7 Modern Premier League Players The Streets Will Never Forget

7 Modern Premier League Players The Streets Will Never Forget
Sean Meehan
By Sean Meehan
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Over the past while, there's been a relative phenomenon on social media which attributes nostalgia as 'the streets' never forgetting.

This is particularly true of former Premier League players who had a penchant for the more technical side of the game.

Memory is a fragile thing, so the negative aspects of these players' game aren't brought into account. Instead, there's an emphasis on their brilliance, overstated or otherwise.

Are they mercurial talents? Are they YouTube footballers? Who knows.

Either way, we've assembled a list of seven players from the past 15 years of the Premier League that we think fit that mould. Mind you, there's no exact science to this, but at least there will be some excellent YouTube compilations.

Andres D'Alessandro

Although Argentine international Andres D'Alessandro spent just half a season at Fratton Park, he made a lasting impression at Portsmouth.

D'Alessandro was an integral part of Portsmouth's late season push to stave off relegation in the 05/06 season. The momentum generated from that survival bid, coupled with the return of Harry Redknapp, kickstarted Pompey's finest hour of modern times.


For D'Alessandro, who's still playing in Brazil for Internacional, his 13 appearances for Pompey will be remembered fondly. Also, his only goal for the club was pretty special.


Geovanni was one of these players that had all the potential in the world, but could rarely get it right consistently. From moving to Barcelona for $18 million as a 21 year-old to winding up in the MLS at just 30, the Brazilian had one spell in his career where, for a brief period of time, everything seemed to fall into place.


Hull isn't a place you'd anticipate a Brazil would find homely, yet in 2008, that was where Geovanni played some of his best football. Mind you, he already had a season of Premier League football under his belt at Man City, but the KC Stadium was where he dazzled.

Stepovers, flicks, and free-kick masterclasses, Geovanni did it all.

Rafael van der Vaart

Rafael van der Vaart came with a reputation for the sublime when he arrived at White Hart Lane from Real Madrid in 2010.


The Dutch playmaker won the first ever Golden Boy award in 2003 whilst at Ajax, so the fact that Spurs signed him for just £8 million was something of a miracle.

Van der Vaart was never the most disciplined of footballer, often enjoying a post-match gargle or McDonalds, but that merely added to his legend.


A legend that now sees him on the darts circuit as part of the BDO, which in all honesty, isn't that surprising.


Dmitri Payet

It was as though Dmitri Payet merely mirrored his surroundings during his short-lived time at West Ham.

In the Hammers final season at the Boleyn Ground, the Frenchman was at his mercurial best. Payet whipped free-kicks with unholy curl and showcased close control that made defenders weak.

Then, the club moved to the Olympic Stadium and everything seemed to fall down around them. Payet did score a wonder goal at the new ground, but his form dipped as his old club Marseille sniffed around him to return.

He eventually did, but that year and a half in East London was special.

Jay Jay Okocha

Jay Jay Okocha, simply put, was a maverick.

The Nigerian could manipulate a football in ways that most people could barely dream. His arrival at Sam Allardyce's Bolton showed that flair is always a necessary flavour in football.

When Bolton needed him to come good in order to fight against relegation, Okocha delivered. Ludicrous skill, breathtaking free kicks and being so good, they named him twice.

Hatem Ben Arfa

What do they put in the water in France?

Hatem Ben Arfa was heralded for greatness at a very early age, coming through the ranks at Lyon with Karim Benzema. Although Benzema went on to have a trophy-laden career with Real Madrid, Ben Arfa's career went down a more nomadic path.

When he arrived at St James's Park in 2010, a broken leg halted his progress with the Magpies. However, the next season, Ben Arfa burst into life, as Alan Pardew's Newcastle finished fifth.

In that season, Ben Arfa was at his mercurial best. His dazzling dribbling on the wing saw a return to the France squad and one of the best goals in Premier League history.

Adel Taarabt

If there's one footballer that perfectly encapsulates all of the traits on this list, it's Adel Taarabt.

At his best, he was unstoppable yet at his worst, he alienated virtually everyone who he encountered. Taarabt was a prodigy coming through the ranks at Spurs, when he left for QPR he was labelled a failure. However, Loftus Road will never forget the majesty of Taarabt in full flight.

Capable of playing with both feet, Taarabt tied defences in knots with an array of skills which have rarely been seen in the top flight of English football.

He had numerous foibles, but he was an utter maverick.

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