We’re now less than a month away from the start of the 2021/22 Premier League season, the conclusion of this summer’s major international tournaments having left fans with a sizeable footballing void.
The new season is set to see fans return to capacity stadiums and supporters across the country will be relishing the chance to see their favourite stars in action.
There’s nothing quite like seeing players produce innovative moments of improvised skill and ahead of the new season we’ve decided to pay tribute to some of the division’s most notorious showmen.
From flicks and tricks to thrilling slaloming runs, the very best in the business use the latest training and performance resources like BlazePod to hone their wizard-like skills.
Here are five of the Premier League’s most skilful and entertaining players.
Phil Foden has earned rave reviews since coming through the academy system at Manchester City, the Stockport-born schemer hailed as the heir to David Silva given the continental qualities he brings to the Premier League champions.
The 21-year-old floats across the pitch in a unique gait, gliding past challenges with an effortless ease as he seeks to make things happen for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Last season proved a huge breakout year as he established himself as a regular in the starting side, scoring 16 goals in all competitions and breaking into the England fold ahead of Euro 2020.
There was huge clamour for his inclusion during the tournament, with football fans fixated by the midfielder’s adhesive first touch and ability to thrive in even the most confined of spaces.
Is there a Premier League player whose better box-office viewing than Allan Saint-Maximin?
The fleet-footed Frenchman has become a firm favourite of the Newcastle supporters after lighting up what has often been a dreary affair in the north east in recent seasons, starring since his arrival from Nice in 2019 to emerge as one of the most entertaining players in the division.
Saint-Maximin is a mercurial magician who has regularly delved into his top hat of tricks at St James’ Park, leading the offence singlehandedly on occasion for the Magpies with solo runs forward.
The 25-year-old ranked fifth in the Premier League for players dribbled past in 2020/21 despite missing a significant part of the season through injury, his willingness to run at defenders leaving fans on the edge of their seats and defenders with twisted ankles.
His end product needs improvement in order to reach the next level with just 18 goal involvements in 56 appearances for Newcastle, but the showmanship Saint-Maximin has exhibited in English football has been a rare highlight amongst much mediocrity for the Magpies.
One-third of a forward line that has brought huge success to Liverpool in recent seasons, Roberto Firmino has often been credited as the man who makes the Reds tick in his false nine position.
The Brazilian has not been without critics over is goal record, but his positive contribution to the Liverpool cause has been unquantifiable since arriving from Hoffenheim in 2015.
Firmino does much of his best work in crowded spaces and with defenders in close company, his sublime close control, dribbling ability and penchant for the unconventional proving problematic for opposition sides.
Filthy from Firmino
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 25, 2019
From pirouettes away from danger and bold – if perhaps a little too daring – no-look finishes, Firmino’s combination of a repertoire of showy skill and industrious running has made him one of Liverpool’s best signings of the modern era.
Wilfried Zaha gets kicked an awful lot playing for Crystal Palace and that in itself tells you just how Premier League defenders seek to contain the flying forward.
Former Eagles manager Ian Holloway once compared Zaha to a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of the skills he was able to produce with a ball at his feet, the Ivorian’s game having been built on scintillating speeds and an ability to beat players effortlessly.
Dummies one way and feints another, all performed at breakneck speed, Zaha has lit up Selhurst Park when at his best in recent seasons and Palace face another huge fight to convince their tempestuous talisman to remain in south London.
Given the natural ability Zaha possesses in his feet, his dangerous dribbling perhaps belongs on a grander stage than the Eagles can currently provide.
We’re cheating with this selection, given Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester United has not yet been officially completed, but as the winger edges closer to a Premier League switch fans across the country should begin to get excited.
Sancho’s skills were honed on the streets of south London and the 21-year-old has carried that street footballer style to the pinnacle of the game, tormenting opposition full-backs with feints, flicks and daring dribbles through traffic.
The England international’s combination of pure entertainment and productivity have seen him hailed as one of world football’s brightest talents, and could lead to a festival of football in Manchester next season as he links up with the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
Rashford led the Premier League for nutmegs in 2020/21 with a huge 21 – more than double the next highest player – and the prospect of the 23-year-old and Sancho on opposite flanks with unnerve even the game’s best full-backs.
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The post Showboaters: Five of the Premier League’s most skilful and entertaining players first appeared on The Football Faithful.