Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen has named former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry as the best player in Premier League history.
Henry was sensational in the English top flight during his eight-year spell with the Gunners after arriving from Juventus in 1999. With 175 goals, he’s the seventh-highest goalscorer in the league of all time, doing so in 258 games and also providing 74 assists.
The Frenchman won the Golden Boot a record four times and won the league twice, including the 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ triumph. Henry then moved to Barcelona in 2007 after leaving his mark in the English top flight.
While picking his Premier League’s all-time best XI, Owen said the following about Henry (via Daily Star):
“The best player, in my opinion, that’s graced the Premier League. Thierry Henry.”
Owen partnered Henry with Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer in his all-time best XI. Shearer is the Premier League’s all-time top scorer with 260 goals, while Ronaldo has scored 102. As for the duo, Owen said:
“I had to get Ronaldo in. He’s one of the greatest players ever. Full stop.”
The Englishman also gave a glowing review of Shearer’s top-flight career, saying:
“The highest scorer in the Premier League. An absolute monster of a centre forward.”
Michael Owen’s all-time Premier League XI
While he picked Henry, Ronaldo and Shearer as the front three in his all-time XI, Owen’s team was Manchester United-heavy.
He picked Peter Schmeichel as the goalkeeper along with his former United teammates Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand in defense. Owen further picked former Chelsea players John Terry and Ashley Cole.
Owen picked Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as the first player in midfield. Here’s what he said about the former Reds player (as per the aforementioned report):
“The first name that went in, Steven Gerrard. He went in straight away. He had absolutely everything. He’s too big, too strong, too fast, amazing in the air, amazing tackler, amazing shooter of the ball. Scored goals, assists, passing was perfection. What can’t Steven Gerrard do? Big names, you want him next to you. Honestly, just the best.”
Choosing the other two midfielders was tough, but the former Ballon d’Or winner chose Patrick Vieira and Paul Scholes, explaining:
“I was toing and froing there’s Lampard, there’s Toure, there’s Roy Keane. If De Bruyne keeps going, he’s going to have to muscle in there somewhere.”
Gerrard played 504 games in the English top flight, scoring 120 goals and providing 92 assists. Scholes, played 499 matches, contributing 107 goals and 55 assists.