Football News

The surprising player at the top of the Premier League speed charts

By Andrew Francis

Published: 13:50, 23 March 2022



Opta have released details of the fastest players in the Premier League this season and the results are, in some cases, quite surprising.

Regular viewers of the Premier League won’t be shocked to see pacy forwards like Mohamed Salah and Ollie Watkins near the top of the list, but there are a couple of intriguing entries in the top five.

Antonio Rudiger leads the way in terms of sprint pace this season, clocking in a top speed of 36.7km/h during the 1-1 draw with Brighton in January. That is 0.1km/h faster than Salah’s season peak and sets Rudiger apart at the top of the list of leading speedsters so far this season.

Among those to have also set lightning sprint times are the now departed Adama Traoré, Salah’s Liverpool team-mate Ibrahima Konaté and Leicester new boy Patson Daka.


The fastest players in the Premier League so far this season

  1. Antonio Rudiger (36.7km/h)
  2. Mohamed Salah (36.6km/h
  3. Adama Traoré (36.6km/h)
  4. Ibrahima Konaté (36.2km/h)
  5. Ollie Watkins (36.1km/h)


It’s another accolade in a great campaign for Rudiger, in what has been his most impressive year to date. The 29-year-old has made 42 appearances in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel this term, winning Uefa Super Cup and Club World Cup medals along the way. The Blues also remain in the hunt for FA Cup and Champions League glory, with ties against Crystal Palace and Real Madrid on the horizon.

Rudiger’s contract expires this summer though and, with Chelsea currently unable to offer him a new deal owing to the sanctions put on the club by the UK government, it appears near-certain he will leave the club this summer.

He’s yet to sign a pre-contract agreement with anyone, but sources have reported that he’s in touch with various clubs to offer his services. Journalist Duncan Castles said on the Transfer Window Podcast: “The news we have today is the financial terms that currently Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is asking to sign a new contract at whichever of the elite European football clubs can be convinced to take him.

 

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“Real Madrid have been one of the candidates, [as are] Manchester United, Juventus, Bayern Munich. The price that his representatives are asking for is €30million signing on fee and a basic wage of at least €6m after tax each year,” he continued. A move to one of Europe’s elite looks as thought it’s nailed on for Rudiger, it just remains to be seen where he will be plying his trade next season.

The German international has been at Stamford Bridge since 2017 following his move from Roma and, should he move on, his presence will certainly be missed in the Chelsea backline, after numerous top quality performances over the past five years.

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