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Top 10 Premier League Midfielders

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Written by Sean Harris In the engine room or out wide, these are the best of the best. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Premier League midfielders! For this list, we’re looking at any Prem player to have played a predominantly midfield role, be they central powerhouses, wizards on the wing or more attacking minded. Watch this space for further countdown clips on specific positions, coming soon. Special thanks to our user Freemantle_uk for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Premier League Midfielders


In the engine room or out wide, these are the best of the best. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Premier League midfielders!
For this list, we’re looking at any Prem player to have played a predominantly midfield role, be they central powerhouses, wizards on the wing or more attacking minded. Watch this space for further countdown clips on specific positions, coming soon.

#10: Claude Makélélé

We start with a signing Chelsea made in 2003, and a player who was so good that his name came to define the position he held. By the time Makélélé left Chelsea in 2008, he’d won two league titles, two league cups and an FA Cup, and countless clubs in the Prem were looking for someone to master the ‘Makélélé role’. An influential defensive midfielder, he broke down opposition plays with supreme ball-winning skills and tactical discipline, before launching counter-attacks. In short, he was indispensable.

#9: David Silva

Joining Manchester City from Valencia in 2010, David Silva quickly established himself at the Etihad. He lifted the FA Cup in his first season, before playing a key role in City’s first Premier League triumph in the 2011-12 campaign. At times seemingly unplayable, he’s often handed a free role, operating behind a strike force which has included the likes of Sergio Agüero, Carlos Tevez and Gabriel Jesus. And the City frontline is continually indebted to Silva, whose inventive assists deliver goal after goal.

#8: Cesc Fàbregas

A triumph twice over in the Premier League, Fàbregas broke through at Arsenal during the 2004-05 season. He’d go on to make over 200 appearances for the Gunners, netting 35 league goals and gathering countless assists. There followed a three-year spell at Barcelona, before a fairly controversial return to England, with Chelsea. At both London clubs, Fàbregas is best known for his play-making abilities, an unparalleled passing range and world-class composure on the ball.

#7: Roy Keane

To an altogether different breed of midfielder, and the ultimate enforcer. Roy Keane joined Man United in 1993, having been relegated with Nottingham Forest the season before, and having almost signed for Kenny Dalglish at Blackburn. He’d go on to earn legend status at Old Trafford, captaining an ultra-successful side from ’97 through to 2005. Always ready with a tough tackle or two, his disciplinary record was far from pristine, but his aggression helped establish United as a dominant force in world football.

#6: Ryan Giggs

Another Red Devil, and a one-club man. At the height of his career, Giggs was probably the best left-sided talent in the league. Known for making mazy runs, nailing pin-point diagonals and scoring the odd wonder goal, Giggsy also stood out for his staying power, retaining a first team spot for 23 years. He bagged 109 Prem goals, and made 632 top flight appearances – a stat bettered only by Gareth Barry. Oh, and he’s also the most decorated player in English football. Not bad, eh?

#5: Patrick Vieira

This tenacious Frenchman proved a lynchpin for Arsenal in the ‘90s and early 2000s, writing a blueprint for any aspiring central midfielder. A strong and intimidating opponent, he captained the ‘Invincibles’ to victory in 2004, and he scored the winning penalty in the 2005 FA Cup Final in his final appearance for the Gunners. Suffice to say, Arsenal fans love him. A brief stint at Man City saw Vieira grace the Premier League for two more years, before forging a post-playing career in management.

#4: Steven Gerrard

An undisputed icon at Anfield, and one of the best-regarded English players of the Premier League era, Gerrard is arguably the best box-to-box midfielder of his generation. A tireless worker for Liverpool, he set the tone for the Reds’ traditionally high-press style, and was always on hand with a cross-pitch pass or a defence-splitting through-ball. Fans will also remember various crucial goals, and a long list of long-range strikes. A legendary leader, the only thing missing in a glittering club career was the Premier League title itself.

#3: Frank Lampard

While Lamps started his career with West Ham, he’s most associated with Chelsea, having spent 13 trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge. A crucial part in various Chelsea sides, and winning three Prem titles with the Blues, he’s probably best remembered for his record-breaking scoring stats. Lampard bowed out with Chelsea’s all-time goals record, and he was the first midfielder to notch more than 150 strikes in the Premier League. Deadly from the edge of the box, you gave this guy space at your peril.

#2: Paul Scholes

A graduate from the famous ‘Class of ‘92’, Scholes is another who spent his entire career at Man United, scooping scores of trophies over 20 seasons. Although he has earned a reputation as a hard-hitting pundit since he hung up his boots, in his playing days Scholes cut quite an unassuming character, but one who could turn a game in seconds. A magnificent all-rounder, he has been consistently praised by the world’s best, including Zidane, Henry, Xavi, and Guardiola. We’re not about to disagree.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Xabi Alonso

Matt Le Tissier

David Beckham

#1: Cristiano Ronaldo

A hero at Real Madrid and a worldwide superstar, before making history for Los Blancos, Ronaldo was David Beckham’s replacement at Man United. He soon made the number seven shirt his own, usually employed wide on the right, or as a roaming attacking midfielder behind the frontline. In six seasons at Old Trafford he bagged 84 league goals, including an inspired tally of 31 in the 2007-08 campaign. By the time he left in 2009, he was reigning FIFA World Player of the Year - the first Prem talent to win the award.
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