De Bruyne, Thiago, Fernandes: The Premier League's best player for 29 key attributes

  • Kobe Tong
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The Premier League plays host to some of the best players in the world.

England's top-flight might not have produced a Ballon d'Or winner since the inimitable Cristiano Ronaldo, but make no mistake that the competition still attracts some of the best in the business.

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane might not be competing to be crowned the world's best player, but they're certainly in the mix on the global stage.

Premier League prestige

Naturally, picking the top performers in the Premier League is a well-trodden path and fear not, we aren't about to wheel out the ten-millionth ranking of the competition's finest players.

Instead, we're gunning to take a unique look at the Premier League by naming its best player for each of the most important skills in the beautiful game. At least, the most important ones to EA Sports.

That's because, for ease's sake, we're calling upon the 29 in-game attributes for out-field players on FIFA 21 to try and isolate the Premier League players who excel in particular traits and talents.

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The Premier League's best players

And while stars like Kane and De Bruyne certainly amassed their fair share of victories, this fresh way of looking at the division has also gifted cameos to Granit Xhaka and James Ward-Prowse.

So, without further ado, be sure to check out the 29 Premier League winners in each area down below:

In Game: Physical

Acceleration: Jamie Vardy

He might not be the Premier League's fastest player, but we're not sure anybody in the division explodes out of the blocks with more ferocity than Leicester's chief goal-getter.

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Agility: Thiago Alcantara

A low centre of gravity, underrated strength and a nippy dynamism gives Thiago the win.

Balance: Mohamed Salah

I can sense you rolling your eyes and citing Salah's penchant for 'diving' from here, but you only have to look at his best solo goals for Liverpool to see why we've given him the nod.

Jumping: Dominic Calvert-Lewin

There have been hints of Ronaldo with some of Calvert-Lewin's headed goals this season. 

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Reactions: Jamie Vardy

As well as being quick off the mark, Vardy's goal-scoring senses are always firing when he's lurking in the penalty area. All that coffee and Red Bull must keep his reflexes twitching, too.

Sprint speed: Adama Traore

The fastest player in the Premier League. When Traore unravels his stride, it's game over.

Stamina: N'Golo Kante

Who else?

Strength: Kurt Zouma

Willy Boly, Thiago Silva and Traore might be upset with our decision here, but Zouma has been an absolute colossus at the back for Chelsea this season, dominating in both penalty areas.

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In Game: Skill

Ball control: Kevin De Bruyne

We're going to let you know well in advance: De Bruyne is going to win a lot of these skill categories.

Crossing: Kevin De Bruyne

Speaking of which, although Trent Alexander-Arnold has a strong claim in the crossing department, I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue that anyone is more accurate than City's star man.

Curve: James Ward-Prowse

Truth be told, this could easily have been another win for De Bruyne, but Ward-Prowse's curved strikes are the closest thing we've seen to David Beckham in years. 

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Dribbling: Mohamed Salah

The ball is practically superglued to Salah's boot when he's on song.

Finishing: Harry Kane

Pipping Sergio Aguero by the skin of his teeth, we're plumping for Tottenham's poacher in chief as the world's best number nine outside of Robert Lewandowski.

Free kick: James Ward-Prowse

Ward-Prowse takes free-kicks like they're penalties. This was a no-brainer.

Heading: Harry Maguire

It's not for no reason that Maguire always dominates aerial duel statistics in the Premier League because he's one of the best when it comes to clearing penalty areas with earth-shattering headers.

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Long passing: Kevin De Bruyne

Obviously.

Long shots: Kevin De Bruyne

Ditto.

Defensive awareness: Virgil van Dijk

In our eyes, Van Dijk is the world's best defender when he's fit and firing, so regardless of FIFA's official definition of 'defensive awareness', we'd be remiss not to pick the Liverpool hero here.

Penalties: Bruno Fernandes

Like, duh.

Short passing: Thiago Alcantara

We might not have seen Thiago's best football at Liverpool, but we're inclined to think that the Spaniard is unbeatable when it comes to dictating midfields with a metronomic presence.

Shot power: Harry Kane

We've seen too many long-range rip-roarers from Kane to even have a debate about this. 

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Sliding tackle: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Nicknamed 'The Spider' for good reason, Wan-Bissaka has an uncanny knack for pulling off the sort of sliding tackles that would get most players sent off every ten seconds.

Standing tackle: Virgil van Dijk

In a manner akin to Paolo Maldini - yup, I said it - Liverpool's Dutch juggernaut always defends as though he's unflappable and rarely feels the ned to go to ground when completing a tackle.

Volleys: James Rodriguez

So, yeh, erm, he once did this thing in the 2014 World C--- yeh, you know it? The Uruguay one? Uh huh, that.

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In Game: Mental

Aggression: Granit Xhaka

Even his biggest fans in the Emirates terraces would find it hard to deny that Xhaka is only ever a few games away from blowing his fuse, leaving red cards and controversy in his wake.

Interceptions: N'Golo Kante

-Insert joke about 30% of Earth being covered by Kante-

Positioning: Sergio Aguero

One of the greatest poachers in Premier League history. Aguero is the master of being in the right place at the right time, finding space in the penalty area even when there's none to be found.

Vision: Kevin De Bruyne

Disagree with us, I dare you.

Composure: Bernardo Silva

Half of Pep Guardiola's City squad has a shot at winning this attribute, but we reckon that Silva's veins course through him at a slightly lower temperature than any of his teammates.

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All hail De Bruyne

Just in case there was any doubt surrounding De Bruyne's status as the best player in the Premier League, let this breakdown of the division's players silence the doubters for good.

Don't us wrong, we don't necessarily think that De Bruyne has been the standout performer this season, but you'd be hard-pressed to argue that any player in England is more complete than him.

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