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Top 10: Players to have never won the Premier League

Over its 30+ year history, the Premier League has been graced by some of the greatest players to play the game. 

In total, exactly 300 players have collected winners' medals - here, we take a look at the 10 best players to have never won the Premier League.

10 – David Ginola

Critics will point to his inconsistency and poor work rate, but on his day, there were few like David Ginola. The ultimate flair player, Ginola was brought to the Premier League in 1995 to make up what would be known as The Entertainers.

Ginola was an instant hit on Tyneside and in many ways, the Frenchman was a perfect fit in Kevin Keegan’s free-flowing side. Ginola was on the losing side in the classic 4-3 with Liverpool that was a hammer blow to the Magpies’ chances of winning the title, and Newcastle would finish second in consecutive seasons.

Following a move to Tottenham, title tilts were no more, but Ginola did find himself in the PFA Team of the Year for a second time, as well as being named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1999.

9 – Paul McGrath

Undoubtedly one of the Premier League’s greatest defenders, despite spending just five years towards the end of his career in the competition.

So good was Paul McGrath that he would be named the first PFA Players’ Player of the Year in the Premier League era as Aston Villa came second to McGrath’s old club, Manchester United. 

8 – Matt Le Tissier

Perhaps England’s most undercapped player, Matt Le Tissier featured just eight times for the Three Lions. His decision not to move to a bigger club didn’t just cost him more England caps, but quite possibly a Premier League winners’ medal.

Equally adept at creating chances as he was at getting on the end of them, Le Tissier – nicknamed Le God on the south coast – was one of the shining lights in the Premier League’s formative years, with a highlight reel of numerous goals that most strikers would count themselves lucky to score just once.

Despite playing for Southampton, Le Tissier managed 0.72 goals and assists every 90 minutes in the Premier League, twice clearing 30 goal contributions in a campaign, but happy to stay at The Dell, Le Tissier’s highest Premier League finish was 10th.

7 – Paul Gascoigne

There’s an argument that Paul Gascoigne is the greatest player to have played in the Premier League and not won it, though there are good reasons for that. 

So impressive having broken into the Newcastle first team, Gascoigne was receiving attention from some of the country’s biggest clubs, namely Manchester United. 

A deal was agreed before being hijacked by Tottenham, and Gascoigne would spend four years in North London before being transferred to Lazio for the first season of the Premier League. 

Gascoigne spent three years in Italy and three years in Scotland with Rangers, spending his best years away from the Premier League.

Gascoigne finally made his Premier League debut in 1998 with Middlesbrough, spending two seasons in the north east before moving to Merseyside to join Everton.

6 – Les Ferdinand

In the last four years of Les Ferdinand’s career, he embarked on something of a journeyman path, being on the books of Tottenham, West Ham, Leicester, Bolton, Reading and Watford.

But at his peak he was one of the country’s best strikers.

Making his name at QPR, Ferdinand scored 60 goals for the Hoops in the first three seasons following the Premier League’s formation.

Ferdinand’s prowess in front of goal earned a move to big-spending Newcastle, where the hope was the forward’s goals could fire the Toon to the title.

And they so nearly did.

Ferdinand scored 25 goals in his maiden campaign on Tyneside, but the infamous collapse in the second half of the season saw Newcastle finish second in two straight seasons.

5 – Xabi Alonso

It’s fair to say the Liverpool side Xabi Alonso joined was far from a vintage Liverpool side. The club had just sold Michael Owen and for the first time in decades, the Reds didn’t have a top-class striker. 

They did, however, have what would become a top-class midfielder. 

Alonso won the Champions League in his first season and the FA Cup in his second, and the arrival of Javier Mascherano allowed Steven Gerrard to play a more advanced role. In 2008/09, Gerrard enjoyed his best season at Liverpool, as Rafa Benitez’s Reds mounted a genuine title challenge for the first time in years. 

They’d fall just short of arch-rivals Manchester United and Alonso would depart for Real Madrid, where he’d win La Liga, before adding three Bundesliga crowns in Germany with Bayern Munich to go with his World Cup winners’ medal and two European Championships.

