The Premier League is often described as the most exciting league in world football; some TV channels - naming no names - would even have you believe that it’s the best and by some distance.
But it doesn’t take a football Einstein to realise that the world’s best players - or most of them, anyway - ply their trade in Spain’s La Liga.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Luka Modric, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and so on, and so on.
Article continues below
But who are the genuine world-class players in the Premier League? Are there any?
According to Alan Shearer, the answer to the second question is ‘yes’. However, the Match of the Day pundit believes there’s only one player currently plying his trade in England who fits into the ‘world-class’ category.
Shearer: Aguero is the PL's only world-class player
“He’s the one genuine world-class player we have in our Premier League and he’s the best centre-forward,” Shearer said, commenting on Sergio Aguero’s eye-catching performance for Manchester City away at West Brom on Saturday.
Gary Lineker, perhaps playing devil’s advocate, replied by asking the former Newcastle United striker: “Only one? Sanchez, come on…”
Shearer responded: “Well, when you look at his record and some of the goals he can score - that he has scored - he’s just world class.”
There are a number of other candidates
Aguero was in scintillating form at the Hawthorns and, scoring two excellent goals inside nine first-half minutes to effectively help wrap up the three points for his team.
But is Shearer right to say that Aguero is the only world-class player in the Premier League?
There are a number of other candidates: namely Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Philippe Coutinho, Eden Hazard, David de Gea, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Paul Pogba and perhaps one or two others.
Twitter reacts to Shearer's comments
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Shearer’s comment…
Scholes reckons the PL has three world-class players
Paul Scholes also caused a stir back in September by claiming the Premier League was short on world-class players.
“There needs to be a real step up in quality in England. Other than Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, we don’t have the best players. All the best players are in other countries,” the former Manchester United midfielder told the Guardian.
“The best players are in Spain or at Bayern Munich and Juventus. We’re linked with big players – Gareth Bale is a top player – but we don’t get them now. Not any more. You never see a Lionel Messi coming over here, you never see a Neymar in the Premier League.”
How many world-class players does the Premier League really have? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.