EPL Fantasy Squad – Building a Team of Lone Rangers
The English Premier League is home to hundreds of foreign players. As we’d expect the leading football countries such as Spain, Brazil, and France have the biggest representation.
Naturally, these players often stick together and help each other find their feet while playing abroad. For example, Brazilian Fernandinho recommended a Brazilian butcher to his compatriots at rival clubs.
But what about those players without any compatriots at all? Do the large wages compensate for the lonely existence without a colleague from your homeland? To honour these heroes, the EPL ‘One and Only’s’, we’ve attempted to put together a functional team.
Claudio Bravo (Chile)
The former Barcelona goalkeeper has never quite convinced at Manchester City. He is currently second choice behind Ederson but is a reliable if under-appreciated backup.
Lucas Torreira (Uruguay)
A defensive midfielder who is having a difficult second season at Arsenal. With youth on his side, there’s no reason he can’t go on to have a solid career in London. He can do a job for us at centre-half.
Victor Wanyama (Kenya)
Still in his 20s despite seemingly being around forever. He is currently out of favour at Spurs where he has only played 25 minutes this season. It will leave him fresh to play at centre-half for us.
Dimitri Foulquier (Guadeloupe)
The Watford right-back has had a tough introduction to the EPL, substituted after 33 minutes in the 8-0 defeat to Manchester City. It remains to be seen if he can force his way back into the team
Marvelous Nakamba (Zimbabwe)
This midfielder has been one of the surprise stars of Aston Villa’s campaign in the EPL.
Already there are plans to erect a statue in his home-town of Hwange. Hopefully, he can do some work at left-back in our team. Wonderful, Marvelous.
Naby Keita (Guinea)
His time on Merseyside has been somewhat stop/start so far, consistently hampered by injury. Liverpool fans remain hopeful that they will eventually see the quality that made him a star in the Bundesliga back in 2017.
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
One of the stars of our team, Mahrez has won the EPL with both Leicester and Manchester City.
Matej Vydra (Czech Republic)
Struggling to get minutes at Burnley, he only has one goal for the Clarets in 17 appearances. Before that, he was reasonably prolific at Derby, so there should be better to come.
Teemu Pukki (Finland)
A key part of Norwich’s promotion campaign, he hit the ground running in the EPL. Six goals in his first five games saw him win September Player of The Month. It has got more difficult recently, but he still looks dangerous.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
The most expensive player in our squad. He justified his €60M transfer fee to Arsenal when he won the Golden Boot last season and has continued his fine form this campaign.
Raul Jimenez (Mexico)
A goal machine who has been one of the stand-out performers in the Wolves team that looks ready to break into the Top Six.
Martin Dubravka (Slovakia)
Probably a little unfortunate not to get our starting goalkeeper position. Dubravka has been dependable in Newcastle’s constant battles against relegation.
Onel Hernandez (Cuba)
Our only outfield substitute. Hernandez has started in the Norwich midfield recently, but a long hard season lies ahead.
So there is our team, make-shift in defence but will surely score goals for fun.
And perhaps being the only one of your nationality in a league is not that bad a thing.
At least there will be no continuation of club feuds when you meet up for international outings, isn’t that right, Raheem??