Top 10 All Time Premier League Midfielders

Published on 15 July 2023 at 13:00

Top 10 All Time Premier League Midfielders

With the Premier League season kicking off in less than 30 days, I think it's time to have a look back at some of the best all time midfielders from the last 30 years. The following list includes midfielders with all kinds of quality and is sure to excite all football enthusiasts, from current superstars to former greats.

10. N'golo Kante

Clubs: Leicester (2015-16), Chelsea (2016-2023)

Premier League record: 227 appearances, 12 goals, 17 assists

Since making his Premier League debut for Leicester City, the small Parisian midfielder has come a long way. One of the key players in the Foxes' fantastic Premier League-winning campaign in 2015–16 was N'Golo Kante.

Kante is perhaps the best ball winner in the world when he is at his peak. He is capable of pushing teams from higher up or from deeper in midfield while acting as a pivot. The 32-year-old has an engine that enables him to consistently press hard and obstruct the opposition's play.

One year after moving from Leicester to Chelsea under Antonio Conte, Kante won his second Premier League title. By the time he retires, Kante will be remembered as one of the greatest Premier League midfielders, winning praise from both football experts and fans.

9. Cesc Fabregas

Clubs: Arsenal (2003-2011), Chelsea (2014-19)

Premier League record: 350 appearances, 50 goals, 111 assists

Cesc Fabregas stormed the Premier League after making his debut at the incredible age of 17. He scored Arsenal's youngest goal ever and established an unstoppable reputation for Arsene Wenger. After a standout run at Arsenal, he went back to his old team Barcelona and continued to succeed in Spain.

In the midst of much controversy, the Catalan joined Arsenal's rivals Chelsea upon his return to England. In his first season at Stamford Bridge, he guided the Blues to Premier League victory, and he turned out to be a fantastic addition for them.

Only a select few football legends can equal his skill at pinging long passes of the highest calibre to every part of the pitch. With his uncanny ability to regulate the pace of the game, Fabregas changed that Chelsea team. He strategically broke opposition lines.

350 Premier League appearances later, Fabregas has 50 goals to his name. His 111 league assists are second only to Ryan Giggs' record total, and he is one of just four players to surpass the 100-assist mark.

8. Yaya Touré

Clubs: Man City (2010-18)

Premier League record: 230 appearances, 62 goals, 32 assists

At 6'2", Touré' was a rare breed of player who could not only dominate the midfield physically but also gracefully move the ball. His superb technique and ball control allowed him to easily manoeuvre through opponents' players as if they weren't even there.

Yaya Touré' was a one-man-show and one of the most significant figures in Manchester City's relatively recent history. The Ivorian has an incredibly broad skill set that enabled him to win games on his own.

He had a long list of outstanding solo goals at Man City, and his goal-scoring prowess was nothing short of amazing. Toure has great ball control and used this skill to his advantage by bursting into the opposing half.

Touré' was simply unstoppable on his day. During his time in England, he made 230 league appearances, notching 62 goals and 30 assists. Three Premier League triumphs are on display for the Ivorian.

7.  David Silva

Clubs: Man City (2010-2020)

Premier League record: 309 appearances, 60 goals, 93 assists

David Silva is a truly outstanding football player. Since joining the Premier League in 2010, the small playmaker has been a symbol of consistency.

He has a special grasp of the game and is always in the right place at the right time to receive a one-two or lay the ball for his teammates. Silva has a great ability to manoeuvre between the lines and attack from there while fending off opponent press. He possesses an impeccable touch that enables him to easily wriggle out of confined areas and the ability to beat an opponent player on the dribble.

In the ten years he was a Cityzen, he played 309 games, contributed with 93 assists and scored 60 goals himself.

6. Roy Keane

Clubs: Nottingham Forest (1990-93), Man Utd (1993-2005)

Premier League record: 366 appearances, 39 goals, 33 assists

Roy Keane, the most successful captain throughout the Premier League era. In terms of football, he was unmatched in his peak in a number of areas, most notably those of on-field aggression and recovering the ball. Keane was able to move the ball farther up the pitch, stop enemy attacks and cover every blade of turf.

