10 Greatest Germans to Play in Premier League
As Antonio Rüdiger under a German manager in Thomas Tuchel is such a major reason why Chelsea are EagleBet’s tip to win the Premier League, we decided to look at the ten best German players to have ever graced the Premier League.
Rüdiger – who admits he has been given “new life” by Tuchel – has a great rapport with Chelsea fans, although as contract negotiations drag on, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich are all reported to be circling.
But there have been many Bundesliga stars before him who were even more charismatic and loved by English supporters.
There have, without doubt, been some German superstars who lit up the world’s most famous league.
Legendary Players – Rosler and Huth
At least 69 Germans have graced the Premier League since Matthias Breitkreutz came on as substitute for Aston Villa against Man City just under 30 years ago.
Uwe Rosler became the 1st German player to score in the Premiership in 1994.
Robert Huth boasts the most appearances (322).
Top German Players – King Klinsmann v Magnificent Mesut
But it was the arrival of Bundesliga and Germany star Jurgen Klinsmann who got Premier League crowds off their feet, when they saw for the first time his celebratory dive after scoring a goal. It came in Spurs’ 4-3 win at Sheffield Wed.
Klinsmann is by some distance the most iconic German to play in the Premier League, but if you measure talent by assists and goals – fair metrics after all – then Mesut Ozil stamping his authority on the Premiership for Arsenal from 2013 must be regarded as one of the great German imports, contributing 54 assists – and he even scored four more goals than both Klinsmann and Rosler.
Top Premier League Players – Hammann and Ballack
Ozil was not the first brilliant German midfield player who had starred in the Bundesliga before coming to the Premier League. Liverpool’s Dietmar Hammann was a key member of their midfield for years, while Michael Ballack was arguably a bigger star when he arrived from Chelsea – though in EagleBet’s view his four years at Chelsea were after his best period.
There have been two massive Bundesliga stars since those great played in the Premier League, and both featured under Pep Guardiola with Manchester City.
Best German Players 2021 – Sane and Gundogan
Leroy Sane joined for €50m in 2016 and was the first German to win the Young Professional Footballers Association player of the year. The German international, now back in the Bundesliga with Champions Bayern Munich, was a key player in City’s 2017/18 and 2018/19 title winning teams, scoring 25 goals with 28 assists.
Illkay Gundogan has also been a key figure in City’s dominance. In March 2021 he was named Premier League Player of the Month two months running and was City’s leading goal scorer that season.
We should not ignore goalkeepers. Jens Lehmann was one of Arsenal’s “Invincibles” in 2003/4, playing every game, keeping 15 clean sheets.
Controversially, we are going to crown Klinsmann the greatest German to play in the Premier League. The stats would suggest Ozil deserves the award but Klinsmann blazed a trail for German players in the Premier League, and was arguably the biggest German icon to make a lasting impression in the Premier League having won the World Cup.
He was an incredible ambassador for Germany in his all too brief Premiership career, becoming one of the most popular Premier League players of all time thanks not only to his brilliant goals, but his goal celebrations, constant smile and polite, intelligent conduct off the pitch.
A British journalist who wrote an article titled “Why I hate Jurgen Klinsmann” (due to his diving) wrote an article two months later titled “Why I love Jurgen Klinsmann”. That says it all.
EagleBet’s Top Ten Bundesliga stars in the Premier League
- Jurgen Klinsmann
- Mesut Ozil
- Leroy Sane
- Illkay Gungodan
- Jens Lehmann
- Dietmar Hammann
- Robert Huth
- Uwe Rosler
- Per Mertesacker
- Christian Ziege
Tell us your top three German players of all time in the Premier League and why – the best email will win a shirt of the club of your choice with the name of your choice on the back.