Football Features

Fastest Premier League players by position 2023/24 | Goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, forwards

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 10:30, 20 May 2024

The 2023/24 Premier League season is over. So who were the fastest players?

Everyone knows the stats for the Golden Boot, Golden Glove and Playmaker Award, as well as the dirtiest-players when it comes to yellow cards. But what about pace?

In football they say speed kills. So here are the deadliest in each position from the 2023/24 Premier League campaign, using exclusive data requested from Opta.

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Fastest Premier League goalkeeper: Robert Sánchez

  • Club: Chelsea
  • Appearances: 16
  • Top speed: 35.11km/h

The role of a goalkeeper naturally limits their movement. They predominantly stay within the penalty area, mostly standing and walking throughout games.

But staying alert is a fundamental trait where one must have to excel in this unique position. Charging towards an opposition attacker, thus limiting their scope and hurrying them into action, can only be effectively done by the quickest of shot-stoppers.

Robert Sánchez, who swapped Brighton for Chelsea last summer, is in a class of his own — despite losing his spot as the Blues’ No.1. His top speed of 35.11km/h is substantially higher than second-best James Trafford (31.84km/h) of Burnley, with Everton’s No.1 Jordan Pickford (29.85km/h) in third place.

2. James Trafford (31.84km/h)

3. Jordan Pickford (29.85km/h)

4. Arijanet Muric (29.8km/h)

5. Jose Sa (29.33km/h)

Fastest Premier League defender: Micky van de Ven

  • Club: Tottenham
  • Appearances: 27
  • Top speed: 37.38km/h

One of the highlights of Tottenham’s season was Micky van de Ven. A summer signing from Wolfsburg, Van de Ven is already incredibly key to the way Tottenham play, so much so that when he isn’t in the team they have struggled, with Spurs going on a run of just one point from five games over November and December when the Dutchman went out with a hamstring problem.

As well as being a top defender, one of Van de Ven’s key attributes is his pace, which helps when Tottenham play a high line as Ange Postecoglou intends. Clocked as the fastest Bundesliga centre-back last season, Van de Ven has topped out at 37.38km/h this campaign, taking him to the top of the Premier League full stop. It has seen him overtake Burnley’s Dara O’Shea, whose top speed of 36.73km/h was previously enough to rule the roost. What’s more, 37.38km/h is the fastest speed recorded in the Premier League since the data started being collected in 2020/21!

Bournemouth’s Illia Zabarnyi completes the top three at 36.60km/h, while last season’s fastest player Kyle Walker has dropped out of the top 10.

2. Dara O’Shea (36.73km/h)

3. Illia Zabarnyi (36.6km/h)

4. Nuno Tavares (35.94km/h)

5. Nelson Semedo (35.9km/h)

Fastest Premier League midfielder: Jakub Moder

  • Club: Brighton
  • Appearances: 16
  • Top speed: 36.84km/h

Jakub Moder missed all of the 2022/23 campaign due to an ACL injury and didn’t make his return this season until November. He’s played just 613 minutes in the Premier League, but that has been enough time for him to stretch his legs.

With just six starts and 11 substitute appearances in the Premier League, Moder has clocked a top speed of 36.84km/h, faster than any other midfielder (though he did play right-back on the final day). Across the league as a whole, Moder’s top speed is enough to place him in the top five. In midfield, he edges out Dominik Szoboszlai who has recorded a top speed of 36.76km/h for Liverpool. Everton’s Amadou Onana completes the top three with a top speed of 36.65km/h.

2. Dominik Szoboszlai (36.76km/h)

3. Amadou Onana (36.65km/h)

4. Tahith Chong (36.37km/h)

5. Harry Wilson (36.23km/h)

Fastest Premier League forward: Chiedozie Ogbene

  • Club: Luton
  • Appearances: 29
  • Top speed: 36.93km/h

Now, this is where the difference is often made. A quick forward is a defender’s nightmare and the league’s most rapid of season was Chiedozie Ogbene (36.93km/h). It has him second in the Premier League as a whole, with only Van den Ven (37.38km/h) faster.

The Luton and Republic of Ireland man, who has played across the line this season, started operating more as a wing-back before picking up an injury, but he definitely gets forward when he can. Previously the fastest player of the season, before Van de Ven took the crown, Ogbene did reveal in December that he studies sprinters including Usain Bolt.

“I really like track and field and every now and then I like to put on the old Olympics, the 4x100m relays. I can’t count how many times I’ve watched the London 2012 relay final,” he said. “Bolt is obviously someone I loved, the way he runs, his mechanics, but obviously I’m not six foot five so I don’t try to hyperextend the way he can. I just love the way he is. He’s like a piston.

“Sprinters advise to run at 90 to 95 per cent, they don’t try to run at 100 per cent. If you get to 100 per cent you stress yourself. The 90 per cent rule it’s called. At 90 per cent you’re telling your brain, ‘I’m relaxed, I’m only looking for 90’ and you end up running quicker because your brain is not chasing a goal.”

Anthony Elanga (36.91km/h) of Nottingham Forest and Wolves’ Pedro Neto (36.86km/h) are not too far behind Ogbene, with Anthony Gordon (36.68km/h) is the quickest down the left.

2. Anthony Elanga (36.91km/h)

3. Pedro Neto (36.86km/h)

4. Anthony Gordon (36.68km/h)

5. Luis Diaz (36.42km/h)

Who are the fastest Premier League players in 2023-24 overall?