To the naked eye it often looks like soccer players are just walking around the pitch without putting much of an effort into it. However, since the average size of an English Premier League playing field is 105 metres long and 68 metres wide there’s quite a bit of ground to cover. And let’s not forget, many of these players are going at it for 90 or more minutes per game. While fans may be more impressed by the scoring prowess of players such as Harry Kane and Diego Costs or the passing abilities of Juan Mata Fabregas and Angel Di Maria, they often appreciate the blue-collar efforts of those with fewer skills, but perhaps bigger hearts.
The top scorers typically cost Premier League clubs the most money when it comes to transfer fees and weekly wages, but are they really the hardest workers in the league? According to the EA Player Performance Index statistics they’re generally not. There are dozens of unsung heroes in England with these being the top 15 hardest working Premier League players based on the total distance covered per match during the current 2014/15 campaign. Each of these 15 players must have appeared in a minimum of 10 games for their club this season to qualify for the hardest working player crown.
English and Scottish players are well known for the amount of running they do during a game and this list is led by homegrown players as seven of the top 15 are British. Two of them hail from France and there’s also one player each coming from South Korea, Spain, Serbia, Iceland, Holland, and Denmark. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 14 of the of the league’s 15 hardest working players are midfielders as they help out in the attack as well as do their part in their own end.
15 Daley Blind - Manchester United
14 Morgan Schneiderlin - Southampton
13 Wayne Rooney - Manchester United
12 Gareth Barry - Everton
11 Ki Sung-Yueng - Swansea
10 Steven N’Zonzi - Stoke City
9 Gylfi Sigurdsson - Swansea City
8 Christian Eriksen - Tottenham Hotspur
7 David Jones - Burnley City
6 Scott Arfield - Burnley City
5 Cesc Fabregas - Chelsea
4 Jake Livermore - Hull City
3 Jack Colback - Newcastle United
2 Nemanja Matic - Chelsea
1 George Boyd - Burnley City
Twenty-nine-year-old midfielder George Boyd of Burnley City is regarded as the hardest-working Premier League player when it comes to average distance covered per outing. Boyd, a Scottish international who was born in England, covers 12.006 kilometres a game. He made a name for himself in the lower divisions before moving to Hull City of the Premier League and has six goals in all competitions this season. Burnley paid 3 million pounds for the former Peterborough United, Nottingham Forest and Stevenage player. Boyd has 112 goals under his belt so far in his pro career.
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