In the wake of the first two inductees to the Premier League Hall of Fame being announced (Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer), we at WD Sportz have gathered together who our choices would have been for the prestigious honour.
Five writers were consulted on their choices, with just two rules in place. Firstly, the player has to be currently retired. Secondly, despite Henry and Shearer being the league’s picks, they did not have to feature on our lists.
And with that we’re going to run through those who got at least three votes. The remaining names will feature in a tier list at the end of the article.
Roy Keane – Manchester United/Nottingham Forest. 3/5 Votes
The man who walked the line between leader and loose cannon, Roy Keane is amongst the best midfielders the English game has ever seen.
Despite starting his Premier League career at Nottingham Forest, it was at Man United he became a legend.
United’s captain for over half a decade, Keane was a tough man but, he was also so much more. Effortlessly brilliant and in many ways overly humble when looking back on his own career. Keane once remarked that he was “very lucky to play with such good players in his career”.
His rivalry with Patrick Vieira defined a generation, whilst also epitomising the blood feud that was Arsenal/Man United at the time.
The player with the joint fourth most Premier League medals (with countryman Dennis Irwin), Keane perhaps deserves greater recognition.
Paul Scholes – Manchester United. 3/5 Votes
Paul Scholes was a player’s player, he was the sort of midfielder who the worlds best would want alongside them. He is arguably the best passer of the ball to ever grace a Premier League field and this was coupled with how easy he made each pass look.
A staple of Manchester United’s winning years, Scholes would find himself tasting Premier League glory again, and again.
In comparison to fellow countryman Gerrard and Lampard, Scholes may not have goals on his side. However, he has more major honours at club level than the pair combined, with eleven of those being Premier League titles.
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United/Everton. 3/5 Votes
Wayne Rooney is quite possibly the single most under-appreciated player in Premier League history. Whilst, everyone knows how good he was, there is a regular theme of downplaying his accomplishments.
Second in all time top goal-scorers, third in assists with 208 and 103 respectively, Rooney was a demon sent from the depths of Merseyside to haunt Premier League defenders.
A player with a chip on his shoulder and an equally big point to prove, Rooney was the perfect player whose only real fault was being too selfless. Often dropping back into the midfield or wings to his own goal tally’s detriment it was a decision made in contrast to other strikers throughout the years. However, there can be no denying that Rooney is absolutely deserving of his place amongst the best.
Also, his five Premier League medals are a feat only managed by one player to never play for United.
Alan Shearer – Blackburn/Newcastle. 4/5 Votes
Alan Shearer may be his birth name but, in Newcastle he is known by another title… God.
A Tyneside lad who at the height of his footballing prowess said no to the dominant Manchester United side to instead go home to Newcastle. It may well be the fairytale story but, unfortunately it never yielded the success of trophies.
Instead, Shearer’s one Premier League title would come at Blackburn, where his 34 goals in 42 matches saw the Rovers to their one and only league title.
However, far more important than his one title is Shearer’s position as the Premier League’s all time top-scorer. 260 goals marks Shearer above all other contenders at the top of the charts, with an impressive 227 of these coming from within the box.
Frank Lampard – Chelsea/West Ham/Manchester City. 4/5 Votes
177 goals and 102 assists from midfield, need I go on?
Frank Lampard may have been born into West Ham with his father and uncle both playing for the side, but he was made at Chelsea.
Lampard at times was not only the best midfielder in the Premier League but, the whole of the footballing world. He was a fiery mix of pure grit, determination and ability. A player who every team in the world took notice of when he was playing.
Since departing Chelsea as a player in 2014 the Blues are yet to replace him, something they may never manage, as there will never be another Frank Lampard.
Thierry Henry – Arsenal. 4/5 Votes
Thierry Henry, is the man who got a generation into football. Black gloves and long sleeves were his uniform of choice and goals was his occupation.
Henry was class on grass, with an unbelievably stacked amount of skills at his arsenal. The man with the best goals per games ratio in the Premier League*, would have defenders and goalkeepers at his mercy.
He may not have been the first big foreign export into the Prem, but he was one of the most influential. The jewel in the crown of Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles, and the man who made football fun in the mid 2000’s.
*Players with at least 100 Premier League goals.
Steven Gerrard – Liverpool. 5/5 Votes
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool captain and European conqueror. For almost two decades he was the pride of Merseyside as he led the team into war after, war.
Whilst there is the undeniable blemish on Gerrard’s career that he never won a Premier League, as an individual he excelled in the competition. With eight entries into the Premier League’s Team of the Year he has received this honour more than any other in the competitions history.
His infamous slip against Chelsea may still linger in the minds of so many Premier League fans but, that should do nothing to take away from his accomplishments.
The leader on the pitch in that night in Istanbul, it’s nothing short of a tragedy that Liverpool’s greatest ever player never received a Premier League winners medal to go alongside his Champions League honour.
John Terry – Chelsea. 5/5 Votes
There is something perfectly poetic about after all of Chelsea’s millions spent, it was a player who came through their youth academy that will be remembered forever.
John Terry was more than your run-of-the-mill captain, he was the sort of player who got the best out of his teammates and then some. A player who lived and breathed Chelsea football club.
Terry was a four time PFA Team of the Year player and also has five winners medals to his name, amongst a sea of other major honours.
A player who comes along once in a lifetime, he would score forty-one league goals in his tenure, despite being a centre-back ranking him in the top 160 goalscorers in Premier League history.
His off the pitch antics may well loom over him like a cloud, but his performances on the pitch were equally thunderous.
You can find the remaining 14 players who received one or two votes from our writers below.
What did you think of our selections? Who would your first inductees be?
*Cover Photo courtesy of the Premier League.