Top 20 Most Influential Premier League Players

The Best Premier League Players Ever?

With all the hype surrounding Steven Gerrard bowing out of the Premier League, we ask ourselves where the Liverpool legend ranks amongst the most influential players ever to play in the most popular league in the world.

So, after careful consideration, here are the top 20 most influential players to grace the premier league. As with all topics of this nature, this is subjective, so please leave your comments below and let us know your thoughts.

20 Peter Schmiechel - Manchester United

Peter Schmiechel was the last line of defence for the great Manchester United teams of the 90s. The Danish international played a crucial role in his teams success from 1993 to 1999, and when he left after lifting the Champions League, it took United nearly a decade to replace him.

19 Tony Adams - Arsenal

Solid, strong and hugely influential in Arsenal's success in the 90s, Tony Adams was not only one of the Premier League's great defenders, but he was one of the best the game has ever seen.

18 Wayne Rooney - Manchester United

We can't help but think Wayne Rooney has underachieved somewhat during his career. From a promising young talent at Everton, making his name in the European Championships for England in 2004, Rooney should have reached the heights which Messi and Ronaldo are currently setting, but we still think he's a worthy addition to this list due to some of the incredible goals he has given the Premier League over the years.

17 Didier Drogba - Chelsea

A masterful signing during Mourinho's first and second spell at Chelsea, Didier Drogba has lead the forward line amazingly. His power and goals are enough to frighten most defenders, and his huge influence on Chelsea set a new standard that players like Fernando Torres just couldn't live up to.

16 Roy Keane - Manchester United

OK, so the majority of us really hate Roy Keane with a passion. Heck, even most Manchester United supporters can't stand the guy, but we all have to admit he was a bloody good player. His influence on Ferguson's United teams was immense, and without him players such as Scholes and Giggs may not have had the space to flourish.

15 Matt le Tissier - Southampton

The most underrated English player of all time. How were Matt le Tissier's talents allowed to be wasted at international level? An exceptional player with tremendous skill, awareness and a great knack for scoring spectacular goals. 'Le God' will go down as Southampton's greatest.

14 Gareth Bale - Tottenham

We cannot question Gareth Bale's influence and contribution to Tottenham's success over a three year period which saw them fight for the top four and earn some major scalps in the Champions League. For two of those seasons at least, Bale was unstoppable, and once Real Madrid came calling, his record £85m transfer fee was as good as done.

13 John Terry - Chelsea

Another very unlikeable player off the field, but damn good at his job on the field. John Terry will go down as the greatest ever Premier League defender. Without Terry at the back, Chelsea probably wouldn't have won as much as they did. Terry is a hugely influential player that seems to get better with age.

12 Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo spent six seasons at Manchester United, but it was his last three seasons that made the world take notice. Ronaldo took goal scoring to another level, netting a remarkable 42 times in one campaign from the wing. If he wasn't tempted by the lure of Real Madrid, then who knows how many more goals he would have scored and how many records he would have broken in the Premier League. Ronaldo is still the only Premier League player to have won the prestigious Ballon Dor.

11 Jurgen Klinsmann - Tottenham

OK, just to be clear - We don't rate Jurgen Klinsmann as a better player than Ronaldo, but his influence was considerably stronger. Tottenham signed one the star strikers in Europe in the summer of 1994, and from then on the German become an instant hit. His legacy remains at Spurs and his signing paved the way for more foreign superstars joining Spurs in the years that followed.

10 Dennis Bergkamp - Arsenal

With tremendous skill, spectacular goals and a genius football mind, Dennis Bergkamp took the game to a new level during his time with the Gunners. If it wasn't for a certain Frenchman, Bergkamp would probably be regarded as Arsenal's best ever player.

09 Ryan Giggs - Manchester United

Ryan Giggs had an illustrious career filled with more trophies than anyone else in Premier League history. From speedy winger to central midfielder, Giggs adapted his game over the years but kept his playing level just as high. A true United and Premier League legend!

08 Patrick Vieira - Arsenal

Strong, skilful and compact, Patrick Vieira was a true leader at Arsenal and he had a major influence on their success throughout the late 90s and early noughties. Vieira was such a good player that in reality, he still hasn't been replaced.

07 Gianfranco Zola - Chelsea

Gianfranco Zola was Chelsea's first superstar of the Premier League era, and his influence on the club was essential in their development as a football powerhouse. Without Zola's inspiration, Chelsea may not have signed so many decent players during that time.

06 Steven Gerrard - Liverpool

Steven Gerrard will be regarded as a Liverpool legend for years and years to come. He has been Mr. Liverpool since he broke in to the first team 15 years ago. Gerrard has carried weak Liverpool teams and also played a key role in the more talented teams It's just a huge shame he couldn't quite lift the one trophy that remains missing from his collection...

05 Eric Cantona - Manchester United

Eric Cantona had a massive influence on Manchester United from 1993 to 1997. Without the controversial Frenchman, United would not have won the inaugural Premier League, and who knows, they may not have become the force they were throughout the Premier League era. Sir Alex Ferguson said it was King Eric's aura that shone through the team and gave them a sense of belief and invisibility.

04 Frank Lampard - Chelsea

Frank Lampard is Chelsea's leading all time scorer, and he's a midfielder! Lamps was a true role model for the sport and an incredible professional that thrived on the big occasions. His goals and contribution to Chelsea's success will always be noted. Lampard is Chelsea's best ever.

03 Paul Scholes - Manchester United

Paul Scholes is the most naturally gifted English footballer of all time. The ginger genius could control a game better than anyone else in Premier League history, and he had a habit of scoring some quite wonderful goals too. Forget Giggs, Keane, Cantona and Beckham, because without Paul Scholes, United would never have won as many trophies as they did.

02 Thierry Henry - Arsenal

Arsenal's greatest player and arguably the Premier League's greatest - Thierry Henry had it all - touch, vision, pace, strength and goals! Signed as a 21 year old world cup wining winger, this skilled Frenchman would go on to break records and have a colossal influence on the great Arsenal teams under Arsene Wenger. His likes may never be seen again.

01 Alan Shearer - Blackburn/Newcastle

Well, he may not be the best player according to many of you, but he certainly was the most influential. Alan Shearer did what a striker should do - score goals! The Premier League's leading ever goalscorer's goals helped Blackburn Rovers win their first title in over 80 years, before joining Newcastle for a then world record transfer fee. Alan Shearer scored goals wherever he played, and it's frightening to think how many more he would have scored if he'd joined Manchester United. Alan Shearer was and still remains the most influential Premier League player there has ever been.

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