The most searched-for footballer in the Premier League this season is a 40-year-old substitute goalkeeper, according to Bing.
Shay Given has beaten a trio of Manchester United biggest stars to the top spot despite being second-choice keeper at 12th-placed Stoke, Microsoft’s search engine has revealed.
The Irishman has made just six appearances for The Potters this campaign, when he had to fill in for the injured Jack Butland, and has only played 11 times since he joined the club from Aston Villa in 2015.
Despite his lack of playing time since the season got under way on August 13, Given has been searched for more times on Bing than Man U strikers Wayne Rooney (also England captain), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who has played for some of the best clubs in the world) and Marcus Rashford (the 19-year-old prodigy who has already played for his country at a major tournament).
Interestingly, Given came out on top despite Bing revealing there is a 160% surge in searches whenever a player scores a goal.
It is believed the surprising result was due to a large number of searches following Stoke’s decision to drop Given for a match against West Bromwich Albion in September.
The list of most-searched for managers also threw up some surprises, with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp (whose team tops the Premier League), Man U’s Jose Mourinho, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger all failing to make the top five.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte led the pack, ahead of Sunderland’s David Moyes, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, Hull’s Mike Phelan and Everton’s Ronald Koeman.
Arsenal topped the league of most searched-for football teams this season.
The Gunners were the most popular team among fans using Bing, ahead of Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea. It came after a promising start to the season that’s seen Wenger’s team pick up 24 points from 11 games.
Manchester City were the seventh most searched-for team on Bing, while current Premier League champions Leicester were 15th.
At the other end of the table, Middlesbrough recorded the fewest number of online searches, followed by Burnley and West Bromwich Albion.
Kevin Stagg, Bing’s Head of Consumer Marketing, said: “Any of us who know a dedicated follower of football will be familiar with the compulsion to talk about facts and figures. What’s fascinating about this new research is the depth of insight on the role of search engines like Bing in equipping fans with the facts they need in the moment they need them.
Drawing data and trends from the billions of queries on Bing, the search engine also revealed that Mondays and Fridays see the most online searches from football fans, while Sundays record the fewest. Player searches also jump 20% every time the referee shows a red or yellow card.