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10 greatest 'slow' footballers at the moment

Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos have achieved a lot in the game
Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos have achieved a lot in the game
Abhinav Anand
ANALYST
Modified 03 Oct 2020, 16:22 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Modern football has seen more emphasis being placed on pacey players. Generally, such players are more pleasing to watch, with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore coming to mind; he combines incredible pace with world-class dribbling ability.

Managers these days prefer such players as well. The ability to run past, or dribble through an opponent is aesthetically pleasing; it is also inherent evidence of quality, with wingers like Eden Hazard and Raheem Sterling proving this to be the case.

However, there are certain players capable of performing at the highest level despite not possessing such speed. They rely more on their technical skill and match intelligence to compensate for this lack of pace, and dictate play from deep and occupy spaces correctly.

We look at the:

10 greatest 'slow' footballers at the moment


#10 GRANIT XHAKA - ARSENAL

Granit Xhaka in Switzerland colours
Granit Xhaka in Switzerland colours

Granit Xhaka has once again become an important player at Arsenal under the management of Mikel Arteta.

The Switzerland international joined Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 for €45 million, and in subsequent years has enjoyed a topsy-turvy spell at the Emirates. Xhaka has been one of Arsenal's better midfielders but has not enjoyed a mixed relationship with the fans.

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The 28-year old has found a new lease of life under Arteta, and his influence has been visible on the field. An excellent passer as well as a good set-piece taker, Xhaka looks set to play a key role this season as well.


#9 JOAO MOUTINHO - WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Joao Moutinho has been everpresent for Wolves
Joao Moutinho has been everpresent for Wolves

One of the most underrated midfielders during his prime, Joao Moutinho has silently been one of Wolverhampton Wanderers' best players since joining the club.

Having cost Wolves just €6 million to prise him away from AS Monaco in 2018, the 34-year old has been everpresent in the midfield for the Premier League side. Acting as a mentor to fellow Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves, Moutinho has been vital to how Nuno Espirito Santo's side have operated.

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While the club has been active this transfer window, they have not strengthened the midfield positions, and it looks likely that the Portugal international will be an important member despite his age.


#8 OLIVIER GIROUD - CHELSEA

Olivier Giroud has been a bench player for Chelsea
Olivier Giroud has been a bench player for Chelsea

Olivier Giroud might not be the most gifted player on the field, but there is a reason he remains France's preferred no.9 ahead of the likes of Anthony Martial.

The 34-year old is a selfless operator, preferring to occupy defenders to allow his more talented and rapid teammates to find space and score goals. Giroud has a healthy goalscoring record of his own; scoring at a consistent rate for Arsenal and now for Chelsea.

The arrival of Timo Werner and the emergence of Tammy Abraham may have reduced his minutes, but he remains an excellent option from the bench. Inter Milan were interested in signing him this season, a testament to his quality.


Also Read: Reports: Manchester United set to complete move for Arkadiusz Milik

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Published 03 Oct 2020, 16:22 IST
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