With professional football being played at a faster speed every year, pace is becoming one of the most important attributes that a player can possess. The Premier League is often cited as being the world’s highest energy competition, but which EPL players are leading the way this season?
Jamie Vardy – 21.80 mph
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is well known for his bursting runs in behind defenders, a trait that helped the Foxes towards winning the Premier League title at the end of their iconic 2015/16 season. Until recently Vardy was the EPL’s fastest player of all time, clocking an impressive 22 mph in 2014. Leicester have been slightly off the pace this year, but despite their poor form, Vardy remains one of the quickest players in the league.
Laurent Koscielny – 21.82 mph
Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny is undoubtedly one of the league’s quickest centre-backs, yet it’s still somewhat surprising to see the Frenchman top the list of the club’s fastest players. Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott may appear to be the Gunners most high energy players, but they’ve got nothing on their vice captain. We’d love to see Koscielny on the wing this season. Arsene, you know it makes sense!
Kiko Femenia – 21.82 mph
Watford have been outstanding this season, and right-back Kiko Femenia has been a big part of their success. The one time Barcelona prospect suffered a minor setback in September, when he was hospitalised with a head injury, but since making his return, Femenia has been in fine form. His 21.82 sprint puts him just ahead of teammates Andre Gray, Andre Carrillo and Richarlison, who have clocked similar times this season.
Oliver Burke – 21.83 mph
West Brom winger Oliver Burke may have only played two games for the club this season, but his blistering pace has certainly been noticed. Burke came off the bench during West Brom’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton to set up James Morrison’s consolation goal, and in the process, clocked the second highest speed of the month behind Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger. Hopefully, the 20-year-old Scotsman will see plenty of action under Tony Pulis in the near future.
Kyle Walker – 21.85 mph
Pep Guardiola knew exactly what he was getting when he signed Kyle Walker from Spurs this summer, and the full-back has not disappointed his new boss. Walker has been a big part of City’s perfect start to the season, and his forward runs seem to be quicker than ever. As a youth, Walker would run the 100m sprint for both his school and the city of Sheffield, and still trains to a strict regime laid down by his sprint coach all those years ago.
Antonio Rudiger – 21.87 mph
Much like Koscielny, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is one of the few EPL centre-backs that can match the speed of their club’s attacking players. The Blues were keen to find a pacey defensive player over the summer, and Rudiger is fast becoming a candidate for their strongest XI. The German was fantastic in Chelsea’s recent win over Manchester United, and arguably should have been named MOTM ahead of Cesc Fabregas.
Patrick van Aanholt – 22.01 mph
Crystal Palace have been pretty terrible this year, but if nothing else, the Eagles can claim to have the second fastest player in the league – for the moment. Patrick van Aanholt clocked an impressive 22.01 mph in October, but was just edged to the top spot by a player who’s side handed the Eagles a 5-0 thrashing earlier in the season. Any guesses?
Leroy Sane – 22.05 mph
The fastest Premier League player this season is of course Leroy Sane, who has been incredible for Man City over the last few months. The German has hit top form in 2017, leaving many a full-back for dead, and racking up 8 goals in the process. When teammate Raheem Sterling claimed he was faster than Sane earlier this year, the winger responded: “He’s faster than me? Maybe if you have to run for one year he’s faster than me!”