The 15 hardest footballers in the history of the Premier League

From Vinnie Jones to Roy Keane, they're all here.

Roy Keane and Patrick VieiraImage Getty/Clive Brunskill

Whatever happened the hardmen of English football? The Premier League has cleaned up over recent years, and the days of the midfield enforcer and the burly centre half are, sadly, long gone.

The attractive, free-flowing football we’re used to now is all well and good, but sometimes you need a few hefty challenges to keep you interested, right? We certainly think so…

loaded ranks the toughest players in the history of the Premier League below: 


15

Nigel De Jong

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First on the list is Nigel De Jong, who gained a fearsome reputation after arriving at Manchester City from Hamburger SV in 2009.

The Dutchman was notorious for his tough tackling during his three years at the club. He also formed what must be the dirtiest central midfield pairings in recent years for Holland with Mark Van Bommel. As the clip above shows, he’s still putting in huge challenges at his new club LA Galaxy.

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.