We often associate pace and speed with forwards — but the Premier League’s quickest midfielders are certainly no laggards.
Looking at the highest ‘top speeds’ — provided by Opta — across the 2022/23 Premier League season, we’ve had a look at the 10 fastest midfielders.
10. Solly March
Top speed: 35.39km/h
Roberto De Zerbi’s men were utterly breathtaking this campaign as Brighton secured European football for the first time in their history — and it was a local lad whose exploits often went under the radar. When we think of the modern Brighton, we think of South American stars, unearthed and developed into world beaters — but spare a thought for Solly March. The Eastbourne midfielder ranked in the top 10 for most chances created from open play of any player in the Premier League in 2022/23 (52) and also ranked 10th for highest ‘top speed’ by a midfielder. It’s a frightening combo that will be gracing Europe next season.
9. Kevin Schade
Top speed: 35.43km/h
A mid-season signing by Brentford, the two-capped Germany international impressed in spells for the west London club following his loan move from SC Freiburg, with his ‘top speed’ of 35.43km/h firing him into the top 10 for Premier League midfielders. It’s the kind of pace that should — and did — flourish in Thomas Frank’s high-octane system of moving parts and blurry-eyed interchanging.
8. Harvey Barnes
Top speed: 35.44km/h
In years gone by, Jamie Vardy would have been considered Leicester’s fastest player, but that mantle has since been passed on to Harvey Barnes, who clocked some pretty terrifying numbers in 2022/23. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep the Foxes in the top flight, but it wasn’t for the want of trying on Barnes’ part, who bagged an impressive 13 goals and registered a deadly ‘top speed’ of 35.44km/h. Expect him to be snapped up this summer in Leicester’s (probably) impending fire sale.
7. Chem Campbell
Top speed: 35.45km/h
From East to West Midlands, and 20-year-old Chem Campbell made a pretty decent impression in 2022/23. The academy gem spent the second part of the season on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, but in the first half, he racked up five Premier League appearances, one of which saw him clock a ‘top speed’ of 35.45km/h, placing him among the division’s fastest runners.
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6. Bryan Mbeumo
Top speed: 35.47km/h
Only 18 outfield players featured in all 38 games for their respective Premier League clubs — Bryan Mbeumo was one of those. The 23-year-old was sensational in 2022/23 as he registered 17 direct scoring contributions (nine goals, eight assists) and frightened defenders with his Sonic speed. With Schade on one side and Mbeumo on the other, Brentford really are a terrifyingly quick side.
5. Kamaldeen Sulemana
Top speed: 35.65km/h
More renowned for his skill, trickery and creativity than just outright burners, but my word is Kamaldeen Sulemana quick. He looked a game-changing acquisition in January when the Saints prised him away from Rennes, but the 21-year-old was unable to patch-up an already capsizing side. Still, plenty of Premier League clubs will be keeping tabs on him this summer, if not for his playmaker exploits, then for his lightning legs alone.
4. Denis Zakaria
Top speed: 36.09km/h
As it happens, we forgot about Denis Zakaria as well. A supreme talent for Borussia Monchengladbach, it’s safe to say the Switzerland international has struggled since trying to make that next step up. Juventus didn’t quite work out for him, and nor has Chelsea, with just seven Premier League appearances in 2022/23. Still, one of those delivered a ‘top speed’ of 36.09km/h, which is an utterly ridiculous burst of pace.
3. Matheus Nunes
Top speed: 36.32km/h
Considered more of a refined and press-resistant metronome, a tempo-setter if you will — but Matheus Nunes is also deceptively fast. In fact, he is the third-fastest midfielder in the Premier League according to his 2022/23 ‘top speed’. You can see why Liverpool were linked with him last summer; imagine those scorching runs in Jurgen Klopp’s relentless counter-pressing set-up.
2. Arnaut Danjuma
Top speed: 36.34km/h
Spurs looked to have pulled off a real coup in January with the temporary capture of Arnaut Danjuma. But, they sensibly opted for the ‘try before you buy’ policy, with the Villarreal loanee scarcely featuring in the second half of their desperate campaign. He did, however, make one glaring contribution, recording the second-highest ‘top speed’ in the Premier League — oh, and his late, late goal against Bournemouth, which was ultimately cancelled out by an even later Dango Ouattara winner.
1. Mykhailo Mudryk
Top speed: 36.63km/h
Who else? Of course, the guy who looks like an extra from Dragon Ball Z. The bleach-haired winger has Super Saiyan stardust in his boots and used that to his advantage in his Premier League baptism of fire. Officially the third-fastest player in the entire division across 2022/23, Mauricio Pochettino will be relishing the chance to work with him — and his lightning legs!