We all have a favourite player. An opinion that is completely subjective and impossible to prove... until now. The Sportsman has decided to pick a best player of the Premier League era from every club that has graced its pitches so far. Before Luton Town fans savage us in the comments, please note the criteria is clubs that have played a full season of Premier League football. We promise to reassess next season and give you your well-deserved entry on this list.
But for now, here is a completely Luton-less list of the best Premier League players from each club who has played in the top flight since the 1992-93 season.
AFC Bournemouth - Callum Wilson (2014-20)
Striker Callum Wilson scored 41 goals during his five years with Bournemouth in the top flight. He was a stellar figure in their promotion to the Premier League and was even more important as they defied the odds to maintain their status for five years.
Arsenal - Thierry Henry (1999-2007)
Dazzling French attacker Thierry Henry is viewed by many as the greatest player to have played in the Premier League. Not only did he win two league titles, including the iconic ‘Invincibles’ campaign, he is the club’s record goalscorer with 228.
Aston Villa - Paul McGrath (1989-96)
Sensational Irish defender Paul McGrath had a couple years at Aston Villa before the inaugural Premier League season but in the debut campaign he was crowned the PFA Player of the Year. McGrath had some off-field issues but when he was on the pitch he was mesmerising to watch.
Barnsley - Neil Redfearn (1991-98)
Barnsley may have only experienced one season in the Premier League which of course ended in relegation, but Neil Redfearn gave a good account of himself. The midfielder scored 10 league goals to try and help the Tykes stay up and his energetic performances saw him stand out in a disappointing side.
Birmingham City - Mikael Forssell (2003-08)
Birmingham City’s most potent striker in front of goal in their Premier League years, Mikael Forssell netted 17 goals in his first loan spell at St Andrew’s and after spending three years at the club permanently, the Finland star ended with a tally of 29. Feed the Forss and he will score.
Blackburn Rovers - Alan Shearer (1992-96)
A Premier League title, 112 goals which contributed to his Premier League record tally of 260, no one comes close to Alan Shearer for Blackburn Rovers in the top flight. Shearer is one of the best to have played in this division.
Blackpool - Charlie Adam (2009-11)
Charlie Adam was Blackpool’s leading man in their only season in the Premier League providing 12 goals for the Seasiders. His contributions at Bloomfield Road saw him snapped up by Liverpool which highlights the level he was playing at at the time.
Bolton Wanderers - Ivan Campo (2002-08)
Not many players have swapped the Santiago Bernabeu for the Reebok Stadium but Ivan Campo did. The composed defensive midfielder oozed class for Bolton Wanderers and went on to make 172 appearances for the Trotters in the Premier League.
Bradford City - Dean Windass (1999-2001, 2003-07)
Bradford City enjoyed two years in the Premier League between 1999 and 2001. Striker Dean Windass arrived the season before to aid in the Bantams’ promotion to the top flight. He helped Bradford survive their first year in the Premier League and finished as their top scorer in the following year as they were relegated.
Brentford - Ivan Toney (2020-)
Ivan Toney has been the spearhead of Brentford’s attack in the Premier League. In the Bees’ first two years in the big time, Toney has scored 32 goals, including 20 last year as Brentford finished ninth.
Brighton & Hove Albion - Lewis Dunk (2010-)
Boyhood Brighton supporter Lewis Dunk has been a colossal figure for the Seagulls in their rise to the Premier League. He helped his team consolidate their Premier League position and has now helped them get into Europe.
Burnley - James Tarkowski (2016-22)
Defender James Tarkowski was an excellent servant for Burnley under Sean Dyche and played a key role in helping the Clarets finish seventh in the Premier League in 2017-18.
Cardiff City - Peter Whittingham (2007-17)
The late Peter Whittingham is one of the greatest players in Cardiff City’s history and after playing a key role in helping the Bluebirds reach the Premier League for the first time, he registered two goals and three assists in the top flight in 2013-14.
Charlton Athletic - Jason Euell (2001-06)
Charlton Athletic often found it difficult to find a regular goalscorer until Jason Euell came along. He consistently hit double figures for the Addicks in the Premier League in his first three seasons. His total of 34 after five years remains a club-record in the top flight.
Chelsea - Frank Lampard (2001-14)
One of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has ever seen, Frank Lampard’s 177 Premier League goals for Chelsea remains unrivalled at Stamford Bridge. He enjoyed great success in west London, including three league titles.
