Team of the decades are done differently but this will be done on their Premier League career over the decade rather than on individual seasons. Due to this, players like Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale have missed out.
David De Gea
Since joining Man United in the summer of 2011, the Spaniard has gone on to make 304 Premier League appearances. David De Gea took over from Premier League legend Edwin van der Sar and he hasn’t disappointed.
Sir Alex Ferguson only missed three matches when he was manager at Manchester United. One was to attend his son’s wedding, another was to attend his brother’s wife’s funeral, the other was to scout De Gea. The Scottish icon missed a cup game against Scunthorpe in late 2010 as De Gea put pen to paper to join the Red Devils the following summer.
At the time of writing, the Atlético Madrid youth academy graduate has won 168 Premier League games meaning he has a 55%-win rate. This very impressive considering he only had a season under Ferguson and the subsequent seven seasons have been turbulent to say the least.
He has averaged 2.79 saves per 90, to put this into context, from 2006/07 to 2018/19 Petr Čech averaged 2.27 saves per 90. Despite only winning one Premier League title, David De Gea has been the only consistent top performer between the posts in the last decade.
Kyle was a bit of a controversial pick as some would say Zabaleta. However, Walker has the most PFA Team of The Years out of any full back with three, the first being in 2011/12 when he was also Young Player of the Year. The Sheffield born defender made his Premier League debut on March 27th 2010, right at the start of the decade and he’s been almost ever present since.
In his last two seasons at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino they conceded 61 goals in 76 games. In that time Walker played 66 games with the goals conceded per game dropping from 0.80 to 0.74 when he played. Not only was he a mainstay in that defence, he also improved it.
He’s not only defensively solid, he also adds going forward, this has really been brought to fruition under Guardiola. In his first season under the Catalan coach, Walker got six assists in 32 appearances, not to mention his side were the first Premier League side to get 100 points.
Not much has to be said about Kompany, he captained the Citizens backline from the start of the decade until the end of the 2019 season. In that time, the Sky Blues won four Premier League titles including their first in 2011/12, this ended their 44 year wait for the top division.
Kompany was a consistent performer and a man for the big occasion. The two teams he’s scored most against this decade are Liverpool and Man United, in fact he scored the winner against Man United in 2011/12 and he scored the winner against Liverpool in 2013/14, in those seasons they edged out their opponents on the day to win the Premier League title.
His most famous goal was a long shot that went into the top corner against Leicester towards the end of 2018/19. This goal gave Man City top spot again as they won the title only days later. During the celebrations Gary Neville said, “where do you want your statue, Vincent Kompany?” which sums up his career at Man City and in the Premier League, he is truly one of the greats of the modern era.
Terry misses out due to a drop off in performances around the middle of the decade along with Čech, but Terry only had four seasons of regular football and the other seasons combined possibly make up a whole season (in terms of appearances).
Vertonghen joined Tottenham in 2012 and has since made 228 Premier League Appearances, about 50 more than Terry who started two seasons before. It feels unfair on Terry as it was down to him entering the twilight of his career as he was 30 at the start of the decade but he would make the Team of the Decade for the decade prior.
Vertonghen has been consistent in Tottenham’s defence even through their transition between Redknapp and Pochettino but since Pochettino’s arrival, he has been one of the best centre backs in the league almost every season. Since joining, Tottenham’s lowest points tally has been 64, a tally Tottenham had only surpassed twice in the 20 years before he joined. The Belgian is an active defender with over 4 tackles and interceptions a game as well as being strong aerially and at passing.
He’s been an all-round defender for probably six and a half seasons this decade, although he hasn’t won anything, he’s certainly done more than enough to deserve a spot in this team.
In the four seasons between 2015/16 and 2018/19 Azpilicueta only missed two games. In those four seasons he scored six goals and got 18 assists which does include his six assists in 2017/18 when he was a centre back under Conte. The Spaniard has played all across the back line for the Blues and been a consistent top performer.
César kept Filipe Luís out at left back in the title winning campaign under Mourinho. This is all the more impressive when you remember that Chelsea bought Luís for his excellent defensive performances and he was coming off a season in which he won the league and got to the Champions League final with Atlético Madrid.
