For some reason, it seems like a lot of top foreign footballers come to play in the Premier League when they’re near the end of their careers or past their peaks. Foreign players either come early in their careers and build their reputation in the Premier League or they come towards the end. You rarely see a top foreign player at the peak of his career come to play in the Premier League. Why? Is another whole conversation.
In this article, I’m going to focus on the new wave of big-name foreign players that have to the Premier League late in their careers and past their peaks.
With Premier League football being so demanding, in terms of the pace of the games and physicality of the league I’m going to give my predictions to how these players will perform in the current season.
Before I continue, just to shed some light on the difficulty of Premier League Football, here are some quotes from players who have played in the Premier League:
“The Premier League is very strong, physical football, and I am not a strong player.” – Robinho
“I would like to stay here until the end, but the Premier League is such a hard league to play in. It Is much more physical than somewhere like La Liga so it depends.” – David Silva
“The only way to survive in the Premier League is to battle, whether you’re playing the top team or the one at the bottom of the table” – Andre Schurrle
“The problem is, you lose too much energy when you play in the Premier League. Even when you play the team on the bottom, it is difficult” – Samir Nasri
It’s not just a rumor that the Premier League is demanding, many players say similar things and even coaches too. Here’s an article breaking down how demanding the League is, covering intensity, sprinting, and overall volume.
Disclaimer – I have included Gareth Bale in this despite him not being a foreign player.
When he returns from injury, I honestly believe if Gareth Bale can get to even half the player he once was the Spurs will still have made a decent enough signing. Furthermore, if he gets back to the player we all know he is (nearly impossible at 31) then he could turn Spurs into a very serious force. The one advantage Bale has is, he’s played in the Premier League before and was the best player in the league before he left. Yes, the league has changed since he left but, never the less he still has experience playing in the league.
The fact that even when Bale re-joined Spurs he was and is currently injured I think is going to be a subject we hear throughout the season, to be honest, in the last few years Bale has been injury prone. which is a shame because as a football fan you want to see players like Gareth Bale playing week in and week out.
Injuries aside, I don’t Gareth Bale’s career at Spurs will be like it once was. But, I do think Bale is going to have some magical moments as usual. He is also a big game player, so where Spurs might lose him through injuries, and honestly think he will repay them with some crucial moments and turning points in games.
Season prediction: 6/10
Thiago Alcantara’s made a big impression in his first game for Liverpool and an even bigger impression when the statistic came out that he made record passes for a player who’s played 45 minutes with 75 successful passes. I included this because this is exactly what Liverpool can expect from Thiago, great use of the ball, ball retention, passes between the lines, and more.
Adding Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool’s already efficient and hardworking midfield could well likely be the type of quality that retains them the Premier League trophy. Thiago Alcantara’s Bayern career was injury-plagued, he is a player who does suffer from a lot of injuries but this is a signing of Liverpool adding rather than needing him, so one they won’t rely on him too much, and two, they have good cover to replace him.
With his ability and the players in front of him constantly making intelligent runs I see Thiago having a very good debut season at Liverpool and with Champions League experience too, Thiago will definitely make Liverpool a force in that competition as well.
Season prediction: 8/10
There’s no doubt Thiago Silva has been a world-class defender over the years and some will say he still is at 35 years old! But I fear that a lot of foreign players come to the Premier League late in their career and it often slightly dims their legacy if they don’t maintain their high standard and I think that could happen with Silva.
Chelsea’s defence is weak which is why they’ve tried to bring some quality experience in so Thiago can be the leader. With all the signings Chelsea made this summer I think they could have sorted the center defence more but this signing is worth the risk.
In my opinion, Chelsea’s defence needs too many improvements for Thiago to have a good debut season. Thiago’s age is also a major factor, while he may still be physically conditioned than a lot of defenders playing in the Premier League he still has to adapt to Premier League football at the same time he has to adapt to the decline of his athletism.
I don’t think Thiago Silva will have a terrible season but I feel Thiago will suffer from a combination of Chelsea’s defence relying on him, while he’s trying to get to grips of Premier League football himself.
Season prediction: 6/10
Edinson Cavani is someone I’m unsure about. On one hand, I think his game suits Premier League football as he is physically strong, has good work-rate, and is a winner. But, on the other hand, he’s 33 years old, not played a competitive match in over 6 months and in his last season with PSG he missed 22 games through injury. He could be one of the ones to suffer from Premier League football the most. The only thing is, I think Cavani has been bought in to play as a back-up to Tony Martial or at times even alongside Martial, and if that’s the case then the signing is’not too bad.
With all of Man U’s front three being so young Edinson Cavani is a good signing to bring in which they can learn from. He has bags of experience and an incredible goal record.
Cavani does have great ability and knows where the goal is, so I think we will see glimpses of his quality. However, I don’t think Cavani is particular going to have a good season, his game is based on service and Man Utd don’t provide much of that at all.
Season Predictions: 5/10
With James Rodriguez already having a great start to the season with Everton it would be easy for me to get carried away and say he’s going to have a great season but Rodriguez seems to be a form player, not a player who going to give you 6 and above throughout the whole season.
I still think Rodriguez will have a good season and you will see him playing good a lot more than bad but I think his form will fluctuate and there will be times you won’t even know that he’s on the pitch.
All in all, I think James will have a good season and be a major influence on what Everton achieve this season
Season Predict: 7/10
When a foreign footballer is looking to go to a club in the Premier League late in their career I think it’s vital they choose a club that’s going to benefit them more than they benefit the club. For example, Thiago Alcantara going into Liverpool hard-working midfield and the forward runners is going to benefit him immensely that he will be able to do what he’s known for.
In contrast, Thiago Silva going to Chelsea to be the main centre-back in an already weak defence and no cemented partner is not going to benefit him in a fast-paced league.
I look forward to coming back to this article at the end of the season to see how accurate I was with my predictions, what’s your thoughts, how do you think these foreign players will perform over the course of the season?