It hasn’t been long since we have seen the premier league team of the decade and the premier leagues best ever team, of which unfortunately I do have to agree with Carra on this one. All these teams got me thinking, what would a premier league eleven look like only using players outside of Europe and Brexit. I found myself tossing and turning on who to settle on. Finally after a lot of deliberation I have come across what I think is the Premier Leagues Best XI outside of Europe. Please comment if you feel I have left anyone out. The below facts are based on the player in their premier league team.
I will be going with a 4-1-2-3 formation.
Mark Schwarzer – Australia
The Aussie hailing from Sydney wears our number 1 jersey. For those of you who watched Schwarzer before his retirement in 2016 knew the capabilities this keeper possessed. Schwarzer first came to the prem in 1997 from then second division tier Bradford City, and joined the North East Teeside boys Middlesbrough. Schwarzer sealed the English League Cup (in today’s terms the Carabao Cup) in the 03-04 season with a mid table Middlesbrough. While at Fulham Mark claimed Fulham’s player of the year award 08-09 season. Schwarzer has had brief stints at title champions Leicester (6 apps) and Chelsea (4 apps) before his retirement in 2016. Schwarzer has the most premier league appearances of any goalkeeper in the premier league with 514 and finishes 3rd in the most clean sheets department.
Clean sheets: 151
Teams: Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea, Leicester
Market peak value: Feb 2012. 13.5m
Lucas Neill – Australia
Another Aussie on our list. I’m going with Lucas Neill at left back. Not his regular position but can play here. Non European left backs are desolate in the premier league worth mentioning, if you find anymore please let me know. Gabriel Heinze just didn’t make the cut. Neill joined Blackburn in 2001/2002 season from Millwall. Neill made over 30 appearances in a consistent 6 year period for Blackburn, winning the league cup in 01/02. Kitting out for West Ham and Everton in his latter prem days. Throughout the rest of his premier league career Neill made captain for club (Blackburn/West Ham)and country putting in some aggressive tackling and heart on sleeve defending of which isn’t seen these days. That’s why he makes our list.
Clean Sheets: 79
Teams: Blackburn, Westham, Everton, Watford
Peak Value: £4.5m, Jan 2008
David Luiz – Brazil
Some will agree some will disagree. Luiz was up against Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe and Toon hero Coloccini, but Luiz makes the list just ahead of them for our left sided centre back. The Brazilian is still going strong with Arsenal with 25 appearances and 2 goals. The then previous footballer of the year 2010 joined Chelsea in 2011 and showed his worth that much, that Chelsea wanted him back after a stint in Paris. Luiz notched up 6 major trophies with Chelsea. Two FA cups, a premier league title and a champions league, alongside making captain for the blues on a number of occasions. The boy from Diadema is not only a ferocious defender who realishes a card but a technically gifted free kick taker who can notch a goal at the other end.
Clean Sheets: 62
Teams: Chelsea, Arsenal
Peak Value: £44.5m to PSG July 2014
Kolo Toure (Captain) – Cote D’Ivoire
For Arsenal fans who see Toure as being in the all time premier league greatest centre backs, you are not alone. Remember that time Arsenal went unbeaten for a whole season?! This man was one of their centre backs for that season. If he wasn’t on this list it would be a crime. Kolo moved from ASEC Mimosas in Cote D’Ivoire to Arsenal 01/02 season for a mere 167k, what a bargain. Since that day Kolo has achieved a premier league title and FA cup with two different clubs. Kolo finished his career at Liverpool after a few games at City with his brother. Toure due to his massive amount of appearances and experience could definitely captain this side.
Clean Sheets: 108
Teams: Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool
Peak Value: £19.8m July 2008
Lauren – Cameroon
Any player who starts the entire season and goes unbeaten as a defender deserves their place on this XI. Lauren the Cameroonian right back moved to Arsenal in 2000 from RCD Mallorca. Making 32 appearances for Arsenal during their invincibles season. This obviously shows how cemented his place at right back was in this incredible team. Lauren has to his name four FA Cups and two premier league titles all with his beloved Arsenal. Pompei came calling for a replacement right back and Lauren was their man in the latter years. Due to his spell at Arsenal starting 5-6 years consistently he triumphs over Antonio Valencia to our right back position.
