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10 Best Premier League Players Who Never Played For The Big Six

Premier League Players Who Never Played For The Big Six

Arsenal. Chelsea. Liverpool. Manchester City. Manchester United. Tottenham Hotspur. The so-called “Big Six” of English football have dominated the Premier League for the last decade plus. 

Some of the greatest players of all time have sported the shirts of the Big Six at some point in their careers, either as a fleeting cameo or a legacy-defining stint. However, there are dozens of other Premier League teams. What about the players who played for them?

Try as they might, the Big Six could never get their hands on these ten players. Though they may never have played for the very best teams, there’s no denying that these players are all top class and would have slotted into any team at any time. 

The 10 Best Premier League Players Never To Play For The Big Six

10: Gareth Southgate

The current England manager is most famous for missing a penalty (and wearing a bag on his head in a Pizza Hut advert). But he did actually do some good things as a player. 

Debuting for Crystal Palace in 1988, Southgate also starred for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough as a defender and occasional midfielder. 

His tactical intelligence was clear to see, helping to unlock defences and dictate the flow of his matches. 

With over 500 domestic appearances to his name, Southgate was an icon long before he ever donned a waistcoat.

9: Gary Speed

The late, great Gary Speed was one of the best Welsh footballers of all time. That is saying something when your comrades include Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs.

Speed won the First Division in the final season before it became the Premier League. He made a whopping 840 appearances across all levels of domestic football in England. 

A commanding midfielder with the goldust ability to score banging headers, Speed was an invaluable part of clubs such as Leeds, Newcastle, and Bolton.

His impact on English and Welsh football can still be felt to this very day. We all miss him very much.

8: David Batty

Speed’s old teammate at Leeds, David Batty would actually win the Premier League as part of the sainted Blackburn team of 1994/5. 

A midfield dynamo with excellent skill on and off the ball, Batty was the heart of the game for Leeds, Blackburn, and Newcastle (get used to seeing that name on this list a lot) prior to his retirement in 2004.

Much is made of his apparent apathy towards football, but he clearly didn’t need to love the sport to be very good at it.

Imagine what he would have been like if he’d actually cared.

7: Jamie Vardy

The most famous Fox not created by Roald Dahl, Jamie Vardy played a huge role in Leicester City’s magical Premier League title win of 2015/6.

When he was in form, there was nothing like him. He famously scored in a record 11 back-to-back games that year. His 134 Premier League goals make him the 14th highest scorer in the competition’s history.

Despite being courted by Arsenal, Vardy has never left Leicester since signing for them in 2012. His recent form might not be brilliant, but he will always be remembered for “having a party” in the mid-2010s.

6: Tim Cahill

One of the Prem’s greatest ever Aussies, Tim Cahill played exclusively in the Premier League for Everton. 

The scourge of corner flags everywhere, Cahill played a total of 278 times for the Toffees, scoring 68 goals as a box-to-box midfielder. 

In terms of the blue side of Liverpool, there are few players more attached to the club than Cahill. He was a regular fixture there for the better part of a decade, helping them finish in the top six several times. 

A proper thunder from down under, Cahill is an Everton and Premier League legend for good reason.

5: Juninho

The only World Cup winner on this list, Juninho Paulista played for Middlesborough not once, not twice, but three times!

It says a lot that he was runner-up for FWA’s Player of the Year award in 1995 despite his team getting relegated. His South American flair stood out like a sore thumb amongst an otherwise dreary Teesside team. 

Despite being hunted by numerous big clubs, Middlesbrough was the only English home for “The Little Fella”. Why? Who knows, but the fact he was able to do so well in spite of that is testament to his greatness.

4: Paolo Di Canio

His antics on and off the pitch earned him his detractors (and rightfully so), but there was no denying this Italian’s wizardry on the pitch.

Paolo Di Canio played in England for Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham, and Charlton Athletic. At the Hammers, he ascended to the status of a minor deity, becoming the club’s highest Premier League goalscorer until Michail Antonio surpassed him. 

Di Canio was just too unpredictable to ever be signed for a big club, but he remains one of the best strikers to never grace a Big Six ground. 

3: Kevin Phillips

The list of English clubs Kevin Phillips called home is too long to mention, but he will always have a place in the heart of Sunderland’s faithful. 

Whilst on the Black Cats’ books, Phillips scored 30 goals in the 1999-2000 season of the Premier League. This not only won him that year’s Golden Boot, but also the European Golden Shoe. He remains the only English player to ever hold that trophy.

A clinical finisher with nerves of steel in front of goal, Kevin Phillips would have been an asset to any major club.  

2: Matt Le Tissier

Another entry where personal views will have to be put to one side, Guernsey’s greatest export famously spent 16 years at Southampton despite his top level ability.

Arguably the Saints’ greatest ever player, Le Tissier was silky smooth on the ball. He left defenders in his wake as he cut through the pitch like a knife through hot butter.

He turned down basically every big club in England to stay at Southampton, earning him a reputation for loyalty that few other players could match.

Dodgy comments aside, he is one of the best to ever do it.

1: Alan Shearer

How could it be anyone else?

The all-time Premier League goalscorer. Premier League winner with Blackburn. The man with the worst celebration in all of football. Shearer is a legend. 

Netting 260 times in the Premier League for Blackburn and his beloved Newcastle, Shearer had feet like rockets and could turn any situation into a goalscoring threat. 

One of the greatest centre forwards of all time, Shearer’s no-nonsense style of football was extremely effective. His amazing career has earned him honours that will take a very long time to surpass. 

Up the Toon, and up the Shearer.

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