Fitba’s gone mad and yer da’s fuming at the discovery that a substantial proportion of Premier League footballers are currently sporting highlights in their hair – but which team is the worst offender?
Thirty-seven of the finest footballers around are currently strutting across Premier League pitches with trims that suggest they’ve won a trolley dash at Toni&Guy.
Many of them are young, minted and clearly open to experimentation with their looks. Fair enough, but we imagine a few will shudder when they look back at photographs in a couple of decades’ time.
We’ve ranked each Premier League squad by the number of players that are currently rocking the bleached look.
Zero (Luton, Liverpool, Sheffield United)
Good ol’ Luton and Sheffield United, underlining their status as relegation favourites with a selection of clean-cut & sensible Championship haircuts.
We’re more surprised about Liverpool; while it’s a stretch to imagine Jurgen Klopp with a peroxide streak, his veneers and laser-eye surgery indicate this is a man not above a spot of vanity.
Alas, his squad haven’t taken the Barbie plunge just yet. Although we’re carefully watching the likes of Kostas Tsimikas, Alexis Mac Allister and Darwin Nunez in the coming months.
One (Arsenal, Brentford, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Wolves)
This lot will be ring-fencing their artificial blondies and placing them in quarantine, eager to prevent an epidemic that’ll make Romania’s 1998 World Cup effort look like a bunch of army reservists.
Mikel Arteta has already got a headstart at Arsenal by relegating Leandro Trossard to the bench, but Chelsea and Newcastle would be greatly diminished without Reece James and Joelinton respectively.
It would appear that Wolves failed to get the memo judging by the arrival of Mario Lemina this summer, while Brentford (Sergi Canos) and Crystal Palace (Chris Richards) will be making their stars use the club’s designated barber this year.
We finish this section at Turf Moor. While Burnley only have a single peroxided prodigy in their ranks (Manuel Benson), they loaned out Wout Weghorst just as he dipped his hair in melted cheddar. The authorities will be in touch, Vincent…
Two (Aston Villa, Brighton, Everton, Manchester City, West Ham)
Two seems about the right amount of lid-experimenters in a Premier League; it’s important to remember the sheer amount of spare time and disposable income at the hands of top-level footballers, while also considering the amount of banter they’re exposed to on a daily basis.
Aston Villa are arguably the least at risk of highlight hell; Philippe Coutinho will surely be off to Saudi Arabia in the near future, while Tim Iroegbunam has made just eight appearances for the club.
Neal Maupay’s felt-tip effort is another reason for Goodison Park to grind its teeth (in direct contrast to their reaction to Dele Alli), while David Moyes is taking a leap of faith by promoting Alphonse Areola to first-choice goalkeeper.
On the other hand, Moyes is embracing his cautious reputation by confining Maxwel Cornet to occasional cameos from the bench.
Ederson and Jack Grealish continue to taunt the follically-challenged Pep Guardiola with their creative locks, while Brighton’s Julio Enciso can be excused on the grounds of still being 19.
But youth won’t spare Billy Gilmour; one look at the Scotland midfielder is enough to bring out the Proper Football Man that lives within us all.
Julio Enciso or Billy Gilmour? pic.twitter.com/OxPUKMgeOu
— Jake Entwistle (@JakeEntwistle) August 9, 2023
Three (Nottingham Forest)
“Brennan Johnson might have buried that chance at Arsenal if he’d spent more time on the training ground and less time at the barbers,” claimed your da after the Welshman’s sitter on the opening day.
Serge Aurier could die his hair white in honour of Derby County and still be a cult hero at the City Ground, while Alex Mighten is looking for his breakthrough into Steve Cooper’s starting XI.
Four (Bournemouth, Fulham, Manchester United)
Four fake blondies? Four? That’s insane.
United fielded all of their bottle-blond quartet against Wolves (Lisandro Martinez, Mason Mount, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho), but all the peroxide in south Manchester failed to intimidate their opponents.
Bournemouth threw Max Aarons straight into their line-up after signing the defender from Norwich, where he lined up alongside Marcos Sensini. Their style-averse sub-section also contains Andrei Radu and Emiliano Marcondes.
Meanwhile, Fulham’s Hall of Shamers includes Andres Pereira, Tyler Francois and new signing Adama Traore. But none have embraced their inner Ken like Harry Wilson.
Man United first-half highlights pic.twitter.com/n5YCv9SZyt
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) August 14, 2023
Davinson Sanchez. Richarlison. Emerson Royal. Ryan Sessegnon. Destiny Udogie.
Remember their names. They’ll be front and centre of the Daily Mail’s next moral panic.