Coventry City - Dion Dublin (1994-98)
Before Homes Under The Hammer, Dion Dublin was an excellent Premier League goalscorer, with some of his best years coming at Coventry City. Dublin hit double figures in the league in all but one of his five years at Coventry, picking up the Golden Boot in 1997-98.
Crystal Palace - Wilfried Zaha (2010-13, 2013, 2015-23)
Wilfried Zaha has become synonymous with Crystal Palace. The magical attacker has consistently been the brightest spark for the Eagles over the past decade and his goals and assists always ensured Palace consolidated their position in the top flight. It’s not going to be the same without him.
Derby County - Dean Sturridge (1991-2001)
Forward Dean Sturridge helped Derby get to the Premier League for the first time and played a key role for the Rams in their first five years in the top flight, scoring 32 goals.
Everton - Leighton Baines (2007-20)
Regarded as one of the best left-backs the Premier League has ever seen, Leighton Baines was consistently one of Everton’s best players. Not only was he solid defensively, he also offered a lot going forward. His crossing was excellent and he was a regular free-kick and penalty taker.
Fulham - Clint Dempsey (2007-12)
USA attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey was one of those ‘the streets won’t forget’ stars of the Premier League and he was a huge figure for Fulham. Dempsey scored 50 goals in the league for the Cottagers, posting an impressive 17-goal haul in 2011-12.
Huddersfield Town - Aaron Mooy (2016-2020)
Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy was by far Huddersfield’s brightest player in their two-year stint in the Premier. He brought composure on the ball but it wasn’t enough to keep the Terriers in the top flight for longer.
Hull City - Ahmed Elmohamady (2013-17)
No player has made more appearances for Hull City in the Premier League than right-back Ahmed Elmohamady (109) in the three seasons he enjoyed with the Tigers in the top-flight. The Egyptian’s work ethic on the right flank was always commended by the supporters and he helped the club reach the 2014 FA Cup final.
Ipswich Town - Marcus Stewart (2000-02)
Forward Marcus Stewart had an instant impact at Portman Road as Ipswich Town began their second stint in the Premier League. Stewart had the midas touch in front of goal for the Tractor Boys with 19 goals in 2000-01.
Leeds United - Mark Viduka (2000-04)
Australian striker Mark Viduka was a cult figure for Leeds United because his four years at Elland Road gave fans some of their fondest memories. He scored 72 goals in 166 appearances for Leeds and the winner he scored against Arsenal as they avoided relegation in 2003 still lives with supporters today.
Leicester City - Jamie Vardy (2012-)
A key figure in Leicester City’s historic title-winning campaign in 2015-16, Jamie Vardy has been one of the most exciting forwards to watch in the Premier League, scoring 136 goals in the top flight.
Liverpool - Mohamed Salah (2017-)
Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah has been a goalscoring wizard in the Premier League since his arrival in 2017. Salah has scored 137 in the top flight so far and there have been only two seasons where he has scored less than 20 goals.
Manchester City - Kevin De Bruyne (2015-)
Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has won it all at Manchester City while cementing himself as one of the all-time greats in the Premier League. He scores goals and makes some unbelievable assists, which has him regarded as one of best passers the game has ever seen.
Manchester United - Wayne Rooney (2004-17)
Wayne Rooney is an icon of English football and his record 253 goals for Manchester United will take some beating. Rooney won several titles with the Red Devils including the Premier League five times and the Champions League once. He is regarded as one of the greatest talents this country has ever produced.
Middlesbrough - Stewart Downing (2001-09, 2015-19)
Local hero Stewart Downing has been a great servant to Middlesbrough across two spells with the club. In his first spell he spent eight years in the Premier League with them and in his second he helped the club achieve promotion to the top flight in 2015-16. His contributions to his local team cannot be overstated.
Newcastle United - Alan Shearer (1996-2006)
His only Premier League title may not have been with his boyhood club but Alan Shearer continued to bang in the goals for Newcastle United to reach his record tally of 260 goals.
Norwich City - Grant Holt (2009-13)
Grant Holt may have only experienced two Premier League seasons with Norwich City but to many he is synonymous with the Canaries in this era. He scored 15 and eight goals respectively to help Norwich finish in mid-table in consecutive years.
Nottingham Forest - Stan Collymore (1993-95)
Stan Collymore had one season in the Premier League with Nottingham Forest but it was a memorable one as he scored 22 goals for the Tricky Trees. His stellar year at the City Ground saw Collymore earn a move to Liverpool the following summer.
