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Sports News of Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Source: Football Ghana

Is Jeffrey Schlupp one of the Premier League’s most underrated impact players?

Throughout his professional career, Crystal Palace’s Jeffrey Schlupp has put in the time and effort to establish himself as a Premier League footballer.

After joining the Leicester City youth team in 2005, the 27-year-old would spend 12 years at the King Power Stadium before eventually securing a move to the Eagles in 2017.

Although the left-sided player doesn’t often grab the headlines, that shouldn't detract from his on-field contributions. So, let’s take a look at why Schlupp has been one of English football’s most underrated impact players over the past decade.

Helping Leicester Achieve the Impossible

After a short-term loan spell at Brentford at the end of the 2010-11 season, the Ghanaian international broke through at Leicester in 2011-12.

At just 18 years of age, Schlupp featured 21 times for the Foxes, helping Nigel Pearson’s side achieve a ninth-place finish.

As time progressed, the Hamburg-born defender became an integral part of Leicester’s system, playing on 26 occasions during the East Midlands-based club’s Championship-winning campaign in 2013-14.

Over the course of his time at the King Power Stadium, Schlupp was never a first-team regular. However, he did start the first 12 matches of the Foxes’ historic Premier League campaign in 2015-16.

Although he was hindered by a hamstring injury midway through the season, he still chipped in with several much-needed contributions.

Along with scoring Leicester’s second goal in a 2-1 victory over Norwich City, he also won a crucial penalty against West Ham – that Leonardo Ulloa converted – to send the Foxes eight points clear at the top of the table with four games left to play.

Although he didn’t have an impact similar to the likes of Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante, or Wes Morgan, for example, few can argue that Schlupp didn’t play his part in taking the Foxes to their first Premier League title.

A Testament to the Versatility of Modern-Day Players After a successful stint at the King Power Stadium, Schlupp joined Palace in January 2017. In the Foxes’ title-winning season, he was crowned as the club’s Young Player of the Year, so the transfer appeared to be a promising one for the Eagles.

At the time of writing, the 27-year-old has featured 105 times for Palace. In that time, he has scored eight goals and assisted a further nine, according to Transfermarkt.

Moreover, since moving to Selhurst Park, the typically left-sided player has featured all over the teamsheet for Roy Hodgson, including being deployed at right-wing and central midfielder.

Because of his application and professionalism, Schlupp is a player that many managers would welcome into their squads. By Hodgson’s own admission, the Ghanaian international is a “very important player” and somebody who is “underrated”.

The 73-year-old manager will be hopeful that Schlupp can sustain his current form. If he can, then Palace will be good value to achieve a top-ten finish. As of November 26th, the Eagles are 4/1 to finish in the top half with football betting come the end of the 2020-21 season.

Appreciated by His Managers, and That Speaks Volumes

While Schlupp may not be the most talented player to grace a football pitch, the fact that his managers have long believed in him is a testament to his character. Furthermore, from a personal standpoint, the 27-year-old will be able to look back on a successful career when he eventually hangs up his boots, having been a part of Leicester’s unprecedented success in 2015-16.