15 Best Aston Villa Players in the History of Premier League

Aston Villa has achieved respectable reputation in the British Premier League. Although the club has not been able to breakthrough the dominance of the Big Four, it consistently maintains its reputation as one of the strongest dark horses of the competition. Aston Villa also has never been relegated from the Premier League, even once became the runner-up of the competition in the 1992-93 season. Moreover, since the British Premier League had started in 1992, Aston Villa won two League Cup trophies and two Intertoto Cups.

The question is, which Aston Villa's player deserves to be called as the best during the club's participation in the British Premier League?

15. Darius Vassell

Darius Vassel is known as one of the best super-sub of England national football team. Acting as a substitute for the Three Lions' main strikers such as Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, and Wayne Rooney; Vassell often scored important goals after coming in as a substitute. His career at Aston Villa lasted seven years, from 1998 to 2005. During his best period, Vassel is known as a fast, agile, and cunning center forward.

14. Andy Townsend

Andy Townsend joined Aston Villa in 1993 after being signed from Chelsea for 2.1 million pounds. The England midfielder served as Aston Villa's captain when they won the League Cup in 1996. His performances on the pitch were quite consistent, as Townsend carried out a role as an anchor midfielder very well. His main duty was connecting between the defensive and offensive lines of Aston Villa.

13. John Carew

John Carew is a former target man who is regarded as one of Norway's best footballers of all time. During four years playing for Aston Villa, Carew became the club's top scorer for three seasons. He was known as a tall striker who possessed powerful shot and often scored goals with header. Carew's best season occurred in 2008-09, when he helped his club win the Intertoto Cup. He moved from Aston Villa to West Ham United in 2011, where he ended his career as a professional footballer.

12. Dion Dublin

Dion Dublin was bought from Aston Villa in 1998 and managed to take over the role as the club's main striker after the departure of Dwight Yorke to Manchester United. Before moving to Aston Villa, Dublin holds the title as the top scorer of the Premier League in the 1997-98 season when he joined Coventry City. During six years playing for Aston Villa, Dublin managed to be the club's top scorer for three seasons. In total, he netted 59 goals from 190 appearances.

11. Kevin Richardson

Kevin Richardson will always be remembered by Aston Villa's fans as a charismatic team captain. The England midfielder led his teammates finish their first season in the Premier League as a runner-up. Not only that, he also helped his club win the League Cup trophy in 1994 as a captain. Richardson played for Aston Villa for four seasons in the 1991 to 1995 period, scoring 16 goals in 188 appearances.

10. Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate is known as one of England's best defenders of all time. He played for Aston Villa in the period 1995-2001, winning a League Cup trophy and an Intertoto Cup trophy. His appearances at the club were very stable, making his position as the number-one center back was almost irreplaceable. Southgate was famous as a calm, tactical, and intelligent defender. In total, he scored nine goals in 244 appearances for Aston Villa.

9. Mark Bosnich

Indeed, there are many great goalkeepers joined Aston Villa such as Thomas Sorensen, Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan. However, none of them can beat the reputation and accomplishments of Mark Bosnich. The Australian goalkeeper started to play regularly as the first-choice goalkeeper of Aston Villa in the 1993-94 season, after playing outstanding match in the League Cup semi-finals when he saved three penalty kicks. Since that time, he performed consistently and being recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. In 1999, Bosnich was even signed by Manchester United to replace their legendary keeper, Peter Schmeichel. Unfortunately Bosnich had failed to shine at the club and since then his performances declined drastically.

8. Paul McGrath

Paul McGrath is a retired Irish central defender who played for Aston Villa in the 1989-1996 period. Despite being continuously hampered by knee injuries, he was still able to show a solid performance as a defender. He was known to have tremendous tackling ability supported by remarkable marking and heading. During his time at Aston Villa, he won two League Cups and PFA Player of the Year award in 1993.

7. Steve Staunton

Throughout his career, Steve Staunton played for Aston Villa for ten years. He appeared in 350 games, scoring 19 goals. Staunton played as a central defender, but can also play as a wingback. His duet with Paul McGrath in the 1992-93 season was regarded as one of the best defenders duos in the history of the Premier League. He also played a major role in helping his club finish in the second place in the first season of the British Premier League.

6. Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke is a former Trinidad and Tobago player who was discovered by manager Graham Taylor during Aston Villa's tour in West Indies regions. He joined the club in 1989 and for six years he was mostly played as a right midfielder. In the 1995-96 season, he was positioned as a striker, which turned out to be the turning point of Yorke's career. As a striker, he scored a lot of goals and for three consecutive years became the top scorer of Aston Villa. The outstanding performance of Yorke made Manchester United sign him for a considerably high fee, 12.6 million pounds in the 1998-99 season.

5. Ashley Young

Ashley Young is a winger who is known for his speed, agility, and outstanding dribbling. He played for Aston Villa in the 2007-2011 period, after being signed from Watford for a fee of £ 8 million. Young showed great forms in his first season at the club, where he was included into the PFA Premier League Team of the Year. The next season went better, where Young won the award for best young player of the Premier League. Similar to Dwight Yorke, Young's brilliant forms at Aston Villa made Manchester United sign him for high prices, for a fee of approximately 15 millions poundsterling.

4. Gabriel Agbonlahor

Gabriel Agbonlahor is an England striker of Nigerian descent who was nurtured by Aston Villa Youth Academy. He debuted in 2005 and gained reputation as a fast, talented, and agile striker. His duet with Ashley Young was regarded as one of the most promising young players duos in England. If he were able to maintain his consistency in scoring, Agbonlahor has great potential to achieve a status as a legendary player of Aston Villa.

3. Olof Mellberg

Olof Mellberg was known as a calm central defender who was strong in aerial duels and possessed good leadership qualities. He was trusted to be the captain of Aston Villa in the 2003-2006 period. During seven years at the club, Mellberg played in 263 matches and scored eight goals. During his period at the club, he received an award as the best Swedish footballer of 2003.

2. Stiliyan Petrov

Stiliyan Petrov is a retired Bulgarian midfielder who was signed by Aston Villa from Celtic in 2006. He ended his career as a professional footballer in 2013 at the club as he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Petrov was known as a player who was greatly loved by the fans of Aston Villa. His jersey number, 19, was retired for a season and he was also included in the list of "Aston Villa Hall of Fame." Not only that, Petrov was also elected twice as Aston Villa Players' Player of the Year.

1. Gareth Barry

In my humble opinion, Gareth Barry is the player who should be crowned the title as the best player of Aston Villa in the history of Premier League. The British central midfielder possesses good ability in attacking and defending, calm, as well as prolific in scoring goals from set-pieces. Just like Agbonlahor, Barry was raised by Aston Villa Youth Academy. Throughout 11 years of joining the club, Barry scored 52 goals in 441 matches. He also won an Intertoto Cup trophy and was selected as Aston Villa's Player of the Season 2006-07. His decision to leave Villa to join Manchester City in the year 2009 was made him be hated by some fans of this club. However, objectively, Barry had great contribution for the club and he deserves to be named as one of the best Aston Villa's player.

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