10 Premier League greats you've probably forgotten
It’s hard to believe that we’re over 20 years removed now from the first season of the Premier League – 1992/93. Since then the league has grown immeasurably into arguably the best – and certainly the richest – one in the world, but that growth can largely be traced back not to the beginning, but the mid-90s.
It was that period that saw the explosion of talent arriving in the league, from countries all over Europe and even further, as well as from within England’s own shores. Everyone remembers the legends from that time like Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola and Alan Shearer, but so many more classy players have been unfairly forgotten.
Whether it was down to their run being relatively short, or because it came at a smaller club, the following 10 players have all largely been brushed aside in the history books. Here are 10 great Premier League players you’ve probably forgotten about.
#10 Philippe Albert
Everyone remembers Newcastle United’s mid-90s side that became known as ‘The Entertainers’. Kevin Keegan’s side never actually won a trophy but their exciting, gung-ho tactics won them millions of neutral fans and they came painfully close to lifting the Premier League in 1995/96.
Their attacking players like Les Ferdinand, David Ginola and Alan Shearer remain well-remembered but many people seem to have forgotten Belgian defender Philippe Albert, signed by Keegan for just £2.6m in the summer of 1994. Albert was an immediate hit with the Magpies faithful as he helped them win their first six league games in 1994/95 before his season was curtailed by injuries.
1995/96 was much better for him as he made 23 appearances and was one of Newcastle’s outstanding players – although it must be said, a lot of his popularity came from his daring raids into the opponent’s box, and not so much for his own defensive play.
His most memorable moment? Chipping Peter Schmeichel to score Newcastle’s fifth goal in a 5-0 win over Man United in October 1996. It was probably Kevin Keegan’s best match as Newcastle boss, and probably Albert’s too. In the end the Belgian stayed at St. James’ Park until 1997/98, playing 96 games overall.