By Jamie Spencer
Fans love a player with pace that can tear up a defence. The Premier League is full of them, but there is always a debate about who is actually the quickest.
Liverpool fans will tell you it’s Raheem Sterling, but Manchester United fans will back Angel Di Maria. If Theo Walcott had played any time recently Arsenal fans might back him, but they’d probably settle for Alexis Sanchez.
But now the Daily Mail newspaper, in conjunction with EA Sports who record all the vital statistics for the Premier League, have revealed who really is the fastest around.
Here’s a look at the top five fastest players of this season, proven by the numbers. However, you may be in for a bit of a shock.
5. Connor Wickham
Connor Wickham helped save Sunderland’s season in 2013/14, but to look at him the striker has more of a ‘lumbering target man’ look than that of a speedster.
However, going full pelt the 21-year-old has managed to get up to 35.8km/h. Shocking really.
4. Steven N’Zonzi
The role of the holding midfielder is not exactly synonymous with speed. A graveyard for ageing and/or failed strikers, Stoke’s Steven N’Zonzi would appear to be an exception to the ‘slow’ tag.
Clocking up a maximum velocity of 35.82km/h, he’ll catch up to you, make a tackle and give the ball away all in a flash.
3. Joe Ledley
He may not look like he has the best aerodynamic qualities, but Joe Ledley’s beard certainly hasn’t held the Crystal Palace man back in the speed stakes so far this season.
With a top speed of 35.91km/h, opposing midfielders take time on the ball at their peril against the Premier League’s third fastest player.
2. Ritchie de Laet
Regardless of the fact they scored five against Manchester United, Leicester have struggled keeping goals out this season.
Likely running hell for leather back towards his own goal, Foxes full-back Ritchie de Laet has been recorded at 35.94km/h, the second fastest of anyone in the league.
1. Phil Jagielka
It’s official, the fastest player in the Premier League is not Angel Di Maria, Raheem Sterling or Alexis Sanchez. It’s … Phil Jagielka?
Believe it because apparently it’s true. No player has been clocked at a higher speed than the Everton man who reached 35.99km/h, on the very first day of the season no less.
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