There is a massive emphasis on promoting youth talent in football today, but the players with decades of experience bring leadership and stability to teams that young guns cannot replicate.
You have to be at least 33 years old to make this team, and there were, ironically, 33 players in the Premier League to choose from that fit that criteria. These 11 make a pretty decent squad.
Here is my Premier League Ageless Wonders XI.
GK: Hugo Lloris
He’s not at the top of his game anymore, but the captain of Tottenham Hotspur and France can still produce unbelievable saves. Antonio Conte is an admirer of Lloris, and his new contract with the club relays that. Lloris is 35 years old and will likely leave Spurs in the near future, but he has given them unbelievable service, playing over 400 games for the club.
LB: Ashley Young
36-year-old Ashley Young is always a steady force on the pitch and has made a considerable contribution to Aston Villa this season. While his best days are behind him, it’s still so impressive what he is doing at such an old age.
CB: Thiago Silva
The man that sits in the middle of Chelsea’s back three is genuinely having one of the best seasons of his career. Silva brings stability and leadership to Thomas Tuchel’s side that not many other players in the world can bring. He is constantly making last-ditch tackles and is a significant piece in Chelsea’s formidable defense.Thiago Silva has showcased that class is permanent this season.
CB: Johnny Evans
It’s a shame that Evans hasn’t been able to remain healthy at this stage of his career, but whenever he does play, he is always reliable. He and Wesley Fofana were both playing so well last season, but injuries have riddled them both. When a player gets older, injuries can start dominating their career, which is sadly what we are seeing with Evans.
RB: Seamus Coleman
The Irishman probably deserves more than Everton has given him in his career. He is still in that team every week, and his leadership will be vital in the Toffee’s fight for survival. Coleman never gives up on the pitch, which is likely why he has been able to play for so long.
We don’t see him on the pitch as often as we used to today, but he captains Guardiola’s side with pride and quality whenever he does play. Fernandinho is the oldest outfield player in Manchester City’s squad by five years, which speaks volumes about who he is on and off the pitch. His leadership is irreplaceable, and his legacy is in safe hands with Rodri.
CM: James Milner
Jurgen Klopp adores James Milner, and it’s not difficult to see why. Milner can play anywhere on the pitch, barring striker or center back perhaps, and his ability to never stop running does not reflect his age. At this rate, Milner could be playing until his 40s, and I back him to do so.
CAM: Joao Moutinho
Wolves’ creative spark in midfield and their success needs to be partially accredited to him this season. He has two goals and an assist in the Premier League, and Bruno Lage can always count on him to secure the ball in midfield. Moutinho has had an underrated career and an underrated season.Joao Moutinho celebrating his winning goal against United earlier this season.
I’m writing this just after Ronaldo single-handedly won Manchester United three points against Tottenham with his scintillating hat-trick. He has received his fair share of criticism this season, but the reality is that Ronaldo is inevitable. He’s 37 years old, but he still plays like he’s a 25-year-old taking the world by storm.
ST: Jamie Vardy
Vardy’s career has somewhat of a delayed start, but he has made up for those years with consistent performances for Leicester at 35 years of age. This season, the Leicester legend has scored ten goals and has been a bright spot during the Foxes’ struggles.
RF: Edinson Cavani
Cavani is the second Manchester United striker in this team and a player with such quality on his day. Cavani has been battling with injuries this season, but when he steps on the pitch, few number nines can do what he does in the world. A lethal finisher and still has the work rate.