The 2017/2018 Premier League season has finally come to an end. We said a respectful goodbye to Arsène Wenger. Watched Mohamed Salah rise to the top as one of the best players in the league and secure the highly-praised Golden Boot Award. Cheered on Manchester City who not only won the league, but broke seven records along the way including most goals (106) and most wins (32). It was a whirlwind of emotions and we loved every minute of it.
Throughout the season we became very well acquainted with a few names. There were the obvious: Salah, Harry Kane, and Kevin de Bruyne. However, here are ten players who were just as important to their team’s success and although they may have gone unrecognized under your radar, these underdogs created greatly to heightening competition among the Premier League.
The Manchester United striker walked away with 16 goals and seven assists. Additionally, Lukaku had direct involvement with many of the goals scored by his team this past season. He was consistently good in every game and at just 25 years-old, he seems to be getting better with age.
No, this wasn’t Hazard’s best season for Chelsea. Regardless, he’s still one of the top players in the league and although he could have performed better, he was a crucial component for his team’s attack. The midfielder scored 12 goals this season and maintained his title as one of the best dribblers in Europe’s top five leagues.
The Englishman is the center back for Burnley and is largely responsible for the club’s success this season. After Michael Keane switched to Everton, Burnley’s defense took a hit. However, Tarkowski changed this. The 25-year-old maintained a strong presence in the back, ranking among the top ten in the league for aerial clearances and aerial duels won.
Jamie Vardy is usually the stand-out player for Leicester City and he did do an excellent job this season. There’s no arguing that. Vardy scored 20 goals for his team but not without Mahrez’s help, who ended the season with 12 goals and 10 assists. It was the combo of Mahrez and Vardy that ultimately led to Leicester City performing as well as they did.
Brighton certainly didn’t have a great season. Despite this, the club still had a few stand-out players. Duffy was one of them. At center back, the Irishman was busy. He made the most clearances and blocks per game out of the whole league, and won the most aerial duels out of all the center backs. It makes sense for Duffy to switch teams for a better opportunity, but then again it seems like Brighton really needs him.
Huddersfield was another team that had a poor league season. The club finished 16th, but Schindler remained strong as a center back. The 28-year-old held a positive attitude, trying to focus on the strength of his team rather than their shortcomings. Out of all the center backs in the league, Schindler made the most tackles.
At only 23, Zouma had a terrific season even though Stoke City did not. As a defender, he was a solid opponent and proved his worth as a Premier League player. He excelled at intercepting the ball and making critical clearances. After this past season, Stoke City was relegated, but fortunately Zouma will be seen playing in the next Premier League with Chelsea.
West Brom had the absolute worst season, finishing dead last in the league. It’s easy to just write this team off, but before you do that, there’s one player you may want to save. Dawson was center back for the club and saved the team from drowning as much as he could. The 28-year-old is an incredibly strong player in the air and has this kick-ass ability to stop attackers in their tracks. Hopefully he’ll be making an appearance in the next Premier League as well.
The 25-year-old midfielder was captain of Watford’s metaphorical ship. Doucouré was involved in nearly every play and averaged more passes than any other player on his team. Out of all the players in the league, the Frenchman won the most possession in the middle third of the field.
The Burnley goalie is no de Gea– not yet. The 26-year-old acquired plenty of attention over this past season though. He’s among the top three goalies in the league with 114 saves and 11 clean sheets. His performance has additionally boosted him to England’s squad team for this year’s World Cup. Burnley’s gotta be proud.