Top 5 players to have played below the Prem

We all know that the best players play in the top divisions. Some go even better than this and get to play in the Champions League or even the World Cup. So it seems only logical if you can play at this level, then you should do so. But in this article we are going to look at the 5 best players to have played in any league under the Premier League in England. At number 5 is…

John Terry 


John Terry was at a point, the utter epitome of what England had as a centre-back. A cool-headed player who was also a natural leader, he also became a huge favourite amongst blue supporters after 492 appearances for them since his debut in 1998 til he left in 2017 for Aston Villa. At the time it was seen as an excellent transfer for a vast majority of reasons: It was a free transfer, Villa were receiving an excellent player still capable of prem football and finally, he was a leader at a rough time for the club.

Aston Villa played the 2017/18 season in the championship and were tipped to bounce straight back and were severely unlucky not to after a 1-0 loss to Fulham in the final to lose out on their seemingly destined return to the Prem. After this John Terry decided not to renew his contract and is currently unemployed whilst Aston Villa can be found in 4th place, which is coincidentally, where they finished last season.


Jamie Vardy 


You have to include Vardy whenever you mention players who went from nothing to something due to his meteoric rise from Non-league to World Cup. The Leicester hitman has played  numerous seasons below the Premier League, however his most recent one came in 2013/14 where he became as prolific as he was at Stockbridge and Fleetwood for Leicester. Come the end of the season, he finished with 16 goals and was promoted to the Premier League with Leicester, and we all know what happened from there…


Edgar Davids


If you can describe Jamie Vardy as a character, then Edgar Davids would be the entire cast. A player with 74 caps for Holland, numerous accolades such as being in the FIFA 100, Champions League medals and also relegation from League 2?

Yes, Edgar Davids stunned the world when he announced he would be signing as player-manager for League 2 team Barnet in what can only be described as the weirdest moment in the club’s history. After 29 appearances in League 2 where he managed to score, he then played a further 8 games the next year in the conference. During this season, he was sent off 3 times and booked in all 8 games. To make matters even weirder, he couldn’t play any away games requiring an over night stay which left his assistant to take charge. After his 3rd and final sending off he debated retiring before leaving the club in January of that year.


Jack Butland


Whilst I am aware this has only been a recent development, the transfer window shut with him still playing in the Championship so he merits inclusion.     Jack Butland is still an England goalkeeper who was taken to the World Cup this year and yet can be found languishing in 17th place with Stoke City.  Despite much transfer talk of release clauses and various clubs supposedly sniffing around the 25yr old, Stoke’s star player from last season with maybe the exception of Shaqiri is still there to stay. Following 36 appearances for Stoke last season he was quick to criticise the club for failing to recruit adequately in the transfer windows and thus leading to the relegation of Stoke. Whilst it looks likely he will still leave the club in the coming window, it does make you see Stoke’s financial strength to hold onto him despite losing their place in the most prestigious league in the world.


Nick Pope

Nick Pope

The goalkeeping equivalent of Jamie Vardy, Nick Pope has also come from seemingly rags to riches and attended the world cup along the way. Having been released from Ipswich as a 16yr old, he then signed for Non-league Bury and made his debut that year whilst also wearing the number 1 shirt. He then joined Charlton in League One in 2011  after impressing in several pre-season friendlies. Despite this, he was sent out on loan 8 times to various different clubs including Bury. In his final season with Charlton he made 36 appearences before being signed for Burnley in a deal to not only provide depth in the goalkeeping position but also as a homegrown player to meet the allowance required by the Premier league. Despite currently being injured it looks likely he will only improve and keep progressing.

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