Golden Oldies! The 13 Foreigners Who Played in the Very First Premier League Season

The Premier League is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and looking back to the first ever season, the 1992/93 campaign, it is remarkable to notice that just 13 players from outside the United Kingdom were around. Nowadays, it is rare to see a top flight side with less than four or five foreigners, but it was a whole different story when the Premier League was established. But who were those lucky 13 players? Let's find out... Premier League team at the time: Manchester United The only...

Craig Forrest

Premier League team at the time: Ipswich Town

The Canadian international keeper, who amassed 56 caps between 1998 and 2002, was the Tractor Boys' first choice stopper as they took part in the inaugural Premier League, having kept net during their Division Two title win the season prior.

Forrest spent nearly a decade in the Premier League, featuring for both Chelsea and West Ham in addition to the East Anglian club, but he will be best remembered for picking the ball out of the back of the net on nine occasions, as part of Manchester United's record-breaking 9-0 win over Ipswich Town in 1995.

Roland Nilsson

Premier League team at the time: Sheffield Wednesday

Nilsson arrived in England a few years before the Premier League came into existence, after signing for Sheffield Wednesday from Swedish side Goteborg in 1999 for a fee of around £375,000.

The full-back, who is the sixth-most capped player in his nation's history with 116 appearances, also spent two separate spells with Coventry City in the top flight, before managing the Sky Blues. 

Jan Stejskal

Premier League team at the time: Queens Park Rangers

As the folk tale goes, QPR defenders had trouble understanding Stejskal, with the former Czechoslovakia keeper never mastering the English language. Nonetheless, he is still held in high regard in West London, following his four years with the Hoops.

Stejskal arrived at Loftus Road in 1990, after gaining prominence with Sparta Prague, and he would go on to make over 100 appearances for QPR, before returning to the Czech Republic, where he eventually became a goalkeeping coach. 

Robert Warzycha

Premier League team at the time: Everton

If only the internet would have been around in 1991 to allow Everton supporters to look up Polish winger Robert Warzycha, following his move to Goodison Park from local side Gornik Zabrze for £500,000.

Warzycha lasted three years as a Toffee, scoring seven Premier League goals in his time on Merseyside. He is now treasured at MLS club Columbus Crew, having played and managed for the Ohio-based side. 

Anders Limpar

Premier League team at the time: Arsenal

Despite spending three years with Everton, Anders Limpar began the maiden Premier League season on the books of Arsenal, having signed for the Gunners two years prior from Italian minnows Cremonese.

The Swedish midfielder was a popular figure in North London, but he gained cult status on Merseyside for playing a crucial role in Everton's 1995 FA Cup final success over Manchester United.

Hans Segers

Premier League team at the time: Wimbledon

A key member of the crazy gang, Dutch keeper Hans Segers had already spent close to a decade in English football by the time 1992 came around, featuring for both Nottingham Forest and Wimbledon in the old First Division.

He made a total of 119 Premier League appearances, with all but one coming in the colours of the now defunct Dons. Segers ended his career as a player-coach at Spurs, with whom he played just once in the top flight. 

Andrei Kanchelskis

Premier League team at the time: Manchester United

A vital player for the Red Devils during their early years of success in the Premier League, Andrei Kanchelskis played for both Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk before Alex Ferguson brought him to Old Trafford for £650,000.

The dynamic Russian winger spent four trophy-laden years as a United player, before going on to play for Everton, Manchester City and Southampton in the top flight as part of an 18-year career.

Gunnar Halle

Premier League team at the time: Oldham Athletic

A hard-working Norwegian full-back, Gunnar Halle was a Premier League mainstay for a decade, after playing for Oldham Athletic, Leeds United and Bradford City in the English top flight.

Halle had arrived at Boundary Park on Joe Royle's behest a year before the Premier League's inception and he is regarded as one of the Latics' finest ever players, before moving on to the two Yorkshire sides.  

Michel Vonk

Premier League team at the time: Manchester City

A no-nonsense centre-back, Michel Vorm was one of the more successful foreigners in this list, after spending three years at Maine Road, where he forged a strong partnership with Keith Curle at the back for the Citizens.

The Dutchman proved a steal at £500,000 but fall-outs with two successive managers saw him sold to Oldham Athletic, with whom he spent just  a short spell before moving on to Sheffield United.

Ronnie Rosenthal

Premier League team at the time: Liverpool

Unfortunately for Rosenthal, he will only be remembered for one particular Premier League moment, which of course was his embarrassing miss for Liverpool in a game away to Aston Villa.

The Israeli striker, who won the old First Division with the Reds, spent two seasons in the Premier League on Merseyside before moving on to Tottenham Hotspur and then finally Watford.

John Jensen

Premier League team at the time: Arsenal 

Arsenal were one of only a pair of sides that contained two foreigners, with Danish international John Jensen joining Anders Limpar in the Gunners' squad ahead of the 1992/93 Premier League campaign.

It took the midfielder two years to score for the North London club, by which time a cult status had developed for the Euro 1992 winner. Jensen made 99 league appearances for Arsenal, before returning to his homeland in 1996. 

Eric Cantona

Premier League team at the time: Leeds United

Having led Leeds United to Division One glory the season before the Premier League began and scoring a hat trick in the Charity Shield at Wembley too, Eric Cantona was expected to inspire the Whites to repeat the trick in the newly formed top flight.

However, just two months into the new campaign, King Eric made the sinful move of joining Manchester United and he was instrumental as the Red Devils took the first Premier League crown. 

Peter Schmeichel

Premier League team at the time: Manchester United

The only other club to have two players from outside the United Kingdom amongst their ranks, Manchester United somehow picked up Peter Schemichel for just £505,000, with the Danish stopper quickly imposing himself on the league. 

Still considered the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history, Schmeichel played between the sticks for the Red Devils for a total of seven Premier League campaigns, five of which he ended up with a winners' medal. 

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