Raheem Sterling’s appearance for Manchester City in the recent derby defeat at Old Trafford brought up a landmark figure, the England winger making his 250th appearance in the Premier League.
The disappointing loss may have made it one to forget for Sterling, though his reaching of the milestone at just 25-years-old made him one of the youngest players in the division’s history to achieve the feat.
Here are the five youngest players to make 250 Premier League appearances:
Frank Lampard – 25 years, 253 days
One of a collection of young talents to emerge from West Ham’s fabled academy system in the mid to late nineties, few would have predicted the heights Lampard would reach despite his evident talents as a teenager in Claret and Blue.
The midfielder would be handed his debut as a substitute for John Moncur against Coventry City in 1996, before earning more regular inclusion the following season under the guidance of uncle ‘Arry Redknapp.
Lampard would make 148 league appearances for the Hammers before an £11m move to Chelsea in 2001, where he would develop into arguably the finest goalscoring midfielder in world football and earn a status of club legend across the capital.
His remarkable consistency saw Lampard make his 250th Premier League appearance aged just 25 years and 253 days, during a club record 164 consecutive league games for Chelsea between 2001 and 2005.
Lampard’s Stamford Bridge career would also deliver three league titles and the Champions League amongst a wealth of honours, whilst he would also eclipse Bobby Tambling’s record as the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 211 goals.
Raheem Sterling – 25 years, 91 days
Sterling’s appearance against Manchester United last weekend made him the fourth-youngest player in Premier League history to reach 250 appearances, the winger having starred in the top flight since making his Liverpool debut as a 17-year-old against Wigan in 2012.
It would be under Brendan Rodgers that Sterling would gain regular first-team football, playing a key role in the Merseyside club’s title challenge in 2014 under the Northern Irishman’s stewardship.
After 95 appearances he would opt to depart Anfield, however, moving to Manchester City in a £49m deal where has since flourished into an elite attacking talent.
His 155 league appearances since moving to the Etihad have yielded two Premier League titles, in addition to 59 goals and last season’s FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
Gareth Barry – 25 years, 37 days
Enjoying a Premier League career that would span two decades, Barry brought versatility and consistency to several top-flight clubs, initially breaking through at Aston Villa as a teenager before spending a decade with the Midlands outfit.
The left-footed midfielder would reach the landmark figure of 250 Premier League appearances aged just 25 years and 37 days, part of 365 he would make in Villa colours before a switch to Manchester City in 2009.
It would be at the newly-rich Manchester outfit that Barry would finally add silverware to his resume, helping to end the club’s 35-year wait for a major trophy with FA Cup success in 2011 before a drought-breaking Premier League title the following season.
Further spells at Everton and West Brom would follow as Barry became the highest appearance maker in Premier League history on 653, the evergreen 39-year-old still plying his trade with the promotion-chasing Baggies in the Championship at present.
James Milner – 24 years, 293 days
Liverpool’s current vice-captain has developed a reputation as the ultimate professional during lengthy career at the highest level, beginning with his emergence at boyhood side Leeds as a fresh faced 16-year-old in an ill-fitting white shirt.
He would become the second-youngest player in Premier League history when making his debut against West Ham, before eclipsing Wayne Rooney as the league’s youngest ever goalscorer against Sunderland in 2002.
His 250th Premier League appearance would come in the colours of Manchester City via spells at Newcastle and Aston Villa, the midfielder winning two Premier League titles during his time at the Etihad.
A free transfer switch to Merseyside in 2015 has seen him add further honours to his extensive collection including the Champions League last season, the 34-year-old also on the verge of entering the top five for all-time appearances in the Premier League.
James Milner vs. Bournemouth
86% Pass accuracy
2/4 Accurate long passes
1/1 Shot on target
7/5 Ground duels won
2/2 Aerial duels won
2/2 Tackles won
4 Clearances (1 goal line)
Mr consistent, dependable, iron man; call him what you like, Milner’s a bloody good football player. pic.twitter.com/4kui0zDBfr
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) March 7, 2020
Wayne Rooney – 24 years, 119 days
The youngest player ever to reach 250 Premier League games is Wayne Rooney, the forward’s breakthrough at Everton having been one of the most exciting of the modern era.
Thrust into the spotlight as a 16-year-old, Rooney’s stunning late winner to end Arsenal’s 30-game unbeaten run in 2002 made him a national star overnight, becoming the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history – a record since twice surpassed by James Milner and James Vaughan.
The teenage star continued to deliver performances that defied his tender years and earned him a mega money move to Manchester United in 2004, where he would quickly establish himself and win back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
After becoming the youngest ever player to reach 100 Premier League appearances he would also become the youngest to the 250 milestone, one of a number of records set during a glittering career for club and country.
Rooney’s trophy haul includes five Premier League titles and the Champions League following a 13-year career at Old Trafford, the Croxteth-born star becoming the record goalscorer for both United and England, in addition to second-highest goalscorer in Premier League history.