Top 5 Norwegian players to have graced the Premier League
- Over 60 players from the Scandinavian nation have played in the Premier League.
- Here we take a look at 5 of the greatest talents from Norway to play in the league.
The Premier League is the richest and most globally televised football league in the world. Its worldwide reach and lucrative contracts have seen players coming from different parts of the world play for England's biggest football clubs.
Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has played host to some of Norway's best footballing talents. Over 60 players from the Scandinavian country have donned the jersey of a Premier League side. Sander Berge became the latest player from Norway to play in the Premier League after he completed a move to Sheffield United during the January transfer window.
Having said that, let's take a look at the 5 best Norwegian players to grace the Premier League
#5 John Carew
The Norwegian striker was already a well established forward after having won titles in France and Spain. John Carew arrived in England in 2007 after Villa agreed to an exchange deal with Lyon for Milan Baros. The deal to bring the Norwegian proved to be an inspired piece of business as Carew became the focal point of the Aston Villa attack.
After a slow start to life at Villa Park, Carew picked up the pace as he scored three times in his debut season. The following three seasons saw the Norwegian scoring more than ten goals in each season as he led the Villains to a UEFA Cup (now known as Europa League) qualification spot.
The 2010-11 season saw Carew losing his place to Emile Heskey and found himself on the bench on many occasions. A loan move to Stoke City failed to reap rewards for Carew as he scored just once in 10 league appearances.
John Carew spent five seasons in the Premier League making 123 appearances and finding the net on 38 occasions.
#4 Joshua King
The only active player in this list, Joshua King had a dream start to his professional career after being signed by Manchester United at the age of 16. The striker though never really settled in at Old Trafford and failed to make a single appearance in the Premier League during his four-year stay at the club.
King finally got his second chance in the Premier League when he joined Bournemouth in 2015 after three seasons in the EFL Championship with Blackburn Rovers. The Norwegian finished his debut season at the Vitality Stadium as the club's leading scorer as the Cherries survived their first-ever season in the Premier League.
The following season saw King scoring 16 goals in the Premier League, including a hattrick against West Ham United. He became the first Norwegian to score more than 15 league goals after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Joshua King has gone on to score 46 goals in 154 appearances since his debut. The Bournemouth striker is the second-highest scoring Norwegian striker in the history of Premier League.
#3 Tore Andre Flo
A glance at the career of Tore Andre Flo is enough to suggest that the Norwegian was a football nomad. The striker spent four seasons in the Premier League with Chelsea and Sunderland, making a total of 141 appearances and scoring 38 goals.
Flo signed for Chelsea from Norwegian side Brann for a fee of £300,000 in 1997 and enjoyed a stellar debut season scoring fourteen goals for the Blues. The striker was an instrumental figure the following season as Chelsea qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the history of the club.
Despite netting more than ten goals in the league during his first three seasons at the club, Flo made the move to Rangers after failing to get regular first-team action. The Norwegian was back in the Premier League two seasons later with Sunderland but could never replicate his form at the Bridge. Tore Andre Flo went onto play for five different clubs in eight years before finally retiring from the game in 2012.
A tall, strong and technically great player, Tore Andre Flo enjoys a cult following at Stamford Bridge where he now works as a coach.
#2 John Arne Riise
The most capped player in the history of Norwegian football with a total of 110 caps, John Arne Riise is widely considered to be one of Liverpool's best left-backs in the Premier League era.
Riise completed a £4 million Liverpool in 2001 following an impressive three-year spell with Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. He made an instant impact for the Reds, scoring important goals against their domestic rivals, as he finished his debut season with seven Premier League goals.
The Norwegian spent seven seasons in the Premier League with Liverpool before joining AS Roma at the end of the 2008-09 season. During his first spell in the league, Riise made 234 appearances and scored 21 times.
The Norwegian returned for a second spell in the league in 2011 joining Fulham from AS Roma. Riise ended the three-season spell in London and joined APOEL in 2014. He also had brief stints in the Indian Super League and the Tippeligaen before his retirement in 2016.
#1 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The most successful Scandinavian player in Premier League history, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent a total of 11 seasons at Manchester United. The forward made 235 league appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 91 goals and ended up winning 10 trophies during his time at Old Trafford.
Signed form Molde in 1996, Solskjaer was a surprising acquisition by Sir Alex Ferguson. The Norwegian join the side after the Red Devils failed to acquire the services of Alan Shearer. Solskjaer was expected to be a bit-part player in his debut season but proved to be one of the best signings of the season as he helped the Red Devils reclaim the Premier League crown from Blackburn Rovers.
Known for his ability to come off the bench and score match winners, Solskjaer quickly became a fan-favorite at Old Trafford. The Norwegian's youthful looks, charming smile and deadly finishing earned him the nickname 'Baby-faced Assassin'.
Solskjaer's crowning moment in the red jersey came in their famous treble-winning season after coming on as a second-half substitute and scoring the match-winner in the 1999 Champions League final.
The latter years of Solskjaer saw the striker struggling with injuries. The Norwegian made a total of just 56 appearances between 2003 and 2007 before finally calling it a day at the end of the 2006-07 season.
Published 22 Mar 2020, 10:37 IST