Some players often get told early in their careers that they are too tall or too small to make it in professional football. Here are four players who bucked that trend.
Current Tallest – Kjell Scherpen – 6ft 8
The tallest man in Premier League currently is a player who is perhaps unfamiliar to most.
Brighton were in the market for a goalkeeper in the summer to keep Robert Sanchez on his toes and plumped for 21-year-old Dutchman Kjell Scherpen from Ajax.
He had only ever played four senior games for Ajax but Graham Potter recognised enough potential to sign him on a permanent basis.
So far, Sanchez’s form means he has yet to make his debut for the Seagulls but when he does, expect him to be dominant with aerial balls.
Tallest Ever – Lacina Traore – 6ft 8
Everton were in the market for another forward in the January window of 2014 and decided to go for the rangy Ivorian.
It was a strange window for Traore who had only just joined Monaco from former Russian powerhouse Anzhi Makhachkala.
The plan was to loan him back to the Russian Premier League but several other clubs were interested in swooping in.
Everton won the race but the move was ultimately unsuccessful.
He scored in the fourth minute of his first appearance in an FA Cup tie against Swansea but then injured his hamstring a week later in the warm-up for a game against Chelsea.
That kept him out until May and his only Premier League appearance proved to be as an 89th minute substitute against Hull.
Current Shortest – Ryan Fraser – 5ft 4
The pint-sized Scotsman certainly has all the traits to be a good winger – quick, skilful, and a low centre of gravity due to his lack of height.
He was one of Bournemouth’s most impressive performers during the Cherries’ Premier League stint from 2015-2020 with his best season coming in 2018-19.
Fraser scored seven goals and was linked with moves away, with Liverpool credited as an interested party.
That never happened and he left Vitality Stadium on a free transfer before the Covid interrupted 2019-20 season finished.
Since then he has joined Newcastle and hasn’t been able to replicate that same form.
Shortest Ever – Alan Wright – 5ft 4
Alan Wright can serve as inspiration to those who are rejected from the game for “being too small”.
The left-back carved out a very solid career in the Premier League after making his senior debut in the old third division for Blackpool in 1989.
Wright is best remembered for his eight-year spell at Aston Villa between 1995 and 2003, where he scored five league goals.
Early in his career he was viewed as a player with big potential, and he was duly capped by the England under 21s.
He also represented Blackburn and Sheffield United in the top flight before the back end of his career was punctuated by a series of short and forgettable loan spells.
Derby, Leeds, Cardiff, Doncaster and Nottingham Forest all had him on a temporary basis before his career ended in 2011 after spells with Cheltenham and Fleetwood.
Wright then cut his teeth in management in the North West for a short time, with stints at Northwich Victoria and Southport.