Premier League is deemed as one of the most fascinating footballing frays on the globe and the kind of players it has bragged about in its glittering antiquity has been nothing short of sublime.
Players from various nationalities grace this highly competitive league and try to leave an impressive mark on the heart of England’s domestic football.
However, given the magnitude of the contest that these players have amongst themselves, it needs a lot more than mere perseverance and skills to thrive in the brightest brand of the game in England and also in Europe.
In this story, we will talk about the five best players from Spain who thrived in English football and emerged as stars of the sport throughout their span in England and also left a trail of brilliance everywhere they went.
Before we start, this piece is based on a personal perspective and may not match the thoughts in your head. So if you have a specific set of players that you deem as the best Spanish lot, please feel free to share with us.
It was a tough choice, to be honest especially with the likes of De Gea, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pepe Reina, Diego Costa and many other Spanish internationals in the hunt, we had to narrow down the choice to the finest. That is exactly why it is stated that the list has a lot of perspectives in it and not really a full-blown statistical handout.
5. Juan Mata (Chelsea and Manchester United)
The Spanish midfield maestro has been exuding brilliance in the finest fashion for almost a decennium now. Though senescence has slowed him down over the recent years, yet he has compensated for the same with skills, positioning and thunderous long rangers, bedevilling his oppositions.
Chelsea set his eyes upon him in 2011 when his midfield artistry set Valencia on fire. He played 133 games with the Spanish outfit that saw him blasting 29 goals and stringing countless assists in the process. As he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2011, he evolved as the crux of Chelsea’s attacking force and started tormenting other Premier League stalwarts with an exotic brand of football.
In a span of three years for Chelsea that saw him playing 82 games, he managed to smash 18 goals. Unfortunately in 2014, he couldn’t really live up to the billing that was strapped onto him and that faltering led him to be ousted from the Blues outfit.
However, the class that he brought along with himself to England was never going unnoticed as Manchester United laid their hands on this vibrant midfield talisman who started being their solitary shaft of hope initially in an otherwise pedestrian lot of players. He is now an indispensable part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s outfit that is in hot pursuit of the League title after a long time.
For Manchester, he has now played 187 games and managed to drill in 33 netters thereby taking his Premier League tally to 51 goals from 269 games in a span of a long, vibrant and fascinating decade.
Despite the fact that this Spaniard hasn’t got a Premier League next to his name, yet the honours in England notched up by one of the most chivalrous players of all time undoubtedly underlines him as one of the best Spanish players to grace for Premier League ever.
4. Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
Before this man went on to be the heart of Real Madrid midfield, his contributions at Anfield are simply indelible. In fact, he is touted as one of the Liverpool legends for his contributions to the game.
He was a playmaker of the finest order, who used to dig deep and stitch those breathtaking assists effortlessly. In his very first season for Liverpool, he went on to help the Reds claim the Champions League and that too in exhilarating fashion as the final was one of the most remarkable turnarounds that the sport has ever witnessed.
After being scouted as a classic central midfielder plying his trade for Real Sociedad and Eibar, Liverpool couldn’t resist roping in this exciting Spanish prospect. The move fructified instantly as he started pulling a lot of exotic strings in the attacking force that also included those clinically driven screamers from him, making Liverpool one of the attacking outfits of the Premier League.
In a span of five years, the brutal aggression laced with classic midfield prowess from Alonso elevated Liverpool to a pedestal where they were deemed as one of the most lethal teams of England.
Before heading to Santiago Bernabeu in 2010, he played a staggering 143 games for Liverpool where he went onto score 15 goals.
Once again like Mata, despite Premier League eluding him, it is needless to say that when it comes to the best Spanish players of the sport in the Premier League, he will hold a good deal of sway over the others.
3. Fernando Torres (Liverpool and Chelsea)
His exit from the Premier League is definitely one of the most painful sights in football but when he first arrived at this heralded league, he came in dancing with the grace of a diva and terrorizing the rearguards with the menace of a livid God.
He was a clinical striker who could convert anything that was fed to him in the attacking third. More importantly, he could make those one-on-one situations look beautiful as he took on the custodians, pranced past them and pegged the ball into the back of the net with consummate ease.
