With the eyes of the world on the Premier League, plenty of foreign players have established themselves in the English top flight. Germans. Italians. Spanish.
Fans have seen the likes of Xabi Alonso, Claude Makelele, Jurgen Klinsmann et al. feature for Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. The list could go on, but we’ve picked the five best French players to represent their country in the Premier League.
#5 Marcel Desailly
For Chelsea, Desailly was a dominant performer whilst being extremely consistent
Former France international and two-time Champions League winner Marcel Desailly was one of the most prominent central-defenders during his time in the Premier League.
Winning five major honours at AC Milan, Desailly joined Chelsea in 1998 as a figurehead for a relatively inexperienced side. During his time at Stamford Bridge, the Frenchman achieved great things – winning the UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup and the Charity Shield.
#4 David Ginola
There wasn’t a single defender that Ginola wouldn’t ghost beyond
Arriving at Newcastle United from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 1995, David Ginola went down as one of the Premier League’s greats during his time in the North East, before moving on to Tottenham Hotspur.
#3 Robert Pires
In 198 Premier League games for Arsenal, Pires scored 63 goals whilst creating 24 during six seasons
To this day, Arsenal are looking for a Robert Pires replacement. Tomas Rosicky – signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2006 – was handed the No. 7 shirt, but unfortunately for the Czech Republic international, injuries hampered his career.
At the time, Arsene Wenger had spent just £5 million to bring Pires to Arsenal from Marseille. Little did the wicked-winger know, he’d go on to be loved by Arsenal supporters.
#2 Eric Cantona
Eric ‘King’ Cantona
Football analyst Michael Cox described Eric Cantona as the biggest revolutionary in the Premier League. Signing for Manchester United from Leeds United in 1992, the Frenchman was deployed as a deep-lying forward in a 4-4-2.
best French football players in Premier League history?
#1 Thierry Henry
Arguably the deadliest striker in Premier League history
The greatest ever foreigner to play in the Premier League. There’s always been that debate. Is it Didier Drogba? Ruud van Nistelrooy? Of course, they come close – but no one will come close to what a certain Thierry Henry has achieved in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s record goalscorer arrived as a relative unknown from Juventus in 1999. Playing as a left-winger, Arsene Wenger moved him centrally, where he would go on to scare defences with his pace, power and deadly finishing.