West Ham’s Mark Noble believes Steven Gerrard narrowly edges out Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard when it comes to which of the three midfielders were better.
The trio of England internationals dominated the Premier League for over a decade with Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.
Boasting a range of similar attributes, the three midfielders were hard to separate for quality on the pitch but having played against all of them, Noble concedes the crown must go to the former Reds captain.
“Trust me when I say you only realise how good a player is when you play against them,” Noble said in a Q and A from West Ham’s Twitter account when asked to pick between the trio.
“All three were top, top players in their own right but all-round player, Stevie G was the complete footballer.”
Noble also named Gerrard as the best player he’s come up against, while listing Carlos Tevez and Dimitri Payet as the best he’s played alongside.
Brazilian legend Kaka has also put Gerrard above Lampard and Scholes when asked to pick between the three earlier this year.
“I like Gerrard,” Kaka told SPORTbible. “Because we had this challenge between ourselves in 2005 and 2007, I really admire him.
“Of course, Lampard was pretty amazing, Scholes the classic. But I’ll have Gerrard.”
Going against the grain, former Portugal international Deco believes Scholes should get the nod due to his unique style of play and ability to fit into any side.
“I played with and against so many fantastic players in midfield like Gerrard. I had the opportunity to play with Lampard together at Chelsea,” Deco was quoted as saying in 2016.
“I think, because he was a different type of player to all other types of English midfielder, Paul Scholes was the best player that I saw playing for an English midfield and one of the best players in the world.
“There are not so many players with this style because I think most of the players are box-to-box, not about controlling the game, keeping the balance of the team.
“Maybe it’s the generation, but I think this kind of player always exists. England has a lot of fantastic players. What I say is that in midfield, with his style, Scholes could play at any club.”