if not bettered his former colleague’s performances. His partnership with Ben Mee has propelled Burnley into being this campaign’s surprise package. Strong in the air, fearless in defence and lethal in the tackle – Tarkowski is an old-school centre-half, and one would imagine a national call-up is the next thing on the horizon for the Burnley man.

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Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace

When Zaha returned from injury, Crystal Palace found themselves rock-bottom of the Premier League without a goal or a single point.

What followed was a Zaha-inspired victory over reigning champions Chelsea to kick-start their campaign. Viewed by many as a flash in the pan footballer, Zaha has in past been inconsistent – though with four goals this campaign so far, his influence has helped lift the club from the bottom of the table up to 16th place. His contribution will be monumental in deciding whether or not Palace beat the drop, and should he replicate his form so far – Palace should be more than alright.

Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena

About Jordan Norris

Mostly covering football and GAA - Jordan is currently studying a BA English in UCC, and can be contacted through jordannorris19@outlook.ie .