Top 5: Best Central Midfielders In Premier League History – Includes Manchester United Pair

Over the years the Premier League has witnessed some good players, some awful players and some downright amazing players. Many have thrilled us, but who have been the best?

Patrick Vieira

Alongside Thierry Henry, Vieira was quite possibly one of the main reasons why Arsenal witnessed one their most successful periods in history. The lanky 6ft 4 frame of the Frenchman, who would later captain the side, was one that would not be missed and his rivalry with a certain Manchester United midfielder was one of the best the premier league has ever seen. Whilst breaking up oppositions attacks was his first role, you would often see his lanky legs bombing forward, breaching midfields, assisting and even scoring himself.

No one intimidated the French international and his emergence alongside the management of Arsene Wenger was one of the biggest reasons why Arsenal were rejuvenated in that time. 279 games, three titles and four FA cups confirm that he is deserving of a place on this list.

Paul Scholes

For any United fan, seeing Paul Scholes arriving at the edge of the box is one memory that they will always keep. Xavi and Iniesta have both said that the United legend was the best player they have ever played against – a huge compliment you would agree, and his stats prove his greatness.

11 titles, three FA cups, two league cups and a Champions League medal that completes his legacy. He remained important to the United side all the way to end where he even asked to return from retirement when his side were struggling.

A one club man, he made 499 league appearances scoring 107 goals and possessed one of the most deadliest shots in the league. His passing was second to none and you would often see a cross field ball go straight to the foot of his team mate. His tackling…er never mind actually, but Scholes would rarely let the United cause down. He finally retired for the second time last season and it will be hard for United to find another player like him.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard is the only man on this list that does not possess a Premier League title to his name -but don’t judge him on that. For so many years, the captain has been the one man that Liverpool could always turn to, the one who would find that goal or would create the chance and his reward came in 2005 where on that famous night in Istanbul they overturned a 3-0 deficit to win on penalties.

He apparently nearly left and joined Chelsea and some would argue to win the Premier League title he should have left, but he remained loyal and has become the biggest legend in Liverpool’s history. So many of his 100 goals have been spectacular, none more so than his one in the 2006 FA cup final against West Ham.

Every manager will have done anything to have a player like Gerrard in their team. Injuries may have slowed him down and he may not be the same box to box player as he once was, but he will always be one of the greatest Premier League midfielders ever.

Roy Keane

There were not many players tougher than Roy Keane and its unlikely that there ever will be – he was 100% every game, always for the teams cause. He made 326 appearances scoring 33 goals for the Red Devils, but for me the game that epitomized he career was against Juventus in 1999, the second leg of the European cup, semi-final, away in Turin.

Two early Juve goals looked to end the hopes of United making the final and Keane has already earned a yellow, meaning he would miss the final. Most players would sulk and go into their shells. Not Keane. He drove United forward and he headed them back into the game and the rest as they say is history. He would never play in a final, but neither would a lot of players if it wasn’t for the Irishman.

Frank Lampard

Ask any young football fan and Frank Lampard would likely be the winner of this list. Still performing like he was 10 years ago, Lampard has quite simply become a Chelsea legend. He has the most goals for a midfielder in Premier League history and is also Chelsea’s record scorer, remarkable as you have to remember he is just a midfielder.

A manager’s dream, scoring 20 goals a season regularly and if United fans always remember Scholes at the edge of the box, Chelsea fans are still seeing it! Three Premier League titles and also a long awaited Champions League title affirms him as one of the best players the league has ever seen. Even before Chelsea’s multi million pound side, Lampard was still performing week in, week out and his form at the end of last season where he was fighting for a new contract was nothing short of majestic, cementing his place in the Premier League legacy.

Honourable mentions: Cesc Fabregas, Gary Speed, Xabi Alonso, Paul Ince, Claude Makelele