Florian Lejeune became the 200th Frenchman to represent a Premier League team when he made his debut for Newcastle in their 2-0 loss to Tottenham overnight. France has produced some of the greatest players and managers in the history of England’s top tier, but which club has played host to the most?
5. West Ham
West Ham aren’t the only London team on this list but they kick us off, playing host to 12 French players over the years and perhaps most prominently the recently departed Dimitri Payet. The attacking midfielder scored 11 goals in 48 appearances for the club before heading back to Marseille this past January.
4. Bolton, Liverpool, and Chelsea
Fourth placed is a three way tie with Bolton, Liverpool, and Chelsea all housing 14 Premier League players. Chelsea have had much success with the likes of Marcel Desailly, current France manager Didier Deschamps, Claude Makelele, and current midfielder N’Golo Kante. Nicolas Anelka actually played for all three clubs scoring 63 goals in 198 appearances combined.
— N'Golo Kanté (@NGoloKante4prez) August 11, 2017
The recently relegated Sunderland come in third, they’ve had 17 Frenchman call the Stadium of Light home over the years. However, many of those had years of Premier League experience before moving to the Black Cats, including Djibril Cisse, Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque, Younes Kaboul, and Louis Saha.
Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Sylvain Wiltord all played pivotal roles in Arsenal’s Premier League dominance during the late 90s-early 2000s but 26 players is not enough for top spot despite arguably being the most successful. Wenger still loves signing players from his homeland with Alexandre Lacazette becoming the 32nd Frenchman to have been signed by Wenger, joining the five other French players currently in the team.
We’re still not entirely sure what has led to Newcastle signing a barrage of French players in the past decade or so and we’re also not sure if it has worked. Four of the 27 were in the 2011-12 squad that saw the Magpies finish fifth and four, where in the 2015-16 season team that was relegated. Fourteen of those players have been signed since 2010 but only two are in their current squad that started with a loss against Spurs.
— Espacio Premier (@EspacioPremier) August 13, 2017