Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughForeign Imports: The Good, the Bad and the Worst. Part one. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Foreign Imports: The Good, the Bad and the Worst. Part one. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Foreign Imports: The Good, the Bad and the Worst. Part one.

The Premiership has been a global phenomenon. The money from television rights has transformed the English game. Everything about the Premiership oozes class. Maybe it’s the allure of the biggest league in the world, or the money it provides, but foreign players have played a major part in this transition. But for every Henry that comes here, inevitably, there is a Taibi. that blags his way through customs too. Here, I am going to look at the best and worst imports. Some have lit up the Premiership, some couldn’t light a match (pun intended).

 I would like to point out that this is not the official list of the Premier league. This is just my opinion. These are players that I have seen in action. There may be others who may make your list. Please feel free to add any players in the comments section.



Who can forget the day when West Ham United pull off the deal of the century, the day they signed Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano for seemingly nothing? As it turned out their naïve nature caused them an immense amount of negative press and hit them in their wallets too. Although Mascherano didn’t fire at Upton Park, he certainly made his case at Liverpool. Tevez has always played with his heart on his sleeve and no matter what, you always know he will give his all on the pitch. Sergio Aguero has settled into the premiership brilliantly well and a easy case could be made for him. However, as it was his first season my vote goes to Carlos Tevez. But Aguero could far surpass him yet.


Juan Sebastian Veron cost Manchester United £28 million pounds. A vast amount of money but largely he is considered to have been an expensive flop. I don’t see why Franco Di Santo is still plying his trade in the Premiership. His continued presence in the worlds best league is rather baffling. Mauricio Pellegrino became the first Argentine to play for Liverpool when he signed on a six month contract in 2005 but thankfully his performances didn’t deter them from other Argentines. Esteban Fuertes was brought by Derby County manager, Jim Smith, in 1999 but only made a handful of appearances before he was refused entry back into Britain when immigration officials discovered his Italian passport was forged. Whoops.


Best : Carlos Tevez

Worst: Esteban Fuertes




No question about it. Juninho is by far the best Brazilian to have played in the Premiership to date. The excitement he caused whenever he got the ball at the Riverside was immersible. The little genius lit up the Premiership with his flamboyant skills and his nice guy nature. He was joined at the club by another Brazilian, Emerson. But Juninho wins this hands down.


Manchester United paid £6.5 million for Jose Kleberson without return. The midfielder failed to make the grade and was dispatched a couple of years later. Julio Baptista came to Arsenal with a big reputation but did little to enhance it in the Premiership in his year long loan spell. With the successes of Juninho and Emerson, Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson got greedy and brought Branco to the ‘boro. Branco came with the reputation of being a no nonsense tackler, who possessed a dangerous shot. Unforgettably, the Samba star failed to shine and after just 9 appearances he was shipped off the States. Afonso Alves also arrived at Middlesbrough promising nothing but goals, but he was unable to find the net as regularly as he did in Holland. My vote however goes to ex Manchester City forward, Jo. He cost the club a staggering £18 million pounds and scored just once in the Premiership.


Best: Juninho

Worst: Jo




Pires? Viera? Ginola? This list could go on forever. A number Arsenal players could make the list. I I have narrowed this down to two players, reluctantly leaving out one of the best defensive midfielders I have ever seen, Chelsea’s Claude Makelele and Chelsea’s powerful defender, Marcel Desailly. The two on my short list are Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry and the king of Old Trafford, Eric Cantona. Wenger’s master stroke in transforming Henry into a centre forward was the making of him. He always had talent but often found himself out of the game on the wing in the infant years of his career. King Eric’s arrival at Manchester United was seen as a massive gamble. His presence on the pitch was enough to inspire those around him and he was the catalyst for the red half of Manchester becoming the dominant force in the Premiership. The choice between the two is really tough, but I’m going to go with Eric Cantona. Some, I know, will disagree.


Again, any amount of Arsenal players could make the ‘worst off ‘ list. Even Liverpool have had a large amount of French players who have failed miserably. Damien Plessis for example stayed at Anfield for three years and made a total of 3 Premier league appearances. David Bellion was somehow signed by Manchester United from Sunderland after scoring one goal in a smattering amount of appearances for the Black Cats. Ibrahim Ba was signed by Bolton Wanderers in 2003 and much was expected of him. After all he had played for European giants AC Milan and Marseille. But after 9 games he was gone. For me though, Stephane Guivarc’h’s move to Newcastle was a purely disastrous one. He played 4 games, scored one goal and was sold to Rangers a few months later.


Best: Eric Cantona

Worst: Stephane Guivarc’h




Surprisingly, very few big name players have come to the Premiership over the years from Germany, making this relatively easy. Jurgen Klinsmann came to Tottenham Hotspur with the reputation of being a diver. They were right. Defenders hated seeing his dive because he performed it as a celebration after every goal he scored. Klinsmann went on to find the net 21 times in the 1994 -1995 season. That is a lot of diving. One of the best finishers in the game I have ever seen. Easy choice.


Per Mertesacker could find himself on this list if his Arsenal career continues the way it started last season, however, he is not afforded the embarrassment of that. But I’m going for another Arsenal player. Stefan Malz. The German arrived at Arsenal in 1999 from TSV 1860 Munchen. Two years and eight appearances later he was back in Germany.


Best: Kilnsmann

Worst: Stefan Malz


Watch Klinsmann here


Kam Gill