Matic, Soucek, McTominay: The Premier League's tallest XI in 2021/22

  • Kobe Tong

The Premier League is world famous for its physical brand of football.

Every time a diminutive player from around the world signs for a club in England’s top-flight, you can rest assured that the same-old cliché questions will be asked about their chances of success.

Will they be able to adjust? Have they got the mettle to succeed? Do they know what they’re getting themselves into? Can they do it on a cold, wet and windy night at Burnley?

The physicality of the Premier League

The extent to which these are actually important questions depends on who you ask, but there’s no denying that the rough and tumble nature of English football strikes fear into certain players.

So, when the boots and elbows are flying in, you’re certainly going to have at least a small advantage in your mission to make the grade in the Premier League if you’re, well, on the taller side.

Here at GIVEMESPORT, we’ve already looked at the shortest players who call the division their home and our findings couldn’t help but tempt us into looking at the stars on the other end of the spectrum.

After all, there’s no one build or physique that makes for a successful Premier League star, so rest assured that there are just as many talented tall players as there were in the shortest XI of all.

Premier League giants

And to construct the tallest line-up out of the 2021/22 ranks, we’ve turned to the database over at worldfootball.net and corroborated it with the Premier League’s official player profiles where possible.

From there, we’ve looked at each position within a 4-3-3 formation and selected the tallest player accordingly.

The only rules are that the player must have appeared in the Premier League this season and must have featured in the position that we’re playing them in at least once across the 2021/22 campaign.

So, yes, that does technically mean that the Premier League’s tallest player of all, Lucas Bergstrom, at six feet and 8.5 inches misses out having not played for Chelsea this season.

Soccer Football – FA Cup Quarter Final – Middlesbrough v Chelsea – Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, Britain – March 19, 2022 Chelsea’s Lucas Bergstrom arrives at the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

And in the instance of any draws, we’ve taken the player that we consider to be the most talented footballer of the bunch in order to ensure that our XI is as high quality as possible.

The Premier League’s tallest XI

Got it? Right then, enough with the disclaimers and housekeeping because we know you’re intrigued to discover the Premier League’s tallest line-up – and you can check it out down below.

GK: Fraser Forster (Southampton)

Height: 6 foot and 7 inches (201cm)

Standing two centimetres above Asmir Begovic, Forster is the tallest shot-stopper to pull on the gloves this season and his masterclass against Arsenal goes to show that it most certainly doesn’t hold him back.

Soccer Football – Premier League – West Ham United v Southampton – London Stadium, London, Britain – December 26, 2021 Southampton’s Fraser Forster Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

RB: Kristoffer Ajer (Brentford)

Height: 6 foot and 5 inches (196cm)

Look, we’ll be completely transparent, full-backs aren’t the tallest of lads in the Premier League, so yes we are leaning towards the unique batch of centre-backs who occasionally ply their trade out wide.

And with Ajer having filled in at right-back no less than six times for Brentford this season, we’re more than happy to get our mountainous defence underway with 196cm of Norwegian steel.

CB: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)

Height: 6 foot and 5 inches (196cm)

Pipping Joel Matip, Yerry Mina and Willy Boly by a single centimetre, Mings stands tall having come into his own in recent seasons and now captains Aston Villa with 17 England caps to his name.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Wolverhampton Wanderers v Aston Villa – Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain – April 2, 2022 Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

CB: Jannik Vestergaard (Leicester City)

Height: 6 foot and 6 inches (199cm)

Vestergaard might have found consistent game time hard to come by at the King Power Stadium, but his spot in the Premier League’s tallest XI is assured as he knocks on the door of the 200cm mark.

LB: Dan Burn (Newcastle United)

Height: 6 foot and 6 inches (199cm)

The tallest of tall full-backs, Burn’s experiments with life as a left-back might have petered out at Newcastle, but his gallivanting out wide with Brighton & Hove Albion were enough for us to get away with this.

And what makes the situation all the more amusing is that Burn is actually the tallest outfield player of all, towering over his teammate Ryan Fraser who endures as the division’s shortest baller.

Soccer Football – Premier League – West Ham United v Newcastle United – London Stadium, London, Britain – February 19, 2022 Newcastle United’s Dan Burn in action with West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

CM: Tomas Soucek (West Ham United)

Height: 6 foot and 4 inches (192cm)

An absolute gladiator at the heart of a Hammers side that could lift the Europa League trophy this season, Soucek would be a great candidate to anchor any midfield regardless of whether height is a factor or not.

CM: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)

Height: 6 foot and 4 inches (194cm)

This could well be a final hurrah in the Premier League’s tallest XI for Matic on the back of confirmation that he’ll be leaving Old Trafford in the summer. He’ll quite literally leave big shoes to fill.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – January 3, 2022 Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Nelson Semedo in action with Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

CM: Scott McTominay (Manchester United)

Height: 6 foot and 4 inches (193cm)

Are we the only ones who were surprised by this? Don’t get me wrong, ‘McSauce’ is clearly built like a warrior, but we’ll happily admit to having had no idea that the Scot was one of the league’s tallest midfielders.

FW: Armando Broja (Southampton)

Height: 6 foot and 3 inches (191cm)

Are forwards shrinking or something? Broja is the smallest player in our XI with towering attacking players in short supply, but there’s no denying that the Chelsea loanee has shown his class on the south coast.

Soccer Football – FA Cup Fifth Round – Southampton v West Ham United – St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, Britain – March 2, 2022 West Ham United’s Craig Dawson in action with Southampton’s Armando Broja REUTERS/Tony Obrien

ST: Wout Weghorst (Burnley)

Height: 6 foot and 6 inches (197cm)

Let’s be honest here, Weghorst was made for Burnley. If anything, it’s surprising that he’s the only Clarets player in our XI with his imposing, backboard-like playing style proving a real Premier League throwback.

FW: Jean-Philippe Mateta (Crystal Palace)

Height: 6 foot and 4 inches (192cm)

Again, another surprise, but clearly the evolution of the game towards a more passing and pressing-based style has meant that the age of Peter Crouch and Nikola Zigic is on the way out.

Mateta is slowly but surely producing his best form at Selhurst Park with three goals in his last six games having initially flattered to deceive upon completing a move from Mainz in January 2021.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Crystal Palace v Arsenal – Selhurst Park, London, Britain – April 4, 2022 Crystal Palace’s Jean-Philippe Mateta in action REUTERS/David Klein EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

An impressive line-up

Now, it’s fair to say that lot wouldn’t concede many goals from set pieces.

And while, sure, the Premier League’s tallest XI clearly wouldn’t lay a glove on the division’s finest line-up of all, there’s no denying that each of the players pack plenty of talent into their towering frames.

Forget the condescending phrase that ‘they’ve got a good touch for a big lad’ and accept that standing well above the six-foot mark is not necessarily a detriment to one’s footballing ability.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Burnley v Everton – Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain – April 6, 2022 Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite in action with Burnley’s Wout Weghorst Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

From the defensive steel of Burn to the sizzling strikes of Weghorst and all the quality in between, the simple fact of the matter is that the Premier League’s tallest XI would do far more than just win headers.

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