Who are the Premier League’s best wide midfielders?
We’re in the process of choosing a Premier League select XI, based on performances over the past 12 months. Having picked a defence stronger than the Roman army, as well as two central midfielders who can control play while bagging themselves a few goals, we’re on the lookout for some wide boys. But who will be the wingmen for Yaya Touré and Michael Carrick? The Life’s a Pitch panel sits down to thrash it out, with Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia (pictured, left), Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Wigan’s Victor Moses all in with a shout.
“One of the players I was going to mention is a guy who I imagine will be going to Liverpool: Clint Dempsey (pictured, right),” says Dave Kidd of the People. “His best position is out wide and, if you’re going to play a 4-4-2, you want players who can tuck in and work hard – and Dempsey does that. Mata as well, he was outstanding last season. When Chelsea were struggling, and as a guy new to the Premier League, I thought he was absolutely excellent. Antonio Valencia is another one. [Man Utd] missed him at times and he’s a top player who doesn’t quite get the kudos he deserves.”
Next up, the Daily Telegraph’s Jason Burt thinks Gareth Bale is a shoo-in for the left-wing spot. “Out on the wing, he’s devastating,” he says. “He’s got the pace, power and skill to go past any defender, as Maicon will testify. I like Hatem Ben Arfa as well; he’s not really a classic winger, but he’s a guy who plays out wide and I think he could be quite a force this season.”
Enough about the left side – what about the right? “I do think we’ve got a consensus on the left but the right is a much more interesting dilemma,” says Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror. “You’ve got Valencia, [Theo] Walcott has raw pace and Lennon at Spurs, who may not even get a game this season. Nathan Dyer from Swansea, I thought he had a really good season last year and also Victor Moses. At the end of last season, when Wigan were, bizarrely, the best team in the country for two months, he was absolutely key to them.”
Watch the video to find out which wide midfielders the Life’s a Pitch panel and host Mike Calvin select for the Premier League XI.
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
The Life’s a Pitch Premier League Select XI (so far)
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
Left-back: Ashley Cole
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta
Centre-back: Vincent Kompany
Centre-back: Joleon Lescott
Central midfielder: Yaya Touré
Central midfielder: Michael Carrick
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