Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, some of the best midfielders ever have played in the competition.
Some of the greatest midfielders of all-time have played in the Premier League over the years, with the likes of Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard putting on a show in England’s top flight for well over a decade. The high octane and fast-tempo style of football which is the signature of the Premier League demands powerful midfielders like Patrick Vieira, Frank Lampard and Kevin De Bruyne, all of whom have won the Player of the Season award, to dictate the games. So much so that often the teams that don’t have world-class midfielders fail to challenge for any trophy, even if they have a powerful forward line.
Now here are the best premier League midfielders in 2021 ranging from the most defensive midfielders to ball distributors, playmakers or even bonafide goal scorers.
#1 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
It’s been a difficult year for Kevin De Bruyne. The Manchester City talisman may have added another Premier League winner’s medal to his impressive trophy cabinet but there have been some bumps along the way. Not least his struggles with injury. First there was the broken eye socket sustained in City’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea back in May. Then there was the ankle injury which curtailed the Belgian’s Euro 2020 campaign.
Despite these issues, the flame-haired creator remains the yardstick for midfielders. He provides the thrust for two of the best sides in the world, creating 3.5 chances every 90 minutes for City and whipping balls in for whichever false nines Pep Guardiola swivels into his system.
Nowadays, there is one man who is in a world of his own when it comes to dominating the midfield. The Premier League is his playground and he looks set to enjoy lots of success for years to come and the man is Kevin De bruyne and he deserves his place in the Ballon d’Or nominees list.
#2 Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
When Manchester United acquired Bruno Fernandes’ services from Sportng Lisbon in January of 2020, no one expected him to perform in such a brilliant fashion, despite him being a great player. Last year, Fernandes ended up being one of the transfers of the season, picking up two consecutive Player of the Month awards, even though he only joined United halfway through the season. he carried that great form into this season as well, picking up another 2 consecutive Player of the Month awards, becoming the only player ever to win 4 Player of the Month awards in a single calendar year in the Premier League.
Potentially one of the best January signings in Premier League history, Fernandes has lit up the top flight in recent months. The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder has flourished since moving to Old Trafford and has been a crucial figure for Manchester United. With over 50 goals contribution since joining the club, Fernandes is undoubtedly one of the top 3 attacking midfielders in the world at the moment and he has been nominated for the 2021 ballon d’Or.
#3 N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Kante has been one of the most consistent players in English football since joining Leicester City in 2015. Now plying his trade for Chelsea, the Frenchman is exceptional at carrying out his midfield ‘sweeper’ role in front of the back four.
The Blues midfielder has racked up solid numbers when it comes to interceptions, tackles and breaking up attacks. Kante is still clear as the Premier League’s and the world’s best defensive midfielder as he was crucial in Leicester surprise EPL title triumph in 2016, Chelsea’s EPL WIN under Antonio Conte in 2017, France’s World Cup win in 2018, as well as Chelsea’s champions league win last season under Thomas Tuchel. It’s not a surprise that both Chelsea and France tends to have a better win rate with Kante in the team. He has also been nominated for the 2021 ballon d’Or.
#4 Jorginho (Chelsea)
What a year it’s been for the Italian. He won the Champions League and Euros with Chelsea and the Azzurri respectively, playing a crucial role in the successes of club and country from the base of midfield.
At Euro 2020, Jorginho ranked second overall for both passes completed, with 529, and ball recoveries, with 42. He was utterly central to the success Roberto Mancini’s side enjoyed en route to Wembley.
He won the UEFA Men’s player of the year in August and is also a favorite for the 2021 ballon d’Or.
From being the scapegoat in his first season, Jorginho has now become the darling of Chelsea fans due to his impressive performances for Chelsea this season under Thomas Tuchel.
Jorginho is now seen as one of the best midfielder in the Premier League thanks to his hardwork and form.
#5 Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Pogba is a unique talent with a rare blend of skill, strength and speed gives him an edge over his peers.
The Manchester United star has struggled with injury problems and consistency in recent times but he is undoubtedly one of the most gifted players in the Premier League when fully fit and on form.