Oldham Athletic - Graeme Sharp (1991-97)
Scottish striker Graeme Sharp remains Oldham’s record goalscorer in the Premier League with 16 goals across the club’s two campaigns in the top flight.
Portsmouth - Nwankwo Kanu (2006-12)
He may have only scored 17 goals across his four years at Portsmouth but Nwankwo Kanu made over 100 appearances for the club in the league and he also scored the winning goal in the 2008 FA Cup final. If that doesn’t get him in, what does?
Queens Park Rangers - Adel Taraabt (2009-15)
Adel Taraabt is the biggest ‘streets won’t forget’ player around. The Moroccan’s flair was exhilarating and he was a joy to watch in the Premier League, despite being in an overall poor side.
Reading - Nicky Shorey 2001-08, 2012-13)
Versatile defender Nicky Shorey is viewed as an icon at Reading. He was part of the side that got a record 106 points in the Championship and he continued to impress in the Premier League with 90 appearances for the Royals.
Sheffield United - Brian Deane (1988-93, 1997-98)
Striker Brian Dean was a proficient striker for Sheffield United, and in his only Premier League campaign with the Blades he scored 15 goals as they finished 14th.
Sheffield Wednesday - Mark Bright (1992-97)
Across five years with Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League, forward Mark Bright scored 48 goals. He was part of the side that reached both the League Cup and FA Cup finals in 1992-93 which was an incredible year for the Owls.
Southampton - Matt Le Tissier (1986-2002)
Matt Le Tissier was a superstar when he was on the football pitch. Despite not being the most athletic of players, he was sensational with the ball at his feet. He scored 102 Premier League goals for Southampton, becoming the first midfielder to score over 100 goals in the top flight.
Stoke City - Robert Huth (2009-15)
Towering centre-back Robert Huth was a cult figure in Stoke-on-Trent and the fans loved the German while he was playing for the Potters - and even after he left. Huth featured 149 times for Stoke in the Premier League.
Sunderland - Kevin Phillips (1997-2003)
Kevin Phillips won both the Premier League Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe in 1999 for his 30-goal haul in 1999-2000 as Sunderland finished seventh in the top flight. His 61 goals remain unmatched by anyone else in the club’s history in the Premier League.
Swansea City - Michu (2012-15)
We’ve already had a couple of ‘streets won’t forget players’ in this list and you cannot ignore Michu. The Spaniard’s 18-goal campaign in 2012-13 was magical to witness. He was unplayable as Swansea finished ninth in the Premier League.
Swindon Town - Jan Age Fjortoft (1993-95)
Norwegian striker Jan Age Fjortoft managed to score 12 goals in the Premier League for Swindon in their only campaign in the top flight.
Tottenham Hotspur - Harry Kane (2009-)
Harry Kane is one of the greatest centre-forwards that the Premier League and English football has ever seen. He has 213 goals in the division and is only behind Alan Shearer in the all-time charts. He has been prolific in front of goal for almost a decade and he has shown that he can create as well as score.
Watford - Troy Deeney (2010-21)
Troy Deeney was a nightmare for defenders when he was at the peak of his powers in the Premier League, scoring 47 goals in 165 appearances across six campaigns. He also helped the club reach the 2019 FA Cup final.
West Bromwich Albion - Chris Brunt (2007-20)
He may not have been the flashiest player in the world but Chris Brunt always gave 100% for West Bromwich Albion and he did boast a wand of a left foot. He scored 24 goals for the Baggies in 269 top flight appearances.
West Ham United - Paolo Di Canio (1999-2003)
Italian forward Paolo Di Canio lit up Upton Park when he was a West Ham United player. He had the fans on their feet with his flair and skill. Di Canio netted 47 goals for the Hammers in the top flight. That scissor kick goal against Wimbledon was iconic.
Wigan Athletic - Hugo Rodallega (2009-12)
Wigan Athletic have enjoyed some decent players over the years in the Premier League and Hugo Rodallega was arguably the best of the bunch. He is the Latic’s record goalscorer in the top flight with 24.
Wimbledon - John Fashanu (1986-94)
In the two seasons he spent with Wimbledon in the Premier League, striker John Fashanu scored 17 goals for Wimbledon and was a key member of the Crazy Gang squad that was fondly remembered by supporters.
Wolverhampton Wanderers - Ruben Neves (2017-23)
Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves was a huge coup for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship and he made the step up to the Premier League with ease. He didn’t score often but when he did they were ones to remember. He helped lead Wolves to consecutive seventh-place finishes and to the Europa League quarter-finals in 2019-20.