Fear not, Premier League fans, because the international break is almost over.
It’s always frustrating when the new Premier League season is halted just a few games after returning, especially on the back of a summer transfer window that will go down in history.
However, we’ve waded through the hard part now and fans across the world are now just a few days away from seeing Cristiano Ronaldo and countless other stars returning to action in club football.
2021/22 Premier League
But in the mean time, we’ve tried to keep you as engrossed by the 2021/22 Premier League season as possible by breaking down various positions now that all 20 squads are finalised.
Here at GIVEMESPORT, we have already put the goalkeepers, centre-backs, full-backs and strikers through the Tiermaker treatment and now we are turning our attention to the league’s wingers.
In the interest of consistency, we are assessing the players who are listed as either predominantly being a ‘right winger’ or ‘left winger’ by Transfermarkt with a few interventions along the way.
Manchester United to sign Declan Rice (Football Terrace)
For example, we included both Mason Greenwood and Diogo Jota in our striker rankings, so they won’t be featuring again here.
Ranking Premier League wingers
The decision process ultimately hinges upon my personal opinion – though we’d love to hear your take, too – which has been based upon recent statistics, the eye test and my guttural instincts.
It is also worth pointing out that the labels of the tiers, which will be explained in due course, are more important than their order in relation to one another, particularly the ‘underrated’ and ‘overrated’ segments.
Oh, that and the fact that anybody playing as a Premier League winger deserves credit for their hard work and talent, so remember that this is simply framed within the context of England’s top-flight.
But enough housekeeping and disclaimers because we know that you’re here for the debate, drama and controversy, so be sure to check out the 2021/22 Premier League wingers ranked down below:
Andriy Yarmolenko and Ryan Fraser
Ok, let’s get one thing clear: Yarmolenko and Fraser are incredibly talented footballers and we’re not necessarily saying that they are the worst two wingers in the Premier League.
Rather, they are – for my money – performing further below the talent and ability we know that they possess when compared to other wide-men in the division, hence the title ‘disappointing’.
Their tumultuous form since moving to West Ham United and Newcastle United respectively has undoubtedly been impacted by injuries, but both players have still fallen considerably short of expectations.
With a combined 11 goal contributions in 71 appearances at their current employers, we can’t help longing to see their peak Bournemouth and Euro 2020 form in the Premier League this season.
Does a job
Andros Townsend, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Alex Iwobi, Tariqe Fosu, Aaron Lennon, Moussa Djenepo, Nathan Redmond, Theo Walcott and Jacob Murphy
You know the drill with this category. These players don’t exactly set the world alight in the Premier League, but they got the job done and serve in under-appreciated roles for their respective clubs.
Lennon and Walcott are long past their prime, but bring real experience and top-level nous to their squads, while Iwobi, Murphy and Djenepo are sound back-up options across gruelling seasons.
Guðmundsson is a go-to option for Sean Dyche at Turf Moor, Fosu is unproven in the Premier League so far and Redmond always makes for a reliable presence in the Southampton squad.
And credit where credit is due because Townsend has caught us off-guard with his impressive start to life at Everton, so perhaps he’ll be long overdue an upgrade by the time the season concludes.
Christian Pulisic and Adama Traore
Again, clarification is key here because we are not saying that Pulisic and Traore are worse than every winger still to come. That couldn’t be further from truth – both of them are fantastic.
However, the label of ‘overrated’ so often has more to do with fans than the players themselves and we just happen to think that these two have received an inordinate amount of hype in relation to their form.
Besides, you get the feeling that Tottenham Hotspur’s reported interest in Traore was a little ham-fisted on the back of a season where he mustered a disappointing two goals and two assists in the league.
And while Pulisic has undoubtedly got bags of potential, we need to dial down the hype a little bit because just four Premier League goals in a year where Chelsea became European champions is certainly underwhelming.
Give the lad time
Bryan Gil, Przemysław Płacheta, Gabriel Martinelli, Dwight McNeill and Christos Tzolis
Pretty simple, this, because whether it’s their age or general experience in the professional game, we think it’s too early to slot any of these players into our other tiers.
That might sound extreme when it comes to McNeill because it feels like he hasn’t really kicked on across 111 games for Burnley, but let’s rein in the hastiness because he’s still only 21 years old.
Middle of the road
Bertrand Traore, Takumi Minamino, Daniel James, Milot Raschia, Ademola Lookman, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Sergi Canos, Steven Bergwijn, Daniel Podence, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Bryan Mbeumo and Leandro Trossard
Trust me, when you’re talking about Premier League wingers, amongst whom there are World Cup and Champions League winners, being called ‘middle of the road’ is by no means an insult.
