Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 June 2019

Leroy Sane or Kyle Walker? Premier League's fastest player for 2018/19 revealed

We compare the top 10's statistics to their speed attributes in the hugely popular video game Fifa 19

Who was the fastest player in the Premier League this season?

It is a question which can raise a healthy debate among football fans, many of whom would swiftly point to the likes of Leroy Sane, Mohamed Salah or Kyle Walker.

For Sane and Salah have regularly been seen sprinting away from defences, while Walker's powers of recovery are often owing to his rapid acceleration.

But the data specialists at Opta have revealed what can be considered a surprise winner: step forward Manchester United's Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who spent the season on loan at Fulham.

The 21-year-old clocked an impressive speed of 35.32km/h, just pipping Walker.

You can check out the top 10 in the slideshow at the top of the page.

Liverpool fans will be wondering how Sadio Mane didn't make it, while Tottenham's Son Heung-Min also showed impressive pace during the season.

How does their speed compare to their Fifa 19 card?

The hundreds of thousand of football fanatics who play the Fifa 19 video game will know the advantage of having players with pace in your side.

And we have taken a look to see how accurate the game is with its speed attributes for the players who made the Opta top 10.

A player's overall pace attribute in Fifa is made up of both sprint speed and acceleration. In this instance we have used the most recently updated player base cards rather than the special cards available in the Fifa Ultimate Team mode.

Surprise inclusion Sergio Rico, the Fulham goalkeeper, just has an overall speed statistic.

The National has contacted Opta for an explanation as to how Rico was in the top 10. One obvious explanation was he went upfield for a corner in the final seconds and then sprinted back to his unguarded goal. Could this make him the fastest keeper ever?

So, EA Sports, the developer of the Fifa series, isn't too far out on its judgment for most of the players here, although it has come unstuck with speed king Fosu-Mensah, whose numbers don't match up to his real world achievement.

To be fair to EA, the young defender has only started 30 league matches, but it will be interesting to see how his speed is boosted when Fifa 20 is released in September.

Updated: May 21, 2019 05:51 PM

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