News broke this week of humble remarks from Manchester United defender Phil Jones, concerning the testimonial he would receive if he goes on to see out his contract and reach 10 years of service with the Red Devils. The man of many expressions laughed off the suggestion, joking “only his mum and dad would turn up”.
Jones will have been at Old Trafford for eight years come this summer, and only Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young have been at the club longer. Though all four have enjoyed inconsistent spells since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, the Englishmen have become resurgent in the last year or so, with all three firmly involved in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team plans.
It is often remarked that there is no loyalty in football any more, but many players do defy the trend and stay with a club long enough to receive a testimonial.
At the time of writing, there are only eight players currently playing for Premier League sides who have been at their club for more than 10 years. Here we count down these eight, in ascending order of their time at their club.
8. Seamus Coleman – Everton (Since January 2009)
The newest member of the 10-year club is Everton and Ireland right-back, Seamus Coleman. Since signing from Sligo Rovers for £60,000, The full back has been virtually ever present, becoming a fan favourite.
Coleman has made almost 250 Premier League appearances for Everton, scoring 19 goals. Now 30, the Irishman is arguably past his best, and has not managed to return to the level of performance he was consistently giving before a serious injury suffered on international duty in 2017.
Now competing with Jonjoe Kenny for the right back role for Everton, Coleman remains first choice for his country, for whom he has been the captain since taking over from stalwart Robbie Keane.
Contracted until the summer of 2022, Coleman could pass 13 years at the club.
7. Vincent Kompany – Manchester City (Since August 2008)
A legend for club and country, Vincent Kompany is Manchester City’s current longest serving player. The club announced his testimonial to be held in September 2019.
The big Belgian joined City from Hamburg in 2008, and has gone on to make 259 top-flight appearances, scoring 17 goals.
Despite suffering recurrent injury problems over the last four seasons, Kompany remains a club legend. Though his future appears uncertain with his contract set to expire this summer, both club and player say they are relaxed about the situation.
6. Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal (Since June 2008)
Though he’s leaving for Juventus this summer, Aaron Ramsey remains Arsenal’s longest serving player and the sixth longest serving player in the Premier League currently.
Welshman Ramsey joined the Gunners as a 17-year-old in 2008 from Cardiff City for a fee of £4.8 million. In the near 11 years since, he has played 259 Premier League games, scoring 39 goals.
The midfielder infamously suffered a broken leg in 2010, but recovered to enjoy a stellar career with Arsenal. Ramsey will leave for Turin in July with three FA Cup winners’ medals (he scored winning goals in two of the finals) and perhaps a Europa League medal…
5. Leighton Baines – Everton (Since August 2007)
The second Everton player on this list (but not the last) is Leighton Baines. The dependable left-back joined from Wigan in 2007 and until recently has been the Toffees’ first choice left back ever since.
As first choice penalty taker for Everton for many of his years at Goodison Park, he’s managed a healthy 29 goals from 340 top-flight appearances.
Were it not for Ashley Cole, Baines would surely have earned far more than the 30 England caps to his name. His only tournament appearances for the three lions came at the ill-fated 2014 World Cup.
Now 34, Baines’ Everton future looks bleak. His contract is set to expire in the summer, and with Lucas Digne firmly establishing himself as first-choice left back in Baines’ early season absence, a new contract is far from certain.
4. Danny Rose – Tottenham Hotspur (Since July 2007)
One of Leighton Baines’ successors in the England set up, 28-year-old Danny Rose is the fourth longest serving player in the Premier League.
Despite moving to Spurs from Leeds just after turning 17, Rose has been very much a late bloomer for Spurs. A famous debut goal on his Premier League debut against Arsenal came on his only league appearance for Spurs in his first three seasons at White Hart Lane.
Following a successful loan spell at Sunderland in the 2012/13 season, he finally established himself in Spurs first team the following campaign.
Rose continues to vie with Ben Davies for a role on the left of Spurs changing defensive set up. With 19 Premier League appearances this season and two years left on his contract, there’s every chance Rose will be Spurs’ longest serving player for a while yet.
3. Phil Jagielka – Everton (Since July 2007)
With just three league appearances for Everton this season, you’d be forgiven for forgetting Phil Jagielka was still at the club. Now 36, the defender is past his prime but remains club captain at Goodison Park and the Toffees’ longest serving player.
Englishman Jagielka joined Everton from Sheffield United in 2007 and cemented his place in the side immediately, becoming a near ever-present until the current campaign.
With his contract set to expire this summer, it is unlikely Jagielka will be at Goodison next term. Nonetheless, Toffees and England fans alike can look back on a solid career in which he amassed 351 Premier League appearances (318 for Everton) and 40 England caps.
2. Julian Speroni – Crystal Palace (Since July 2004)
Argentine goalkeeper Julian Speroni joined Palace in 2004 in preparation for their return to the Premier League, but ended up playing only six times as Hungarian Gabor Kiraly was preferred.
Kiraly left in 2007 and Speroni stepped up, missing just seven league games over the following six seasons in the Championship.
Speroni was the Eagles’ first choice stopper in both of their first two seasons back in the Premier League, but has fallen down the pecking order since.
Now third choice behind Wayne Hennessey and Vicente Guaita, Speroni looks set to end his 15-year stay at Selhurst Park when his contract expires this summer.
1. Mark Noble – West Ham (Since July 2003)
None other than Mr. West Ham himself, Mark Noble is the longest serving Premier League player. Since joining as a full time trainee in July 2003, the central midfielder has become a club legend.
Other than brief loan spells at Hull and Ipswich, Noble has played his entire professional career at West Ham, making 401 league appearances, 343 in the top-flight.
Despite being capped by England at five different youth levels, Noble never received a cap for the senior side. Instead, he has become a pillar of a constantly evolving Hammers team.
Within the last few years, Noble has captained the team in both their last game at the Boleyn Ground and their first at the London Stadium, while he also received a testimonial in 2016.
Now 32, Noble is currently tied to West Ham until 2021, meaning he could be at the club for an incredible 18 years before he leaves.