The Premier League is a huge competition, and its importance and popularity has continued to grow since its very first season back in 1993/94.  

Over the years some of the very best players in the world have been signed by clubs competing in the competition and while some have had only a small impact, there have been others that have gone on to become world class superstars in the game.

In this slight change from our usual Top Ten style article, we are going to be picking our best ever Premier League team.

We will pick our First XI from a standard 4-3-3 formation, as well as giving you some of the players who made it into consideration, but who didn’t quite make the final cut to be the best of the best comprising our 25-man squad.

Remember, you can see the current crop of Premier League stars in action tonight with four games on Thursday, as well as a full weekend of action to come, plus some big midweek games next week too including Arsenal facing Liverpool.

Bet365 Sport has all the betting markets you need, both pre-match and In Play on these games if you fancy a flutter.

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Let’s get on with the first position in our team which is one of the most keenly contested. Goalkeeper.

READ: Frequently asked questions for the English Premier League 2022-2023

Premier League All-Time XI (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper

Nominees

  • David Seaman (Arsenal)
  • Ederson (Manchester City)
  • Alisson (Liverpool)
  • Peter Schmeichel (Manchester United & Manchester City)
  • Kaspar Schmeichel (Leicester City)
  • Petr Cech (Chelsea)
  • Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)

What a fantastic selection of players to make up the goalkeeping position and picking who to make it into the squad from this list is tough. I think in terms of success and general influence, Peter Schmeichel is a fitting pick at number one for the team.

However, I think David Seaman and Petr Cech make admirable back ups with all of the others not too far behind.

First Team XI – Peter Schmeichel

Reserves – David Seaman, Petr Cech

Right Back

Nominees

  • Gary Neville (Manchester United)
  • Lee Dixon (Arsenal)
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
  • Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City & West Ham)
  • Seamus Coleman (Everton)

First Team XITrent Alexander-Arnold

Reserves – Gary Neville

Probably the weakest area of the team in terms of the depth of quality available, but even that is relative as there are some of the world’s best right backs here. Neville, Dixon and Zabaleta all enjoyed success but for me, Trent Alexander-Arnold has redefined what is expected of a right full back nowadays and even at just 23-years-old, he is the pick for me here with Neville a very solid back up option.

Left Back

Nominees

  • Ashley Cole (Arsenal & Chelsea)
  • Andy Robertson (Hull City & Liverpool)
  • Denis Irwin (Manchester United)
  • Nigel Winterburn (Arsenal)
  • Patrice Evra (Manchester United)
  • Leighton Baines (Wigan Athletic & Everton)

First Team XIAshley Cole

Reserves – Denis Irwin, Andy Robertson

I felt there was more quality on offer at left back, though I could have played Denis Irwin at right back as he was so talented. Irwin gets into the squad because he is a superb option at right or left full back but when it comes to the left back of the Premier League era, Ashley Cole is the man.

A superb performer for club and country, Cole is the clear winner in this category with Irwin and Liverpool’s Andy Robertson offering solid back up from the bench.

Central Defenders (x2)

Nominees

  • Steve Bruce (Manchester United)
  • Marcel Desailly (Chelsea)
  • Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
  • John Terry (Chelsea)
  • Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
  • Virgil van Dijk (Southampton & Liverpool)
  • Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
  • Tony Adams (Arsenal)
  • Sol Campbell (Tottenham & Arsenal)

First Team XI – Virgil van Dijk & Marcel Desailly

Reserves – Rio Ferdinand, John Terry Vincent Kompany, Tony Adams

Competition for a spot just to make the nominees was tough for central defenders and my two picks for the first team may seem controversial but I believe that both Van Dijk and Desailly were, at their best, the best central defenders in the world at their best.

I can’t quite say that about the other players on the list, but despite that I think there is so much quality that adding four players like Ferdinand, Terry, Kompany and Adams gives us plenty of options.

