In any team there are players that grab the headlines and those that go under the radar. At Newcastle the likes of Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Jose Enrique and co. receive much of the praise handed out in the media, but one player in particular doesn’t ever seem to get any column inches; that man is Danny Simpson. An uncomplicated player, Simpson was pretty much an ever-present for Newcastle after missing the very start of the season, yet few plaudits head his way. Does this make Newcastle’s right back one of the most underrated players in the Premier League?
At 24 years of age, Danny Simpson is still learning his game, as many defenders don’t tend to hit their peak until their early thirties. The art of defending is one that has to be learned, and the experience that comes with years of playing is invaluable. In that sense, the former Manchester United trainee is still in the early part of his career and Newcastle is just Simpson’s second permanent club. After years of being sent out on loan, Danny has finally found a place called home and Newcastle fans are glad to have him.
Despite not being the tallest, he’s just 5ft 8in, Simpson has made the right back spot his own. A gauge of how well Danny played last season is that I haven’t seen one right back linked with Newcastle. That’s probably because in Simpson Newcastle have a highly competent right back and therefore if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. He might not be the most eye-catching of players and he doesn’t often appear to be that comfortable going forward, but Danny Simpson goes about his job with minimal fuss, just like all quality defenders. He’s not flash, but he’s certainly effective.
As Simpson heads into his third season, you might have thought that the player who Newcastle picked up for just £750,000 might see his reputation go through the roof, but you’d be wrong. While I’m not asking for international recognition, I think his achievements should be recognised by those outside of Alan Pardew and his staff. The fact that QPR were linked with a £1.5 million bid for Simpson last month shows just how lowly many people value him.
What really takes the biscuit is his Fantasy Football ranking. Not the most accurate of ratings I’ll admit, but it does to some extent illustrate his status in English football. He costs you just £4m to buy – the same price as James Perch and, perhaps even more ludicrously, QPR and ex-Newcastle defender Peter Ramage! He’s among the cheapest defenders of the lot, which is hardly representative of the form he’s showed for Newcastle over the last two years, but does give you an idea of how underrated he is.
Danny Simpson was one of Newcastle’s most consistent performers last season and yes he’ll never set the world alight, but he’ll never let you down either. I’d challenge you to find a more underrated player in the Premier League than Newcastle’s number 12 and for that reason he’s going straight into my fantasy football team!
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