The Best and Worst Haircuts in the Premier League

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 9, 2013

The Best and Worst Haircuts in the Premier League

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    The Premier League is one of the most watched divisions of elite football in the world, with a television audience reaching into the billions over recent years.

    With that being the case, one would think that just about every player in the English top flight would have the decency to spend some of their hard-earned cash on a favourable 'do, right?


    As is plain for all to see, the Premier League's cast of more than 500 players features some haircuts that are good, some that are bad and indeed some that are just downright despicable.

    We've whittled the list down to just 20, graded from worst to best in ascending order. If you feel we've made any huge omissions, let us know in the forum below.

20. Isaiah Brown

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Having been signed by Chelsea from West Brom earlier this summer, there must be some promise in English youngster Isaiah Brown given that one of Europe's biggest clubs saw fit to pounce for his talents.

    Unfortunately, what's not so promising is the 16-year-old's choice of hairstyle, which is currently caught somewhere between an Afro and something else just as untamed.

    As Brown takes further steps as a professional footballer and steps up his salary, hair advice may be one of the higher priorities on the midfielder's checklist.

    Grade: F

19. Bacary Sagna

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Someone must have played a game of truth or dare with Bacary Sagna in his earlier days in a game that had tragic repercussions for the French international.

    Somewhat famed for his blonde cornrows, the Arsenal full-back is nothing if not consistent and has had this questionable style since his days with Auxerre.

    Aside from looking like a 30-legged phantom spider, it's hard to imagine Sagna has too much ease heading the ball with his hair in such a state.

    Regardless, it appears to have done him well during a relatively successful career at the Emirates.

    Grade: F+

18. Brek Shea

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    Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

    They say that everything's bigger in Texas, so of course College Station-born Brek Shea just had to overdo himself when it came to his exuberant hairstyle.

    The Stoke City midfielder developed a reputation for his "rad" blonde mullet back in Major League Soccer, but hasn't seen it bring him much luck since moving across the pond.

    To date, the United States international has made just two Premier League appearances for the Potters. One can only hope Shea supposes it's as a result of the hair, just so he might get rid.

    Grade: E-

17. Marouane Chamakh

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Much like the parable of Samson, Marouane Chamakh's powers seem to have waned even more since the Crystal Palace striker began to lose what little tufts of hair he's held onto.

    That's if one assumes the Moroccan international to have had any great talent in the first place, considering his first goal for the Eagles in late August was the first time he'd scored in the Premier League for almost two years.

    As if the mullet trim wasn't enough to put you off, Chamakh insists on slathering a heap of gel on what's an already pretty slippery-looking barnet.

    Grade: E

16. Benoit Assou-Ekotto

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    For years, Benoit Assou-Ekotto chose to sport his trademark cornrows with Tottenham, slightly in-keeping with his flashy style of play, especially for a left-back.

    However, 2013 has seen the Cameroonian, currently on loan at QPR, let it all hang loose in a much more liberal fashion, joining the Afro masses.

    That being said, BAE’s massive mound is more akin to a cloud than the more maintained, spherical styles usually chosen and has an odd tinge of a middle parting to boot.

    Grade: E+

15. Karim Rekik

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Karim Rekik could do with paying attention to the old adage that “more is less.”

    The Manchester City youngster, currently farmed out to PSV, seems to be to hair gel advertisers what Joe Hart has been to numerous strikers of late—a very easy target.

    Slapping it on with little regard for how he might look, Rekik’s greasy locks are enough to make even the toughest of stomachs churn.

    If they can put hair back on Wayne Rooney’s head, there must be some innovation that can dry this poor midfielder’s wet look.

    Grade: E+

14. Nicklas Bendtner

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    Credit to for Bendtner's samurai companion
    Credit to for Bendtner's samurai companionJamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Having not scored a league goal for Arsenal since 2010, there’s no wonder why Nicklas Bendtner isn’t even trying anymore.

    The Danish striker returned to the Emirates Stadium after seeming to have fallen out with the club in the not-too-distant past, and along with poorer fitness, he has chosen to go au naturale with his hair.

    Having appeared to take some inspiration from the samurais of vintage Japan, Bendtner’s gone from the clean-shaven hero of Denmark’s Euro 2012 campaign to the zero currently before you.

    Someone get that man a razor.

    Grade: D-

13. Tom Huddlestone

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Assou-Ekotto's wasn’t the only questionable mane to have left White Hart Lane this summer, with Tom Huddlestone’s sizeable contribution moving to Hull City.

    Originally grown for a charitable cause until he scored his next goal, the midfielder’s substantial serving is quite simply getting out of hand these days and can’t be anything but a burden when it comes to playing.

    One very cool benefit of Huddlestone’s 'do, however, is that he’s now one of only a few Premier League players that can actually cushion the ball with the back of his head.

    Grade: D

12. Mamadou Sakho

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Having adorned his head with a number of very debatable hair decorations during his time with Paris Saint-Germain, Mamadou Sakho doesn’t look likely to change his way now that he’s at Anfield.

    One of France’s most promising defenders, the 23-year-old is a great acquisition for the Premier League and a talent that youngsters can certainly look up to, but should certainly not take hair tips from.

    Whether it’s a mini-mohawk or the intricate patterns he so regularly carves onto his cranium (or his current combination of the two), Sakho hasn’t quite got it right when it comes to using his noggin.

    Grade: D

11. Alejandro Pozuelo

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Bringing the word “biff” back into 2013 vocabulary, Alejandro Pozuelo has got hair to spare and then some, but only in one very specific area.

