The world of football is ever-changing. It has become incredibly rare that a player stays at a single club for their entire careers. We at Football FanCast take a look at every Premier League club’s longest-serving players.
Disclaimer: Only time in the first team counts. We will not be including players’ times in various academies.
Arsenal – Mohamed Elneny
Elneny made the switch to Arsenal from Basel in January 2016 for a £7.4 million transfer fee, one of the last players signed by legendary coach Arsene Wenger, and one of the few remaining.
While Mikel Arteta has utilised the Egypt international sparingly, Elneny has reportedly become a well-liked presence in the dressing room. Adding to his tenure, he inked a one-year contract extension in February 2023.
Aston Villa – John McGinn
Since joining Aston Villa in August 2018 from Hibernian, John McGinn has become a linchpin in the team’s midfield. Known for his tenacity, work rate, and eye for goal, the Scottish international played a crucial role in Villa’s promotion to the Premier League in the 2018/19 season.
McGinn seamlessly transitioned into the top flight, showcasing his skill in orchestrating attacks and contributing vital goals. His performances earned him accolades and a reputation as one of Villa’s standout players.
Bournemouth – Adam Smith
Smith had a loan stint at Bournemouth during the 2010/11 season before securing a permanent deal with the club in January 2014. Since then, the right-back has amassed over 300 appearances across various competitions, poised to mark a decade of continuous service for the Cherries in January 2024.
Smith himself has been surprised by how long he’s been at the club, “You don’t see it often these days,” he said. “When I first joined Bournemouth, I honestly didn’t expect to be here ten years.
“It’s obviously a great achievement. I’m quite proud that I’ve lasted here ten years. Like I said, you don’t really see it often these days.”
Brentford – Rico Henry
Despite selling star players like Ollie Watkins in recent years, Brentford have established themselves as a solid Premier League club, and Rico Henry has been with them all the way.
Having joined Brentford from Walsall in 2016, the 26-year-old has smoothly adapted to Premier League football over the past two years. Now approaching the significant milestone, he is on the brink of achieving nearly 200 appearances for the west London club.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Lewis Dunk
Brighton haven’t always been where they are today. When academy graduate, Lewis Dunk made his debut for the club in April 2010, they were still in League One, millions of miles away from the Premier League and some record-breaking sales.
The criminally underrated centre-back has captained the club since 2019/20 and has made three England appearances. He recently extended his stay on the South Coast until 2026. Maybe he will have a statue outside the Amex one day.
Burnley – Johann Berg Gudmundsson
The Icelandic midfielder was signed from Charlton Athletic, along with ex-goalkeeper Nick Pope, for a combined fee of around £3.5 million. Unlike Pope, Gudmundsson stuck around following Burnley’s relegation to the Championship and helped them gain promotion after a single year.
The 33-year-old has made 208 appearances for the club since joining in 2016.
Chelsea – Reece James
It was a summer of upheaval at Chelsea in 2023, with many of the longest-serving players at the club leaving and being replaced with younger stars. If he’d stayed, Cesar Azpilicueta would have been by far their longest-serving player, but since he left, it’s Reece James.
The right-back missed most of the early part of the season through injury, and since making his debut in 2019 has made 153 appearances for the club. He was given the captain’s armband this year by new manager Mauricio Pochetino.
Crystal Palace – Joel Ward
Crystal Palace fan favourite Ward joined the club from Portsmouth in a £400,000 deal in 2012 and helped them earn promotion via the 2013 Championship play-off final.
The defender has since become a consistent performer at Selhurst Park and is now the second-highest Premier League appearance-maker in the club’s history. £400,000 was a bargain for the player he has become.
Everton – Seamus Coleman
By far the longest-serving player on this list, Everton’s Seamus Coleman has been ever-present at the club. Coleman was even considered one of the best right-backs in the league, as he formed a formidable full-back pairing with the now-retired Leighton Baines.
He joined the club for a mere £60,000 in January 2009, proving an exceptional bargain. Serving as a defensive linchpin for over a decade, the right-back celebrated surpassing the 400-appearance milestone during the 2022/23 season.
Expressing his commitment, he said “I’m keen to continue helping my teammates in any way I can, while passing on my experience to the younger lads and contributing on the pitch as much as possible.”
This dedication was underscored when he inked a one-year contract extension in 2023, signalling his continued impact on and off the pitch for Everton.
Fulham – Tom Cairney
Fulham captain Tom Cairney has well and truly made Craven Cottage his home. He was an exciting prospect at Blackburn before the West London club snapped him up in July 2015 for a fee reported to be around £3.5 million.
