Stefan Ortega Moreno


The end of the Premier League season saw plenty of superstar players deliver in the biggest games.

From Rodri to Kai Havertz and Virgil van Dijk to Ollie Watkins, the top six teams have plenty of leading figures who stood up to be counted when it mattered most.

However, England’s biggest clubs also had to rely on some unsung heroes to carry the weight too.

Here’s 90min’s picks for each of the Premier League top six’s unsung heroes.

Stefan Ortega MorenoStefan Ortega Moreno

Some Man City fans believe Ortega has been better than Ederson this season / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

It’s difficult to label anyone in the Manchester City team as an ‘unsung hero,’ but if there’s one name deserving of more recognition, it’s Stefan Ortega.

Ortega arrived at the Etihad last summer as Zack Steffen departed on loan and the German has proven himself as a more-than-capable backup for Ederson. In fact, a segment of City fans believe Ortega provides more value than Ederson as the first-choice goalkeeper.

He came up with a massive save to deny Tottenham’s Son Heung-min during a vital victory in City’s penultimate league game of the season. Just don’t mention his mix-up with Josko Gvardiol in the FA Cup final defeat to Manchester United.

Gabriel Magalhaes celebrates after Arsenal defeated Brighton.Gabriel Magalhaes celebrates after Arsenal defeated Brighton.

Gabriel has established himself as a formidable centre-back in the Premier League / Steve Bardens/GettyImages

While centre-back partner William Saliba may receive more praise, Gabriel quietly enjoyed a fine season for Arsenal.

Gabriel arrived at the Emirates in 2020 as a fresh-faced 22-year-old from Lille and the Brazilian has since developed into arguably the most robust and risk-free defender Mikel Arteta has at his disposal.

Alongside a stellar 79 aerial battles won and 97 clearances, Gabriel also benefitted from the Gunners’ threat from set-pieces, scoring four goals in 2023/24.

Alexis Mac AllisterAlexis Mac Allister

Mac Allister had a strong first season for Liverpool / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

This season has seen considerable focus placed on the contributions of players like Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool’s pursuit of silverware.

But just as much noise should be made over Alexis Mac Allister, who has made a huge impact at the heart of the Reds’ midfield since joining the club for a bargain £35m from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Jurgen Klopp made it his mission to bring the Argentine to Anfield last summer and he has since proved his worth, whether it’s in the starting XI or featuring from the bench. Often utilised in a deeper role, the World Cup winner has an eye for the spectacular and should be deployed further forward by incoming boss Arne Slot.

Matty CashMatty Cash

Cash had a good season for Aston Villa / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Perhaps controversial given he’s not always been a name in the starting XI and has struggled with injuries, Poland international Matty Cash is a defender coveted by several clubs in the Premier League.

His tireless running and attack-minded style of play have been instrumental to Aston Villa’s success as Unai Emery’s side sealed Champions League qualification.

Cash started his career at Wycombe Wanderers and later the FAB Academy before he signed his first professional contract with Nottingham Forest, establishing himself as a regular at right-back. He signed for Villa in September 2020.

Pedro PorroPedro Porro

Porro has excelled under Ange Postecoglou / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

Aggressive, passionate and vigorous – which Premier League club wouldn’t want this Spaniard in their team?

Pedro Porro has thrived under Ange Postecoglou after a difficult first half-season at Tottenham Hotspur, during which some defensive holes in his game were exploited.

However, the flying right-back has benefitted from the switch to a more enterprising style of play and has proven quality in the final third, racking up three goals and seven assists by the end of the Premier League campaign.

Conor GallagherConor Gallagher

Gallagher stepped in as Chelsea captain / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Conor Gallagher performed thankless tasks on a number of occasions during a messy season for Chelsea which ultimately ended with a sixth-place finish.

The England international featured in attacking midfield and dropped deeper when departed manager Mauricio Pochettino needed him to. He also had to step between his teammates into the middle of some embarrassing arguments over penalties, showing his leadership qualities.

Gallagher is out of contract in 2025 and with Chelsea needing to sell players due to their financial situation, the all-action midfielder could depart Stamford Bridge this summer.



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