Azpilicueta is universally loved for being ever present and performing at the top of his game for so long. He is undoubtedly one of Chelsea’s best bargains.
Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, Fernandinho has anchored Man City’s midfield whilst they have been arguably the most dominant team of the decade. Since his arrival, Man City have won three Premier League titles, two of which he was the most important player for his side.
In his first season, he partnered Yaya Touré in a system that saw one attack and one defend. Although he hasn’t been much of an attacking force with his best is five goals and three assists in 2013/14 and 2017/18. As the Brazilian has got older, he’s dropped deeper and became an influential cog in the best Premier League team ever amassing 198 points over two seasons.
Dismissing 2019/20 as at the time of writing the season is on a break, Fernandinho has averaged 2606 minutes played in the league per season which equates to just shy of 29 games. This really highlights his importance under Pellegrini and Guardiola. Guardiola has used the former Donetsk star like he used Busquets at Barcelona, the comparison to the Spaniard is one of the biggest compliments in football.
A perfect candidate for this as he joined in 2010 and is leaving Man City at the end of the 2019/20 season. David Silva has 147 goal contributions (goals + assists) in 301 appearances at the time of writing. This is looks more impressive when you remember he started out on the left and only made the transition to a central position around halfway into his Man City career.
Despite only playing 1262 Premier League minutes before the break, Silva scored 3 and assisted a further seven. He also turned 34 in January, he is a relentless creator and will chip in with a few goals despite never being the main creator at Man City. He has been a truly consistent top performer for this decade and when he eventually leaves, the league will miss him.
This was the most difficult pick. This slot was between Christian Eriksen, Yaya Touré and Kevin De Bruyne. The latter missed out due to only making 146 Premier League appearances compared to Touré’s 230 and Eriksen’s 226. Eriksen joined in 2013 as he was one of the many players signed by Tottenham with the Gareth Bale money however, he has been the most successful.
Excluding 2019/20 as he was only there for half a season and played out of position at times, Eriksen played 17,233 league minutes. In those minutes he scored 49 and assisted 60 as Tottenham became a consistent top 4 team. Since 2014/15, the Dane has averaged 0.47 xG+xA per 90 meaning he should have a goal contribution every two games, this is incredibly good for a midfielder. His time in the Premier League came to an end as he didn’t want to sign another contract with Spurs, a sad ending for one of the best creative players.
Its often forgotten just how young Raheem is. He turns 26 in December, yet he has been a Premier League starter for the last seven seasons as he made 19 starts in the 2012/13 season. Over his career he has been criticised for almost anything he has done but he has continued to prove why he has been of the best wingers in the world for the last few years.
Since 2017/18, Sterling has averaged a huge 0.90 xG+xA per 90 showing how he has matured and improved since turning 22 and how Guardiola has improved him. Sterling has played in a dysfunctional Liverpool side, a stuttering Pellegrini side and in an all-conquering Guardiola side, in all he as been a key player and a top performer. He has been an excellent performer for this decade and could be in the Team of the Decade for 2020-2030.
Sergio joined Man City in the summer of 2011 and within a year he had scored the most important goal in the club’s modern history. He is the fourth top scorer in Premier League history and the top non foreign scorer despite having injury issues.
The Argentine has the best minutes per goals ratio and has got over 17 league goals in six of his seven full campaigns in England. Moreover, he has four Premier League titles as well as holding the record for the most Premier League Player of the Months on seven. Words can’t describe how good Agüero has been for the Citizens and he is the obvious pick at striker here.
Another clear pick was Hazard. Between 2012 and 2019 he made 245 Premier League appearances, scoring 85 and assisting 54 from the wing. This means he averaged 35 appearances, 12 goals and just shy of eight assists every season. He helped win two Premier League titles and his 31 direct goal involvements in his final season helped Chelsea qualify for the Champions League.
One of the best dribblers to have graced England and he also adds end product. One of the best Chelsea players ever and Chelsea fans know it, they had nothing but love and admiration for the winger. Despite him only having a year left on his contract, Real Madrid reportedly payed £100 million for him which shows how incredible his performances have been. Like Pirès he didn’t do much defensive work, but he was someone who could change a game with a few touches. A truly magnificent player.