4 – Fernando Torres

From the likes of Roger Hunt, to Kevin Keegan, to Kenny Dalglish, to Ian Rush, to Robbie Fowler, to Michael Owen, Liverpool had enjoyed decades of tremendous goalscorers. 

But after the departure of Owen in 2004, it left a gaping hole in Liverpool’s front line that wouldn’t really be filled until 2007.

Fernando Torres arrived on Merseyside and took to the Premier League like a duck to water. Over his first three seasons at Anfield, Torres averaged 9.85 goals per 90, and helped Liverpool to finish second in 2009.

Injuries towards the end of his Liverpool career would rob him of some of the pace that made him so deadly, and he was never able to replicate his Liverpool form at Chelsea.

Torres spent seven years between Liverpool and Chelsea, but a Premier League medal eluded him.

3 – Luis Suarez

They say the brightest stars burn the fastest, and Luis Suarez treated us to just three-and-a-half years in the Premier League.

His first 18 months was very much an adjustment period – for both Suarez and Liverpool – as the club adapted to losses in the form of Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres, as well as changes in the dugout. 

But by his second full season, Liverpool had a bonafide superstar whose talents exceeded even Torres’.

Suarez scored 23 goals in 2012/13, but it was the season after when he formed a lethal partnership with Daniel Sturridge that should’ve seen Liverpool win a first Premier League title. 

Suarez scored 31 goals in 33 games, winning the European Golden Shoe, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the FWA Footballer of the Year, the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year. Almost everything but the Premier League.

2 – Gareth Bale

A hot prospect at Southampton, Gareth Bale’s early days in the Premier League were marked by his remarkable 24-game winless run. Yes, in his first 24 Premier League appearances for Tottenham, Bale never found himself on the winning side. 

It’s safe to say things improved significantly from there. 

An attacking full-back, Harry Redknapp realised that Bale’s talents lay further upfield, and the Welshman would be deployed as a winger. 

It’s easy to forget how young Bale was when he hit his stride, too. Just 22 years old – a year on from his breakthrough campaign that saw him named PFA Players’ Player of the Year – Bale made 20 goal contributions before moving into top gear in 2012/13.

As far as individual seasons go, Bale’s was one of the best. He scored 20 goals but beyond the numbers he was so often a one-man wrecking ball; completely unplayable and unquestionably the league’s best player.

It earned him a world-record transfer to Real Madrid, where he’d be recognised as one of the greatest British footballers of all time, but helping Tottenham to the top four was as near as he ever got to a Premier League winners’ medal.

1 – Steven Gerrard

No prizes for guessing who comes top of the list here.

Steven Gerrard’s career is littered with highlights and unforgettable goals. The Olympiakos goal to keep their 2005 Champions League hopes alive; the last-gasp equaliser in the 2006 FA Cup final, the thunderbolt against Manchester United as a 20-year-old, the equaliser against Everton at Goodison Park the following season.

And despite much of his career spent at a sub-par Liverpool team, Gerrard wasn’t short on silverware, lifting the League Cup, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Champions League. 

Nevertheless, Gerrard spent 17 years at Anfield, but couldn’t capture the title.

He’d come close in 2009, playing behind Fernando Torres as the pair combined for 30 goals, but the closest he’d ever come would be in 2014. The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson from Manchester United the previous season ruled out one perennial contender as Brendan Rodgers’ charges mounted an unlikely title challenge. 

But as twists of fate go, they wouldn’t get much crueller than this. Having thrown a two-goal lead away at home to title rivals Manchester City, Liverpool came back to nick the game and take pole position in the title race. Gerrard gave his famous rallying cry: “This does not slip now.”

Liverpool were six points ahead of City (who had a game in hand), and a win at home to Chelsea would’ve seen them wrap one hand around the trophy.

But Gerrard mis-controlled the ball, losing his footing afterwards to allow Demba Ba in to score. Chelsea would go on to win 2-0 and Liverpool’s – and Gerrard’s – title wait would go on.

Gerrard twice came close to a move to Chelsea after their influx of money. First in 2004, then after the Champions League final win in 2005. Eventually Gerrard u-turned and decided to stay at Anfield, insisting that one Premier League with Liverpool would mean more than multiple with Chelsea. Unfortunately, it’s a dream that forever eluded Gerrard.

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