Speed kills. Road safety or Premier League football the same rules apply, with blistering pace perhaps the one asset that is almost impossible to contain.
English football is home to some electric runners right now, each capable of leaving defenders in their wake with stunning bursts of pace.
Who are the fastest players in the Premier League so far this season? Using the Premier League’s official data, we look at the five players to have clocked up the highest recorded speed.
Denis Zakaria – Chelsea (36.09 km/h)
Denis Zakaria has had to be patient for his chance at Chelsea, but the club’s injury issues have provided the midfielder with an opportunity he has grasped in recent weeks.
The Switzerland international signed on loan from Juventus last summer to add depth to the Blues’ options, but spent much of the campaign’s opening months on the bench. He has come into the side for recent fixtures and has made a big impression, producing the sort of dynamic box-to-box performances that have been lacking in the club’s engine room.
A hamstring issue has sidelined the 26-year-old of late and Graham Potter will hope the midfielder can return to action as soon as possible.
Zakaria’s top speed of 36.09 km/h makes him the fastest central midfielder in the division this season and there have been calls for Chelsea to turn his loan into a permanent move. The west Londoners are understood to hold an option to sign Zakaria for a fee in the region of £25m.
Erling Haaland – Manchester City (36.22 km/h)
Erling Haaland has struck fear into Premier League defenders this season during a stunning first campaign in English football.
The Norwegian continues to score goals at a rate that places questions marks over where he has really come from. Is he truly the son of ex-Manchester City and Leeds midfielder, Alfie? Or is he some form of Scandinavian social-experiment, created by scientists with the sole purpose of scoring goals.
Erling Haaland is on course for a 50-goal season in the Premier League 🤯 pic.twitter.com/nJa7ApMoHh
— GOAL (@goal) January 25, 2023
Given his power, pace and ruthlessness when through on goal, we’re beginning to side with the latter.
Unable to match him for strength or speed, the division’s best defences have struggled to halt Haaland this season. He has 25 goals in just 19 league games, a ridiculous total that looks set to swell as the 22-year-old hunts down every goal record in sight.
Darwin Nunez – Liverpool (36.52 km/h)
Darwin Nunez has been a compelling watch this season.
Liverpool’s big-money signing from last summer has brought a blend of chaos to the Reds, combining the brilliant with the ridiculous on occasion. Jurgen Klopp retains huge faith in the forward, whose raw blend of ingredients make for an encouraging cocktail.
“He’s unstoppable in the moment when we keep the ball and pass it in the right moment, there’s no defender who can really catch up speed-wise,” Klopp said after the Boxing Day win at Aston Villa.
The statistics that show 'streaky' Darwin Núñez could end the season on a high 👀 pic.twitter.com/NKQWVccxPJ
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 25, 2023
“I know all the stories around and it’s all fine but we are completely calm, everything will be fine.”
Nunez has ten goals in 15 starts across all competitions for Liverpool this season and will hope to find consistency in his finishing across the second half of the campaign. He is the third-fastest player in the Premier League so far this season.
Anthony Gordon – Everton (36.61 km/h)
Anthony Gordon is dominating the headlines right now with Newcastle interested in a deal to sign the winger from Everton.
Gordon had a breakthrough season at Everton last term and was subject of big-money bids last summer, with Newcastle having returned with renewed intent for the 21-year-old.
Anthony Gordon. On target 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻. 🥶 pic.twitter.com/ZA9F5kZY15
— Everton (@Everton) August 30, 2022
Gordon – who has scored four goals in nine appearances for England’s u21 side – is capable of operating across the forward line and has recorded a top speed of 36.61 km/h this season.
His scintillating speed and ability to perform in multiple positions has attracted the division’s top clubs and Champions League chasing Newcastle are pushing for a deal this month. Everton will demand a huge fee for the academy product however, who is valued at around £60m at Goodison Park.
Mykhaylo Mudryk – Chelsea (36.63 km/h)
Mykhaylo Mudryk has featured for just 35 minutes in the Premier League to date, but a late cameo at Liverpool was enough for the Chelsea winger to take the title as the division’s fastest footballer.
Mudryk produced an encouraging performance on debut after coming off the bench at Anfield, with the sharpness and speed of the £88m recruit evident from the off.
The Ukraine international demonstrated one burst of pace that saw him eat up the ground on Ibrahima Konate, the Liverpool defender – no slouch himself – required to shift through the gears to reach the loose ball first despite a healthy headstart.
A constant threat on debut! ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/Q1z4ZCxgcf
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 22, 2023
James Milner was also forced into a crude challenge on the debutant, after deciding a footrace with Mudryk was not one he fancied. The Liverpool midfielder will have felt all of his 37 years as the winger set off into open space.
Graham Potter will have welcomed the debut of Mudryk, whose combination of explosive pace and nimble footwork are set to test the Premier League’s best full-backs.