Premier League’s oldest XI for 2021/22, ft Ronaldo and four England stars

Age really is ‘just a number’. 

The Premier League’s third-highest goalscorer this season is 37, as is one of it’s finest centre-halves, while another player pushing 40 is potentially just one game away from adding another top-flight medal to his enviable collection of silverware. 

Without further ado, here are the oldest players to feature in the Premier League this season. 

Willy Caballero – Southampton, 40

The only player in this XI already in his fifth decade, veteran shot-stopper Caballero was parachuted in at St Mary’s during the injury-enforced absences of Fraser Forster and Alex McCarthy, impressing to such an extent that Southampton quickly made sure to extend his deal until the end of the season. 

Seamus Coleman – Everton, 33

The fact that Coleman remains one of the first names on Everton’s team-sheet is as much a reflection of his enduring reliability as it is the club’s poor recruitment record.

The long-serving captain might have lost a yard of pace but his adaptability and controlled aggression remains crucial to Frank Lampard, with Coleman adapting effectively to a more conservative, central role. 

Jonny Evans – Leicester City, 34

It’s no coincidence that, with the increasingly injury-prone Evans spending much of the season stuck on the treatment table, a previously solid Leicester defence currently looks about as secure as a house of cards in a hurricane. 

When fit, the dependable Evans is still one of Brendan Rodgers’ most reliable footsoldiers. 

Thiago Silva – Chelsea, 37

If there is a trophy Thiago Silva hasn’t won, then it probably isn’t worth winning. There were plenty of doubters when the former PSG and AC Milan stalwart joined Chelsea in the summer of 2020 but Silva continues to confound the critics, his magnificent reading of the game and inch-perfect positioning making up for his lack of speed. 

Ashley Young – Aston Villa, 36

Returning to Villa Park after a decade away, Young is a very different player these days to the one who joined Manchester United as a goalscoring winger back in 2011.

The former England international is hardly not be one of the first names in Steven Gerrard’s XI but he’s certainly a useful squad member, filling in when required at full-back or in midfield. 

Fernandinho – Manchester City, 37

Pep Guardiola wasn’t exactly ecstatic to learn that Fernandinho would not be extending his contract at the Etihad Stadium. And no wonder. Despite turning 37 earlier this month, replacing Manchester City’s midfield maestro will be easier said than done. 

Fernandinho rolled back the years with a fine strike against Leeds United recently, after producing a glorious assist against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. 

Joao Moutinho – Wolves, 35

Like Fernandinho, Joao Moutinho will be a free agent in July. And, like Fernandinho, his club would jump at the chance to rubber stamp a contract extension. 

While often overshadowed by Ruben Neves, Moutinho is the man who keeps Wolves ticking over like clockwork. What’s more, the Euro 2016 winner has started all but four of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 36 Premier League games this season. 

James Milner – Liverpool, 36

Right-back, left-back, central midfield, on the wing; Liverpool’s Mr Reliable, the godfather of versatility, is still going strong at 36. A peg capable of filling any hole. Jurgen Klopp even likened Milner – who he describes as the ultimate ‘role model’ – to Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric due to his enduring longevity. 

With Silicon Valley seemingly obsessed with conquering death itself, maybe they should consider giving Milner a call. 

Aaron Lennon – Burnley, 35

One of four England internationals on this age-defying team-sheet, Lennon’s unexpected renaissance since returning to England from Turkey is one of the main reasons why Burnley are still in with a shot of survival heading into the final few games of a gruelling campaign at Turf Moor. 

Even at 35, Lennon still possesses a burst of pace capable of bamboozling almost any full-back. 

Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United, 37

The fact that supporters reacted with such wide-eyed enthusiasm to the news of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return speaks volumes about a man who, two decades on from his debut under Sir Alex Ferguson, remains the model of consistency and professionalism. 

Ronaldo has 18 league goals this season. Including more hat-tricks than he managed during the entirety of his first spell in United red. 

Jamie Vardy – Leicester City, 35

Equalling and then exceeding Arsenal legend Ian Wright, no one has scored more Premier League goals since turning 30 as football’s most iconic late-bloomer. Leicester’s patient, possession-based approach means Vardy tends to drift through games these days but, when served up chances on a silver-platter, you’d still bet your house on Leicester’s number nine gobbling them up. 

He took his tally to an impressive 12 with a brace against Norwich City in midweek. 

In other news, Report: West Ham expect Newcastle to sign £50k-a-week defender on a free