Robertson, Saka, Foden: Who are the Premier League's most underpaid players?

  • Kobe Tong
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The Premier League isn't exactly short of money.

With players like David de Gea and Kevin De Bruyne reported to be pocketing more than £300,000 on a weekly basis, it's fair to say you could do much worse than chasing a career in England's top-flight.

However, although playing in the Premier League is near enough a guarantee of ending your money worries, make no mistake that the division's various pay structures aren't necessarily the justest.

Premier League wages

Besides, player earnings can end up having more to do with agent canniness, fortunate timing and downright luck than sustained high performance at times.

As such, here at GIVEMESPORT, we've been using the databases of spotrac to assess the wages of Premier League players and see how they align with what they offer to their clubs.

We've already looked at 15 players who deserve a pay rise and the division's most overpaid XI, but now we're combining the two to produce the Premier League XI that we think is the most underpaid.

Now, it's worth noting that we're not lazily opining that footballers should pocket more and more and more in a climate where people are losing jobs and struggling for money more than ever.

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Most underpaid Premier League XI

Rather, if you like, we're naming the players whose wages - relative to overall Premier League earnings - rank far lower than their respective offerings to both their club and the division as a whole.

Got it? So, without further ado, here is how our underpaid Premier League XI based on spotrac data lines up:

GK: Robert Sánchez (Brighton & Hove Albion) - £10,000-a-week

Don't sleep on Sanchez because Matt Ryan's replacement on the south coast, who is paid very little for a number one goalkeeper, has the sixth-best save percentage in the Premier League this season.

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RB: James Justin (Leicester City) - £8,250-a-week

We considered picking Trent Alexander-Arnold because £75,000-a-week is pretty low for one of the world's best right-backs, but we just couldn't ignore the incongruity between Justin's stellar 2020/21 form and his earnings.

CB: Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa) - £8,000-a-week

Only Manchester City have amassed more league clean sheets than Villa this season and Konsa has played a massive role in that, punching above his wages with 22 appearances and two goals.

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CB: Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) - £40,000-a-week

Yes, his game time has been snipped under Thomas Tuchel, but surely Zouma should be pocketing more than Marcos Alonso when he's the division's top-rated centre-back with at least 10 outings this season.

LB: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) - £50,000-a-week

One of the highest wages on the list, it must be said, but Robertson has been an anomalous shining light for Liverpool this season despite ranking lower than Ben Davies and Xherdan Shaqiri on the payroll. 

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RM: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) - £10,000-a-week

Arguably the best young player in the Premier League and he's pocketing £65,000 less than Phil Jones on a weekly basis, so it's only natural that Saka - complete with 11 goal contributions this season - makes the cut.

CM: Phil Foden (Manchester City) - £12,000-a-week

But if Saka isn't the division's top starlet in your eyes, then it's probably Foden and it's staggering to think that the second-top goalscorer of the Premier League's biggest spenders is earning less than Scott Carson.

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CM: Declan Rice (West Ham United) - £3,000-a-week

From Scott McTominay on £20,000-a-week to Sean Longstaff on just £1,000-a-week, there's plenty of underpaid central midfielders, but Rice's earnings take the cake when you consider his transfer value of £49.5 million.

LM: Dwight McNeil (Burnley) - £5,000-a-week

Again, Eberech Eze's £30,000-a-week wage was also on our mind, but we can't get past McNeil's suprisingly low earnings even if we're still waiting for him to reach his full potential at Turf Moor.

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ST: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) - £57,692-a-week

Let me put this simply: does this look like the wage you'd expect for the leading goalscorer of a Champions League and Premier League 'big six' side for the last 18 months? I didn't think so.

ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) - £20,000-a-week

Considering only three players have notched more Premier League goals this season, it's certainly eye-opening to realise that Calvert-Lewin earns barely 11% as much as players like Roberto Firmino, who he comfortably outscores.

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Surprising wages

Woof, there are some eye-openers there, right?

If the spotrac data is indeed accurate, then you can't help feeling for players like Rice, Saka and Foden because they're performing far better than countless of their higher-earning contemporaries.

Then again, although the world of footballing wages can often be unfair, make no mistake that players with such sustained quality as theirs will get what they're owed in good time.

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