Premier League Hall of Fame contenders ranked from 'first two picks' to 'no chance'

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

The Premier League recently announced its new Hall of Fame.

England's top division has hosted some of the greatest players in the history of the beautiful game and many of them will be honoured with the 'highest individual honour awarded by the League'.

Only players in retirement are eligible, so there's no Cristiano Ronaldo or Sergio Aguero quite yet, and only their careers in the Premier League are considered in the selection process.

The first two inductees will be named on March 19 and then a shortlist will be drafted where football fans can vote on who else should join the esteemed club.

But before any legends are installed, our team at GIVEMESPORT has decided to hop on the TierMarker trend and establish which players are most likely to be included first.

Ranking Hall of Fame contenders

We've taken the 49 players that SkyBet have given odds on their website and ranked them from tiers starting at 'no chance at all' and culminating in the golden 'first two picks'.

So, without further ado, watch us sift through the greatest players the Premier League has ever seen and decide whether you agree or disagree with our comparisons.

No chance at all

Jimmy Bullard

Robbie Savage

Dean Windass

Does anybody seriously think this trio should make the cut? Well, despite SkyBet including them, the fact they're ranked at 2,000-1 and 1,000-1 suggests the bookmakers don't reckon so either.

Bullard, Savage and Windass were all sound midfielders in their day and justly heralded as cult heroes, but we can surely agree that they fall comfortably short of Premier League legend status.

Hull City's English midfielder Jimmy Bul

Surprising if it happened

Michael Carrick

Emile Heskey

David James

Martin Keown

Gareth Southgate

Phil Neville

None of these were bad players by any means, but you'd struggle to make a case that any of them had a major individual impact on the Premier League as we know it today.

Southgate and Keown just fell short of world-class despite earning 100 England caps combined, while James is only really worthy of a mention for his old clean sheet and consecutive appearances records.

Heskey deserves a nod for reaching the 100 club and while, yes, he was severely underrated, the former Leicester City and Liverpool man can't compete with the true God tier of Premier League legends.

And although Neville and Carrick have some seriously impressive trophy cabinets from their United days, we feel confident that they'll be lower down on the priority list for the Hall of Fame.

Ajax v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final

Outside chance

Brian Deane

Peter Crouch

Paolo Di Canio

Jamie Carragher

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Kolo Toure

Before you think we've lost the plot for ranking Deane this highly, we don't think it's from without the realms of possibility that the Premier League will honour the player to score its first ever goal.

As for Crouch and Solskjaer, they're both demoted for not always being their respective team's go-to strikers, but remain worthy of praise for being prolific in England whenever they got the chance.

Similarly with Toure and Carragher, there's no denying that they were top defenders of the highest order, we just think there's too many big names that will feature higher in their positions.

Di Canio is an interesting one because he is undoubtedly one of the most talented players to feature for teams lower down in the standings, we just think some of his post-football controversies will hold him back.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United celebrates scoring the fourth goal

Should make the cut

Sol Campbell

Dwight Yorke

Edwin van der Sar

Robbie Fowler

Gianfranco Zola

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Michael Owen

Robin van Persie

David Seaman 

Teddy Sheringham

Matt Le Tissier

Ian Wright

A busy category to say the least and perhaps the most common thread is players who were prolific in front of goal: Yorke, Fowler, Hasselbaink, Owen, Van Persie, Sheringham and Wright.

Le Tissier is also another proud member of the 100 club, but we think he's worthy of a special mention for doing so at mid-table Southampton and with countless screamers along the way.

Van der Sar and Seaman also happen to be two of the Premier League's greatest ever goalkeepers, although they fall narrowly short of joining two more obviously placed shot-stoppers higher up the queue.

Finally, Campbell is one of the league's finest ever centre-backs as a member of the 'Invincibles' and Zola helped spark the overseas players revolution with his stunning brand of football at pre-Roman Abramovich Chelsea.

Robbie Fowler

Safe bets

Tony Adams

Nemanja Vidic

David Beckham

Andy Cole

Didier Drogba

Gary Neville

As two absolute colossuses at the back and captains who lifted the Premier League trophy, we feel pretty confident that Adams and Vidic will be included, even if you shouldn't bet your house on it.

We're not ashamed to say that we might have pushed Beckham a little higher up the list than he deserves but come on, this is Beckham we're talking about, surely he's going to be inducted.

Neville is another safe bet as the Premier League's greatest ever right-back, albeit not a glamorous one, and the competition can hardly ignore Cole for being the third highest scorer in their history.

Plus, it's pretty hard to look past Drogba who - despite having a few quiet seasons - romped his way to multiple Premier League Golden Boots and is arguably the competition's number one African player in its history.

Chelsea's Ivorian striker Didier Drogba

Dead-certain

Thierry Henry

Robert Pires

Petr Cech

Ashley Cole

Peter Schmeichel

John Terry

Roy Keane

Dennis Bergkamp

Steven Gerrard

Patrick Vieira

Frank Lampard

Rio Ferdinand

Paul Scholes

Eric Cantona

Look, if the Premier League Hall of Fame is going to make any sense at all, then we have no shame in thinking that so many players are absolute certainties on the list. Surely to God.

Thierry Henry is the most talented player in the league's history, bringing countless goose-bump-inducing moments at Arsenal, and only misses out on the top tier because two more players have slightly more significance...

You get the feeling that Keane and Vieira come hand-in-hand as a package, so it would be rude not to include the both of them when they galvanised two of the greatest ever Premier League sides.

FA Cup Final - Arsenal v Manchester United

Speaking of dynamic duos, the eternal rivals of Ferdinand and Terry are also guarantees for the Hall of Fame unless there's some of scandal or gross bias against defenders. 

Add Cole to the equation, who was arguably the world's best left-back in his day, and you have yourself a pretty formidable cohort of English defenders.

Meanwhile, neither us nor the Premier League are likely to cast their opinion on the Scholes vs Gerrard vs Lampard debate, so surely all three will be inducted and with good reason at that.

Petr Cech strolls into the Hall of Fame with the Premier League clean sheet record, while Schmeichel established himself as English football's best shot-stopper during United's trophy glut of the 1990s.

And if we're truly honouring the heritage of English football post-1992 then it's hard to look past Cantona and all the memories, both stunning and shocking, that he gave us over the years.

Eric Cantona holds the FA Cup 11 May 1996 at Wembl

First two picks

Ryan Giggs

Alan Shearer

Are these the best two players in Premier League history? Absolutely not. Are these the most significant two players in Premier League history? No doubt about it.

It's an absolute no-brainer that the Hall of Fame's first inductee will be Giggs, the player with the most appearances, assists and titles in its history as well as a goal-scorer across 21 consecutive seasons.

Meanwhile, it would be scandalous if they didn't tip their hat to the Premier League's all-time top scorer as soon as possible because, well, Shearer's total of 260 continues to boggle the mind.

Sunderland v Newcastle United

Full graphic

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So, there you have it, we feel confident that Giggs and Shearer should be the first two inductees, while there's a group of about of 14 that look nailed on to follow in their footsteps.

But regardless of the order and players that the Premier League decide upon, the sheer abundance of world-class players since 1992 surely solidifies its status as the greatest league in the world.

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