Football is not just confined to the trickery and dazzling display of skills. It’s great to have players who can nullify the presence of opponent team with their sheer power. Premier League is called the most physical league for a reason.
A player should have a formidable amount of strength to survive in the Premier League. The players have to be mentally tough to take those fierce tackles and elbows which come flying in throughout the match.
Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira who was pivotal in the 2003-04 title-winning squad said this in one of his pre-match interviews to Sky Sports – “Manchester United players will try to intimidate us and the more one-on-one physical duels that we can win the better it will be for us.” The importance of winning these battles is second to none.
Here is a list of the top 5 muscular players in the Premier League:
1. Christian Benteke – Crystal Palace
The 26-year-old Crystal Palace’s striker Christian Benteke has scored lots of goals due to his sheer size. Benteke is 6 feet 3 inches tall and his aerial prowess is one of the many qualities in keeping him as one of the most consistent goalscorers in Premier League.
Christian Beneteke’s menacing ability in the air comes to full use during the set-pieces. He shoves the defenders with ease and opposition teams usually set two players to nullify his threat during set-pieces. Benteke also makes a massive contribution in building up the attack; his strength lies in playing out wide and making sure his presence gets felt during the crosses with his powerful running at display.
Christian Benteke is exceptional in air which is down to his great leap. He is naturally gifted when it comes to creating something out of nothing. The threat that Christian Benteke offers during corners is absolutely second to none and he is a nightmare for the defenders.
2. Mousa Dembele – Spurs
The 30-year-old Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele is a massive cog in the playing XI of Spurs. He is a big part behind the success of Spurs.
Mousa Dembele bulldozes past players for fun. Dembele completed 76 take-ons out of 91 with 84% success ratio in 2016-17 season. No one gets near Dembele when he shows his monstrous strength while building the game further up the field. Mousa Dembele’s strong tackling is down to his built and he also makes vital interceptions which largely go unnoticed.
Ex Spurs youth player Zenon Stylianides said this about Dembele in an interview to HITC – “He has unbelievable strength – he’s a beast! I remember once in training I was actually up against him and he accidentally stepped on my foot. It took a few weeks to get better, even though it was just a little step!”
Mousa Dembele’s ability to dribble past players is unreal. He has such a strong center of gravity combined with athleticism. There aren’t many midfielders who can glide past the opponent players with such ease and finesse.
3. Wes Morgan – Leicester City
This list would be incomplete without the 33-year-old Leicester City’s Captain Wes Morgan. The 6 feet 3 inches tall Jamaican international Wes Morgan played a pivotal role in 2015-16 when Leicester City won the Premier League trophy in an extraordinary fashion.
Wes Morgan’s style of tackling will make you cringe if one of your favourite players gets clattered. His overall personality is ultimately what makes him such a great leader for Leicester City. Kasper Schmeichel said in one of his interviews- “I have two awesome man mountains in front of me who throw their bodies in the way of everything and are really good talkers.” Wes Morgan was the standout defender who played alongside Robert Huth for the major part of the season. Both defenders stood firm and formed an impenetrable partnership which was largely down to the management skills of Wes Morgan. The influence that he had on the team was immense throughout the 2015-16 season.
Wes Morgan is as strong as an oak which is mostly down to the Jamaican genes. His strong figure helps him to bully and shove the opponent strikers away with ease. Wes Morgan’s height is an asset while defending and also when he is ready to unleash his aerial threat during corners at the opponent’s end.
4. Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United
The 24-year-old Machester United striker Romelu Lukaku is fairly tall for a striker and his overall stature helps him in innumerable ways.
The opposition teams usually put two defenders to man mark him. Romelu Lukaku snubbed Chelsea for the move to Manchester United. Surprisingly, Lukaku wasn’t entertained by Jose Mourinho during their time at Chelsea. After signing the player, Jose Mourinho said – “Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”
His overall frame helps him to dominate the defenders with ease and he already looks like a bargain for £75m. Lukaku’s addition in the Manchester United team has started to produce the goods. Romelu Lukaku is a true target-man. His physicality and presence are a nightmare for the Premier League defenders.
5. Mamadou Sakho – Crystal Palace
The 27-year-old French international and Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho is one player who does not know any limits of the physical side of the game. Sakho’s long legs provide a massive advantage when he slides into making tackles or the much needed interceptions.
Mamadou Sakho was called ‘soldier’ by his Liverpool teammates. Mamadou Sakho is so powerful that he once broke the gym equipment during his strength test at Melwood’s training facility ground. Mama Sakho explained in post match interview – “It is true that one of the machines broke. Something went wrong with it, so they had to fix it, not reinforce it. Strength is one of my attributes and I want to continue developing my strength as it is a key part of my game.“I grew up in an area of Paris that is not all sweet and nice,” he said. “At that age, you have to put yourself about a bit and earn some respect.
He further said – “When I was 14 or 15, I tried to impose myself on the other players at PSG, but it was soon made clear to me that I needed to focus and concentrate, that I needed to go to bed early and work hard. That is what I have been doing ever since.”
Mama Sakho’s tackles have managed to clatter most of the players. He has already become a fan favourite at Crystal Palace.