The Premier League is blessed with a variety of world class talent from across the globe who entertain and enthrall an international audience. There are those who believe, however, that the amount of foreign players in the Premier League has a negative effect on English players and England’s football development. That being said, a football club is essentially a business striving to achieve success over their competitors, which means they require the best players available to them, no matter what nationality.
Here is a countdown of the top 10 players who have yet to play in the Premier League, but should consider a move to England. Now, some of these players may never play in the Premier League, but this article is simply suggesting that these are the top 10 players who should test themselves in one of the most physical, pacy and tactically varied leagues in the world.
10. Thomas Müller
We kickstart the list with Bayern Munich’s long serving German international, Thomas Müller. Being a versatile attacking player who can play on either wing, behind a striker or even up top himself, he would offer multiple options to any Premier League club needing some proven attacking talent.
Furthermore, Müller is comfortable on the ball, but also happy to put himself about a bit. He isn’t the most physical of players, but he is ready for the athletic labour that the Premier League would require from him.
9. Philipp Lahm
One of the greatest players of his generation, Philipp Lahm is regarded as the best left and right back in the world. Captain of the formidable Bayern Munich side who are in the midst of world domination, Lahm is a key cog in their winning machine.
A player who is not afraid of a fight and the powerful nature of the game, he excels beyond what his small stature suggests. He is also one of the best players on the ball, being able to dribble competently as well as pick a pass with the best of them. Pep Guardiola has described Lahm as the best player he has worked with.
All of this suggests that he would be an absolute hit in the Premier League, with him being able to deal with its physical nature, but also offer so much more from a full back position.
8. Gerard Piqué
So, this selection is technically breaking the rule of this article about having never played in the Premier League previously. This is because Gerard Piqué was at Manchester United between 2004 and 2008, with a loan spell back to Spain in ’06. He only made 12 appearances for the Red Devils before moving back to Barcelona.
His inclusion in this list is justified by his performances over the past five years, which have seen him become Barcelona’s ever present centre back and one of their principle defenders.
He is the ultimate modern centre back – tall, athletic, good on the ball and in the tackle. A Premier League club could do a whole lot worse that Piqué.
7. Matt Hummels
Borussia Dortmund’s rock of a centre back is most assuredly a Premier League type player. He is almost a classic English centre back – tall and great in the air. He also has excellent positioning and is hard tackling. Not gifted with an abundance of pace, Hummels would more than deal with the fast nature of the Premier League.
6. Marco Reus
Marco Reus is one of the most influential players in a Dortmund side that have done very well over the past 18 months. Reus is fast, nimble, has great close control and is blessed with superb vision. His ability to find a pass would come in handy for a Premier League team who would play to his strengths.
5. Paul Pogba
Ok, ok, the second player on this list that has played in the Premier League before. Paul Pogba played in just one Premier League game and so his inclusion in this list shouldn’t seem too inappropriate.
Pogba is still very young, but he is excelling at Juventus, becoming an important and influential member of an ever improving side. He plays in a similar fashion to Manchester City’s Yaya Touré, which says it all really. Yaya is one of the very best players in the Premier League with his athleticism, power and precision.
Pogba will continue to get better, so a move to the Premier League might simply enhance his already superb ability.
4. Robert Lewandowski
Despite Robert Lewandowski announcing that he will sign a pre-contract with Bayern Munich in early January, you can’t help but feel he would be a huge success in the Premier League. He is tall, athletic and is a wonderful finisher. He is also excellent on the ball with his dribbling and can create for his team-mates.
3. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema might see his first team opportunities continue to dwindle at Real Madrid as the Spanish giants seem determined to buy all in form players every transfer window. I am sure we all know who will be next on their wish list.
Benzema has all the traits to suggest that he would thrive in the Premier League environment – big, strong, good in the air and can finish. He would fulfil a Drogba style striker role in a Premier League team.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan has to be included on this list as he has all but dominated in almost every other European league. He is coming to the end of his illustrious career, but the Premier League is yet to welcome the big swede.
If a Premier League team decided to take a punt on Zlatan despite his age, then they would still be getting a serious goalscorer.
1. Lionel Messi
One of the greatest players ever to grace the game, Lionel Messi has only played at one club, even more so, he has been the shining light in an already incredible Barcelona side. It can therefore be argued that he might not produce the same world beating results in another side.
If Messi could reproduce anything close to his achievements from La Liga in the Premier League, however, then he will have shown all doubters that he is simply a force of nature.