The premier league – known to many as the fastest league in the world; not just because of the speed of football, but because of the individual pace of the players. It’s always interesting to know who the quickest of the bunch really are – so we’ve come up with a list of the fastest speedsters in the league. To add a bit of fun, we’ve based the list on the provisional player stats gathered from the upcoming release of FIFA 17 – the most popular football video game.
Do you agree with FIFA’s pace ratings? Who would you pick as your number one? Spoiler alert, Per Mertesacker didn’t make the cut – shocking eh?
10. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
The Arsenal man has been awarded a fairly generous pace rating. There’s no question about Sanchez’s quick turn of pace and acceleration to burst past defenders, but when it comes to actual sprint speed – he’s not exactly the quickest. Sanchez tends to rely on his skill with the ball and positional awareness than simply beating players for pace.
9. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
Aguero is regarded by many as the best striker in the Premier League and considering his incredible goal-scoring record (when he’s actually fit), it’s hard to say otherwise. The Argentinian frontman is agile, nimble, and quick in his movements, both on and off the ball. Combine this with a deadly finish and yeah, you’ve got a world-class striker.
8. Yannick Bolasie - Everton
Bolasie may well be one of, if not the most, skilful players in the league – which is why EA have awarded him with a 5* skill rating on FIFA (5 being the highest you can get). It’s not only flair that the winger possesses though; he also has a lot of strength and speed – making Bolasie one of the most powerful wingers around. His recent £30m move to Everton came as a shock to many, but there’s no denying this man’s talent.
7. Willian – Chelsea
Willian was probably Chelsea’s only bright-spark of a pretty woeful season. His goals (including six free-kicks), assists and overall work-rate helped carry Chelsea at times. Like many of his Brazilian counterparts, Willian is graced with searing pace and trickery, though he also possesses incredibly stamina, which allows him to bomb up and down the flanks for the entire duration of the game. His ability to dribble and shift past players makes Willian a strong attacking asset, and one of the best wingers in the league.
6. Marcus Rashford – Manchester United
The English youngster has quickly established himself as a hero of Old Trafford and his rise through the ranks was probably the only decent thing the Red Devil’s could take out of last season. His selection for the Euros was worthy, for sure… although Hodgson failed to utilise him properly – one of the many decisions that left England fans scratching their heads/pulling their hair out. Rashford is a very quick player, as he’s shown in his performances for United and England – he has the ability to burst past players and get himself into goal scoring positions. An exceptional talent that certainly offers more pace than his team-mate Zlatan Ibrahmovic.
5. Eden Hazard – Chelsea
The Belgian winger had a season to forget last campaign, but his recent performances in the opening games of this season seem to suggest that Hazard is getting back to his best – much to the delight of Chelsea fans. On his day, Hazard is unplayable. His low centre of gravity and ability to manoeuvre and manipulate the ball away from defenders make him an absolute nightmare opponent for fullbacks. His ability with the ball is well complimented by his blistering pace, both in terms of acceleration and sprint speed.
4. Anthony Martial
The 50m Frenchman didn’t take long to adapt to the English game and made quite an impression in his first season at Old Trafford. Martial is tipped by many to be the next Thierry Henry, and with his ability it’s not hard to see why. His stature, strength, speed and tendency to cut inside from the left and bend finishes into the far corner are all very Henry esc. EA have given Martial a +10 pace upgrade from his stats last season – and rightly so; he’s without question one of the quickest players in the league.
3. Raheem Sterling
Sterling, another young talent that had a hefty 50m price tag slapped upon him. The City winger showed glimpses of his ability during last season but he had a shocking Euros with England. He’s looked more himself in the opening games this campaign though, and maybe under the guidance of Pep Guardiola he can start to fulfil his potential. Sterling has blistering pace and quick feet that allow him to leave defenders for dead – once he’s past you, there’s no catching him.
2. Ahmed Musa
Interestingly, it’s Leicester City new boy Ahmed Musa that takes number 2 in FIFA’s fastest players in the Premier League rankings. The Nigerian striker scored 17 goals in 40 appearances for CSKA Moscow, making him a certified threat in front of goal. If you watch him play though, it’s his speed that makes him so deadly going forward. Built like an athlete, Musa has both the physical and technical ability to suit the Premier League and more so, Leicester’s quick counter-attacking style of play. Jamie Vardy might find himself finishing second in the sprints at training now. Surprisingly, Vardy doesn’t make the top 10 – which isn’t right if you ask me.
1. Hector Bellerin
It’s official; Hector Bellerin is the fastest player in the Premier League. Well, according to the new FIFA ratings. There’s no denying, this kid is rapid. He rarely ever gets beaten for pace at right-back, which makes him one, if not the best full-back in the league. He’s been constantly linked with a move to Barcelona, so he must be doing something right. The young Spaniard has apparently beaten Theo Walcott’s 100m-sprint speed record at Arsenal however real life data suggest that his top recorded speed (34.74kmph) doesn’t better that of Kyle Walker (35.09kmph) or Jamie Vardy (35.44kmph). Maybe EA didn’t do their homework on this one.
Talksport recently released an article on the Fastest Footballers in the Premier League according to 2015/16 data – there’s certainly a difference in judgement.