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Quintet overlooked in transfer scramble

WhoScored.com's Martin Laurence picks out five players who perhaps should be demanding more attention during the transfer window.

Last Updated: 01/08/13 at 08:41 Post Comment

Morgan Schneiderlin: A solid performer in Southampton's midfield

Morgan Schneiderlin: A solid performer in Southampton's midfield

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While all eyes are on the likes of Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney in the Premier League transfer market, all of whom could yet make-mega money moves between now and the close of the window, a number of 'lesser' names have been overlooked somewhat.

In this piece WhoScored.com picks out a quintet of players whose stats back up the theory that their absence from the gossip columns thus far is a little odd. We've looked at players in a range of positions, suggesting why some bigger clubs should take a punt on these undervalued stars.

Winston Reid - West Ham

After Sam Allardyce signed James Collins last summer many felt that the returning Welshman would partner James Tomkins at the back. The 24-year old had an excellent season in helping West Ham to promotion and was named in the Championship Team of the Year, but while Tomkins chose to represent Great Britain at the Olympics, Winston Reid snubbed the chance to take part in the games for New Zealand.

The 25-year old instead used the time to train with his club and reaped the rewards, beginning the campaign ahead of Tomkins at the back. He went on to miss just two Premier League games all season and was voted the Hammer of the Year by the club's fans. It's no surprise either when you consider his stats. Of all centre-backs in the league he ranked fourth for clearances (321) and 5th for headed clearances (191), proving not only to be dominant in the air but also that he reads the game very well, ranking among the top 10 players in his position for interceptions too (73).

Seamus Coleman - Everton:

A step up from Everton's standards would of course mean interest in Coleman would need to be forthcoming from one of last season's top five. That's not to say it isn't warranted though, and there have been some rumours of the Irishman becoming Bacary Sagna's successor at Arsenal, with David Moyes seemingly happy with his options at United.

Having been named as a nominee for the Young Player of the Year back in 2010/11, the 24-year old's following campaign was hampered by injury. Indeed, he only forced his way into the side this season due to the absence of veteran Tony Hibbert. Coleman took his chance with both hands, however, with only the aforementioned Sagna being dribbled past fewer times per game from his position (0.23). In addition, of all full-backs in the league the Everton man ranked 5th for key passes (1.04) and dribbles (0.96) per game, and 6th in terms of accurate crosses per match (0.92).

Morgan Schneiderlin - Southampton: The worthy winner of Saints' Players' and Supporters' Player of the Year awards, Morgan Schneiderlin earned a long term contract shortly after Pochettino's arrival at the club, with the new manager quick to notice his importance to the side. The 23-year old Frenchman is knocking on the door of the senior national side having played through the youth ranks and was one of the Premier League's best defensive midfielders last season.

Such a bold claim can be justified with no player in the entire league producing more tackles (139) or interceptions (146) over the course of the campaign, and his defensive qualities are up there with the best in England. No player made more passes per game for Southampton upon their return to the top-flight (52.1) with the young workhorses attaining an impressive 85.2% accuracy. Though that new deal may mean a higher price tag, potential suitors will be aware of the fact that the Southerners have added Victor Wanyama to their ranks.

Robert Snodgrass - Norwich: While the likes of Michu, Christian Benteke and, of course, Robin van Persie have to go down as the signings of the season last term, Robert Snodgrass' impact at Norwich City was superb. The Scotsman was the top Canaries player by some distance according to WhoScored.com ratings (7.22), ending the campaign as the team's second top scorer, with 6, and leading man for assists, again with six.

Three of his goals last season came from direct free-kicks, which was a league high, and his ability over a set-piece is undoubtedly one of the best in the league. Over half of his assist tally came directly from dead ball situations (four), which was again an unbeatable figure in the division last year, and only Leighton Baines delivered more crosses (292) over the campaign. The Everton man was also the only player to better Snodgrass' impressive tally of 16 clear cut chances created, and the winger's exploits were perhaps undervalued outside of Carrow Road.

Shaun Maloney -Wigan:

A key man in Wigan's eventual unsuccessful bid to stay in the Premier League, Maloney's efforts last season will certainly have drawn some admiring glances. It's a wonder then why the diminutive Scot is yet to be lured back to Premier League football ahead of the upcoming season, with the 30-year old matching Snodgrass' tally for goals (six), whilst producing eight assists. The latter figure was only bettered by players from either Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea or United last season.

His ability to play across the front line and in attacking midfield is certainly an asset, starting in five different positions under Roberto Martinez last season, though mainly from a berth on the left. His threat to the opposition was clear, with no player fouled more times in last season's Premier League (89), and Maloney often looked to use his tight footwork to win free-kicks for himself on the edge of the box. Elsewhere, his 89.9% pass accuracy was the best in England of all players to play in such an advanced position and his technical ability is surely worthy or another run in the top-flight.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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