Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has been home to some of the best French superstars.
From the likes of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry to N’Golo Kante and Hugo Lloris, many French World Cup winners have plied their trade in the Premier League.
Legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was one of the first to acquire a ton of France internationals in the Premier League. During his stint at the Emirates, several player from the country plied their trade for the North London club.
Along with the usual suspects, many Premier League cult heroes have also been French. These include the likes of David Ginola, Hatem Ben Arfa, Dimitri Payet and Allan Saint-Maximin. Despite not having any notable international careers, the streets will never forget them.
Many members of France’s victorious 2018 World Cup-winning squad currently play in the Premier League. Some of them have been very impressive this season. On that note, here’s a look at the five fest French players in the English top flight this campaign:
#5 Odsonne Edouard
Odsonne Edouard was signed from Celtic for £14.67 million last summer. He set the league on fire, scoring a brace on his debut for Crystal Palace in their 3-0 win over Tottenham. He has netted twice in their last three games while also bagging a couple of assists.
Edouard hasn’t been as impressive as Connor Gallagher, but he has come up with some key goals. The Frenchman has scored five goals in the Premier League, second-most from his nation in the competition this season. Moreover, he has three assists too.
Crystal Palace haven’t been great this campaign under Patrick Vieira, who is in his first campaign in the English top flight. With a France legend like Vieira at the helm, Edouard will have no shortage of inspiration at Palace.
#4 Illan Meslier
Illan Meslier is the most promising French goalkeeper at the moment. The Leeds United shot-stopper has made 63 saves this season, ranking third for most saves in the Premier League. His compatriot Hugo Lloris, who captained France to glory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has made just 48 saves in comparison.
Meslier has been immense for Leeds. The Yorkshire-based club have shipped many goals, but Meslier’s heroics have limited the damage. Marcelo Bielsa’s side has relied heavily on their 21-year-old goalkeeper this season.
The youngster has completed more passes than any other French player in the English top flight this season. That is noteworthy, as Meslier is a goalkeeper. However, it also shows how inconsistent French outfield players have been in the competition this campaign.
#3 Abdoulaye Doucoure
This season, Abdoulaye Doucoure has been the best French midfielder in the Premier League. He may not be as talented as N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in terms of ability. However, Doucoure has contributed more to his club during the last six months than his illustrious compatriots.
The Everton midfielder has scored two goals and recorded four assists this term. The Toffees were playing some great football at the start of the season, thanks largely to Doucoure’s exploits in the centre of the park.
Doucoure has been immense for the Merseyside club, completing more passes than any French outfield player. The 29-year-old missed four games for Everton this campaign, with Rafa Benitez’s side earning only one point during this period.
#2 Neal Maupay
Neal Maupay is the leading French goalscorer in the Premier League this season. The Brighton striker has seven strikes and one assist, and has led the line well for Graham Potter’s side.
Like Edouard and Doucoure, Maupay had a fruitful start to his campaign. He scored four goals in the first six game weeks. Although he is the joint-11th top scorer overall this season, he ranks 34th in shots taken (34 shots), which shows his efficiency and accuracy.
The criticism against him is his inconsistency, as he doesn’t score for long stretches. However, he is on course to get to double digits this season, which would be an excellent return for a team like Brighton.
#1 Allan Saint-Maximin
Allan Saint-Maximin has had a fruitful stint at Newcastle, with the skilful winger bagging five goals and three assists. It is safe to say that the Tyneside club would have been rock-bottom without Saint Max’s exploits.
The former Nice wide man has had a hand in eight of the Magpies’ 20 league goals this season. He has made the most appearances (20) by any Frenchman in the English top flight this term. He has also taken more shots (41) than any of his countrymen in the competition.
Newcastle’s recent takeover promises better times for the English club. However, if they get relegated this season, Saint-Maximin could be snapped up by a bigger club. Several mid-table and top Premier League clubs are interested in his services.