Speed is one of the biggest keys to success in football – especially when you want to thrive atop the landscape of the Premier League. The majority of fans consider fast players to be nothing more than ‘pace merchants’, but in reality, their abilities allow teams to get into multiple attacking positions over the course of a match.
Because of this, it’s no wonder that some of the best players in the league are on this list – which was put together by Opta. The statistical masterminds have managed to record the top speed for every PL player thus far in the campaign, and trust us when we tell you that there are one or two surprises in here.
NOTE:Salomón Rondon and N’Golo Kante were level with number 10 here, but we’re edging this striker ahead based on his performances so far since August.
10 – Romelu Lukaku – 34.56km p/h
Aside from being one of the league’s most dangerous goal scorers, Romelu Lukaku isn’t often pinpointed for his speed either on or off the ball. As it turns out, the Belgian works about as hard as anyone else on the pitch if not harder to ensure his success rate – and that’s a tribute to the kind of player he’s always been.
9 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 34.62km p/h
When you’re a 20-year-old lad attempting to make a name for yourself in the big time, you’d best be pushing yourself to the limit or you may end up getting left behind. Thankfully, Everton’s Calvert-Lewin has been doing everything he can so far this season to prove himself to Ronald Koeman – and it seems to be working.
I've seen enough of Calvert-Lewin against City and Chelsea to convince me he can lead the line for us. Get behind this kid he needs us #EFC
— Paul Brown (@PaulBrownEFC) September 1, 2017
8 – Jamie Vardy – 34.65km p/h
We’ve all been witnesses to the pace and persistence of Jamie Vardy ever since he helped guide Leicester City to the Premier League title, with his goal scoring exploits only being exceeded by his undeniable work ethic. In terms of potential, the Englishman still has a bagful that needs to be uncovered for the world to see.
7 – Paul Pogba – 34.68km p/h
Paul Pogba is another man who falls into the “I bet you thought he was too lazy for this” category, with the midfield general running the roost when it comes to Manchester United. Without the Frenchman, the title charge of The Red Devils may not have quite as much steam and that’s a fact.
6 – Joshua King – 34.70km p/h
In terms of raw talent, Joshua King is up there with some of the best strikers of the last decade in the Premier League, and that’s not an overstatement. The Norwegian carved out a remarkable campaign in 2016/17, and despite the early struggles that the Cherries have experienced the only way is up for King.
5 – Ryan Fraser – 34.79km p/h
The relatively unknown Ryan Fraser has been an absolute steal for Bournemouth, with the youngster coming on leaps and bounds since joining the South Coast side from Aberdeen four years ago. At the age of just 23 the sky is the limit for Ryan, and judging by this speed he certainly has a lot of tricks up his sleeve.
4 – Sadio Mane – 34.84km p/h
Liverpool’s attacking options are truly frightening, and sitting at the core of that front line is the sensational Sadio Mane. The former Southampton man continues to go under the radar as one of the best players in the entire division, and when he’s storming towards goal there are few defences in all of football that can stop him.
3 – Laurent Koscielny – 35.11km p/h
Arsenal have always been notorious for possessing slow and somewhat lumbering centre backs, but it seems as if Laurent Koscielny is helping to erase that stereotype once and for all. Sure the Gunners have floundered in August, but Koscielny will continue to be a vital piece of the puzzle for Wenger as we progress throughout the season.
2 – Kiko Femenia – 35.12km p/h
Few will have heard of the 26-year-old right back Kiko Femenia before now, but in his first month of action, the Spaniard has proven himself to be a formidable acquisition for the Hornets. Moving forward, we could see him turn into a big target for the larger clubs in the league based on his speed and determination alone.
1 – Kyle Walker – 35.16km p/h
Kyle Walker may be a ‘traitor’ in the eyes of Tottenham Hotspur fans, but in reality, he’s just a guy who wanted to find success elsewhere. Sure, it hasn’t gone all that smoothly so far, but Kyle has still been able to make an impact and if he can maintain this pace then he could be a key component in City’s hunt for both European and Domestic glory.
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) September 5, 2017
If you’re starting to feel inferior by comparison, watching Per Mertesacker or John Terry desperately attempt to keep up with sub par forwards should help brighten your day up a touch.
But in all seriousness, this proves that it doesn’t really matter what position you’re in on the pitch – because, in essence, you should be able to accomplish these kinds of speeds so long as you’re able to push that extra mile.