The most underrated player in each A-League Men team this season

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This A-League Men season, like many before it, has accumulated a wide selection of standout players. Those who rise to the occasion every week, make their team and presence known.

We love to highlight the achievements of these players and their significance to the game, but what about those who go under the radar?

Every team has them. That player who may not be your ‘super star’ but is an essential part of getting points on the board.

The Football Sack has decided to investigate those who often go incognito and highlight those who may not get the recognition they deserve.

Adelaide United

The most underrated player at Adelaide United in my opinion would have to be Javi Lopez.

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The Spanish 36-year-old is a vastly experienced player and brings many essential attributes to the Reds’ starting 11.

Between 2009 and 2020 Lopez amassed 280 appearances. His efforts at Adelaide may go unnoticed by the media, but not by his team.

Lopez started 100% of the time this season. He has been a strong presence for the Reds back-line and isn’t afraid to offer support up front.

He isn’t one to steal the spotlight which is why I think he earns his place as the most underrated player.

Arguably, Lopez plays a pivotal part in Adelaide’s team dynamic and is one of their most important players.

Brisbane Roar

For the Roar, I was tossing up between a few underrated guns.

Josh Brindell-South seems to fly under the radar never making more than 20 appearances in his three seasons at the club.

However, his role in the 3-1 win over Sydney FC this season thrust him into the spotlight and his role in defence shouldn’t go unnoticed.

However, my most underrated player at the roar has to go to Kai Trewin. At the age of 21, he is shaping up to be a significant player.

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He is another one of Brisbane’s guns in defence. He debuted in 2020 and has accumulated 53 appearances to date.

Trewin has started five times this season proving himself important to the Roar.

With a 71.4% tackle success rate and a high distribution percentage, Trewin is a key part of the Roar’s ability to move the ball. This is an essential part of their game.

Central Coast Mariners

The Central Coast Mariners have a plethora of talent. From Garang Kuol, Jason Cummings and Danny Vukovic all contributing to the Socceroos efforts this FIFA World Cup.

These stars are the talking points of many discussions around the Mariners success. However, players like Nectar Triantis and Dan Hall appear to fly under the radar.

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Hall, a 23-year-old defender, stepped up well last season and in his two appearances this season.

He is good at reading the game and shows promise in his ball distribution.

However, my most underrated player at the Mariners has to be Triantis.

The 19-year-old defender has played four games this season with three starts.

His technical ability and defensive attributes make him a key player for the Mariners. He is definitely underrated considering what he brings to the team.

Macarthur FC

My most underrated player at the Bulls has to be Charles M’Mombwa.

The 24-year-old midfielder signed to the club in their inaugural season playing a massive role in Macarthur’s first semi-final match win against the Mariners.

He definitely flies under the radar and doesn’t get the hype he deserves.

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Melbourne City

Melbourne City have a lot of star players in their starting 11.

Each position seems to be filled by a star in the league. Playing in a team with so much talent means certain players don’t really get recognised for there contributions.

The players which go incognito in my opinion would have to be Callum Talbot or Nuno Reis.

Reis has a strong presence in City’s backline. However, has only made one appearance this season. When he’s on he brings stability and skill. But doesn’t get the credit or chance to show it.

The most underrated at City would have to be Talbot though.

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Making six appearances this season, he has slotted well into the defensive line up.

Filling the right-back position when Carl Jenkinson left, Talbot has well and truly completed City’s back line.

At 21, he is only at the start of his career. With so much talent and skill, he goes massively underappreciated.

Melbourne Victory

Victory is another one of those teams with super stars in every position.

However, someone I think doesn’t get enough recognition for what he brings to the table would have to be Rai Marchan.

The Spanish footballer only joined the league last season but has settled in well.

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He has had six appearances this season with one assist. He’s a weapon in the midfield being cool, calm and collected with the ball.

These attributes have to rank him as one of the most underrated players. He isn’t the talk of the town, but brings a lot to the Victory’s starting 11.

Newcastle Jets

Based on work rate alone, the most underrated player at the Newcastle Jets would have to be Angus Thurgate.

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He always gives 100% and more. He is an essential part of the Jets and goes massively under appreciated in my eyes.

Perth Glory

It was hard to choose one at Glory as they are still trying to find their footing in a rebuild.

Darryl Lachmann in centre-back is one of those players who doesn’t get talked about enough.

Five appearances this season, Lachmann has had a strong presence.

He contributes well to the team dynamic but isn’t the first name which gets talked about.

However, my most underrated player at Glory is Giordano Colli.

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The 22-year-old midfielder shows a lot of promise.

During his four matches this season, his skill flew a little under the radar in my opinion.

Given Glory’s declared rebuild this season, I think players like Colli are contributing massively to their game.

Sydney FC

I was tossing up between Max Burgess, Rhyan Grant and Patrick Yazbek for the most underrated at Sydney FC.

I think Yazbek would have to be the most underrated though as he doesn’t get the credit Grant and Burgess receive.

I think they are all underappreciated, but Yazbek in particular. He brings a lot to the game but isn’t the first name talked about when discussing Sydney’s most valued players.

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Wellington Phoenix

Scott Wootton is my most undervalued player at Wellington Phoenix.

The English defender is only in his first season with the club but has made seven appearances.

I think he is dynamic and great with the ball. He definitely doesn’t get the hype he deserves.

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Western Sydney Wanderers

Calem Nieuwenhof has already had a massive impact to the Western Sydney Wanderers midfield.

At 21 years of age, Nieuwenhof plays with maturity above his years.

I think he is definitely underrated in the Wanderers team, and could be the next big thing.

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Western United

There are a couple of players who fly under the radar at Western United.

Nicolas Milanovic’s stats are outstanding. No player has scored more goals (2.0) or had more shots on target (3.3) per 90 mins this season.

He hasn’t racked up much game time, so this effort is pretty impressive.

However the most underrated for me, and many other fans, is Japanese defender Tomoki Imai.

Joining the Green and Black in February 2020 to assist with an injury crisis, Imai has definitely proved his worth.

He was pivotal in Western United’s championship. Imai was recognised for his efforts winning Player of the Season for 2021/2022 and Fans Player of the Season.

Maybe this makes him less ‘underappreciated’ than Milanovic, but honestly, I still think he doesn’t get the hype he deserves. He’s an exceptional player.

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There you have it. The most underrated men’s players in each team this season. Each bringing a different skill set to the mix; these players definitely don’t get the hype they deserve.

Feature Image: Central Coast Mariners

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Tylah Tully
Tylah Tully
Current journalism student in Perth. Fanatical sports fan. One of two writers covering the Perth Glory men and women’s teams for the 2022/23 season.

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