Those approaching 30 might tell you that life starts with this milestone birthday. For this distinguished XI, there’s already been plenty of trophies, international caps and top-flight achievements. Showing no signs of slowing down, the good times look set to continue!
Here’s 90min’s best over-30 Premier League XI, in a 4-3-3 formation:
Rui Patricio (Wolves)
Everyone knew that Wolves were ambitious and ready to tap into their Portuguese connections, but landing Rui Patricio was still a massive coup. The goalkeeper was named in the t
César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
The man affectionately known as Dave by the west London locals has been crucial to Chelsea’s success in recent years. Over the past four Premier League seasons, there are just two Blues’ matches that he hasn’t featured in and he’s been an ever present in 2019/20 thus far.
A Champions League medal aside,
Jonny Evans (Leicester)
The longer Manchester United struggle defensively and Leicester continue to be unaffected by Harry Maguire’s departure, the higher Jonny Evans’ stock rises. There were a few eyebrow’s raised when he was allowed to leave Old Trafford, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remained and continued to make little improvement.
Leicester have only kept two clean sheets in eight matches so far, yet Evans and C
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
Ben Mee (Burnley)
Mark Noble (West Ham)
David Silva (Manchester City)
James Milner (Liverpool)
Like a fine wine, James Milner appears to be getting better with age. For a while, he had been somewhat of a joke figure who boasted numerous parody Twitter accounts, but his longevity and Indian summer at Liverpool have enabled him to ride it out.
There were question marks of what would come after his Etihad exit, answered emphatically by Milner with versatility in covering the left-back position, distance covered in crucial fixtures as the Reds reached two Champions League finals and featuring 30-plus times in three Premier League seasons since his milestone birthday.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
What’s worrying about all three strikers in this XI is that age appears to be having no effect on either their legs or their ability to find the back of the net.
Nobody embodies that more than Sergio Aguero, who would be remembered as one of the Premier League’s finest strikers if he were to retire today. The rumoured £35m Manchester City paid for him in 2011 is an absolute snip, with the Argentinian scoring 20-plus league goals in six of his eight full seasons with the club. Frighteningly he has eight in eight so far this season! Plenty of miles left in the tank.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Even if every player were to magically lose a yard of pace when the clock struck 12 on their 30th birthday, it probably wouldn’t matter to the lightning-quick Aubamayeng. During a 2013 fixture he clocked a speed over 30 metres that bettered Usain Bolt’s start to his record-breaking Berlin 100 metres and, shortly after joining Arsenal in 2018, he posted a top speed of 21.74 mph.
His goalscoring rate has kept similar pace, after scoring 98 goals in 144 Borussia Dortmund appearances he now has 39 from 57 for Arsenal at time of writing.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Those advancing in years will know that sometimes somebody walks into your life, adds a spring to your step and put a smile on your face. For Jamie Vardy, Brendan Rodgers was that person. After Claude Puel had marginalised the striker, Brendan breezed in and proclaimed he would build the Leicester team around Vardy – to brilliant effect.
Since Rodgers’ revival began Vardy has scored 14 goals in 18 appearances, including some of the trademark counter-attacking moves that culminate with defender’s busting a gut to keep up. They fail miserably, but it’s nice to see them try.