He has since made 283 appearances for the club, helping them to three separate promotions to the Premier League, and has stuck by them each time they’ve been relegated. Fulham are now once again established in the top flight, and so is Tom Cairney.
Liverpool – Joe Gomez
Now that Jordan Henderson has joined Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia, persuaded by their millions, Joe Gomez is Liverpool’s longest-serving player. He joined from Charlton in 2015 for a reported £3.5m, and is yet to really make an impact at the club.
Since he joined, Gomez has won the Premier League and Champions League under Jurgen Klopp, but injuries have hindered him from becoming a regular first-team starter. He’s been mostly used as a right-back this year, serving as an understudy to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Luton Town – Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu
Luton Town making it to the Premier League despite all the adversities they’ve had is a feel-good story, in and of itself, Ruddock Mpanzu coming with them all the way is a cherry on top of the cake.
Joining the Hatters during their National League campaign in 2013/14, Mpanzu has played a major role in their ascent through the football leagues. Following Luton’s triumph in the 2023 Championship play-off final, he etched his name in history as the first player ever to achieve promotion from the fifth tier to the Premier League with the same club.
Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne
The eyebrows of football pundits across the country were raised when Manchester City decided to fork out £55 million to sign De Bruyne from Wolfsburg, but the Belgian midfielder has proved them wrong time and time against since joining the club in 2015.
He has enjoyed an incredibly impressive eight years at the club, winning five Premier Leagues, one Champions League, two FA Cups, and five League Cups under Pep Guardiola. Not too bad after all, hey Paul Merson?
Manchester United – Luke Shaw
The English defender joined Manchester United in 2014 for £27 million with the world at his feet, and while he has since become one of the best left-backs in the league, Shaw hasn’t quite lived up to the potential he had at Southampton.
It hasn’t entirely been his fault, the club have being going through a lot of upheaval since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2012, and a horrific leg-break in their Champions League game against PSV understandably shook his confidence.
Newcastle United – Paul Dummett
Other than a couple of loan spells to Gateshead and St Mirren, Dummett has spent his entire career at Newcastle United. He has seen a lot of change, with them now becoming the ‘richest club in the world’ following Mike Ashley’s spell in charge.
He’s not exactly a first-team regular at the minute, making just one first-team appearance in the 2022/23 season, but the 31-year-old has committed to a one-year contract extension, ensuring his stay at St James’ Park until the summer of 2024.
Nottingham Forest – Joe Worrall
Nottingham Forest are another club that has seen a lot happen in the past few years, making a remarkable number of signing since gaining promotion to the Premier League in 2022. One thing has remained the same though, and that’s the importance of Joe Worrall.
Rising through the ranks at the City Ground and debuting in 2016, the centre-back assumed the role of club captain for the 2022/23 season. Notably, Worrall has reached a significant milestone, surpassing 200 appearances for Nottingham Forest.
Sheffield United – Chris Basham
It’s looking like it will be a long season for Sheffield United. They’re currently in 18th, mostly thanks to Everton’s 10-point deduction. One thing that won’t change is Basham’s dedication to the club.
Having joined Sheffield United on a free transfer from Blackpool in 2014, Basham has amassed over 350 appearances for the Blades, achieving three promotions during his tenure.
In 2022, he extended his commitment with a two-year contract, set to complete a decade of service at Bramall Lane by the end of the 2023/24 season.
Tottenham Hotspur – Hugo Lloris
Now that Harry Kane is no longer at the club, joining Bayern Munich to finally get his hands on some silverware, Hugo Lloris is Spurs’ longest-serving player. The French goalkeeper may have lost his position to new signing Guglielmo Vicario, but he’s still there to offer his vast experience and leadership to the cause.
Since joining the club in 2012, the World Cup-winning goalkeeper has amassed an impressive 447 appearances for the club. Unfortunately, despite his efforts, Lloris is yet to win a trophy with Spurs.
West Ham United – Aaron Cresswell
Cresswell has been a valuable asset to West Ham since his transfer from Ipswich Town for £3.75 million in 2014, accumulating over 300 appearances in various competitions even helping them to the club’s first European trophy in decades, winning the Europa Conference League.
He’s only made three appearances for the club so far this season, but remains a useful utility player for David Moyes as the season progresses.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Max Kilman
Following the departures of many of Wolves’ Portuguese contingent over the past couple of years, Kilman is now the club’s longest-serving player.
The centre-back signed from non-league Maidenhead in 2018 before eventually earning his debut under Nuno Espirito Santo in the Europa League. Kilman is also one of only a few players to make it from non-league to the Premier League. That’s no mean feat.