FourFourTwo's 100 best foreign Premier League players ever: 60-51
Words: Alex Hess, Seb Stafford-Bloor, Jon Spurling, Richard Edwards.
60. Harry Kewell
Having starred as the crown jewel in a Leeds side bursting at the seams with thrilling youngsters, Kewell's move to Liverpool in 2003 carried the expectation that he would provide the missing link between midfield and attack that could transform Gerard Houllier's promising side from contenders to conquerors.
Things didn't quite turn out that way, with his time an Anfield largely blighted by various ruinous injuries. Houllier's vision of a Harry Kewell tearing into defences alongside a peak-era Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen was, alas, to remain largely hypothetical. But his 13 years in England's top flight bore plenty of fruit – not least some truly spectacular goals – and that many will look back on his career with mild dismay is merely testament to the way he thrilled us to begin with. AH
59. Ricardo Carvalho
Part of Jose Mourinho's hand luggage when he took the Chelsea job in 2004, Carvalho arrived at Stamford Bridge as a European champion and spent the next six years showing why.
The value of the transfer, other than just the recruitment of a player who Mourinho knew well, was that it created such a complementary partnership with John Terry. Carvalho was the pace, Terry was the positioning; they shared certain abilities and were each more than that single definition – Carvalho was an excellent reader of play and extremely capable in possession, too – but it was that basic contrast which made them so successful.
The duo were the foundations of a defence that shipped a barely-believable 15 goals in 2004/05, and only 47 combined in the two seasons following that. With that, there were three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and, after 210 largely excellent appearances, a move to Real Madrid. Not bad. SSB
58. Pablo Zabaleta
As well liked for the man he is as the player he so often was: Zabaleta is modern Manchester City royalty.
The trouble with longevity is that it comes at a price. Now in his ninth season in England, the Argentine is beyond his prime and starting to labour. But, goodness, what a player he's been. The modern full-back is typically all pace and attacking threat, but Zabaleta carved his reputation from being good at almost every part of the game.
Tactically outstanding – notice how he was always in the right place at the right time – he was arguably the Premier League's finest right-back between 2012 and 2015 and the continuity he provided was integral to the functionality of both the championship-winning sides he played in. SSB
57. Gilberto Silva
The Brazilian midfielder, who won the World Cup in 2002, etched his name into Arsenal's history books by scoring the club's fastest-ever goal (20 seconds into the Gunners' 2002 Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven), and their first at the new Emirates Stadium in 2006 against Aston Villa.
Crucially, he was the indestructible 'wall' in midfield during Arsenal's Invincibles season in 2003/2004, adept at both dropping deep to assist the back four and joining the attack. Gilberto's selfless approach – and propensity to score more than the occasional goal – was appreciated by team-mates and supporters alike. JS