banner

Premier League’s iconic player of the decade: Who is yours?


Footballer's shadow

Pick your most iconic player of the decade in English football

Team of the decade – tick. The most iconic moment in English football between 2010 and 2019 – tick. The key stats from 2010-2019 – tick.

Now it’s time to pick your iconic player of the decade in England. We’re not necessarily looking for the best player, but the individual who has had the biggest impact on the Premier League and club cup competitions over the decade.

With the help of BBC Sport journalists – including chief football writer Phil McNulty, BBC Radio 5 Live football reporter Ian Dennis and Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray – we’ve created a shortlist of 15, but it was a tough decision and players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Luis Suarez, and Philippe Coutinho among those missing out.

We have only considered players who played in the Premier League for at least four seasons in this decade – and anything that happened before January 2010 does not count.

Have a read through and pick your favourite at the bottom of the page. The result will be revealed on the BBC Sport website and app on Monday, 23 December.

All stats are from 1 January, 2010 onward in the Premier League.

1. Sergio Aguero

(251 appearances; 173 goals; 45 assists)

<!–

Sergio Aguero scored twice in a 30-minute cameo on his Manchester City debut against Swansea

The best finisher in Premier League history? He’s certainly up there.

Sergio Aguero sits sixth in the all-time Premier League top goalscorers list with 173 goals. The Argentina forward has scored 20 or more goals in the past five seasons and has comfortably become Manchester City’s record scorer.

Oh, and he has also given us one of the most memorable moments in top-flight history with his title-winning goal against QPR in 2012. Aguerooooooo!

2. David de Gea

(292 appearances; 102 clean sheets)

<!–

Davia de Gea has been included in the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year five times this decade

The shotstopper.

David de Gea looked like a fish out of water initially at Manchester United, but he has grown into one of the best – if not the best – goalkeepers in the world.

Known for pulling off the outrageous save, often using his feet, the Spaniard has played a crucial role in the successes United have enjoyed this decade.

3. Eden Hazard

(245 appearances; 85 goals ; 54 assists)

<!–

Eden Hazard has the fifth most goal involvements in the Premier League during this decade

Signed from Lille for a reported £32m, Eden Hazard has been one of the most outstanding players in the Premier League this decade.

His excellent dribbling skills gave defenders nightmares during his seven-season stay at Chelsea.

Winner of two Premier League crowns and two Europa Leagues, the Belgiaum forward also won the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year award in the 2014-15 season.

Hazard produced a decent goal return too, scoring 12 or more in five seasons.

4. Harry Kane

(197 appearances; 134 goals; 20 assists)

<!–

Harry Kane is 13th on the all-time Premier League top goalscorers list

One hundred and thirty four goals in 197 Premier League games and firmly on course to become England’s record goalscorer.

The 2010s witnessed Harry Kane’s arrival as one of the world’s most prolific strikers.

The Tottenham forward produced at least 20 Premier League goals in four successive seasons before an injury-hit 2018-19 campaign and earned himself the 2015-16 Golden Boot in the process as Spurs established themselves as a top-four side.

5. N’Golo Kante

(152 appearances; 10 goals; 10 assists)

<!–

N’Golo Kante (right) made the most tackles and interceptions in the Premier League during Leicester City’s title-winning campaign in 2016

One of the bargains of the decade.

Signed for a reported £5.6m from Caen in August 2015, N’Golo Kante settled into Premier League football immediately.

He was a central figure in Leicester City’s remarkable title-winning campaign that season, which earned him a move to Chelsea.

The Frenchman won the league in his first season at Stamford Bridge and won the PFA Player of the Year award too.

6. Vincent Kompany

(223 appearances; 83 clean sheets)

<!–

Vincent Kompany won 12 trophies with Manchester City

The leader. And that Leicester goal.

In August 2008, Vincent Kompany joined a Manchester City side who had finished ninth in the Premier League the previous season.

The Belgian departed 11 years later with four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups to his name.

Among his many highlights was a decisive 25-yard thunderbolt against Leicester in his and City’s penultimate league game last season, which helped Pep Guardiola’s side to become the first side since 2009 to successfully defend their league title.

7. Frank Lampard

(158 appearances; 64 goals; 18 assists)

<!–

Frank Lampard is the highest-scoring midfielder in Premier League history (177 goals)

Super Frankie Lampard.

