Picking the best over-30 team in the Premier League - Son Heung-min Tottenham
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Picking the best over-30 team in the Premier League

Footballers over the age of 30 used to be deemed on the decline, but not so much anymore. Sports science has prolonged the peaks of Premier League stars and some of the division’s biggest names are producing elite levels in an age group once dubbed over the hill.

We’ve decided to pick a combined XI of the best Premier League players aged 30+.

Picking the best over-30 team in the Premier League:

Goalkeeper: Alisson – Liverpool

Alisson Becker might just be the best goalkeeper in the world right now, a shot-stopper of extraordinary capabilities that will rank as one of Liverpool’s most transformative signings. The last line of defence in the Jurgen Klopp era, the Brazilian has bailed his team out time and time again with world-class reactions, particularly when one-on-one with opposition forwards.

He stops attacks, starts them, and is an elite sweeper when racing from his line, boasting all the attributes required of a modern goalkeeper. There’s arguably no real weakness in his game.

Right-back: Kyle Walker – Manchester City

Kyle Walker has shown few signs of slowing down even as he creeps towards his 34th birthday. The Manchester City captain remains a crucial piece of the puzzle for club and country, with his electric recovery pace and ability to fill numerous roles to a high standard valued immensely.

When it comes to crunch clashes against the best wingers in the game, Walker is the go-to man for Pep Guardiola. His sheer athleticism is enough to frustrate wide players into submission.

Centre-back: Fabian Schar – Newcastle

Arguably among the most underrated defenders in the division, Fabian Schar has proven to be outstanding business for Newcastle since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna for a bargain fee of Β£3m almost six years ago.

An integral part of the club’s Champions League qualification last season, the Swiss centre-back is calm personified in possession and regularly delights St James’ Park with adventurous strides forward and pinpoint distribution from deep.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk has sought to reclaim his throne as the Premier League’s – and perhaps world football’s – best defender this season. After inheriting the captain’s armband from Jordan Henderson at Liverpool last summer, he has looked like the natural leader of a new era instantly.

Van Dijk has won more aerial duels (113) than any other player in the Premier League and has won the highest percentage of aerial contests (84.3%) in Europe’s top five leagues. Perhaps the greatest compliment to the 32-year-old is that he makes those around him better, with his influence having aided the integration of Conor Bradley and Jarell Quansah into the Liverpool first team this season.

Left-back: Andy Robertson – Liverpool

Andy Robertson sneaks into this XI having celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this month. The Scotland captain has been a leading figure at Liverpool during the Jurgen Klopp era, after arriving as an unheralded addition from relegated Hull City in 2017.

He has made 287 appearances in all competitions for the Reds and has rarely left anything out on the pitch, with his lung-busting efforts appreciated at Anfield. Robertson holds the record for Premier League assists by a defender (58), alongside teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Midfield: Casemiro – Manchester United

Casemiro’s arrival at Manchester United last season was a case of a short-term move for instant impact, as the five-time Champions League winner arrived from Real Madrid. The Brazilian’s performances strengthened an area of weakness for Erik ten Hag and he impressed as the Red Devils secured Champions League qualification and Carabao Cup success.

The 32-year-old has struggled to replicate those performances this time around and lacks the legs of his Real Madrid pomp, but his poise in possession and leadership are important assets at Old Trafford. He could have a crucial role in the development of teenage teammate Kobbie Mainoo.

Midfield: Wataru Endo – Liverpool

Liverpool deviated from their usual transfer plan to sign Wataru Endo from Stuttgart last summer, agreeing a deal to bring in the experienced Japan international. After missing out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea, some suggested Endo’s arrival was panic over planning.

However, the 31-year-old has thrived in a Liverpool shirt with his endeavour and tenacity helping shore up the Reds’ new-look midfield. Combative out of possession and efficient with it, he has been a snip at the Β£16m fee.

Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

If Kevin De Bruyne is not the best footballer in the Premier League, he’s certainly the most complete. The Belgium international can do it all in the Manchester City midfield, producing another season of exquisite creativity since returning from a hamstring issue.

He has 13 assists in 14 appearances in all competitions for the Citizens, adding two goals, and will be a driving force in the club’s hopes of defending their treble across the run-in. His argument as one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever midfielders strengthens with each season.

Right-wing: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

Mohamed Salah has been an unstoppable goalscorer since arriving at Liverpool and his incredible consistency has continued into his thirties. The 31-year-old has hit 207 goals in all competitions for the Reds, climbing into the club’s top five goalscorers of all time.

A three-time winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot, a fourth is not beyond Salah this season after scoring 15 times in the league in 2023/24 to date. With nine assists also to his name, the Egyptian remains one of the most effective forwards in European football.

Left-wing: Pascal Gross – Brighton

Pascal Gross’ ability to perform almost anywhere has him fill in at left-wing on our team sheet, with this XI not complete without the presence of the German goal-creator.

The 32-year-old has been exceptional value since signing for Brighton from Ingolstadt for just Β£3m, producing consistent quality as the Seagulls have improved season upon season.

The current campaign has been the most productive of his career, with his 10 assists the joint-most in the Premier League alongside Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier.

Forward: Son Heung-min – Tottenham

Son Heung-min leads the line in our over-30 all-star team, having cemented his status as a Tottenham icon in recent campaigns. The South Korean has scored 159 goals for the club, with only four players having ever outscored Son for the north Londoners, while no player has provided more assists.

After the departure of long-term accomplice Harry Kane last summer, Son has inherited the captain’s armband and mantle as Spurs’ leading threat, scoring 14 league goals this season. He has now reached 10+ goals in eight consecutive Premier League campaigns and is the only Asian footballer to have won the division’s Golden Boot.

Read –Β Five top players who could feature at the 2024 Olympics

See more –Β Ranking the five best centre-backs in the world right now

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