As the 2010s draw to a close, we have decided to choose our Premier League Team of the Decade. We have sought to balance quality with longevity, attack with defence, and collective success with individual impact.
Below is our chosen XI, configured in a 4-3-3 formation and with players only considered for selection in positions they played this decade.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea. A superb shot-stopper with cat-like reflexes, the Spaniard has been named in the PFA Team of the Year five times since 2011. Manchester United are not the force they once were and De Gea’s form has also declined, but no goalkeeper has been better throughout the decade.
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta. Now past his best at 34, the West Ham defender won two Premier League titles at Manchester City. Defensively sound and a threat going forward, Zabaleta was a leader on and off the pitch at the Etihad Stadium.
Center-back: Vincent Kompany. Manchester City’s greatest ever defender witnessed the club’s transformation from Premier League also-rans to European heavyweights. Strong in the tackle and excellent in the air, Kompany won four Premier League titles in the last 10 years.
Center-back: John Terry. Virgil van Dijk has had an incredible impact at Anfield in the last two years, but he did not do quite enough across the decade to edge out Terry. A masterful reader of the game and underrated ball-player, the Chelsea stopper won the league three times in the 2010s.
Left-back: Cesar Azpilicueta. A right-back by trade, but Azpilicueta has been deployed right across the Chelsea defence this decade. A model of consistency, the Spaniard has rarely put a foot wrong since moving to Stamford Bridge in 2012.
Central midfield: Yaya Toure. A one-man midfield at his best, Toure dominated opponents with his heady blend of technique and power. Not the most disciplined defensively, but superb going forward.
Central midfield: N’Golo Kante. A Premier League champion with two different clubs, Kante was a revelation as Leicester’s ball-winning phenomenon in 2015/16. He has since become equally integral to Chelsea, helping Antonio Conte’s side win the title in 2016/17.
Central midfield: David Silva. Manchester City are the decade’s most successful Premier League team, and Silva has been their heartbeat throughout. An effortless creator, he has been key to each of his club’s four title triumphs.
Right wing: Raheem Sterling. A key part of Liverpool’s title tilt in 2013/14, Sterling has since won two championship crowns at Manchester City. Combines skill, speed and intelligence like few others who have graced the division.
Center-forward: Sergio Aguero. Manchester City’s all-time record scorer, Aguero has netted 173 Premier League goals this decade – more than any other player. He has won four titles in that time, and established himself as one of the world’s foremost penalty-box predators.
Left-wing: Eden Hazard. Unstoppable on his day, Hazard was the inspiration behind Chelsea’s title wins in 2014/15 and 2016/17. The best dribbler the Premier League has ever seen was also one of the division’s great entertainers.