The Pogba-Fernandes partnership is thriving and the Old Trafford faithful are dreaming of Premier League glory. With the Frenchman firing on all cylinders, the Red Devils could be challenging at the top of the table. He has already registered a league high seven (7) assists this season after 7 games and the club will hope he stays fit for the entire 2021/22 campaign.
#6 Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
For a long time after swapping Borussia Dortmund for the Premier League in 2016, Ilkay Gundogan was a man who drifted in and out of the starting XI for club and country. Last season, that all changed.
Seventeen goals in all competitions, including 13 in the Premier League, amounted to a breakout campaign for the Manchester City man, and owed much to Gundogan’s improved movement and composure in the penalty area. He also became the first name on the team sheet for his national side, and will be hoping to lead Germany to the World Cup next summer.
Gundogan has always been a classy playmaker and remains so, but he has added a goalscoring element to his game and has taken him to new heights
#7 Jack Grealish (Manchester City)
Jack Grealish is undoubtedly the most sought-after English player in the past couple of years before his eventual move to Manchester City.
A highly technical player and one of the best dribblers in the league, Jack Grealish likes to play on the left flank where he can utilize those skills to create numerous chances for players like Ollie Watkins. Grealish can also play a more central role behind the strikers. He has the third most number of chances created while having significantly less game time due to injuries than Mount and Fernandes who are above him last season. He is also the most fouled player in the 2020/21 league season (110) for the second season in a row.
Grealish finished the season as one of the best Premier League midfielders of 2020-21 season and was subsequently nominated for the Player of the Season award before moving to City in a British record £100m deal.
#8 Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Ndidi has been a revelation for Leicester City this season, really coming into his own under Brendan Rodgers. The Foxes failed in their hunt to qualify for the Champions League last season but they still had a successful season with a place in the Europa league and a FA Cup trophy and it is right to say Ndidi has been central to their success over the last eighteen months.
His performances have earned plaudits from some of Europe’s top clubs and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Ndidi chased by some top European clubs.
He is never going to be a box-to-box midfielder but Ndidi is excellent in his current role. At age 24, Ndidi has time on his side and a successful career looks likely.
#9 Tomas Soucek (West Ham United)
West Ham United have done pretty well in the Premier League this season under David Moyes.
Last season, The Hammers were in the reckoning for the Champions League before their form tailed off. Nevertheless, they still qualified for the Europa League 2021/22 season, which turned out to be a massive achievement for them.
While players like Declan Rice, Jesse Lingard, and Michail Antonio have got much appreciation, let’s not forget how wonderful Tomas Soucek has been for the London club.
The Czech Republic midfielder was signed from Slavia Prague by the Hammers in the 2019-20 winter transfer window. It is safe to say that Soucek has turned out to be a key player for West Ham in the Premier League.
Soucek is generally known to be a defensive midfielder, but last season the Czech Republic international has shown his prowess as a box-to-box midfield personnel as well. He scored ten goals from midfield, making him the first Czech player to score ten goals in a Premier League season. His aerial and defensive abilities have been beneficial for the team, while his partnership with Declan Rice has also been key for the Hammers.
#10 Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Graham Potter and his team have started the 2021/22 season in fine form and the importance of Yves Bissouma cannot be underrated . The 25-year old Malian midfielder has consistently done well for Brighton in the Premier League in the past two seasons.
Bissouma is an aggressive player and loves to go into tackles. He has also developed into one of the best tacklers in the Premier League. Bissouma is heavily involved in recovering the ball for his team and also possesses the flair and agility to break and kick-start attacks. His defensive abilities have been of immense help. Had he been playing for a bigger club, he would have received more appreciation than what he’s getting now.
Bissouma, with his exploits this season, is likely ready for a bigger challenge. He has been an integral part of Brighton, but the former Lille midfielder is already attracting interest from top Premier League club.
The 2021/22 season holds a lot of promise after gameweek 7 and we hope to see more midfielders thrive with the likes of Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Ruben Neves, James Wardprowse and so on all doing well for their respective teams.