Thursday, 7 January 2016

Six Players Who Really Should Have Played In The Premier League But Never Did

Amid rumours doing the rounds that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be set for a move to the Premier League, one of the great losses to English football could finally be remedied.

Zlatan could be the one to break the ice.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Ibra had the chance to join Arsenal back in 2000 but chose to join Ajax instead, so the Premier League missed out on one of the world’s great players who went on to represent Juventus, Barcelona and both Milan clubs before joining Paris St Germain.
Now his contract with the French champions is set to expire in the summer, and speculation has been rife that he could make a belated switch to England, where his physicality and style would surely make him a big hit, even at the age of 34.

Here are some other players who would have been perfectly suited to the Premier League, but never made the move.

1. Dani Alves

Dani Alves

Dani Alves

With his rampaging runs down the right, Alves is in some ways the archetypal British full-back. The Barcelona stalwart would have been an absolute hit in the Premier League; he would have been anywhere, of course, but there’s something about the full-back’s swashbuckling attitude that means he would have been a perfect fit for the English game.

2. Clarence Seedorf

Clarence Seedorf

Clarence Seedorf

Seedorf was exactly the kind of complete midfielder top clubs have always coveted in the Premier League era. It’s hard to imagine a manager who wouldn’t have welcomed him into the heart of their side when he was at his best, doing a more elegant version of the job that Steven Gerrard did for Liverpool. We could yet get to see him in British football though – he’s declared an interest in managing in England.

3. David Villa
David Villa
David Villa
So many times Villa was linked with a move to the Premier League, and if you listen to some reports Arsenal had the opportunity to buy him on the cheap a couple of years ago. By then he was probably a fading force – but Villa in his prime could have been the perfect striker for the Gunners. You couldn’t argue with his choice to move to Barcelona in 2010 given the trophies he won, but it would have been great to see him as the absolute main man at a top-level Premier League team.

4. Luca Toni

Luca Toni

Luca Toni

Toni – who remarkably was Serie A’s joint top scorer last season at the age of 38 – always seemed like a very unlikely Italian striker, getting by on his height and bulk as much as his technical ability. In fact he’s what you might call a traditional British centre forward – so it’s slightly surprising that he never found his way to the Premier League.

5. Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol

It’s hard to imagine Puyol playing for anyone other than Barcelona but had he ever wanted to move on the Premier League would have been the perfect destination. He was great in the air, despite not being particularly tall, and legendary commitment and work ethic would have made his very popular with any set of fans in the country.

6. Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

EL Fenomeno – the Original Ronaldo – is for many the most complete striker of the modern era. His strength is demonstrated in that picture by how easily Alan Shearer gets brushed off, and his pace was feared by defenders around Europe. Add to that a tendency for both instinctive and outrageous finishing, as well as a penchant for nutmegging anyone who dared stand in his way – could there be a more exciting player to have never played in the Premier League?

The Brazilian has been encouraging his young countrymen to develop in the Premier League, and has lived in London after retirement, but it’s just a shame we only got to see him terrorising English defences properly that once.

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