Outsiders Who the Premier League Hall of Fame Won't Consider But We Will

Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka is the first player who we’re putting forward for the Premier Hall of Fame. The 42-year-old Frenchman totalled 13 years in the Premier League, winning it with both Arsenal in his first spell in the league in the 1997/98 season, as well as in the 2009/10 campaign with Chelsea. Anelka also won the Golden Boot with 19 goals for Chelsea in the season prior to his title win at Stamford Bridge.

Anelka is 16th on the all-time Premier League goalscoring books, scoring 125 times, two more than the likes of Dwight Yorke, having played for clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool (on loan), Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion along the way.

Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy is perhaps the epitome of a football fairy-tale, having fought his way through non-league with the likes of Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before joining Leicester City in the Championship. But he didn’t just complete the feat of making it to a club that made it to the Premier League, he managed to complete the story when he won it in the 2015/16 season with the Foxes.

In 2015/16 he finished as Premier League Player of the Season, as his 24 goals in 36 appearances inspired Claudio Ranieri’s to a stunning title win against all the odds. In the same campaign, he also managed to beat Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record of scoring in 10 consecutive league matches in a row, as he scored the opening goal of Leicester’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

Vardy is currently 19th on the all-time Premier League goalscorers list with 116 goals, despite playing just seven full seasons in England’s top flight.

James Milner

Another player who has been highly underappreciated throughout his career is James Milner. The 35-year-old has played 568 times in the Premier League, since making his debut for Leeds United back in the 2002/03 season at the age of 16 years and 309 days, the second youngest of all time.

Milner has played for several clubs in the Premier League such as Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool, winning the division title on three separate occasions in 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2019/20.

Joe Hart

Joe Hart is in a similar position to Milner, having played in the Premier League for over a decade, but remains heavily underappreciated.

At Manchester City, Hart made 266 appearances as the club transitioned from the “Noisy Neighbours” to Premier League giants, helping the Citizens win titles in 2011/12 and 2013/14. An achievement that often gets overlooked when Hart is discussed are the four Golden Gloves that he received in five seasons between 2010 and 2015, which is only matched by Petr Cech who earned his with both Chelsea and Arsenal.

David Silva

By many supporters of City, David Silva is regarded as being on similar levels to Colin Bell who is regarded by many as the Citizens greatest ever player.

The 35-year-old Spaniard was a major influence in City’s turn of fortunes, as prior to their league title win in 2012, they hadn’t won a top-flight title since 1968. Silva joined City from Valencia in the summer of 2010 and helped them qualify for the Champions League in his first season, before playing a vital part in what would be one of his four Premier League title wins the next season before departing last summer.

Silva finished his time at the Etihad Stadium with 60 goals and 93 assists to his name in the Premier League, leaving as the sixth top assist maker in the division’s history.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah will be regarded as a premature addition, as the Egyptian winger is still in the peak of his powers at the age of 28, however, the Egyptian looks set to earn himself the Premier League Golden Boot for a third time having done so in 2017/18 and 2018/19. This time around Salah has scored 22 goals in 35 appearances despite the Anfield club having an under-par performance in the league this season.

The former Chelsea man was influential in Liverpool ending their 31-year wait without a league title last campaign, as he found the back of the net 19 times. The 28-year-old also holds the Premier League record of most goals scored in a league season with 32 in his first campaign with the Reds in 2017/18, following his move from AS Roma.

Edwin van der Sar

In terms of goalkeepers, they don’t come much better than Edwin van der Sar, with some considering the Dutchman as the greatest in the Premier League era, whilst others hold Peter Schmeichel and Petr Cech in higher regard.

The Dutch shot-stopper actually started life in the Premier League at Fulham between 2001 and 2005 following a short spell at Italian giants Juventus and impressed so much at Craven Cottage that Sir Alex Ferguson opted to sign the Dutchman for £2m.

Van Der Sar would go on to win four Premier League titles with United, as well as earning the Golden Glove in the 2008/09 season. During his time at Old Trafford, the Dutchman went 1,311 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal in the 2008/09 campaign, a world record in a top-flight league, beating José María Buljubasich’s record of 1,289 in 2005 in the Chilean Clausura for Club Deportivo Universidad Católica.

David Seaman

Another goalkeeper who is in a similar position to van Der Sar is former Arsenal and Manchester City goalkeeper David Seaman, who played in the Premier League from 1992 to 2004.

Seaman won two Premier League titles in his time with Arsenal, in 1997/98 and 2001/02. The 57-year-old currently has the fourth most clean sheets in Premier League history, keeping 141.

Arsenal finished the 1998/99 campaign a single point behind Premier League champions and treble winners Manchester United, but, Seaman and the Arsenal defence will still question to this day how that happened, considering the fact that they conceded just 17 times in 38 league matches.

Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry also features in this list alongside former Aston Villa and City teammate Milner. Barry has many similarities with Milner, as he was a hard-working midfielder who perhaps never received the praise and credit that he deserved in his career.

The 40-year-old is the all-time record holder in terms of Premier League appearances with 680 to his name over a 20-year period in the English top-flight, playing for the likes of Villa, City, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, which in itself is a testament to his commitment and professionalism.

Barry only managed to win one league title in his career, which came with City in 2011/12 and totalled 53 goals and 64 assists which is a good record for a deep-lying playmaker.

Robert Huth

The final player on this list may surprise a few, but, hear me out. Robert Huth made 322 Premier League appearances in his 17-year career and actually has three winners’ medals, having been involved with Chelsea in both the 2004/05 and 2005/06 campaigns, as well as with Leicester City in 2015/16.

Huth made 23 appearances with Chelsea over the course of those two title-winning seasons but, is a prime example of why you should never give up. Having left Stamford Bridge for Middlesbrough, before leaving to join Stoke City and eventually Leicester City, the 36-year-old German probably thought his chances of winning a Premier League title were over.

It had been 10 years at the start of the 2015/16 season since he had won his first league title, but, former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri’s arrival changed everything at Leicester in the summer of 2015, as Huth played an integral role in the Foxes powering through to win the league title, forming a good centre-back partnership with Wes Morgan, whilst the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Ngolo Kante protected the back four.

The former Stoke City man had some clutch moments in the campaign, scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 away win against Tottenham in January 2016, the team who would subsequently finish as runners-up, as well as scoring a vital brace in Leicester’s 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium against City, a game which seemingly gave the Foxes the belief that the Premier League title was theirs to lose.

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