    Not quite as lustrous as some of his Spanish compatriots, Swansea City team-mate Michu may be able to offer the 22-year-old some advice concerning other than just on-field matters.

    At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to what process Pozuelo goes through to get his hair in this state, but there’s a number of solutions, whether it’s a comb, wax or perhaps a pair of garden shears.

    The youngster has, like many others, fallen victim to the dreaded "short back and sides, but would you please not dare touch the top?" style.

    Grade: D+

10. Willian

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    Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    Bouncing from Brazil to Ukraine, to Russia and now England, Willian’s South American mane has seen some of the best sights this world has to offer.

    The Chelsea winger has some competition at Stamford Bridge for best ‘do but has the potential to come out on top with his carefully-cared-for cut.

    So maintained is Willian’s precious Afro that 90 minutes of gale-force sprinting don’t seem to bother it in the slightest, so it’s a good thing heading isn’t one of the 25-year-old’s priorities.

    Grade: C-

9. Leighton Baines

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    With the kind of sideburns that Sir Bradley Wiggins would be proud of, Leighton Baines is a bastion for the northern masses with his Britpop cheek-huggers.

    Up there with the likes of Ian Brown, Paul Weller and the Gallagher brothers, Baines is “bringing it back” with more than just his world-class talents at full-back.

    Grade: C

8. Marouane Fellaini

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Known for his recognisable Afro as much as his versatility across the park, Marouane Fellaini’s hair recently got a significant boost in profile, swapping Goodison Park for the Old Trafford stage.

    Where it was once just a certain portion of Merseyside that might celebrate the bubble-like hairdo, audiences in Singapore, Vietnam and other corners of the Red Devils’ massive Asian market can all celebrate the Belgian’s mane now.

    So fashionable is Fellaini’s hair, that an Asian confectionery company saw fit to produce a cookie based around the Afro.

    Grade: C+

7. Derek Boateng

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Derek Boateng may have arrived at Craven Cottage for free this summer, but the defensive midfielder's haircut alone is worth a million bucks.

    The Ghanaian midfielder has probably the longest dreadlocks that the Premier League has seen in some years, and the style suits his warrior approach when it comes to playing style, too.

    Grade: B-

6. Andre Schurrle

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    Any attacker in a Jose Mourinho team will have perfection demanded of them at near enough every turn, thus is the pressure of playing under one of the world’s best managers.

    While Andre Schurrle is yet to deliver that in his first three months as a Chelsea player, what he has given his side is a luxurious helping of blonde, flowing locks.

    Quintessentially Aryan would be the perfect way to describe the German’s neat yet unkempt hairstyle. It isn’t one of the more extravagant of the Premier League, but it is surely among the finest.

    Grade: B

5. Bradley Johnson

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Beards simply don’t get enough respect in the English top flight, or at least not at their bigger extremes.

    These days, it’s the prettier five o’clock shadows pioneered by David Beckham that get the job done for most, but not for Bradley Johnson.

    This season, the Norwich City midfielder has gone about adding some substantial volume to his face fur, and while the hair on top of his head may be nothing to marvel at, his crumb-catcher certainly is.

    Grade: B+

4. Danny Welbeck

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    Credit to for the image of Will Smith
    Credit to for the image of Will Smith

    Bringing the cue top back in a major way, Danny Welbeck has had an ‘80s ‘do for some years now that even Fresh Prince of Bel Air-era Will Smith would be proud of.

    Simple yet slick, the Manchester United forward’s retro style has begun to catch on with a number of Premier League stars of late, but Welbeck was among the original crew.

    Grade: B+

3. David Luiz

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    No list chronicling Premier League headwear is complete without a mention of David Luiz, the face of Chelsea’s hair care and grooming division.

    While that department may be of complete fiction, there’s no doubt as to who would be elected its chief should it ever come about, thanks largely to the Sideshow Bob-esque curls that the Brazilian’s become so famed for.

    Springy, full and just about practical enough to warrant still being called masculine, there’s not a man out there who would reject the chance to have hair with such (literally) massive potential.

    However, the South American can only boast the position of second-in-command at Stamford Bridge.

    Grade: A-

2. Nathan Ake

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    For in the Blues’ reserves lies one with the promise of one day outdoing Luiz in the style-off, Nathan Ake’s ginger-tipped dreadlocks being something of a spectacle in their own right.

    Already, the 18-year-old has earned comparisons to a young Ruud Gullit for his signature look, although Ake’s are far more maintained than the Dutch legend’s.

    In the years to come, the Chelsea youngster could go on to gain substantial seniority within Mourinho’s side and already has a highly marketable look to go along with it.

    Grade: A

1. Pablo Osvaldo

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    Credit to for the Khal Drogo image
    Credit to for the Khal Drogo imageClive Rose/Getty Images

    The Premier League’s most desirable hairdo undoubtedly belongs to one of its newest additions, Pablo Osvaldo.

    Southampton’s rise to prominence in the English top tier has been something of a miracle this term, and although the Italian is yet to have a massive impact on Mauricio Pochettino’s side just yet, the profile and standing he brings to the club is huge nonetheless.

    As if being compared to Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow wasn’t enough, Osvaldo also holds lookalike pedigree with Game Of Thrones character Khal Drogo reason enough to invest £15 million in his services.

    Full volume, shoulder-length tresses topped off with the kind of rugged beard any man can be envious of, there’s no Premier League player with their hair down to as much of a tee as Osvaldo.

    Grade: A+