The modern Premier League is one of the most physically demanding in the world, with hard running and work-rate crucial to success in a division full of intensity.
In every successful side, there are the unsung heroes who epitomise the value of graft better than most. With the 2018/19 Premier League season having reached its conclusion, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the season’s most interesting stats and celebrate the league’s true grafters.
Here are the five hardest working players in the Premier League…
N’Golo Kante, Chelsea – 407.0km
The ever-popular Chelsea midfielder has had to adapt to a more advanced role under Mauricio Sarri this season, though that hasn’t prevented the World Cup winner from covering ground in typical style.
The 28-year-old has developed his reputation based on the industrious nature of his play, first as a ball-winning midfielder before showing his ability to perform in a box-to-box role last season.
Chelsea fans have debated his best position all season long, though no one can argue that the Frenchman doesn’t put a shift in with Kante covering 407km over the course of the campaign.
Read Also: 10 of the best quotes about N’Golo Kante
Thierry Henry on N’Golo Kante! 😂 pic.twitter.com/d77ICTPDFT
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 17, 2019
Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester – 408.3 km
Leicester midfielder Ndidi is the archetypal modern-day defensive midfielder, whose physical attributes mixed with work-rate and an ability to win the ball.
The 22-year-old covered over 408km during the 2018/19 season, playing a key role in Leicester’s young side.
Ndidi has also topped the Premier League charts for tackles for the past two seasons, showing there is ability to match his relentless energy.
Bigger clubs have taken notice of the Nigerian internationals impact at the King Power Stadium and he could be the subject of interest this summer.
Jorginho, Chelsea – 418.8km
Jorginho arrived in a £50m deal last summer, with the hope the 27-year-old would become the creative fulcrum of Maurizio Sarri’s new-look side.
The former Napoli midfielder’s season hasn’t quite gone to plan, having been harshly criticised as the club’s supporters grew frustrated by their new coaches methods and his ‘Sarri-ball’ style.
That said, the midfielder has shown an appetite to graft, covering more ground than any other teammate at Stamford Bridge.
Many players have taken a while to adapt to the demands of English football, Chelsea fans will be hoping Jorginho can match this season’s work-rate with a greater influence next season.
Jack Cork, Burnley – 445.6km
Sean Dyche’s Burnley are very much in the mould of their manager with honest graft vital to their sustained success.
Midfielder Jack Cork led the way last season for the Clarets, covering a staggering 445.6km over the course of the campaign.
Burnley’s season started off poorly before they climbed their way clear of danger to eventually finish 15th, with the work-rate of players such as Cork having played a major part.
Dyche’s side exceeded all expectations to finish 7th in 2017/18, and will need commitment such as Cork’s if they’re to rise up the table once more.
Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace – 447.1km
The Premier League’s leading lung-buster last season was Luka Milivojevic.
The Crystal Palace captain led by example for Roy Hodgson’s side, covering more distance than any other player in the division.
Milivojevic enjoyed a strong campaign for the Eagles, scoring 12 goals as Palace finished 12th.
The Serbian offers calmness and set-piece quality to the club’s midfield, whilst his work-rate was unmatched across the whole of last season.
His league-high distance of 447.1km is the equivalent of running over 10 marathons!
It was a shortened pod this week, but still a solid listen. 🎧👌
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 14, 2019