Jack Grealish’s list of top ten Premier League midfielders included some legends of the game – but there were also two notable omissions.
The new Manchester City star picked a couple of players from the red half of Manchester, although not enough, according to some fans.
Whether Grealish can break into similar top ten lists by the time he eventually leaves the Etihad remains to be seen, as he’ll have to surpass the achievements of some true greats to do so.
Back in the summer of 2020, BT asked Grealish to name his top ten, in ascending order. As you might expect, his selections slightly favoured players whom the 26-year-old grew up watching,
That may help explain the absence of two defining Manchester United midfielders of the later 1990s – Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.
The pair were instrumental in helping the Red Devils to dominate the first decade of the Premier League, while also playing defining roles in the club’s 1999 Champions League win.
However, their remarkable achievements seemingly weren’t enough to convince Grealish, who instead opted for the following selections.
10) David Silva: “I think he’s probably one of the best Spaniards to play in the Premier League. Out of all the shirts I’ve got at home, he’s probably one of the best. He’s so technically good, so technically gifted and his record of the number of trophies he’s won speaks for itself.”
9) Patrick Viera: “So successful in the Premier League and was in that Invincible side at Arsenal and he played a major part in that. He’s one that I wouldn’t like to be going up against when he’s at his best.
8) Gareth Bale: “I know he’s classed as a forward but when he was in the Premier League he was more of a left-back and then left midfielder.
7) Cesc Fabregas: “He’s one of a few players who have got over 100 assists in the Premier League. When he first came through at Arsenal he was one of the most talked about youngsters on the planet. When he was at Chelsea, he was more of a holder and his passing range was unbelievable.
6) Yaya Toure: “I played against Yaya on my debut for Villa. We were 2-0 down at the time and we ended up losing 4-0. I’ve got a photo of him running past me and he ran past the whole team and ended up scoring. That season he was unbelievable.”
5) Frank Lampard: “The all-time top goalscoring midfielder in the Premier League. I always ask JT (John Terry) at Villa about him to get little ideas that can improve my game that Lampard had. JT said he used to just be on the training ground every day practising his shooting which is why he probably scored so many goals.”
4) Ryan Giggs: “I think he’s got the most assists in the Premier League so that’s why he’s at No.4.”
3) Kevin De Bruyne: “My favourite player in the world at the moment. Until you play against him, you don’t realise how good he is. He just has so many talents. One thing I can say is that everything he does is different. Sometimes he’ll get it and take a few touches, sometimes he’ll get it and cross it straight away, other times he’ll just pass it off first time. People don’t give him credit for how fit and how fast he is.”
2) Steven Gerrard: “Him and JT are the two best captains in the Premier League. He scored so many banging goals and I think in the prime of his career he had everything.
1) Cristiano Ronaldo: “I know he’s gone on to be a striker but when he was in the Premier League, he was a midfielder. It’s a toss-up between him and Messi to be the best player in the world. His goal record in the Premier League was just scary.
You can watch the full BT Sport video below.