The Premier League, considered one of the most competitive football leagues in the world, has been graced by footballers from many countries in the world. Many of them have gone on to etch their names in the league's record books.
There have been several Premier League teams that have featured Spanish footballers. Some of these players like Cesc Fabregas, David Silva, and Fernando Torres have achieved great success in the English top flight. However, not every Spanish player has hit the ground running in the Premier League.
On that note, we take a look at ten largely forgotten Spanish players who played in the Premier League:
Ten Spanish players who have played in the Premier League:
#1 Michel Salgado (Blackburn Rovers)
Winner of multiple titles during the Galactico era at Real Madrid, Michel Salgado arrived at Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2009 after rescinding his contract with the Spanish giants.
Salgado played 73 Premier League games for the Rovers, scoring one goal for the club. The right-back retired at the end of the 2011-2012 season but eventually returned to play for Atlético Independiente of Panama before hanging up his boots for good.
#2 Fernando Hierro (Bolton Wanderers)
The fifth-highest appearance maker in the history of Real Madrid, Fernando Hierro had a short stint in the Premier League that is likely not remembered by many.
After a brief stint at Al-Rayyan, the defender arrived at Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2004. Hierro shone for the Whites who finished the Premier League in sixth place and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history.
Bolton tried to extend Hierro's contract for another year, but the former defender opted for retirement. The Spaniard scored a goal in 31 Premier League games for the Whites.
#3: Gerard Pique (Manchester United)
Before making his name at Barcelona, Gerard Pique made his professional debut with Manchester United in the 2004/2005 season. After emerging from the Catalan club's famed academy, the Red Devils disbursed around € 5 million to remove the defender from the Spanish club.
With not much game-time at United, Pique was loaned out to Real Zaragoza in the 2006-07 season. However, despite a good spell with the Spanish club, the defender struggled to break into the first team as Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were the manager's first choices in central defence.
After winning the Champions League title with the Premier League club in 2008-09 season, Pique returned to Barcelona.
At Manchester United, Pique took the field on 23 occasions and scored a goal. The defender also won the Premier League, English League Cup and FA Cup during his time with the Red Devils.
#4: Javi Garcia (Manchester City)
A key player in Jorge Jesus' Benfica, Javi Garcia joined Manchester City for around € 20 million in 2012-13.
Between 2012 and 2014, Garcia played 76 matches for the Cityzens and won the English League Cup and Premier League titles with the Manchester club.
In July 2014, Garcia was sold to Zenit St. Petersburg.
#5: Suso (Liverpool)
Suso arrived at Liverpool with ambitions of playing European football. Joining the Premier League club as a 17-year-old in 2010, his first official match for the Reds only happened in the 2012-13 season.
After a string of underwhelming performances, Suso was loaned out to Almería a year later. The Spaniard returned to the Reds the next season but failed to make the cut.
In the winter window of 2015, after having played 21 games and scoring a solitary goal, Suso joined AC Milan for € 1.3 million.
#6: Borja Valero (West Bromwich Albion)
Borja Valero started his career in Real Madrid's galactico era but soon moved to Real Mallorca due to a lack of game-time.
West Bromwich Albion paid almost € 6 million to take Valero out of Spain. Although Valero was a regular for the Premier League team during the 2008/2009 season, West Bromwich faced the drop.
With three years remaining with the Premier League club, Valero was loaned out to Real Mallorca and then to Villarreal. The Spanish midfielder's stint with the Baggies came to an end when Villarreal disbursed € 6 million to West Bromwich Albion.
#7: Iago Aspas (Liverpool)
Iago Aspas was another Spanish player who went to the Premier League but did not have a frutiful time.
After some impressive performances at Celta de Vigo, Liverpool signed Iago Aspas for the 2013-14 Premier League season, investing about €10 million euros to sign the striker. But the Reds used him sparingly, with Aspas scoring one goal in 15 appearances for the Premier League club.
Aspas was then loaned out to Sevilla the next season, who bought the player permanently by paying € six milllion to Liverpool.
#8: Roberto Soldado (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham Hotspur shelled out £ 30 million in the 2013-14 season to hire the services of striker Roberto Soldado.
Despite being the sixth-most expensive signing in the history of the London club, the striker struggled to justify his lofty price tag.
After scoring only 16 goals in 76 games over two seasons with the Premier League club, Soldado was bought by La Liga club Villareal for € 16 million.
#9: Bojan Krkic (Stoke City)
After having scored a plethora of goals with the Barcelona junior team, Bojan Krkic, dubbed the 'new Messi' arrived at Premier League side Stoke City for the 2014-15 season.
This was after the striker had stints with the senior teams at Barcelona, AS Roma, AC Milan and Ajax.
Krkic scored 16 goals in 85 appearances for the Potters. The Spaniard was then loaned out to Mainz in the German Bundesliga for five months before he returned to Stoke City.
He was then transferred again, this time to Deportivo Alaves. In August 2019, Krkic finally left the Premier League club and moved to Montreal Impact, a Canadian team that plays in the MLS.
#10: Victor Valdes (Manchester United and Middlesbrough)
Victor Valdes played for two different Premier League clubs, Manchester United and Middlesbrough, but struggled to make an impact at either.
After defending the Barcelona shirt for 12 years, Valdes was signed by Manchester United in the winter window of the 2014/2015 season. Following a year at the Red Devils in which Valdes played in only two Premier League games, he was loaned out to Standard Liege.
Before the start of the 2016/17 season, Valdes terminated his contract with the Red Devils and joined newly-promoted Middlesbrough on a free transfer. At his new club, the Spaniard played 28 Premier League games before announcing his retirement from professional football.Published 08 Jun 2020, 21:35 IST