Home Football Chelsea pick most foreign players in top 5 European leagues

Chelsea pick most foreign players in top 5 European leagues


Chelsea have been named as the the club in the top five European leagues to hand the most minutes to foreign players. 

A study by Football Observatory Weekly Post has published data on top-tier teams from 31 European associations, ranking them according to the percentage of domestic league minutes played by expatriates since the start of the season.

Chelsea, with 90.4 per cent, top the major European leagues.

Three Cypriot clubs lead the overall table, however, with Apollon Limassol (99.8%), Anorthosis Famagusta (95.3%) et AEK Larnaca (91.5%) slightly above Turkish Super Lig outfit Galatasaray (90.6%).

Arsenal also rank highly, with 84.1% of their league minutes being played by foreign players, putting them second behind Chelsea in the top-division standings, and 16th in all.

Serie A side Napoli come close behind the north London side with 82.1%, while Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt make up the overall top 20 on 80.4%.

Manchester City (78.4%), Manchester United (77.6%), Liverpool (73.5%), Stoke (72%), and Watford (71.6%) all rank in the top 50 spots across Europe, with Brighton & Hove Albion (67.5%), Tottenham (64.6%), Southampton (64.3%), and West Ham (64%) all make the top 100.

Only three teams out of the 466 included in the study did not yet field foreign players in domestic league games this season – Oleksandriya and Veres of Ukraine, and HIFK of Finland.

Foreign players are defined by those who grew up in a different association from that of their current club and who went abroad for football-related reasons.