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Five Premier League players over 35 who are still key to their teams

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With all the emerging young talent that plays in the Premier League, often the older and more experienced players don’t get the plaudits they might deserve. Here are five players who are 35 or over and are still making a big impact for their respective clubs.

Thiago Silva (Chelsea, 38 years-old)
Over the last decade, Thiago Silva has been regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world. Over time he has aged like fine wine and has improved each year. During his three years at Chelsea when the Brazilian has not been available, the defence for the Blues has looked considerably weaker.

Even at the age of 38, Silva will more than likely be one of the first names on Mauricio Pochettino’s team sheet come the start of the season. To highlight how key the former AC Milan and PSG defender is, Silva won Chelsea’s Player of the Season for the 2022-23 campaign. Even after Chelsea had such a dismal season, Silva still performed to a very high standard.

Tim Ream (Fulham, 35 years-old)
Tim Ream joined Fulham back in 2015 from Bolton. In his eight seasons with the Cottagers, the American central defender has become a key figure at the back. Last season saw Ream finally get the recognition he deserves for the consistency he offered right through the campaign.

After Fulham faced Manchester City in November last year, Pep Guardiola approached Ream and reportedly told him that if he was 24 instead of 34 (his age at that time) then Guardiola would love to manage him. It was a real sign of how key the Fulham captain is for his team.

Willian (Fulham, 34 years-old)
Willian turns 35 in less than a month, so the Brazilian makes our list. This is due to the resurgence that was seen on his return to the Premier League. After what was seen as a ‘failed year’ at Arsenal in the 2020-21 season, it was something of a shock to see Willian come back to England with Fulham under Marko Silva.

In 27 starts in the league, he produced five goals and five assists in a season where Fulham finished in their highest position since the 2011-12 season. He is seen as such a key player that he is apparently set to have his wages doubled from £50,000 to £100,000 a week for next season.

Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham, 38 years-old)
In the 2022-23 season, Lukasz Fabianski was the second-oldest player to play in the Premier League. For the past five seasons, the Polish international has been the Hammers league number one, playing consistently well when his team was challenging for European spots and helping his side stay in the division.

Despite having Alphonse Areola as competition for the past two years, David Moyes has kept the experienced Fabianski as his number one. He is still so important to West Ham. Moyes desperately wants to keep the goalkeeper happy and intends for him to start most of the team’s games in 2023-24.

Vincente Guaita (Crystal Palace, 36 years-old)
The Spanish goalkeeper has been a fantastic signing for Crystal Palace after joining on a free in 2018. Guaita has predominantly been the number one for the Eagles since then, with his best Premier League season coming in the 2021-22 campaign where he picked up 12 clean sheets from 30 appearances.

Despite his age, Palace are still keen on tying him down to a new contract beyond his current one which expires in 2024. He has played just under 100 matches under Roy Hodgson – who will stay on as Palace manager next season – and the former England manager still sees Guaita as a key part of his plans.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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