The 100 Greatest Premier League Players -Part 2 (90-81)

  1.  Jürgen Klinsmann

PL appearances / goals (56 / 30)

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Perhaps the player with the shortest Premier League playing tenure on this list, Klinsmann was a somewhat surprising signing for Tottenham Hotspur in 1994. Having played a part in England’s demise at the 1990 World Cup with West Germany, Klinsmann’s arrival attracted a fair amount of criticism from the press and fans alike. 21 goals in his only full season with the club secured the 1995 Football Writer’s Player of the Year award. He returned to White Hart Lane for a second stint during the 97-98 season and helped the club avoid relegation before retiring. 150,000 shirt sales during these spells ensured that he would be written into Spurs’ folklore forever.

  1. Tim Cahill

PL appearances / goals (226 / 56)

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One of David Moyes’ greatest signings for Everton came at a price of just £1.5million from Millwall in 2004. The Australian became a fan favourite at Goodison Park during his eight year spell at the club not least for his tenacity and work ethic as a box-to-box midfielder. Known for his enormous leaps and bullet headers in the penalty area, Cahill was often utilised as a centre forward where he achieved great success. ‘Tiny Tim’, as he affectionately became known on Merseyside, was a regular contributor of goals during a stable and successful period for Everton where they consistently finished in the top eight.

  1. Branislav Ivanovic

PL appearances / goals* (240 / 22) PL titles 2

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Surely one of the greatest modern day fullbacks is the Serbian signed by Chelsea from Lokomotiv Moscow, Branislav Ivanovic. A steely and imposing character, Ivanovic has become one of the most feared defenders in the Premier League. Whilst he is normally deployed at right back in his preferred position, Ivanovic has also been utilised as a centre-back and in times of need as a centre forward. His attacking mentality and persistence of getting forward have resulted in him scoring a notable amount of goals and claiming several assists in the process too. 2010 saw Ivanovic receive his first Premier League winners medal under Carlo Ancelotti and in 2014-15 he played in every game under Jose Mourinho as Chelsea romped to their fourth success in 11 years.

  1. Denis Irwin

PL appearances / goals (328 / 18) PL titles 7

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Rated by Sir Alex Ferguson as his ‘pound for pound’ greatest signing as a manager, Irwin enjoyed seven title triumphs at Old Trafford in a period where the red of Manchester dominated English football. During his spell at United there were many star names who would preoccupy the back pages but Irwin, who could play on either flank, remained a cog in the successful machine. A clinical and ruthless penalty taker, Irwin would have perhaps added to his tally of eighteen premier league goals were it not for teammate Eric Cantona being a spot kick specialist as well.

  1. Gary Pallister

PL appearances / goals (261 / 9) PL titles 4

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A towering yet pacey centre-back, Pallister was a cornerstone in the Manchester United side that won the premier league on four occasions out of the first six campaigns. Pallister arguably formed the club’s greatest ever centre back partnership alongside Steve Bruce as the pairs style’s complemented each other perfectly during those successful years.  A 1992 Player’s Player of the Year award was followed by four selections in the PFA Team of the Year.

  1. Dion Dublin

PL appearances / goals (312 / 111) PL titles 1

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Having had limited chances to impress as part of Manchester United’s two-time winning premier league side in the early 90s, Dublin was sold to Coventry City where he became a club icon. The Leicester born centre forward scored countless goals for The Sky Blues which helped them to their highest Premier League finish of eleventh and resulted in Dublin becoming the joint top scorer for that season with 18 premier league goals. Dublin was sold for £5.75million in 1998 to Aston Villa, where he continued his impressive goal scoring form.  Despite playing for mid-table or relegation threatened teams for the most part of his Premier League career, Dublin’s ability and consistency elevated him well into the top twenty on the list of all time Premier League goal scorers.

  1. Michael Essien

PL appearances / goals (168 / 17) PL titles 2

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Essien was a hardworking and versatile midfielder who is remembered for scoring some spectacular goals during his time at Stamford Bridge. The athletic Ghanaian international was a first team regular who epitomised Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge of Chelsea. Essien was voted as The Blues Player of the Year in 2007 but resulting injuries limited his appearances in the years that followed. Nevertheless, Essien was a key player for Chelsea who could have perhaps contributed much more were it not for him being regularly side-lined.

  1. Patrice Evra

PL appearances / goals (273 / 7) PL titles 5

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Arguably Manchester United’s greatest ever January window signing, Patrice Evra enjoyed eight years at Old Trafford during one of the club’s most successful periods. A near ever-present dependable full back, Evra was also a charismatic leader on the pitch. The former Monaco man was seen by many Manchester United fans as the club’s long term replacement for Denis Irwin following the spells of Silvestre and Heinze. Notably during United’s title win of 2012/13, Evra earned a reputation as a threat from corners scoring three goals in thirteen games, this despite his relatively short height for a defender of 5ft9.

  1. Shay Given

PL appearances / clean sheets* (442 / 116)

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An agile goalkeeper whose cat-like reflexes made him a fan favourite during his twelve year stay on Tyneside. Shay Given more than made up for his relative lack of height with his shot-stopping ability. Given was twice voted as the best goalkeeper in the premier league whilst he was between the sticks at Newcastle. The club’s decision to allow such an outstanding goalkeeper to move to Manchester City in January 2009 proved to be costly, as the club were relegated by a single point on the last day of the season.

  1. Damien Duff

PL appearances / goals (392 / 54) PL titles 2

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Duff was signed by Claudio Ranieri in 2003 for Chelsea in what would become the dawn of a new era of spending for the future Premier League giants. Having impressed at Blackburn Rovers for a number of seasons, the Irish winger moved to Stamford Bridge for a sizeable £17million fee. In the earlier part of his career Duff was known for his lightening pace and ability to beat his man more often than not down the left-hand side. As his career progressed Duff became a leader, especially at Fulham, where he helped them to a Europa League final in 2010.

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