Football

Premier League XI: French stars

Lloris has established himself as Tottenham's first-choice goalkeeper (©GettyImages)
Lloris has established himself as Tottenham's first-choice goalkeeper (©GettyImages).

The Premier League has seen many French imports in its history, while quite a few of them captained their sides to glory.

Eric Cantona and Patrick Vieira are household French names due to their performances in the Premier League - and new French superstars continue to take the English top-flight by storm. 

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris | Tottenham

Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League right now and he has the ability to make world-class saves. Life in London was hard at first as he played second-fiddle to veteran Brad Friedel but soon Lloris's dominant performances made him their first-choice goalkeeper.

He can read the game very well and Lloris is one of the reasons why Spurs are fighting for a Champions League place. 

Right-back: Mathieu Debuchy | Newcastle

Relatively new to the Premier League, Debuchy has adapted well to the English style of play.

He has been one of the most stable players at Newcastle, defensively strong and a potent threat going forward. Debuchy may not have opened his account for the Toon Army but he has provided a couple of assists. 

Centre-back: Laurent Koscielny | Arsenal

Koscielny is one of the many players scouted from France by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

The French defender used to often scored own goals but has now developed into a reliable defender. Koscielny also has a knack for scoring against big teams such as Manchester City and Bayern Munich, making him one of the first names on the team-sheet for Arsenal. 

Centre-back: Younes Kaboul | Tottenham & Portsmouth

Kaboul was one of the main defenders for Spurs for the last two seasons but injuries have derailed his current campaign.

It's hard to win an aerial battle when Kaboul is around. He is also a good free-kick taker and has often hit thunderous shots from distance.

Kaboul scored an important goal in the north London derby when Spurs beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium two seasons back. He was a vital player for Portsmouth and his talent was highly appreciated by Harry Redknapp. 

Left-back: Gael Clichy | Arsenal & Manchester City

Clichy replaced Ashley Cole at Arsenal to some degree as he became their main left-back for many years. Due to Arsenal's trophy drought, Clichy left them to join City where he contested with Aleksandar Kolarov for the left-back berth.

Clichy has recently started a lot of games for City, producing stable performances - and he also helped them win the Premier League last season. 

Centre-midfielder: Yohan Cabaye | Newcastle United

A highly-rated midfielder, Cabaye is a set-piece specialist and can also shoot the ball with some finesse.

He can play excellent long balls and is often likened to Paul Scholes. He has a respectable tally of 11 goals and 11 assists in his two seasons at St. James' Park. 

Centre-midfielder: Morgan Schneiderlin | Southampton

Schneiderlin was one of the standout players for the Saints this term. He can pass the ball very well and can also take decent long-range efforts.

He is very effective at making interceptions and breaking up play. Schneiderlin has a decent return of five goals in the Premier League this season. 

Right-wing: Samir Nasri | Arsenal & Manchester City

Another Frenchman who went from Arsenal to City, Nasri is a naturally gifted midfielder with the ability to dribble and shoot.

He rose to fame at Arsenal, scoring 15 goals in a season with spectacular strikes against Fulham. He lost form at City but still amassed 11 goals and 13 assists in two seasons, despite being mainly used as a substitute. He scored a vital winner against Chelsea last season en route to the title. 

Attacking-midfielder: Moussa Sissoko | Newcastle United

Sissoko made an instant impact in the Premier League and was one of the best signings in the winter transfer window.

He provided a match-winning performance against Chelsea and has provided three goals and five assists since his move to Newcastle in January. 

Left-wing: Hatem Ben Arfa | Newcastle United

Ben Arfa has been spectacular for Newcastle and is one of the best dribblers in the Premier League.

Ben Arfa's main problem is injury but otherwise he produces amazing performances week-in week-out. Ben Arfa scores unbelievable goals and his solo goal against Bolton tops the list.

With 10 goals and 10 assists for Newcastle in his Premier League career, Ben Arfa has shown his skill and trickery. 

Striker: Olivier Giroud | Arsenal

Giroud's debut season at Arsenal has been bittersweet. He hasn't replaced Robin van Persie yet but he provided a good account of himself this season.

Giroud is Arsenal's top scorer when they play at the Emirates, but is goal-shy during away games.

A towering presence, Giroud mostly wins his aerial battles and is an effective striker for Arsenal, with 17 goals and 11 assists in all competitions since he joined. 

Substitutes:

Patrice Evra | Manchester United
Bacary Sagna | Arsenal
William Gallas | Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa | Newcastle United
Yoan Gouffran | Newcastle United
Gabriel Obertan  | Manchester United & Newcastle United
Charles N'Zogbia | Newcastle, Wigan Athletic & Aston Villa

 

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