Down through the ages there have been some stellar dead ball specialists in the Premier League, whether it was David Beckham or Gianfranco Zola. Today there is a whole new breed of free kick takers, some of whom have very different techniques from those of the past and others who have obviously studied the masters of yesteryear to become great themselves.
Here we detail some of the English Premier League’s elite free kick takers, all of whom have opposition goalkeepers, fans, and managers quaking in their boots as soon as a foul is committed in close proximity to their penalty area.
James Ward-Prowse – Saintly free kicks
After the free kick clinic he gave last season, during which he scored 4 goals, James Ward-Prowse is now the undoubted king of free kick taking in the Premier League. This is all the more impressive because he otherwise does not have a huge attacking remit for Southampton, who are many betting tipsters’ favourites for the drop this season. That said, any team that has a ball striker like Ward-Prowse in their side should never be discounted from beating the odds and picking up a shock result, especially when the Saints captain is prone to curling beauties right into the top corner. It is for this reason that plenty of sports free bets will be wagered on Ward-Prowse to either be the first or last to score in a Premier League game. Hopefully for Saints fans that will help them win the bets they made on their side surviving in the top flight this season.
Marcos Alonso – An unlikely free kick hero
Ever since the days of Roberto Carlos it has been fashionable for wing backs to be able to take mean free kicks, and this Spanish utility player has picked up the baton, to become a free kick taker packed with attacking ability. That is testament to how good he is from a dead ball situation, and he proved the point on the opening day of the season, scoring a worldie against Crystal Palace.
Cristiano Ronaldo – He’s still got it
Although he now must share free kick taking responsibilities with Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, there is no doubting that Cristiano Ronaldo is still one of the best free kick takers on the planet, let alone in the Premier League. With United not exactly clicking under the leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjær, there have been less opportunities for Ronaldo to show his prowess around the box, but you can be sure he nails one of his trademark punts over the wall in the near future.
Martin Ødegaard – Showing potential
The Norwegian wonderkid was derided by many as being too lightweight for the physicality of the Premier League, but like the rest of the Arsenal squad, he has begun to grow into this season and highlighted the fact with a wondrous, match winning, free kick against Burnley. That means there will be no doubt about who gets first dibs on free kick scoring opportunities down the line, and Arteta will be hoping the 22-year-old can find some more magic in those boots of his and take the lead in the Premier League’s official free kick rankings.
Son Heung-Min – The complete attacking player
Everyone always raves about Harry Kane, but in truth there is a strong argument for saying that the English striker’s partner in crime, Son Heung-Min, is a more complete player. Part of why that is the case is his free kick taking ability, which has seen him add yet another string to his already impressive bow. His only goal from a free kick this term was a cross rather than a shot, but such was the quality of the strike that it deceived both Watford defenders and their goalkeeper.