Third on the Premier League’s all-time appearances list and a midfielder who has scored more than all but three players to have played in the competition.

Lampard is a Chelsea legend – despite a switch to Premier League rivals Manchester City at the end of his Stamford Bridge career.

8. James Milner

(305 appearances; 35 goals; 52 goals; 63 clean sheets)

<!–

James Milner won five trophies during his five-year stay at Manchester City

The ever present.

James Milner may have developed a reputation for being boring but on the pitch he is a dependable player who has amassed over 300 appearances this decade for Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool.

He has won five major honours, including two Premier League titles and a Champions League, over the 10 years and has been admired by fans at all of his clubs.

9. Wayne Rooney

(248 appearances; 114 goals; 54 assists)

<!–

Wayne Rooney is second on the all-time Premier League goalscorers list behind Alan Shearer

The Premier League’s second-highest goalscorer of all time. Wayne Rooney requires little introduction.

Seven of Rooney’s 13 seasons at Manchester United came in the 2010s, as well as two of his five Premier League winners’ medals.

He bowed out with one final season at boyhood club Everton in 2017-18, before leaving the English top flight for Major League Soccer in the United States after 208 goals and 103 assists in 491 appearances.

10. David Silva

(297 appearances; 57 goals; 89 assists)

<!–

David Silva has created more chances than any other player in the Premier League this decade

The magician.

Renowned for his close ball control and ability to cut open defences, David Silva is one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has seen.

The Spaniard, signed for just £24m, has won 13 trophies during his time at Manchester City, including four league titles.

The diminutive playmaker has 89 assists in the top flight – the most this decade – 27 more than Christian Eriksen who has the second most.

11. Raheem Sterling

(242 appearances; 75 goals; 44 assists)

<!–

Raheem Sterling has won six trophies during his Manchester City career

Winning trophies on the pitch, taking a stand off it.

Raheem Sterling spent three seasons at Liverpool before joining Manchester City in a £49m deal in 2015. Now in his fifth season at Etihad Stadium, Sterling has lifted six trophies while establishing himself as a key figure for England.

The 25-year-old has emerged as a role model too. After he was allegedly racially abused by Chelsea fans in December 2018, Sterling was commended for speaking out against the way newspapers portray young black footballers.

12. John Terry

(200 appearances; 73 clean sheets)

<!–

John Terry (right) has scored the second most goals by a defender (23) in this decade. Only Leighton Baines (27) has more.

The leader.

John Terry captained Chelsea to eight major trophies, including three Premier League titles and a Champions League, this decade.

The centre-back will also be remembered for changing into full kit, despite not playing, to lift the Champions League in 2012 and Europa League in 2013.

Terry has become the face of many a meme since.

13. Yaya Toure

(230 appearances; 62 goals; 32 assists)

<!–

Yaya Toure won seven trophies during his eight-year stay at Manchester City

The powerhouse.

Yaya Toure arrived at Manchester City as a holding midfielder but turned into one of the best box-to-box players in the world during his eight-year stay.

The Ivorian, who won three Premier Leagues titles, scored 20 goals, including a crucial double in City’s penultimate game at Newcastle, as City became champions in 2013-14.

There were also plenty of infamous off-field incidents, including the birthday cake spat, which turned Toure into a Premier League legend.

14. Robin van Persie

(154 appearances; 98 goals; 30 assists)

<!–

Robin van Persie won the Golden Boot in 2011-12 and 2012-13

When Robin van Persie hit his peak he was largely unplayable.

The Dutch striker won the PFA Player of the Year award in 2011-12 after scoring 30 goals for Arsenal.

However, another trophyless campaign with the Gunners led to him moving to Manchester United, where he scored 26 goals to help the Red Devils win the league in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season.

The best left foot this decade? Quite possibly.

15. Jamie Vardy

(193 appearances; 96 goals; 27 assists)

<!–

Jamie Vardy scored 24 Premier League goals as Leicester won the 2015-16 title

The unlikely hero.

In 2012, Jamie Vardy was still playing non-league football for Fleetwood Town, before he got his £1m move to then Championship side Leicester City.

He only scored five goals in his first campaign in the Premier League – but then netted 24 times as the Foxes won the title the following season.

Thirteen, 20, 18 and 16 in 17 games so far this season have followed and Vardy has established himself as one of the best strikers in the league.

If you are viewing this page on the BBC News app please click here to vote.