The Premier League has genuinely established itself as the global football league. It also helps that the financial might of the Premier League also attracts international footballing talent. We at Sportslens.com have put together some interesting numbers about Premier League football players and their nationalities.
According to our calculations, only two Premier League clubs gave more than half of their game time to English players in 2021-22. Premier League champions Manchester City afforded only 24.5% of playing time to English players in the Premier League.
Only two clubs gave 50%+ playing time to English players
Burnley were the most-English side in the Premier League last season, as domestic talent picked up 70.6% of playing time in the relegation season. However, it would be wrong to put Burnley’s relegation down to the lack of international talent as the team at the other end of the graph, Watford, also got relegated. The Hornets gave only 15.4% of the game time to English players.
However, the size of international talent in squads does seem to impact the final PL standings. The top three PL sides from the last season were among the top six with the most non-English representation. Meanwhile, all four sides with the most English talent struggled in the league last season.
Out of the top six from last season, Arsenal had the best English representation at 34.8%.
Spanish players most popular in Premier League with 7% game time in 2021/22
When we talk about non-English talent, Spanish players are the most popular among PL clubs. The Spanish played 6.8% of the entire game time in the Premier League last season. Furthermore, the Spanish talent represented 16 out of 20 clubs.
Brazil was the second-most popular foreign nationality of players in PL in 21-22. Brazilian players accounted for 6.4% of total playing time and represented 12 different teams.
France is also a common source of talent for PL clubs. The French players played for all but one club, Burnley, in the Premier League last season. French players played 6.1% of the total playing time in terms of playing time.
In recent years, PL has witnessed several Portuguese stars capture the headlines. Portuguese players played 5.1% of the total game time in 21-22. However, the Portuguese talent is concentrated at a few PL clubs, as they represented just seven teams last season.
When we look at the impact of an individual nationality on specific teams, nothing can be more evident than the Portuguese impact on Wolves.
In 2021-22, Portuguese players played 41.2% of PL game time for Wolves. The Portuguese talent also significantly impacted Manchester City’s PL winning campaign. Portuguese players played 22.6% of the PL-winning season.
Danish talent’s impact on Brentford was similar to that of Portuguese on Wolves, but not to the same extent. Danish players played 22.4% of the club’s debut PL campaign. Wolves and Brentford were also the only PL clubs last season where players from a non-English nationality had a more significant playing share than domestic players.
Norwich City (Scotland, 19.8%) and Manchester United (Portugal, 19.6%) completed the top five list.