And this is arguably our most eclectic tier because you’ll notice that there is a real range of players with some coming close to warranting moves to ‘does a job’ or ‘decent’ depending on your opinion.
However, for now, the jury is out on the likes of James and Minamino despite their drive to succeed, while Trossard, Podence and Traore all fit into the category of being reliable pairs of hands in the Premier League.
We need goals from Bergwijn and Lookman before they earn an upgrade and although Canos, Raschia, Mbeumo and Elyounoussi are all fantastic players, we need to see them transfer that form to England’s top-flight.
And despite his inconsistencies, Hudson-Odoi is just too damn good to be marooned in ‘give the lad time’.
Nicolas Pepe, Demarai Gray, Jarrod Bowen, Pedro Neto, Anwar El Ghazi and Yoane Wissa
Have I lost my mind for calling Pepe underrated? No, no I haven’t, because although the Arsenal star has been wildly disappointing for £72 million, he certainly hasn’t been as poor as fans would have you believe.
Besides, when you consider all the problems going on at Emirates Stadium right now, a winger who was actually one of their better players last year with a cool 16 goals is the least of their problems.
Bowen’s contribution at West Ham doesn’t get talked about enough, Neto is seldom mentioned amongst the world’s best young players and El Ghazi seems to get lost in the shuffle of Villa’s attacking talent.
Meanwhile, Wissa still has to prove himself in the Premier League, but the ‘underrated’ tag is thoroughly deserved because not enough people are talking about what a coup he is for Brentford.
And you’d be forgiven for thinking that Gray was washed up at just 25 years old by the way that some fans assessed him recently, but his lightning start at Everton goes to show that really isn’t the case.
Saïd Benrahma, Lucas Moura, Emiliano Buendia, Jack Harrison, Allan Saint-Maximin, Harvey Barnes, Ismaïla Sarr, Raphinha, Leon Bailey, Wilfried Zaha and Francisco Trincão
There’s a common denominator amongst many of these players: their talent is there for everyone to see with impressive technical ability, but they don’t necessarily bring in the numbers of the league’s very best.
You can certainly point that accusatory finger at Saint-Maximin, Raphinha and Benrahma, but it’s a lovely predicament to have and no doubt one that they’ll overcome as they settle more and more into the Premier League.
Sarr, Barnes and Bailey will only become more consistent with time, Buendia is ready to flood the Premier League with goal contributions and Harrison deserves far more credit for his superb impact at Leeds.
Maybe we’ve been a little bit harsh on Zaha because 11 goals across 2020/21 was a fantastic return, but it’s that inconsistency that really holds him back from having every ‘big six’ club knocking at his door.
And while Moura has undoubtedly plateaued in recent seasons, you only have to look at his indefatigable masterclass against Manchester City to see that he’s still amongst the league’s best.
Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Marcus Rashford, Ferran Torres, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling
To put things simply: these are the best wingers in the Premier League who we consider to fall just short of that coveted ‘world-class status’.
Whether it be through undeniable raw talent like Foden and Mahrez or the consistent delivery of goal contributions like Rashford and Grealish, these players’ status as Premier League ballers is beyond reproach.
And although Sancho can’t technically lay claim to that status quite yet, we’d be mad to place him any lower when you consider he boasts over 100 goal contributions for Borussia Dortmund at age 21.
Mane and Sterling would have strolled into the world-class section this time last year and no doubt they’ll return there in the coming months, but a minor downgrade was reluctantly inevitable on the back of taxing 2020/21 seasons.
And while we might have been generous to Torres, we’re willing to die on the hill that he’s going to thrive, rather ironically, in a more central role for the Citizens this season.
Mohamed Salah and Heung-min Son
Look, no matter how vehemently you might have disagreed with some of the selections further down the Tiermaker, surely to goodness you’ve got to agree that Salah and Son are world-class players?
We’ll happily admit that there’s an argument to be had that Mane and Sterling are also deserving of top spot, but I’ve already said this summer that I think there are only 17 world-class players in the Premier League right now.
It’s a tough stance, sure, but Salah and Son really do set the bar high with both players notching an eye-watering 27 goal contributions in the league last season – and they’ll likely challenge for the Golden Boot yet again this year.
So much quality
And breathe. The standard of wingers in the Premier League really is impressive and truth be told, the lower sections were much harder to rank when compared to some of the other positions.
As such, it would be easy to make an argument that most of these wide-men at every level of the Tiermaker may be worthy of being promoted and power to you if that’s your take on things.
At the end of the day, the raw talent at each and every rung is something to be applauded and we’d love nothing more for some of the players ranked lower down to prove us wrong this season.
You could say that it wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve been wide of the mark. That was terrible…