As the Premier League has developed its reputation as the best league in the world over the past decade, so has it attracted some of the planet’s best players.
There have been world-record signings and sales in the English top-flight over the past ten years, while some clubs have managed to unearth bargains and others have reaped the rewards of handing players a second chance in the division.
Homegrown talent has also had a chance to shine, with fans being treated to a host of players who will go down in the competition’s history as some of the greatest to have graced it.
Here are the 5 greatest homegrown players of Premier League.
The greatest goalscoring midfielder the Premier League has seen and an irreplaceable figure in Chelsea’s biggest successes of the era, Frank Lampard set unprecedented levels of consistency during a glittering career at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard crossed the capital from London rivals West Ham in 2001 before becoming a key cog in Chelsea’s winning machine under Jose Mourinho, the appointment of the ‘Special One’ in 2004 leading to back-to-back league titles.
The former England international was named as the FWA Footballer of the Year as Chelsea secured the first of those triumphs, later finishing the year as runner-up to Ronaldinho for the Ballon d’Or.
Lampard incredibly scored double figures for league goals for six successive seasons during the 2000s, part of 10 consecutive campaigns he would achieve the feat to stand as the fifth-highest goalscorer in the division’s history – a staggering achievement for a midfield player.
One of football’s most iconic one-club men and the most successful English player of all-time, Paul Scholes was one of a number of academy graduates who helped Manchester United dominate the Premier League.
Scholes had already won three Premier League titles before the 2000s before adding a further six throughout the next decade, alongside an FA Cup, two League Cups and the 2008 Champions League.
Scholes was a genius in the centre of the pitch with his sublime technique and unrivalled vision, the centre-piece of several great Red Devil sides and a midfielder for who opposition players struggled to get close to.
The early part of the decade saw Scholes thrive as a roaming attacking player before refining his game and dropping deeper in the latter part of the noughties, picking up possession deep and spraying passes with laser-like precision across the Old Trafford turf.
The only man on this list famously without a Premier League winners’ medal but a player whose talent ensures his place amongst the division’s greats, Steven Gerrard was, for so long, the beating heart of Liverpool.
Gerrard rose through the club’s academy ranks before shouldering the Reds’ expectations for more than a decade, often delivering when it mattered most for his boyhood side in that signature ‘Roy of the Rovers’ style.
There has arguably never been a more complete midfielder in the Premier League with Gerrard seemingly capable of carrying his side singlehandedly at times, becoming the only player in history to score in the finals of the Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup whilst ending on the winning side on each occasion.
Gerrard was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2001 before winning the senior accolade five years later, his standing amongst his peers recognised with eight inclusions in the PFA Team of the Year – more than any other player in Premier League history.
Arguably the most exciting arrival the Premier League has seen, a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney announced himself to world football in sublime style during the early 2000s.
The boyhood blue wowed as a teenage sensation at Everton before quickly outgrowing those familiar surroundings, a move to Manchester United catapulting the star into the elite.
Rooney scored a sensational Champions League hat-trick on his debut and starred for the Red Devils throughout the decade, winning three Premier League crowns during the noughties and forming part of an iconic forward partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez as United won the Champions League in 2008.
Shearer is the all-time Premier League top goalscorer with 260 goals, a figure that is head and shoulders above anyone else in the Premier League era.
Throughout his career, Shearer has always been the main man wherever he played. His Premier League journey started when he signed for Blackburn Rovers, moving from Southampton. Shearer finished as the club’s top scorer in all three seasons at Ewood Park. He was the driving factor towards the clubs remarkable 1994-95 season, becoming Premier League champions and winning the PFA Player of the Year Award.
In 1997, Shearer made the move to his boyhood club Newcastle United for a then world record fee of £15 million. Shearer continued his outstanding goalscoring form, becoming Newcastle United’s all-time top goalscorer and leading the magpie to the Champions League. This cemented his legacy as a living legend to the city of Newcastle.
When you think of all time Premier League greats, Alan Shearer is a man that should always springs to mind. For many people, he could easily be higher up the list.