The different No. 10s in the English Premier League


Modern football has brought with it so many changes, changes in the way a football team’s defense, midfield, and attack are now organized and structured. Gone are the days when a typical midfielder possesses all the ‘abilities’ altogether. Then, football fans see brilliance, creativity, glamour, goals, flair, and tactical creativity all in one midfielder.

Infact, football managers admonish their midfield players to be more of general midfielders and these managers usually go after versatile midfield players in the transfer market.
As trends are bound to change constantly. One of the changes that came with the advent of modern football is the type of midfield player a manager prefers; now they tend to select one that suites the team’s pattern of play, formation, tactics and the team’s best players. Now, there is more of being excellent in that which you know how to do rather than being the versatile guy. In fact most performing teams usually go for ‘the guy’ they can always trust when there is a need in a specific aspect than midfield players that just does everything.

Questions have been raised as to what No. 10s do specifically and the type of midfielder we can categorize as a No. 10.

The following are the types of No. 10 that exist in the English premier league

1. The supporting Striker:

In the traditional 4-4-2 formation, No 10s usually partner the striker, and they always supply the team with goals and assists. The legendary Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard played in this role, and he will always be remembered for his bundles of sensational goals even as a midfielder. With teams drifting away from the 4-4-2 formation, we still see midfield players that play this supporting striker role even with the new pattern their teams adopt. Young sensational, Bamidele Alli of Tottenham Hotspurs can be described as a typical No. 10 that enjoys this role as his relationship with Harry Kane blossoms every season. Alli even believes he’s Lampard reincarnate and he often refer to the ex three lion star as his idol.

2. The long Passer:

You hardly see Alli throw those long passes; even if it ever occurs then it must be those ‘one-off’ magical moments. Alli does not fit this class of No. 10s but Francesc Fabregas does.

3. The ‘bursting forward’ species:

These types of No. 10s are widely known for their energy, enthusiasm, and industry. The Yaya Toure’s of this world, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and the former most expensive player in world football, Manchester united’s Paul Pogba fits perfectly into this category of No. 10s.

4. Final-pass giver:

Modern football teams mostly depend on their No. 10 to always deliver that eye-catching final pass. These types usually have a spectacular eye for final passes; they can almost locate where their running teammates are per-time and affording these class of midfielders with much space can spell doom for the opposing team.

5. The dynamic midfielder:

These are the most similar to the earlier description of the general midfield player. They are known to be dynamic, technically gifted, dominating and skillful. They can create something out of nothing, fabricate spaces, release their teammates and often come up with moments of genius. They are dribblers, they sometimes give the final pass, but more often they create the chances. Croatia’s Luka Modric in the Spanish Liga is one of the most gifted dynamic midfield players alive, and past footballers such as the golden man Ronaldinho also fit into this class. In the premier league, Manchester city’s David Silva is a typical example and also Spaniard Santi Cazorla.