To keep our love for the Premier League ticking over during the international break, The Sportsman team have been arguing with each other. The debate? Who makes it into our all-time Premier League XI. We debated until we were red in the face until finally, we came up with a team we were all reasonably happy with. We will release one position every single morning until the entire team is completed over the coming days.
We’ve named ten of the best Premier League players of all time so far during this international break, but there was only one player we all agreed on at Sportsman HQ. The mercurial French forward that unilaterally won the hearts of every football fan, no matter what club they supported.
He is still the greatest player the Premier League has ever seen. He may not have scored as many goals as Alan Shearer, or won as many Premier League titles as Wayne Rooney - but he was simply the most talented player of his generation. We’ll talk more about the French genius later on, but although this decision process was unanimous, there were several other elite candidates for this forward role.
Mo Salah has been unbelievable ever since joining the division, hitting 100 goals in double quick time as he fired Liverpool to their first ever Premier League title, as well as winning the Champions League along the way. He is one of the top players currently playing in the league and can now be considered one of the best in the world, but he hasn’t quite had the same impact Henry did.
The same can be said of another player currently plying their trade in England - Harry Kane. His goalscoring record for Spurs has been nothing short of sensational, reaching 100 goals in just 141 games, something only Shearer himself can top. He’s won three golden boots and one at a World Cup as England enjoyed their most successful period in 50 years with him as captain - but as an individual, he wasn’t as good as Henry. In five years time we may be talking about him as a certainty in this team, but for now, he doesn’t quite make it.
Eden Hazard was a flying winger who was instrumental in Chelsea’s success and scored some of the finest goals we have ever seen while Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player to have ever played in the Premier League. But he doesn’t quite make this team as what he achieved in England is overshadowed by what Shearer, Sergio Aguero and Henry achieved. What he went on to do at Real Madrid was scarcely believable.
Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez all scored bundles of goals for Liverpool and rightly take their place amongst the elite in this division while the likes of Les Ferdinand and Kevin Phillips bagged for fun during the 1990s.
But there is only one player who slots perfectly into this XI. Thierry Henry.