The most fouled players in the Premier League this season, including Wilfried Zaha, Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard

1 Feb

For every awe-inspiring dribble you see on a football pitch, there is (inevitably) at least one member of the opposition looking to ‘disrupt’ their flow.

When Diego Maradona shimmied his way through the England defence on that fateful, scorching hot day at Mexico ’86, you can bet your life Peter Reid wishes he had scythed the magician down.

Hazard knows what it is like to receive special attention in the Premier League

For every showstopping artiste that captures the imagination of the crowd, there is an unscrupulous enforcer looking to stop them – this has been the pattern in football since records began.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson was left incensed as a frustrated Wilfried Zaha saw red for two petulant yellow cards at Southampton on Wednesday night.

The former England boss said of his talisman: “It’s disappointing that a player who perhaps provided the most entertainment throughout the game was consistently fouled.

“That he wasn’t able to contain his frustration with that consistent fouling and complains about a foul that wasn’t given and probably should have been.

A cynical foul could have stopped one of the greatest goals in football history

“I don’t think he’s targeted as a person I just think players who run with the ball as well as he does just get fouled. His play was good enough to provoke those fouls.”

But does Hodgson have a point; do players who constantly look to dribble the ball constantly get fouled?

Thanks to Whoscored.com, it’s possible to see who has been fouled the most so far in the Premier League this season.

20. Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion)

Murray has been fouled 34 times this season

19. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Mane has been fouled 36 times

=19. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton)

Hojbjerg has been fouled 36 times

17. Ashley Barnes (Burnley)

Barnes has been fouled 37 times

=17. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

Mitrovic has been fouled 37 times

15. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)

Fraser has been fouled 38 times

=15. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

Xhaka has been fouled 38 times

=15. Felipe Anderson (West Ham United)

Anderson has been fouled 38 times

=15. David Brooks (Bournemouth)

Brooks has been fouled 38 times

11. Josh Murphy (Cardiff City)

Murphy has been fouled 40 times

=11. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)

Townsend has been fouled 40 times

9. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Kane has been fouled 41 times

8. Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal)

Gunedouzi has been fouled 42 times

=8. James Maddison (Leicester City)

Maddison has been fouled 42 times

=8. Isaac Success (Watford)

Success has been fouled 42 times

5. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Pogba has been fouled 44 times

4. Richarlison (Everton)

Richarlison has been fouled 52 times

=4. Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)

Torreira has been fouled 52 times

2. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Zaha has been fouled 63 times

1. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Hazard has been fouled 69 times