The Best Number 19s to Play in the Premier League
Squad number 19 is becoming increasingly more popular in the Premier League. It is the number carried by Arsenal’s record signing Pepe, while Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford held it before switching to the more traditional number 10.
Here is a look back through the Premier League and over the current squad numbers to find the best four players to wear 19 in the league.
Leeds United fans will fondly remember their period in the Premier League in the late 90s and early 00s where they consistently finished towards the top end of the table. One of the players who starred in their team in that period is Harry Kewell. He wore the number 19 shirt in the early stages of his career at Elland Road.
Unfortunately for Leeds supporters, it has been a while since they had an era like the one Kewell featured in. The Yorkshire club are priced at 6.00 in the Premier League 2021/22 odds for the drop, so they will need to improve on their recent results in order to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle.
Under manager Marco Bielsa, Leeds have a number of exciting forwards who could go on excite the fans in the same way Kewell did. Raphinha, Rodrigo and Daniel James all fit that profile. With a talented squad, Bielsa’s side are often one of the English Premier League betting tips, particularly when they are at home.
Kewell scored 63 goals for Leeds before moving to Liverpool in 2003. He spent five seasons at Anfield and was part of the team which won the UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.
The three-time Oceania Footballer of the Year is certainly one of the greatest ever Australians to play in the Premier League. He is now trying his hand at management but is out of work at the moment after leaving Barnet back in September.
In 2004 Scott Parker was one of the early signings in the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea. Claude Makelele was the Blues number four at the time, so the Englishman was given the squad number 19. He was predominantly used as cover for the French international who was regarded by many as the best in the world at his position at the time.
Parker played 18 times for England and featured for six different Premier League clubs throughout his career. He was named the PFA Young Player of the Year at the end of the 2003/04 campaign.
The former tough-tackling midfielder is now in management. He was in charge of Fulham in the Premier League last season but his side were relegated. Earlier this summer he took over at Bournemouth, who are targeting promotion from the Championship this season.
Manchester United put together one of the best strike partnerships in Premier League history in the late 90s when they signed Dwight Yorke to play alongside Andy Cole. Yorke joined from Aston Villa for £12.6 million and with the number nine shirt being unavailable, he chose number 19.
Yorke scored 65 goals for United between 1998 and 2002 and he won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Champions League. The Trinidad and Tobago striker was a key part of their treble-winning team in 1999 under Sir Alex Ferguson.
When he retired in 2009, Yorke held the record for the most goals by a non-European in the Premier League with a total of 123, a record which has since been broken by Sergio Aguero. Yorke continued to wear the number 19 throughout his career and he is arguably the most iconic to do so in the Premier League era.
Although he only spent one season in the Premier League, Colombian star James Rodriguez showed why he was once considered one of the best forward players in world football. A lot of eyebrows were raised when Everton completed the signing of the attacker from Real Madrid in 2020. Many questioned if he still had the same ability. He played 26 games in that campaign, scoring six goals.
Rodriguez chose to move to Merseyside to work under Carlo Ancelotti once again. Unfortunately, when the Italian left the club, Everton’s number 19 wanted to move on too. He now plays for Al-Rayyan in Qatar.
The best period of Rodriguez’s career so far came in 2014. He was one of the stars of the World Cup in Brazil. He scored the goal of the tournament in his side’s 2-0 victory over Uruguay. That is considered to be one of the best World Cup goals in history.
It’s a shame we did not get to see Rodriguez for longer in the Premier League. He is only 30 years old so there is the chance we could see him back again at a different club.
The squad number seems to be becoming increasingly more popular, so it’s likely we will see more great players in 19 in the Premier League in the near future.
Featured image credits are with Everton FC.