Ricardo Pereira: The 'Underrated' All-Rounder Who's Key to Making the Foxes Bite

10 August 2020 01:15

The underrated/overrated paradox is one of the most most puzzling and tiresome concepts in football.

Fuelled by a burning desire for justice in the frequently unfair world of football Twitter, every wannabe pundit subjects footballers across the world to bipolar existence. Too much hype and you're overrated - plain and simple. Do not attract enough hype and you're overrated - plain and simpler.

The paradox also throws up a few intriguing thought experiments. For instance, if 90min surveyed one million football fans and every single one of them says a certain player is underrated - surely they cease to be so?

At this point, you may be wondering why on earth we are still going on about this. The answer is that Ricardo Pereira - the subject of this article - fits this thought experiment quite nicely. Social media is awash with football supporters bemoaning that the 26-year-old is massively 'underrated'. So many in fact that surely it's time for the defender to start being considered highly rated at least?

While everyone else has been missing the point, Leicester fans have long known just how good Pereira really is. It is not an overstatement to say that the injury that kept him out of the closing stages of the 2019/2020 campaign was the main factor in the Foxes missing out on Champions League spot.

The Portugal international is vital to Brendan Rodgers' system, combining a mean streak defensively with being Leicester's most dangerous wide player going forward. Perhaps even their most dangerous creative player full stop.

Pereira was brought in from FC Porto at the beginning of the 2018/2019 season by the much maligned Claude Puel and his arrival was transformative. Although Danny Simpson's contribution to the Foxes impossible title success will never be forgotten in LE2, the former Manchester United man offered nothing going forward.

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