Manchester United summer signing Eric Bailly is among the names in Opta Stats’ list of the ten quickest players in the English Premier League.
The Premier League has made its name for its physical nature and the relentless pace at which the games are played. It comes as no surprise, then, that some of the most electric players in the world are part of the league.
To quantify and compare players’ pace, sports data company Opta have compiled a list of the fastest players in the Premier League this season. While the methodology used for creating the list might not be the most convincing — only the highest speed achieved by a player at any point during a match in 2016-17 is measured — it does throw up some interesting names.
The likes of Theo Walcott, Hector Bellerin and Raheem Sterling immediately spring to mind when thinking of players with pace to burn. However, only Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, who’s had an impressive start to the season, and right-back Hector Bellerin, who is set to extend his stay at the Emirates feature in the list. Meanwhile Raheem Sterling, another player in tantalising form and someone who is known for his pace, doesn’t get a mention.
Not many would have expected Shane Long, the Southampton striker who has not found the back of the net since May 2016, to top the list. The likes of Lynden Gooch and Maya Yoshida are also fairly surprising inclusions.
For the sake of comparison, the fastest athlete in the world, Usain Bolt, has a top speed of 44.64 km/h.
Here is the full list (via NBC) of the top ten quickest players this season with their highest speed achieved as per Opta:
1. Shane Long (Southampton) – 35.31 km/h
2. Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) – 35.19 km/h
3. Kyle Walker (Tottenham) – 35.18 km/h
4. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 35.10 km/h
5. Andre Gray (Burnley) – 34.87 km/h
6. Eric Bailly (Manchester United) – 34.84 km/h
7. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – 34.79 km/h
8 = Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – 34.78 km/h
8 = Maya Yoshida (Southampton) – 34.78 km/h
10. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) – 34.77km/h