Clean Sheets: 62
Teams: Arsenal, Portsmouth
Peak Value: £9.63m to Arsenal, July 2000
Defensive Centre Mid
Yaya Toure – Cote D’Ivoire
Could’ve kind of guessed this one. We had an abundance of players to choose from in this department. However the man from City takes the crown in the heart of our midfield. Yaya joined the Citizens from Barcelona for 27million in 2011. After a first debut season in the prem appearing 35 times and scoring 8 goals was a sign of great things to come. Since joining City, Yaya won 4 African Player of the year awards consecutively from 2011 alongside City’s first premier league title. (Un)fortunately this was not Toure finished with City, going on to add 3 league cups, 2 more titles and an FA cup. Toure has to be one of the greatest not only African players to grace the premiership but one of the best midfielders we have had the privilege to watch.
Teams: Manchester City
Peak Value: £32.85m, June 2012
Park Ji-Sung – South Korea
The Manchester United South Korean maestro has one of the best engines in the game. The fact his song is still sung at Old Trafford shows the love for the man. When he wanted to stifle the opposition’s playmaker, Park would famously produce the goods on numerous occasions. Park joined from Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven in 2005. Going on to win South Korean player of the year 2010, four premier league titles and a champions league. Park possibly was not used as much as the likes of midfield oldies Poyet and Cahill but had such an impact in Manchester for his 6 years as a Red Devil and being decorated as Asias most successful player in history due to his 19 trophies. Park is such an underrated player and deserves to make this list.
Teams: Manchester United, QPR
Peak Value: £11.25m, June 2009
Juninho – Brazil
The last Brazilian on our list. Yes ok, Essien has won a lot more and has more appearances, but Juninho played in a average Middlesbrough side while Essien was surrounded by the likes of Lampard, Terry and Drogba. After a great start with São Paulo, Middlesbrough came calling. 4.95million later, a league cup and a player of the year award Juninho made the premier league look like his own back yard. A tricky skilful midfielder who pulled the strings like Geppetto and opened defenders like the Red Sea. Due to Juninho playing for a lower ranked team and achieving what he did, it just makes you wonder what he could’ve done if he had joined one of the big four.
Peak Value: £5.4m, June 2004
Choosing a striker was nearly an impossible task especially with new up and coming stars such as Mane and Salah. Didn’t want to be boring and choose the majority of the usual suspects, so I’ve gone with a front three of who should not be overlooked. I’ve settled on a classic three up top.
Drogba – Cote D’Ivoire
Main name on the list and had to be mentioned. The man is absolutely incredible. Joining from Marseille for a massive £34.65million. We always see a big money move fall away and this is one that paid back more than his transfer fee. Turning back 104 goals including the winner in the champions league final against Bayern. Twice was African footballer of the year while at Chelsea alongside racking up a champions league, four premier league titles and FA cups respectively. The man showed that tall strikers hadn’t gone extinct just yet. Physical, powerful, energetic and a sharpshooter eye for goal, Didier has to be on every list to do with strikers in the premier league.
Peak Value: £36m, Feb 2008
Dwight Yorke – Trinidad & Tobago
Making appearances in 7 successive seasons at Villa scoring an estimated 60 goals, the Trinidadian looked a hot prospect in the 90s. Dwight Yorke, born in the beautiful tropics of Trinidad & Tobago moved to England to destroy goalkeepers mentalities across the premiership. Making the all time premier league top 20 scorers of all time, having his peak season of 20 goals in that glorious 1999 year. A real fox in the box finishing off anything within 6 yards not to mention apace with a champions league, 3 titles and 3 domestic cups.
Teams: Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn, Birmingham, Sunderland
Peak Value: £17.33m, July 98
Sergio Agüero – Argentina
AAGGGUUUEEERROOOOOO….the worst day of my life but also the day the football world witnessed the enhanced version of Sergio Agüero. Already he had fully established himself at Atletico Madrid, so most of Europe were looking to acquire his custom. Heartbreakingly Man City beat everyone to the race. Agüero is currently the 4th highest goalscorer in Premier League history, and the highest non-English scorer in the history of the competition, with 180 goals in the division, so he has to make this list obviously. He also holds the record for most hat-tricks in the Premier League, with twelve. Agüero sealed City’s first ever title and has gone on to win 3 more since. Six domestic cups added to the endless tally of stats, Sergio has plenty of time to possibly become the greatest ever player to grace the premier league.
Teams: Man City
Peak Value: £72m, May 2018
It was a tough all round decision to settle for the best Non European Premier League XI. Here is a shout out to the substitutes that made the final cut:
Brad Friedel – USA
Clean sheets: 133
Teams: Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Spurs
Antonio Valencia – Ecuador
Clean Sheets: 105
Teams: Wigan, Manchester United
Michael Essien – Ghana
Tim Cahill – Australia
Yakubu – Nigeria
Teams: Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, Blackburn
Below is the final squad.