Martin O'Neill names the most 'underrated' player he ever managed at Aston Villa
O’Neill, who most recently was in charge of Nottingham Forest, managed Villa from 2006 to 2010.
He guided the Midlands club to three 6th place finishes on the bounce before resigning on the eve of the 2010/11 season.
It was the last time Aston Villa played in Europe, winning the Inter Toto Cup in 2008.
They then had three straight seasons competing in Europe’s second-tier competition, but only reached the group stages once.
Villa had a number of brilliant players in the O’Neill days.
O’Neill oversaw the development of Ashley Young before he moved on to Manchester United.
And the defensive partnership of Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen was one of the best in the Premier League.
O’Neill was then asked who his most underrated player was at Villa, and he answered Wilfred Bouma.
The Dutch defender was O’Neill’s dependable left-back, and was very much under the radar.
Bouma was underrared at Villa – O’Neill
When asked about who deserved more credit during his time at Villa Park, O’Neill answered: “If you mean publicly underrated, perhaps Wilfred Bouma.”
Bouma was an established Dutch international before moving to Villa from PSV Eindhoven in 2005.
It was Bouma’s only spell playing outside of the Netherlands, and he left the club just weeks after O’Neill.
Primarily used as a left-back, Bouma could also play as a central defender.
He went to three European Championship between 2004 and 2012, but missed out on the squads for both World Cups in that time.
Bouma is currently assistant manager of PSV’s under-21s, nurturing the next generation of Dutch talent.
Many Villa fans would agree that Bouma was underrated during his time at the club.
What Unai Emery would do for a defender like Bouma available to him in the current Villa side.