The Premier League has been the biggest attraction for the world’s biggest names. With the tough competition available in the Premier League, midfielders always see it as the pinnacle of European football. Over the years, the league has been graced by some great midfield magicians.
Legendary Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is one of the most underrated players of all time in Premier League history. The Englishman spent 12 glorious years at Old Trafford and was a solid force in the midfield for the Red Devils. During his time at United, he enjoyed five Premier League title triumphs and one Champions League win. As a United player, Carrick made 316 Premier League appearances before retiring in 2018. In addition to Manchester United, he also played for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
Abramovich’s era at Stamford Bridge saw a drastic change in Chelsea‘s history, and his first recruitment was Claude Makélélé, who became one of the biggest stars at the club. His first year at the club was not smooth sailing, but after Jose Mourinho came to the club in 2004, his game took off. During Mourinho’s tenure as manager, Makélélé was an irreplaceable force and helped his team win the 2004–05 Premier League. Makélélé played five seasons for Chelsea before joining Paris Saint-Germain.
He also lived up to expectations and was an integral part of Gunner’s back in the mid-2000s. Cesc Fabregas then returned to the Premier League in 2014 after Jose Mourinho lured him to Chelsea. At Chelsea, he helped the team win two Premier League titles. Fabregas has No. 2 on the list of most assists in PL history, a stat that further underlines his class.
A cult figure at Manchester City, Yaya Toure is perhaps the club’s first legend post-City Football Group takeover. After a controversial feud with Pep Guardiola at FC Barcelona, the Ivory Coast midfielder moved to the Etihad in 2010. He had a point to prove, and Toure turned into a beast on the blue side of Manchester. Throughout his career with the club, he scored 59 goals in 230 appearances. The best season of his career came in 2013/14 when he scored 20 goals.
The resurgence of Manchester United under Alex Ferguson would not have been possible without Roy Keane. The Irish midfielder changed the fortunes of the club after arriving in 1993. He was known for his ruthlessness in the midfield, and his rivalry with Patrick Viera is among the most iconic in Premier League history. Keane won seven Premier League titles with Manchester United and one Champions League title. He has now shifted his career to coaching and is also seen as a football pundit on TV shows.
Younger Premier League fans may recognize Patrick Vieira as Crystal Palace‘s manager, but most Premier League fans remember Viera as one of Arsenal’s greatest midfielders ever. Viera is a big name in Arsenal’s history, and his attributes as a midfielder are textbook examples of perfection. During his tenure with the Gunners, the Frenchman made 279 appearances, including an ‘Invincible’ Premier League title in 2003/04.
There is no Premier League title to display Steven Gerrard’s name, but he will forever be remembered as one of the best midfielders of all time. Throughout his career, Gerrard made 504 appearances for Liverpool. In addition to his passing ability, Gerrard was a goalscorer as well. Over the course of his career at the club, he scored 120 goals. Despite his 17-year tenure at the club, he never won the Premier League, which remains his only disappointment.
In the long-running debate over who is the greatest among Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Paul Scholes, the Chelsea legend always edges out the others when it comes to goalscoring. In spite of being a midfielder, Lampard had a deadly goal-scoring record. His goal tally reached double digits 10 times in the Premier League, which is way more than some of the biggest strikers in the world. He scored a total of 147 goals for Chelsea. Interestingly, he also plied his trade for Manchester City in the 2014/15 season, where he banged six goals.