Premier League captains: A club-by-club analysis

Date published: Wednesday 4th November 2020 8:34 - Ian Watson

We look at all the Premier League captains to discover whether they make a positive difference. The numbers are from the start of last season…



Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang
Minutes played: 3766
PPG with: 1.53
PPG without: 1
Aubameyang has missed only two matches since the start of last season – a couple of draws against Sheffield United and Chelsea for which he was suspended after getting himself sent off at Palace.


Aston Villa

Jack Grealish
Minutes played: 3774
PPG with: 1.12
PPG without: 0
Grealish has also missed just two games since the start of last season. Villa lost both 2-1 to Wolves and Liverpool.


Lewis Dunk
Minutes played: 3681
PPG with: 1.09
PPG without: 0.25
Dunk has missed Brighton’s last two matches through suspension and he’ll sit out the weekend’s clash with Burnley. It looks like they need him.


Ben Mee
Minutes played: 2880
PPG with: 1.41
PPG without: 1.21
The Clarets managed fine without Mee when he missed the back end of last season, with Sean Dyche’s side picking up nine points in six games in their skipper’s absence. But Mee is yet to play this season and Burnley have only a solitary point and sit at the foot of the table.


Cesar Azpilicueta
Minutes played: 3549
PPG with: 1.76
PPG without: 1.5
The Chelsea armband has been tossed around between Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Thiago Silva this season, with the club captain starting the first three matches of the season on the bench. But Chelsea haven’t lost since Azpilicueta came off the bench at half-time against West Brom with the Blues 3-0 down.

Crystal Palace

Luka Milivojevic
Minutes played: 2738
PPG with: 1.14
PPG without: 1.37
Palace’s fortunes are mixed with or without their skipper. And they had to do without Milivojevic’s influence while he eased himself back to fitness through the opening weeks of the season. He didn’t start any of the first five games which Palace won two, lost a couple and drew one.


Seamus Coleman
Minutes played: 2148
PPG with: 1.5
PPG without: 1.07
Coleman started Everton’s first five games of the season when they were unbeaten. Since he’s been missing, the Toffees have lost both. Coincidence? Probably not, especially since Carlo Ancelotti rates his skipper ‘up there as a captain with Paulo Maldini, John Terry and Sergio Ramos’.


Tom Cairney
Minutes played: 3814
PPG with: 1.63
PPG without: 1.6
Cairney missed the 4-3 defeat at Leeds earlier this season, but last term in the Championship, the Cottagers picked up 13 points from the seven games he missed on the way to the play-off final.

Leeds United

Liam Cooper
Minutes played: 3487
PPG with: 1.98
PPG without: 2.09
Marcelo Bielsa bought a couple of centre-backs in the summer but the Leeds club captain has still played when he’s been fit this season. In the Premier League, with Cooper, Leeds have earned 1.75 PPG; without their skipper, Bielsa’s side collected three points in three games.

Leicester City

Wes Morgan
Minutes played: 434
PPG with: 2.38
PPG without: 1.58
Morgan’s numbers make him appear a pivotal presence in Brendan Rodgers’ XI but the club captain has a peripheral role these days. Last term he made only four starts with his other nine appearances coming off the bench, and when he had a run in the final three games of the season, Leicester lost to Spurs and Man Utd to relinquish their top-four place.


Jordan Henderson
Minutes played: 2625
PPG with: 2.74
PPG without: 1.9
Henderson has missed 10 games since the start of last season, with the Liverpool skipper sitting out the two most notable defeats – their first loss of last season at Watford, and the battering at the hand of Aston Villa this term.

Manchester City

Minutes played: 2553
PPG with: 2.02
PPG without: 2.22
Fernandinho, City’s new skipper this season replacing David Silva, is being used more sparingly by Pep Guardiola in an effort to avoid the kind of injury that is currently keeping him on the sidelines until later this month.

Manchester United

Harry Maguire
Minutes played: 3960
PPG with: 1.66
PPG without: –
We’ve little idea how Man Utd might fair without Maguire because the lad is a machine. He hasn’t missed a minute of Premier League football since he moved to Old Trafford last year, even if he has has looked like he could do with a break this term.

Newcastle United

Jamaal Lascelles
Minutes played: 2617
PPG with: 1.33
PPG without: 1
Lascelles has the same PPG record in six games this season as he managed through 24 matches last term. If his fitness was similarly consistent, Newcastle would probably be much better off.

Sheffield United

Billy Sharp
Minutes played: 1176
PPG with: 1.03
PPG without: 1.47
Chris Wilder tends only to send for Sharp when the Blades need digging out of a hole and the skipper earned them their only point so far with the equaliser against Fulham.


James Ward-Prowse
Minutes played: 4050
PPG with: 1.44
PPG without: –
Like Harry Maguire, James Ward-Prowse hasn’t missed a minute since the start of last season. Since the England midfielder took over the captaincy in June, Saints have lost only three of 16 Premier League matches.


Hugo Lloris
Minutes played: 2438
PPG with: 1.89
PPG without: 1.18
Lloris was absent for seven of Tottenham’s 11 defeats last term and how they could have done with his steadying influence amid the handover between Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho.

West Brom

Jake Livermore
Minutes played: 4316
PPG with: 1.59
PPG without: 3
Livermore has missed only one game – a win over Sheffield Wednesday for which he was suspended – in 53 since the start of last season.

West Ham

Mark Noble
Minutes played: 2756
PPG with: 1.14
PPG without: 0.67
Noble has managed only four minutes since the opening day of this season but it seems David Moyes is starting the process of phasing out the Hammers veteran.


Conor Coady
Minutes played: 4050
PPG with: 1.6
PPG without: –
Like Maguire and Ward-Prowse, Coady has been an ever-present in the Premier League since the start of last season.


There are no Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City representatives in our rundown of the top ten players of the season. Nor Manchester United, of course, but Jay Rodriguez gets in?!

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