Ranked: The most likeable footballers from the Premier League's top six

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THE MOST LIKEABLE PLAYERS FROM THE PL'S TOP SIX

In the heat of the moment we're all guilty of saying something pretty horrible about the opposition, that's just part and parcel of being a football fan. There are however, a small selection of players currently competing in the Premier League that it's just impossible to dislike, regardless of who you support. Sure, you may swear at them if they stick one past your team's goalkeeper on a Saturday afternoon or completely kill your acca in the last minute of a game, but when you've calmed down you realise that they're actually just f*cking good footballers doing their jobs well.

With so much at stake at the top of this season's Premier League, there's everything to play for. Manchester City and Liverpool continue to battle it out for the title, level on points at this pivotal stage of the campaign, while Tottenham trail the duo by just five points in third. Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all vying for that all important spot in next season's Champions League and with only one point separating the three sides as things stand, it's going to be extremely interesting to see how the table finishes in three months time.

Rivalries aside though, in this article we've listed the most likeable players from the PL's current top six - one from each side. Give it a read and as always let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @FootyAccums.

SIXTH

Petr Cech - Arsenal

Arsenal shot stopper Petr Cech will go down in history as one of the greatest goalkeepers to have ever graced the Premier League. The former Chelsea man - who has made over 400 appearances in the English top-flight - revealed earlier this season that he would be retiring from the game at the end of the current campaign, and when that day is upon us it's going to be an extremely sad state of affairs.

The 36-year-old has kept an astonishing 202 clean sheets during his 14 years in England, with 24 of those coming in a single season back in 2004-05 when his performances for Chelsea helped the Blues to their first ever Premier League title win under Jose Mourinho. A horrific head injury sustained against Reading in 2006 almost put an end to Cech's career, but all it did was make him stronger as he recovered fully and went onto enjoy a career littered with success in the Premier League. Never will we see a player remembered so clearly for his choice of headwear - top player, top bloke.

Petr Cech

FIFTH

Juan Mata - Manchester United

All-round nice guy Juan Mata is one of the Premier League's most underrated footballers. Like Cech, Mata began his career in England with Chelsea and won the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League with the Blues during a hugely successful four years at Stamford Bridge. Since joining United in 2014, Mata has gone onto win the FA Cup and Europa League once more, alongside the EFL Cup in 2017.

The Spaniard has pitched in with some vital goals for the Red Devils over the years, becoming a specialist from dead ball situations. The free kicks he's scored against Newcastle and Juventus this season have been huge for United in times of real need, while his unselfish contribution to games is testament to his character on the pitch. Away from the field, Mata started 'Common Goal' in which players contribute a percentage of their salary to charity. Since it was founded in 2017, over 30 professional footballers have joined the scheme which is obviously a hugely positive thing to see within the money mad world of our beloved sport. He's also the sort of bloke that would help your nan with her shopping too, lovely fella.

Mata

FOURTH

Virgil van Dijk - Liverpool

Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk is arguably the best defender in the world right now. His rise from the SPL to the top of the Premier League has been well documented in recent seasons, with his performances for the Reds this season being one of the main reasons Liverpool currently find themselves in with a real shot of winning their first ever Premier League title. The Netherlands skipper has everything you want from a defender: pace, strength, quality with the ball at his feet, unbelievable in the air (have you ever seen him lose a header?) and at just 27, he still has a long career ahead of him.

Van Dijk is the player every rival fan wishes played for them, and the player every Liverpool fan cherishes every moment with. Should he ever leave England and sign for Real Madrid or Barcelona, there will be riots in the red side of Merseyside, but jubilation throughout the rest of England as we will no longer be forced to see our strikers completely dominated by his presence each week. One of the most annoying players to watch if your side are facing Liverpool, but an absolutely brilliant player who you can't help but admire.

Van Dijk Liverpool

THIRD

Son Heung-min - Tottenham

Tottenham's player of the season this time around, Son Heung-min, continues to light up the Premier League with his dazzling displays each week. With Harry Kane and Dele Alli both injured at the moment, reliance on the South Korean international has increased 10-fold during the previous month and it's fair to say he hasn't disappointed. With four goals in his last four matches for Spurs, the 26-year-old is one of the main reasons why Mauricio Pochettino's men still find themselves in with a chance of winning both the Premier League and Champions League.

Son has notched 16 goals and nine assist this term, making him one of the highest scoring midfielders in the whole division. He has been entrusted to play in a more centralised position up front due to Kane's injury which looks to be an extremely clever move by Pochettino. Not only is Son a fantastic footballer, but he also seems like a thoroughly nice bloke as well, making his inclusion into this list an easy decision.

Son Spurs

SECOND

N'Golo Kante - Chelsea

Where do we begin with N'Golo Kane? Unbelievably talented footballer who pulled off the unthinkable back in 2016 when he won the Premier League with Leicester City, before joining Chelsea a season later.. and winning it again. Fast forward a year and he wins the World Cup with France, madness.

A complete p*ss taker on the pitch, his energy levels are more of a superpower than a positive trait and though he has struggled with form this season due to a clueless manager playing him out of position, everybody knows that the 27-year-old is one of, if not the best holding midfielders in world football right now. On top of that, his humble nature and the fact that he does almost everything with a smile on his face massively increases his general likability as a person. Keep it up N'Golo, we can't wait until Chelsea get a new manager so that you can start getting back to your best.

N'Golo Kante Chelsea

FIRST

David Silva - Manchester City

This was a tough one, as every one of these players could well have topped our list of likeable characters. However, after taking into consideration his longevity in the Premier League, Manchester City talisman David Silva claims number one position here. The Spanish midfield maestro is one of the most gifted footballers in the world and definitely one of the best players to have ever turned out in the English top-flight over the years.

His success at City speaks for itself - three Premier League titles, three League Cup's, two Community Shield's and an FA Cup makes up the 33-year-old's résumé thus far, with it looking almost certain that he'll be adding at least one more trophy to that impressive list come the end of this season as City still find themselves in with a chance of winning the quadruple.

Silva has won Manchester City's highly coveted Player of the Month award no more than nine times in the last nine seasons, highlighting just what a key player he has been to the Sky Blues' success over the years. He is City's second longest serving current player after Vincent Kompany, scoring 54 goals in 274 appearances for the Etihad side.

Now approaching the twilight stages of a glistening career, Silva will more than likely depart Manchester upon the expiry of his current contract next summer and when that happens the Premier League will bid farewell to a true great. Unbelievable footballer, hugely likeable bloke.

David Silva Manchester City Premier League La Liga Valencia Spain
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