The Premier League is in the middle of their winter break currently and this season has been one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory. Even though it looks like Manchester City seem to be pulling away from the rest of the competition with a 10 point lead at the break, there have been some strong story lines at the halfway point. The management takeover at Newcastle United will be interesting to watch as the club is currently in 19th place but they should have a solid transfer window. Arsenal had a slow start to the season but currently sit in 4th place and could challenge for an even better finish to close out the year. I have looked over the statistics from the first half of the season and I have picked five underrated players that could continue their strong form in 2022.
5. Jacob Ramsey - Aston Villa
The 20 year old attacking midfielder has broken into the first team this season after having 22 appearances last year he has already appeared in 17 games with 2 goals. The Birmingham born midfielder has grown up through the Aston Villa youth academy and i'm excited to see how Steven Gerrard will utilize him. Aston Villa currently sit in 13th place in the Premier League with a 7-1-11 record and 11 points clear of relegation. Jacob Ramsey provides Villa with an exciting midfield option and the teams new addition of Philippe Coutinho brings Ramsey a great mentor in that position.
4. Ethan Pinnock - Brentford
The 28 year old Jamaican defender has been a star for Brentford so far this season as the newly promoted side currently sit in 12th place with a 6-5-8 record. He has played in 18 games with one goal, one assist and a strong player rating of 7.02 during that time. He has helped Brentford hold a solid defensive record and his individual numbers are fantastic for a player entering his first season in the Premier League. In 2021 he also made his debut with the Jamaican international team and Pinnock could be a key player for Jamaica moving forward.
3. Charlie Taylor - Burnley
Burnley are always a tough team to play in the Premier League as manager Sean Dyche has done a fantastic job with a very small club budget. Charlie Taylor has been with the club since 2017 and the 28 year old left back is very underrated and I think deserves some recognition for his strong play. In 16 games this season he has one assist, a 6.97 player rating with one man of the match performance. The transfer rumors surrounding James Tarkowski are troubling for this club that requires a strong defensive group to earn results. The club currently sit in 18th place with 11 points and a 1-8-8 record. Charlie Taylor, Nathan Collins, Ben Mee and Matthew Lowton need to be exceptional in the second half of the season if Burnley hopes to stay up.
2. Valentino Livramento - Southampton
The 19 year old right-back Chelsea youth academy graduate has been a fantastic addition to Southampton this year after coming over in a summer transfer of 6.49 million. In 18 games so far this season he has one goal, one assist, a player rating of 6.84 with one man of the match performance. I had worries about Southampton entering this season but Livramento has been one of the star players for this club as the hold a 14th place position with a 4-9-6 record.
1. Christos Tzolis - Norwich City
This is a reach for the final selection in players to watch but Norwich City need offense and they need someone in their roster to step up in the second half of the season. The club spend 12 million dollars in August for Christos Tzolis and the 19 year old Greek international has had a slow start with Norwich in 9 games with zero contributions. The one bright spot for Tzolis has been in the EFL Cup where he has 2 goals and 4 assists in 2 games. Last season in the Greek League he had 6 goals, 6 assists in 25 league games and Norwich need something to pull themselves up from a 20th place spot. I believe Norwich City has the individual talent to turn this season around but they need one of Tzolis, Josh Sargent, Milot Rashica, Adam Idah or Billy Gilmour among others to step up for this club if they hope to avoid relegation.