With such a plethora of midfield talent gracing the Premier League since its inception in 1992 picking the five best players from that position is a difficult task, like deciding on which Pussycat Doll you’d pick first or which member of One Direction you’d slap first.
The difficulty of the task is underlined by the fact that Paul Scholes, roundly and rightly considered one of the best players of his era, does not earn a spot in the Ladbrokes News top five.
Scholes, like Frank Lampard and Cristiano Ronaldo, can consider themselves unlucky not to have made the grade, but if they didn’t then who did? Read on to find out.
5 – David Beckham – Manchester United
While now he is known more for his ability to sell pants, sunglasses, soft drinks and just about everything else it was Beckham’s ability on the pitch that afforded him such opportunities.
A winner of six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League the gifted right winger was named in the Team of the Year four years in a row between 1997 and 2000.
While he made his talent look god given countless managers have pointed to hard work and dedication as what stood Becks apart from his peers.
4 – Roy Keane – Nottingham Forest, Manchester United
Seven-time Premier League winner Keane was certainly someone you’d rather play with than against but while his reputation as midfield enforcer was hard-earned he was also blessed with ridiculous ability.
A born leader, the high standards he set himself and his team-mates ensured a period of dominance at Old Trafford that has been lacking since his departure.
He stayed at the top of his game for a decade as evidenced by his five Team of the Year appearances between 1993 and 2003.
3 – Ryan Giggs – Manchester United
While Keane dominated for 10 years or so no one can rival Giggs for longevity. Honours don’t always mean individual talent but Giggs’ unprecedented 13 Premier League titles and six Team of the Year nods between 1993 and 2009 highlight his dedication and ability.
His most famous moment may have occurred in an FA Cup match, but the Welsh wizard’s league career saw him break records with almost the same ease as he flew past defenders.
The word legend is thrown around too easily these days but at Old Trafford no word is more apt for Giggs.
2 –Patrick Vieira – Arsenal, Manchester City
Proving that trophies don’t make a player Vieira, whose three league titles and five FA Cups barely dent Giggs’ achievements, was about as complete a midfield player as English football has ever seen.
For those too young to remember, think Yaya Toure but more imposing in defence, equally adept at finding the back of the net and less likely to cry about a missed birthday.
A Team of the Year rep six times between 1999 and 2004 Vieira captained the famous Invincibles side that won the league without a single defeat.
1 – Steven Gerrard – Liverpool
He looks destined to go down as the greatest player never to win the Premier League but Steven Gerrard is the epitome of an all-action, box-to-box, never-say-die, in-times-of-trouble-you-can-count-on-me midfielder.
Gerrard could have won the league with any of the other top clubs but ultimately chose to stick by his hometown side after lifting the Champions League.
The number of times he single-handedly pushed the Reds to victory highlights his passion and desire and while Liverpool are yet to land the Premier League title the success they have enjoyed simply couldn’t have happened without Mr Liverpool – Stevie G.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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