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Who was every Premier League club’s best player ten years ago?

From Elano to Kevin De Bruyne, Man City have come a long way. But where were the other 19 Premier League clubs ten years ago?

Ten years ago Instagram didn’t exist, meaning you had the same amount of followers as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kim Kardashian combined.

Congratulations.

But how much do you remember about 2008? More specifically, the 2007/08 season.


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Dunno, just thought I looked cute. Might take down in a bit

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Dunno, just thought I looked cute. Might take down in a bit

Man United pipped Chelsea to a 10th Premier League title while at the other end of the table Derby were relegated with all of 11 points.

Fast forward ten years and it’ll be the blue half of Manchester celebrating, which is quite fitting for what you’re about to read.

Because ten years ago the footballing landscape was very different, as each current Premier League side’s best player at the time highlights.

Chris Eagles is in there somewhere

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Chris Eagles is in there somewhere

Man City- Elano

While none of City’s 2007/08 squad would get in Pep’s current side, Elano would at least show up in training when it came to free-kick practice.

The Brazilian was City’s top scorer with eight goals, all of which probably made Match of the Day’s Goal of the Month compilation.

Who did Stephen Ireland steal that hair from?

AFP
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Who did Stephen Ireland steal that hair from?

Man United- Cristiano Ronaldo

This was a pale imitation of the Ronaldo we see now, given he scored 31 times in 34 matches at well under a goal a game.

To think Dong Fangzhou, Chris Eagles and CR7 were once team-mates. Wonder what they are all up to now?

Thumbs up if you’re legging it to Madrid soon

PA:Press Association
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Thumbs up if you’re legging it to Madrid soon

Liverpool- Fernando Torres

You’ve got to go some way to beat Stevie G but Torres’ performances during his first season in England, in which he scored 24 goals, were magical.

Only special players coast past the defensive behemoth that is Tal Ben Haim to score their first goal for Liverpool.

Thanks for coming Tal

PA:Press Association
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Thanks for coming Tal

Spurs- Dimitar Berbatov

This was a glorious era where Spurs only signed mavericks and didn’t care that they finished mid-table every season.

King Maverick was none other than Dimitar Berbatov- the Bulgarian who could send you for a hot dog before chipping your goalkeeper without getting out of bed.

Quite literally carrying Spurs on his back

PA:Press Association
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Quite literally carrying Spurs on his back

Chelsea- Frank Lampard

Chelsea weren’t short of a player or two but the best of the bunch was Lampard, who was putting up elite striker numbers from midfield.

Lamps outscored Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko and Nicolas Anelka meaning he just about kept Steve Sidwell, aka Chelsea’s number 9, out of the side.

Roadman Frank

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Roadman Frank

Arsenal- Cesc Fabregas

Look away now Arsenal fans. This was a squad littered with class.

Fabregas sees off strong competition from Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie, Alexander Hleb… we could go on.

Sliding into Barcelona’s DMs

AP:Associated Press
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Sliding into Barcelona’s DMs

Burnley- Gabor Kiraly

Wade Elliot picked up his second consecutive Player of the Year award for Championship side Burnley in 2008.

But we’ve gone for Kiraly as Burnley’s best player, purely because of his dedication to Uhlsport tracksuit bottoms.

Uhlsport and proud

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Uhlsport and proud

Leicester- Richard Stearman

Getting relegated to League One was clearly part of a cunning ten year plan to win the Premier League.

Stearman was Leicester’s best player at the time although Andy King would go on to lift the title in 2016.

He probably missed

PA:Press Association
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He probably missed

Everton- Yakubu

Before David Moyes was Moyseh he was overperforming as Everton manager, thanks in part to Yakubu.

Everton’s top goalscorer treated penalties with the composure of a man who was deciding whether to have jam or honey on his morning toast.

Yawn

PA:Press Association
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Yawn

Bournemouth- Sam Vokes

Bournemouth were relegated to League Two at the end of the 2007/08 season despite having Sam Vokes up front.

Oh, and a slightly injury-prone ex-England midfielder named Darren Anderton.

‘I’m too old for this’

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‘I’m too old for this’

Watford- Tommy Smith

The days of Abdoulaye Doucoure were still some way off.

Back then Watford fans were happy watching one-cap, one-goal England Under-21 star Smith tear about Vicarage Road.

The absolute state of that West Ham kit

PA:Press Association
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The absolute state of that West Ham kit

Newcastle- Michael Owen

Sam Allardyce, Nigel Pearson and Kevin Keegan. Name a more iconic trio than Newcastle’s managers during the 2007/08 season.

Owen was still fit although a squad also containing Obafemi Martins, Damien Duff, James Milner, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith should have finished higher than 12th.

Little ‘n’ Large

Reuters
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Little ‘n’ Large

Brighton- Dean Cox

Want to know how far Brighton have come in ten years?

Their 2007/08 season doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry meaning you’ll have to take our word that Cox was Brighton’s best player.

Nope, that’s not a Sunday League game

PA:Press Association
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Nope, that’s not a Sunday League game

West Ham- Dean Ashton

What could have been.

Ask any West Ham fan what they think of Ashton and they’ll tell you he was the second coming of Alan Shearer before injury struck.

Bit unfair putting his shirt size on the front of his kit

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Bit unfair putting his shirt size on the front of his kit

Swansea- Jason Scotland

Scotland from Trinidad and Tobago playing in Swansea.

The striker helped himself to 24 league goals to get Swansea promoted to the Championship in the 2007/08 season.

It’s all in the eyes

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It’s all in the eyes

Huddersfield- Andy Booth

While not quite on Brighton’s Wikipedia-less level, Hudderfield were hardly recognisable from the Premier League outfit we see today.

Club legend Booth top scored with nine goals, which is about par compared to the latest squad.

Not a man who shirks a header

PA:Press Association
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Not a man who shirks a header

Crystal Palace- Clinton Morrison

Wilfried Zaha or Morrison?

We know who we’d back to pinch a scruffy last-minute winner from two-yards out.

‘Go down there and you’ll see Morrisons on the right’

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‘Go down there and you’ll see Morrisons on the right’

Southampton- Stern John

The second entry from Trinidad and Tobago is another man who could sniff out a goal or two (or 19).

John took a young Adam Lallana under his wing but neither could help Southampton finish higher than 20th in the Championship.

That shirt is coming off

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That shirt is coming off

Stoke- Liam Lawrence

This was a vintage Stoke squad. Everywhere you looked there were 6ft 4in shaven headed giants.

Ireland international Lawrence was the man chosen to bring a bit of a flair, which tells you all you need to know about Tony Pulis’ tactics.

Lawrence on hand to add the class

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Lawrence on hand to add the class

West Brom- Kevin Phillips

It would have been impossible for West Brom not to win the Championship with a European Golden Boot winner up top.

Phillips scored 22 goals, eight short of his Golden Boot winning campaign in 2000.

Anyone got a European Golden Boot at home?

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Anyone got a European Golden Boot at home?

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