Wingmen Kieran Freeman and Scott McMann have gone under the radar as Dundee United fly high in the Scottish Premiership.
The central defensive duo of Ryan Edwards and Charlie Mulgrew are, rightly, stealing the limelight at the moment.
The pair were both on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Motherwell.
Mulgrew is being tipped for a Scotland recall and Edwards has been labelled the Scouse Baresi.
They are at the heart of a defence in front of Benjamin Siegrist that is now – alongside Celtic – the FOUTH meanest in the UK after the weekend’s results.
Only Chelsea, Manchester City and Inverness have conceded fewer league goals this season across 134 UK-based league clubs.
But the impact of Freeman and McMann cannot be overstated.
Both have made immense defensive contributions and have become increasingly influential in an attacking sense in recent weeks.
As United prepare to face Livingston on Wednesday, Courier Sport has delved into the Opta stats to assess how wing men Freeman and McMann are gliding their club to success.
Kieran Freeman – A jet-heeled running man
Freeman, 21, is increasingly making the right wing-back role his own.
Liam Smith will find it hard to shift the youngster when he recovers from injury.
And given the three-year injury hell Freeman suffered from the ages of 16 to 19, few would begrudge him his chance to shine.
Freeman labelled his goal in United’s recent 3-0 win over Hibernian as ‘the best moment in my life.’
Freeman is brimming with confidence and a glance at his touchmap v Motherwell tells its’ own story.
With 78 touches, Freeman saw more of the ball than any other player on the pitch.
He covered almost every blade of grass on the right wing.
Of those touches, 17 came from passing interplay with Peter Pawlett.
That was more than any combination on the pitch, with the pair a conduit for the United attack.
Scott McMann – The unsung hero
McMann has slotted seamlessly into the Dundee United defence as a transfer deadline day replacement for Jamie Robson.
At left wing-back, he won’t grab headlines ahead of goalscoring heroes or midfield maestros.
But McMann’s influence on United is there for all to see.
In six Scottish Premiership starts for United, McMann has yet to taste defeat.
The ball is his loyal companion. No United player has touched it more since his arrival.
In six games, McMann has finished in the top three for most touches – and first in three matches.
McMann averages 69 touches per game and is also king of the duels.
Only former St Johnstone star Jason Kerr (12) and Hibernian’s Darren McGregor (11.17) have won more duels on average than McMann’s 10.2 per game.