The Premier League is home to some of the best attackers in Europe, but players from Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle are among the most fouled players in the division.
It will come as no surprise to learn that most of the list is made up of forwards and wingers, although there are a few notable exceptions to this rule.
We’ve taken a closer look at the underlying numbers and have identified the 10 players who have drawn the most fouls in the Premier League during 2023-24.
Note: if players are tied on the same number of fouls, we have separated them by their fouled per 90 record.
10. Joao Palhinha (Fulham – 32)
The Portuguese midfielder has been guilty of committing 28 fouls himself, but he’s also been on the receiving end of some strong challenges.
After his deadline day move to Bayern Munich broke down in the summer, Palhinha has done well to get his head down at Craven Cottage. He’s been one of Fulham’s best performers this season and some top sides will surely be sniffing around in January.
9. Joao Pedro (Brighton – 32)
The silky Brazilian forward is brilliant at drawing fouls as his close control can be an absolute nightmare for defenders. Since his arrival from Watford in the summer, Pedro has made a tremendous impact.
He’s already bagged 13 goals across all competitions and still has plenty of room for improvement. In the Premier League, he’s drawn a total of 32 fouls which is the most of any Brighton player.
8. Phil Foden (Manchester City – 33)
In the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, Foden has really stepped up to the plate of late. The technically excellent midfielder has started in the vast majority of games this season and has produced several eye-catching moments.
He’s currently averaging a goal contribution every 138 minutes in the Premier League and he’s drawn a total of 33 fouls so far.
PHIL FODEN FROM A LONG WAY OUT!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/exoXHrQakZ
— City Report (@cityreport_) December 27, 2023
7. Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa – 34)
Perhaps a surprise inclusion on this list, but Konsa tends to get fouled significantly more than he commits them himself.
The 26-year-old has been an excellent performer under Unai Emery as he seamlessly transitions between right back and centre half.
Although he’s not been the most fouled player in the Aston Villa squad…
6. John McGinn (Aston Villa – 36)
As that title belongs to McGinn. The Scottish maestro is enjoying one hell of a season right now and he’s been on the receiving end of 36 fouls.
“He is himself very demanding,” Emery told reporters when discussing McGinn. “He is competitive, he always is ready to play, physically as well. I think when he is not training or playing he is resting – his energy always is full.
“He is a very good example, of how he is consistent and trying to help and to be an example, a very good example for players.”
5. Anthony Gordon (Newcastle – 38)
A few people raised an eyebrow when Newcastle splashed £40million on Gordon last January, but the winger has proven to be worth every penny so far.
On the back of a fantastic summer with the England U21s, Gordon has been a standout performer for Eddie Howe’s side this time around.
His energy on the left-hand side is invaluable to the way Newcastle play and it’s no surprise that he’s among the most-fouled players in the league.
4. Lucas Paqueta (West Ham – 42)
The Brazilian playmaker is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining players to watch in the Premier League right now. We’d happily sit and watch Paqueta compilations all day if we had the chance.
West Ham did well to keep the 26-year-old at the club over the summer and right now, he looks like one of the best creative outlets in the league.
Paqueta loves a cheeky flick or drop of the shoulder to get past his man and often defenders are left with little choice but to bring him down. In total, he’s been fouled 42 times so far.
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) January 3, 2024
3. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal – 43)
Arsenal’s starboy has been on the receiving end of some strong challenges this season and the club have recently complained to PGMOL over his rough treatment.
According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have complained to the Premier League’s refereeing body because of a lack of protection from the referees.
In total, Saka has been fouled 43 times in the Premier League so far which is an average of a foul every 38.7 minutes. The 22-year-old usually manages to brush off the strong challenges, but he has been lucky at times to have not been seriously injured.
2. Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle – 53)
The all-action Newcastle midfielder is capable of doing a little bit of everything from stifling opposition attacks to drawing fouls himself.
Guimaraes is a classy operator on the ball and he’s got a knack for drawing fouls in the middle of the pitch. On average, the Brazilian midfielder is fouled every 31.6 minutes in the Premier League.
1. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace – 65)
With Wilfred Zaha now out of the picture, Ayew is the most fouled player in the Premier League. The 32-year-old has never been the most clinical of forwards, but he does have his uses in other aspects of the game.
Ayew has already racked up five assists this season which is more than both Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise combined. He’s also brilliant at drawing fouls, having drawn 65 in the league so far.