He came to Anfield in 2007 after a brilliant spell at Atletico Madrid. Right since his arrival, his towering presence in the attacking third was emphatic, to say the least. The way he took out stalwarts like Manchester United and Chelsea was breathtakingly exquisite.
The forward slammed 65 goals for Liverpool from 102 games while his stint with Chelsea saw him smashing 20 goals from 110 games. Unfortunately, his spell at Stamford Bridge wasn’t really as impressive as his former blazing displays and it was mainly because of a sudden fall from grace that the Spaniard suffered.
Despite being one of the most thrilling players for Liverpool, he couldn’t win anything with the club and a salient reason for the same is that the club was overly banking on him to deliver day in day out.
2. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal and Chelsea)
The midfield maestro dreamt of breaking through to the Catalan ranks in the future and in order to achieve this dream he started his journey in the academy of Arsenal. Despite life being a bit harsh to this midfielder, especially with the English players playing a more of a physical brand of football, his dreams were on the brink of being derailed at an early age.
With all said and done, when he got his debut against Rotherham United on 28th October 2003, he became the youngest Gunner to achieve this incredible feat. He then went on to become the youngest goal-scorer in the club’s antiquity as he scored in a 5-1 shellacking of Wolverhampton Wanderers in a League Cup tie.
His infringement into the Premier League was more of a fortunate enterprise as he found himself cementing his place in the Arsenal squad after a string of injuries that plagued the likes of Vieira, Edu and Gilberto Silva.
However, once he made his grand entrance into the embellished echelons of the Premier League, there was no looking back for this youngster.
In his first spell for the Gooners, he went to score 35 goals from 212 matches and belted out assists of the finest orders. However, in 2011 when his dream team came calling, he couldn’t resist the prospect of playing at Camp Nou but that essay wasn’t as long as he expected it to be, despite the numbers being quite captivating.
However, the return to the Premier League in 2014 witnessed the emergence of a much more matured midfielder that started haunting other stalwarts of the game.
This time, however, he returned to the Premier League in the colours of Chelsea. Spooking the defences of other big teams much more effortlessly, bringing in a perfect blend of aggression and fluidity in the Chelsea midfield, Fabregas emerged as one of the best midfielders to play in the Premier League.
In his five-year-long span at Stamford Bridge, he played 138 matches from which he managed to flip in 15 goals and string a gazillion picture-perfect assists. The numbers are overwhelmingly in favour of this Spaniard being one of the best footballers to have played in the Premier League.
1. David Silva (Manchester City)
There is a rife notion about the Citizens that the team that they have built over the last decade is a by-product of unrestrained money flowing from the Gulfs. However, keeping the political aspect of this deliberation aside, if there is one man who really made it to the heart of Etihad and orchestrated the rise of the Premier League stalwarts from the ruffled ranks of mediocrity, it will undoubtedly be David Silva.
A perfect convergence of clinical passes, booming long rangers, towering headers, clattering tackles and a list of other impressive weapons in the Premier League, David Silva evolved as one of the most perfect and complete footballers in the League’s antiquity.
His arrival in the Premier League alongside Yaya Toure in 2010 marked the emergence of a Manchester City who was still nascent in their pursuit of the Premier League.
However, as time went by, the versatility that was brought on the plate by Silva offered countless spectrums of attacking to City. His blistering runs on the wings, his exotic cut-ins that were followed by a thumping probe from the distance and his track-backs to snuff out the City attacks were breathtakingly captivating, to say the least.
In the span of the glorious decade that Silva went on to be a part of the Manchester City team he played a staggering 309 games from which he scored a whopping 60 times.
He went on to win four Premier League titles for City which was also accompanied by countless more honours. He found himself excelling at an unreserved rate when Guardiola took over the helms. The tactical genius brought out the very best in the ingenious midfield wizard, who is by far the best Spanish footballer to have graced the Premier League by a mile.
With all said and done, there are also a few notable mentions that include the likes of Santi Cazorla, David de Gea, Pepe Reina and Diego Costa. The contribution that they have left behind them has been stunning, to say the least.