An individual who is very controversial. The Manchester United legend led by example and was a Red Devils player who defined an era. He covered the entire pitch, yet his mentality, powerful physique, and unrelenting energy allowed him to play the entire 90 minutes.

He didn't score as many goals, he wasn't as subtle or as athletic as some of the other players here, but he did have more skill than he was frequently given credit for. However, he prevailed through sheer force of will, charisma, and a fanatical determination to not only outwit but occasionally also practically smash through his opponents.

5. Paul Scholes

Clubs: Man Utd (1994-2013)

Premier League record: 499 appearances, 107 goals, 55 assists

When a great foreign player is asked who the best Englishman he has ever played against is, the response is usually "Scholes, of Manchester," which has grown to be something of a running joke.

It seems like a hipster decision, like the wise pro is giving us something an ordinary person wouldn't know. But Scholes was exceptional.

The legendary United player was strong, could keep the ball, had vision, and could do pretty much anything: pass long, pass short, shoot from a distance and from close range. He would have been at least average if he could tackle.

4. Kevin De Bruyne

Clubs: Chelsea (2011-14), Man City (2015-present)

Premier League record: 226 appearances, 60 goals, 95 assists

Even outside of the Premier League, Kevin De Bruyne is considered one of the top midfielders in the world.

One of the most complete midfielders to play in the Premier League. He is a master passer and shooter with unmatched playmaking abilities. It's amazing how the 32-year-old can find his teammates with the most absurd deliveries inside the box. On the other side, he is a strong runner with the ball and frequently drives into the opponent's box.

Under Pep Guardiola, he's added more aspects to his game and has functioned as the centrepiece to one of the most expensive sides in football history. In the 2017/18 season, he was the only player in Europe to register over 60 chances created and 60 tackles, highlighting his ability to help the team.

3. Steven Gerrard

Clubs: Liverpool (1998-2015)

Premier League Record: 504 appearances, 120 goals, 92 assists

The Liverpool born midfielder may be documented as one of the best never to win the competition, Gerrards quality is undoubtable.

The fact that Steven Gerrard has an unbelievable track record of scoring in the Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup, and League Cup finals is possibly the best illustration of his ability to inspire his teammates to join him in accomplishing great things.

It's possible that his last-second equaliser against West Ham United in the FA Cup final served as the turning point of an illustrious career. When Gerrard won PFA Young Player of the Year in 2000-01 and PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2005-06, his remarkable brilliance was recognised by those around him.

2. Patrick Viera

Clubs: Arsenal (1996-2011), Man City (2009-11)

Premier League record: 307 appearances, 31 goals, 34 assists

Patrick Vieira, a former captain of Arsenal, is regarded as one of the all-time greats in the Premier League's defensive midfield position. During Arsenal's historic and rare "Invincibles" season in the 2003–04 season, the Frenchman served as club captain.

Vieira was among the finest because of a variety of factors, including his sharp tactical sense and superb game reading. Though many might categorise him as a typical "defensive" midfielder, he was actually much more than that.

The muscular Frenchman essentially played as a box-to-box midfielder and controlled the middle of the pitch. He was able to win the ball back with the greatest of ease thanks to his exceptional body and incredible athleticism. He could take part in the build-up, charge into the box, and score.

1. Frank Lampard

Clubs: West Ham (1995-2001); Chelsea (2001-2014); Man City (2014-15)

Premier League record: 609 appearances, 177 goals, 102 assists

The former manager of Chelsea and club legend Frank Lampard was a phenomenon during his playing days with the Blues. He arrived at Stamford Bridge from West Ham in 2001 as a young, talented player, and he left as their all-time leading scorer and possibly their best player.

During his career, Lampard was a versatile midfielder who had a lot of influence. Early on, he played comparatively higher up and in a more offensive position; later, he shifted to a deeper-lying midfielder. The Englishman was able to play deeper and yet pose a threat thanks to his excellent passing, vision, and game-controlling skills.

He is one of just three players in the league with at least 100 goals and assists, with his 177 goals ranking fifth best and his 102 assists ranking fourth highest. A Player of the Year award was given to the three-time Premier League champion for his outstanding 2004–2005 campaign.

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