Holding Midfielder

Nominees

  • Didier Deschamps (Chelsea)
  • Claude Makalele (Chelsea)
  • Roy Keane (Manchester United)
  • N’Golo Kante (Leicester & Chelsea)
  • Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
  • Paul Ince (West Ham, Man Utd & Liverpool)
  • Patrick Vieira (Arsenal)
  • Emmanuel Petit (Arsenal & Chelsea)

First Team XIRoy Keane

Reserves – N’Golo Kante, Patrick Vieira

The holding role is a key one in the team and a player needs to have tireless energy but also perhaps be an inspiration to their team mates. For me, Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira were probably the very best in this role and I’ve gone with Keane, simply for his leadership skills and added goalscorer threat.

Vieira gets in as a reserve, with N’Golo Kante also earning a spot after winning the Premier League with two different teams.

Attacking Midfielders (x2)

Nominees

  • Frank Lampard (West Ham, Chelsea & Manchester City)
  • Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
  • Jay Jay Okocha (Bolton Wanderers)
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea & Manchester City)
  • Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
  • Paul Gascoigne (Everton & Middlesbrough)
  • Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal & Chelsea)
  • David Silva (Manchester City)

First Team XI Steven Gerrard & Frank Lampard

Reserves – Paul Scholes, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva

Had we seen the best of Paul Gascoigne in the Premier League, he’d have made this team, but we saw only glimpses of that immense talent in the EPL era. For me, there are five outstanding candidates here, Scholes, Lampard, Silva, Gerrard and De Bruyne and I could not think of a squad without them in, so they made the cut with Lampard and Gerrard getting the first team spots.

Left Wing

Nominees

  • Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
  • Mo Salah (Chelsea & Liverpool)
  • Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
  • Gareth Bale (Southampton & Tottenham)
  • Robert Pires (Arsenal)

First Team XI – Thierry Henry

Reserves – Ryan Giggs, Mo Salah

There’s so much quality in this position of the team that I cannot name just one reserve here, so with a 23-man squad at my disposal, I’ve named two. It was a very close call for the starting role but I’ve gone with Thierry Henry, simply because he offers more of a goal threat and for a couple of seasons, he was the best player in the world.

I can’t believe that Ryan Giggs and Mo Salah are therefore on the bench and that Gareth Bale and Robert Pires don’t even make the squad, such is the quality on offer here.

Right Wing

Nominees

  • Arjen Robben (Chelsea)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
  • Raheem Sterling (Liverpool & Manchester City)
  • Sadio Mane (Southampton & Liverpool)
  • Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
  • Riyadh Mahrez (Leicester City & Manchester City)
  • David Beckham (Manchester United)

This is a strong list of very talented players, but there is no doubt who gets the nod in the team here. How can you not find a place for one of the greatest players of all time who has defined the modern era of football? So yes, Cristiano Ronaldo gets in the team here.

As his back up, well that’s a tougher call but I think you would be hard pushed to discount David Beckham given his impact on the game in general and he would take it ahead of Hazard, Mane or Mahrez.

First Team XICristiano Ronaldo

Reserves – David Beckham

Central Striker

Nominees

  • Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers & Newcastle United)
  • Andy Cole (Newcastle United & Manchester United)
  • Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
  • Fernando Torres (Liverpool & Chelsea)
  • Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
  • Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
  • Denis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
  • Wayne Rooney (Everton & Manchester United)
  • Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

This was a massive task whittling down the list to the nominees above when you consider the likes of Les Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Ian Wright, Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmann and Jamie Vardy didn’t make the list.

As the pinpoint of the attack, it is scoring goals and leading the line that is vital here and I think Shearer therefore would just about get the start although maybe in a few years, we may talk about Harry Kane in the same breath if he continues his current progress.

In reserve, I’d pick Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero, with Suarez and Bergkamp so unfortunate to miss out.

First Team XIAlan Shearer

Reserves – Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero