Statistical look at the nationalities of players in English leagues vs English players in other leagues

With the Premier league continuing to grow in status as the most watched sports league in the World it comes as no surprise that there are many high profile players from around the World currently playing there. This is due to the large TV deals that have enabled for the clubs to invest in some of the brightest talent from around the world. The league is now broadcast to over 600 million homes with a potential audience of an eye watering 4.7 billion. So what are the different nationalities playing in the English leagues? And are there many English players playing in the major leagues around the world?

The home grown player rule in the Premier league was put in place ahead of the 2010-11 season in order to nurture English talent as there were many teams playing without many English players at the time. This therefore will enable for better quality English talent in the future. The rule states that if a club has a maximum first team squad of 25 players then 8 of them must be ‘home grown’. This can also mean if they have a squad of 23 then 6 must also be home grown. The term ‘home grown’ means a player who has been on the books of a club within the football association for at least 3 years prior to them turning 21. Thus meaning they do not have to be English. A key example of this is Spanish born Cesc Fabregas who was brought through the Arsenal academy and therefore is classed as a home grown player and is now playing for London rivals Chelsea.

Based on the statistics from ( there are 350 foreign players currently in the squads in the Premier league meaning a total of 68.2%. This gives a clear indication of the progression that has been made in regards English players coming through. Leading the way with the number of players in the league is Spain with 30 that includes the likes of Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata and Manchester City star David Silva.

Image result for alvaro morata chelsea

(Morata celebrates scoring the winning goal against Manchester United last season)


Next is France who also have a large number of players in the league. This is a sum of 26 with the likes of Paul Pogba who continues to gather attention following his big money transfer to Manchester United. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was another transfer which gathered a lot of attention at the time and it is his native Netherlands that sit next in the table with 25 players currently plying their trade in the English premier league.

With the World Cup coming up and Germany going in as the current champions it comes as no surprise there are have 15 players currently playing the league. This includes Manchester City star Leroy Sane and Arsenal legend Mesut Ozil. Both will be hoping to play a major part in Germany’s attempt to defend their World Cup from four years ago in Brazil. The latest odds for World Cup 2018 put them in as joint 9/2 favourites with Brazil.

So what about English players in some of the major leagues around the World? There are little English born players in the top leagues around the World with a clear example being Spain and La Liga for example. There is just one and this is C.Oatway who is currently in the Real Betis squad. There is also just one in Italy’s top tier of the Serie A. This is R. Aarons who is currently in the Hellas Verona squad. There is however a little more English players in the Bundesliga in Germany. There are 5 currently in the squads at the likes of top sides RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund. There are none in the French top tier which is a clear indication that top English talent are likely to stay playing in the Premier league if possible.