EPL’s team of the decade

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 20:12 | By

  Man City and Chelsea claim eight starting XI places between them but who else makes the cut?

London, Wednesday

After the end of the decade, we take a look at some of the best players of the last 10 years in the English Premier League.

Having shared seven titles between them it’s no surprise that Chelsea and Manchester City players dominate the team of the decade.

But who makes up the remaining places? 

David de Gea (Man United)

It has been far from a vintage decade for Manchester United, but there is little doubt that their goalkeeper since 2011 has been the best in the Premier League.

Signed as the long-term replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar at just 20 years old, De Gea has filled those shoes comfortably in eight years at Old Trafford.

Pablo Zabaleta (Man City)

One of Manchester City’s final signings before the Abu Dhabi money flooded in in 2008, Zabaleta became a model of consistency.

Flying down the right-hand side of the pitch, the Argentine became a regular feature of City’s play under Roberto Mancini and then Manuel Pellegrini.

Vincent Kompany (Man City)

With four title wins in seven years, Manchester City may well come to have defined the last decade. And if one player sums up their stranglehold of English football in this period, it’s Kompany.

In 2011-12 he took over the captaincy from Carlos Tevez and became their leader both on and off the pitch for years to come.

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Rarely has one footballer transformed a team so much as Van Dijk has Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were an exciting outfit, thrilling in attack but brittle at the back and prone to hemorrhaging goals until Liverpool smashed the world record for a defender and paid Southampton £75 million (Sh10 billion) for Van Dijk.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Few had heard of the Spanish defender, now affectionately known as Dave by his team-mates, when Chelsea paid Marseille £7 million (Sh944 million) for him in August 2012.

It was a low-key proved an absolute bargain as Azpilicueta became a mainstay of Chelsea sides that have constantly transformed over the decade, winning two EPL title at Stamford Bridge.

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

The Belgian had excelled in two seasons in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, but it was still seen as a huge gamble by City to spend £55 million on a midfielder who had already failed in the Premier League.

But where he lacked opportunity at Stamford Bridge, he became the fulcrum of arguably the greatest side in Premier League history.

N’Golo Kante (Leicester & Chelsea)

Nobody batted an eyelid when Leicester paid French side Caen £5 million for an unknown defensive midfielder in 2015.

It was a masterstroke of a signing by their transfer guru Steve Walsh, who had spotted that no player won the ball back more in Europe than Kante the previous season.

Yaya Toure (Man City)

Toure was a deep-lying midfielder who occasionally filled in in central defence when at Barcelona.

But then Manchester City came calling and transformed the Ivorian powerhouse into an elite-level attacking midfielder, who could combine both brawn and brains.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

The Belgian made an immediate impression at Stamford Bridge with assists galore in the opening weeks of the 2012-13 season, but it’s his longevity that really stands out.

Hazard won two league titles, and individual awards followed him around like confetti.

Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Responsible for the moment of the Premier League decade. That alone could get him in the team, but there is far more to Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero than the one goal that may yet come to define his career.

Eight-and-a-half seasons the Premier League has seen him become the best in the world. 

Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

We only saw three seasons of Bale in the Premier League last decade. But it was enough for him win two Player of the Year awards, a world-record move to Real Madrid and a spot in this list.                                     -Dailymail

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