Well we haven’t exactly been over fed with crops of phenomenal players in the premier league era have we? Unlike some other clubs, it’s actually fairly easy for us Everton fans to dwindle it down to just 10 players, as a matter of fact it was almost hard to think of 10. That’s why for a list of this magnitude I’ve enlisted the help of two of the most knowledgeable Everton experts I could think of.
They know everything there is, not only about the Toffees but the world in general, so in the spirit of Roberto Martinez let’s get to the phenomenal list of my top 10 Everton players of the premier league era. A shining spark during a dark time for Everton.
10 Andrei Kanchelskis
The 1990s weren’t the hottest years for the Toffees but this Russian right winger gave us something to smile about.
He had already proved vital for Manchester United’s inaugural prem winning side so it was no surprise we paid a record £5 million for him.
He’d be higher on this list if he wasn’t only with us for a cup of tea. 16 goals in his first season and sold midway through the next season. Short but so sweet.
“Kanchelskis: Probably the most exciting player we’ve had in the Premier League era.” @FinKitch
“Andrei Kanchelskis – just a supremely talented world class player and one of the only post mid eighties players who you could argue would trouble inclusion in that team.” @TheChicoAzul
9 Neville Southall
If this list was all time Everton greats, big Nev would be much higher. Shot stopper, leader and one powerful voice.
Even though he was past his prime for the majority of his premier league time, he was still world class for a period of it, carrying that 80s winning mentality with him into a tough period for us.
207 prem appearances and an unforgettable run conceding a single goal on the way to the 95 FA Cup victory.
“Overlooked as his prime was before, but in 92 he still was a formidable keeper and one who epitomises Everton.” @TheChicoAzul
“Big Nev: Criminally underrated by opposition fans. Playing against Nev was like playing against a brick wall.” @FinKitch
8 Tim Howard
Another keeper and the next one we loved almost in the same category as big Nev.
Tim joined us in 2006 initially on loan and would go on to make 414 appearances for us. He was rock solid and consistent to his world class standard for the best part of a decade.
Tim grew our following exponentially as a pioneer for football in the states. He loved Everton and we loved him.
Who could forget that outrageous goal from 100 yards against Bolton too.
7 Phil Jagielka
Jags was an absolute stalwart at centre back during his 12 years at Everton and represented everything we stood for.
A tough and talented leader, he went to war for the shirt and was the backbone of our tough back line.
The Skipper who scored many memorable goals for the Toffees but perhaps none as magnificent as the late volley from 30 yards out at Anfield. Special.
“Phil Jagielka – prone to being overlooked but for a prolonged period was an all round excellent central defender who served us brilliantly for a decade. Ridiculous value out of him.” @TheChicoAzul
“Jags: I’m getting one of those digital headstones with a little tv screen on it when I die and it’ll have his derby goal on repeat” @FinKitch
6 Mikel Arteta
The Arsenal manager was adored on Merseyside for his 6 years. And who could blame us for falling in love with that sexy Spanish magician?
He had creativity and intelligence in the centre of the park that the Toffees hadn’t seen for some time and were desperately lacking.
We sang “there’s nobody better than Mikel Arteta” because we hadn’t seen that quality, those touches and those beautiful passes before.
He broke some hearts when he left on deadline day (still looking for that money bill) but I think we can forgive him.
5 Romelu Lukaku
Talk about heartbreakers. I know, I know. How’s he made the top 5? But c’mon lads put the pain of his United move aside and let’s look at the stats.
He’s our all time leading premier league goalscorer with 68 which is in another realm to any striker we’ve had over the last two decades. He was only here for 5 years too!
Flawed? In some cases. His first touch was risky and his work rate sometimes wavered but when he was on form he was simply unstoppable and would almost always find the back of the net.
“Lukaku – sure he loved to Belgian b*tch tongue the media when away but the best striker of our PL era. Guaranteed 20 a season, if he was here now our ceiling would be much higher.”
“Lukaku: You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” @FinKitch
4 Duncan Ferguson
Right behind Lukaku on the all time prem scorers list, but ahead in our hearts, Big Dunc was the perfect Everton number 9.
Tough as nails, worked his arse off and gave everything for the badge. 57 league goals during his spells, Imagine if he’d had the talent of Lukaku.
Vital in helping us stay up during our dark times. He loved us and we loved him right back. We still do to this day and seeing him on the sidelines with Carlo has us made up.
“Duncan Ferguson -exactly what presses our buttons as a number 9, and although I’d have liked more games from him when he was on the team sheet he gave us hope. And that’s a rare commodity in blurs.” – @TheChicoAzul
“Big Dunc: That famous video of Jimmy Bullard looking at Dunc in complete disbelief. I’d have the same face if I ever met him. My idol.” @FinKitch
3 Seamus Coleman
60 Grand, 60 Grand, Seamus Bloody Coleman.
Bargain of the century. Not only did he have everything a classic Everton defender should have with physicality, toughness and work-rate but his skill can not be overlooked.
Flying up the right flank with quality and sharpness he’d throw in a few solos from his GAA days for good measure.
Our current skipper and it’s no surprise that Carlo Ancelloti speaks so highly of him. He’s a proper leader with power and determination into his 30s.
2 Tim Cahill
Class, charisma and quality. The wizard of Oz had it all.
Flashy and gritty, the perfect combination. As tough as the rest and always playing until the final whistle, you could never count Everton out with him in the midfield.
He delighted the Goodison faithful for the best part of a decade with darting headers and knock out blows to the corner flag. Our third all time premier league scorer was one of the best to ever put on the shirt.
He lived and breathed Everton and is deservedly a club legend. Warrior with ability, the perfect toffee.
“Tim Cahill – just an Everton player wasn’t he? Bristling with energy, aggression and relish of Everton progression. Bonus points for getting what we’re all about.” – @TheChicoAzul
Leon Osman – at times our only hope in midfield. Over 400 appearances for the club with 47 goals. A proper Evertonian.
“Wayne Rooney – a dream to see a world class attacking talent playing in the scouse way come through and make impact as a 16 year old as a staunch blue. Well until he was 18 anyway.” – @TheChicoAzul
Tony Hibbert – When Hibbo scores we riot. Hard to think of anyone else at right back until famous Seamus turned up.
“James Rodriguez – I’ve only seen half a season of him but similar to Kanchelskis and Rooney you just know when you’re watching world class talent. I don’t care how long he stays, seeing him for us is just a delight.” – @TheChicoAzul
1 Leighton Baines
I don’t care what you say, he’s my favourite to ever put the shirt on and he stays at number one.
The penalty goat was so much more than an attacking left back. He was solid at the back but when he went forward, his link up play, intelligence and class shone through.
He has some incredible goals in his locker making a free kick brace look easy. 29 goals for the club as a fullback is outrageous and he proved he was one of if not the best in the league in his position for years.
Quality, leadership, grit, consistency and class. He could’ve gone anywhere but he stayed with us for 13 years. Everton legend and in my eyes, immortal.
“Leighton Baines – as talented and classy a left back that any of us have seen in royal blue, including the grandars. When the best player in your team is a left back and you’re doing sound then that’s some left back.” – @TheChicoAzul
“Baines: One of the best left backs in Premier League history. His left foot should be donated for scientific research” @FinKitch