Premier League: Who is the fastest player in the league?

Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Premier League footballers are some of the fastest athletes on the planet.

There’s no doubt that at the top level of the game, you need to be strong, agile and quick on your feet.

And as sports science and player fitness programmes have improved since the inception of the Premier League, players are now getting faster and faster each year.

But interestingly, it’s not just football’s attacking stars who have good acceleration.

When coming up against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane, defenders also need to be fast enough to keep up with these elite runners.

Acceleration is everything in football, and if you are caught out of position, these speedsters will punish you dearly with their eye-watering pace.

But how fast do footballers run in the Premier League?

Thanks to stats analysts OptaJoe, we now have a definitive list of the six players who have recorded the highest speeds in the English top-flight during the 2021/22 season.

The rankings, which contain a couple of surprises, are well worth a look, with one defender beating a big Premier League star to the top spot.

Check them out below…

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Players with the highest top speed in the Premier League this season

=5. Patson Daka – 36.1 km/h

=5. Ollie Watkins – 36.1 km/h

4. Ibrahima Konate – 36.2 km/h

=2. Adama Traore – 36.6 km/h

=2. Mohamed Salah – 36.6 km/h

1. Antonio Rudiger – 36.7 km/h

While Salah is arguably the league’s fastest player, he has curiously missed out on the top spot to a defender, with Chelsea centre-back Rudiger besting him by the bearest of margins.

And there’s no wonder why Rudiger is wanted by clubs all over Europe, with his elite acceleration proving that he is one of the best defenders in the league.

What’s even more surprising about the stats is that Rudiger’s pace rating on FIFA is only 75.

EA Sports might have to amend this for the 2022/23 season.

But the German isn’t the only defender on the list, with Liverpool centre-back Konate placing inside the top four, out-pacing forwards Watkins and Daka.

It’s also no surprise to see the former Wolves powerhouse Traore inside the top three considering his elite acceleration off the mark and ability to outgas players when getting to the byline.

Although the list does curiously miss off some well-known speedsters from the Premier League, including Ismaïla Sarr, Daniel James, and Kyle Walker.

But it also proves that these players are raw athletes, as when they get going, the likes of Rudiger and Salah can reach speeds of up to 22mph during a match.

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