For all the fanfare surrounding the unrivalled atmosphere and excitement the Premier League has provided over the last 20 years, the addition of established, star players from foreign shores is rarer than you might expect.

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Robin van Persie may have proved themselves as exceptional talents over a prolonged spell in the English game, but their arrivals came with excitement and anticipation rather than the welcoming of a genuine world-class talent.

Less than 24 hours ago Arsenal smashed their transfer record into minute little pieces with the addition of German international Mesut Ozil, a proven commodity on the European stage who has been unlocking defences with relish for three seasons in La Liga.

The Gunners rarely compete for players who come with an exemplary reputation honed on the continent for club and country and they are not alone. Here we delve deep into the Premier League vault to find five marquee names who have arrived with a cast-iron guarantee of meeting expectation to see how they fared.

Dennis Bergkamp

The mere mention of Ozil will probably send Arsenal fans into a gleefully nostalgic daydream of the last time a proven international arrived in N5 with medals and caps to match his promise.

Bergkamp was nothing short of majestic during his time with Ajax, but found the transition to Inter Milan and never settled during two seasons at the San Siro. That uncertainly prompted new Arsenal coach Bruce Rioch to treble the club's previous record to land the non-flying Dutchman in 1995.

Bergkamp got over a quiet first month to click with Ian Wright in attack, before helping a succession of strikers thrive under Arsene Wenger as trophies came flooding in at Highbury. During 11 seasons in North London Bergkamp helped the Gunners claim three Premier League titles and four FA Cups. Bergkamp even famously finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Match of the Day's Goal of the Month competition for August 1997, all of which were scored in one game against Leicester City.

Jurgen Klinsmann

A name that still fills Tottenham fans with pride, Klinsmann can genuinely be credited with helping to pave the way for a whole host of foreign imports to ply their trade in the Premier League.

Klinsmann's £2million move to Spurs from Monaco in 1994 came as a genuine shock to Spurs fans, who probably best remembered the German striker for being part of the side that knocked England out on their way to winning the 1990 World Cup.

Klinsmann proved an instant hit at White Hart Lane, scoring 30 goals in all competitions to win the Football Writers Association player of the year in 1995. Despite leaving for Bayern Munich after just one season Klinsmann and his famous diving celebration returning in 1997, cementing his status as a Spurs legend as his goals helped the club stave off fears of relegation.

Juan Sebastian Veron

Now, for every success story there has to be a costly mistake, step forward Manchester United's Argentine enigma Juan Sebastian Veron.

The midfielder arrived at Old Trafford for a British record transfer fee of just over £28million in the summer of 2001, heralded as a missing spark of creativity for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Despite making 40 appearances during his first full season at United the playmaker had trouble adapting to the frenetic pace of the Premier League, preferring to dictate at a slower tempo in the manner that had made him such a success in Serie A.

Veron was determined to prove a point in his second season in the North West, but despite brief glimpses of his true potential struggled with injury and was soon sold to Chelsea the following summer. Just 14 appearances for the Blues followed and with that his English adventure came to an end.

Hernan Crespo

Another Argentine international who arrived in the Premier League primed to be an instant hit, Hernan Crespo deserved to credited as one of Europe's leading marksman when Chelsea coughed up arond £17million for his services in 2003.

A proven predator in the penalty area, Crespo had an eye for the instinctive and thrived off quick reactions in the penalty area.

Claudio Ranieri may have trusted Crespo to shine at Stamford Bridge, but Jose Mourinho had serious reservations. After a season on loan at AC Milan the forward returned to west London, but despite chipping in with 10 goals towards Chelsea's title success in 2006 was once again sent packing to Serie A after a single season.

Claude Makelele

Chelsea's other piece of significant piece of business in the summer of 2003 was an unequivocal success.

French midfield enforcer Claude Makelele was surprisingly allowed to leave Real Madrid in 2003, after three seasons of helping to provide the platform for a success based around 'Galactico' signings which included a Champions League crown.

Makelele thrived in the competitive environment of the Premier League, matching intelligent positioning with an assured sense of awareness in possession to become a key component of Jose Mourinho's side which won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006.

Makelele stayed at Stamford Bridge for five seasons, providing reliable cover during the latter part of his spell, which saw the Les Blues stopper clock up more than 200 appearances.

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Topics:
#Jurgen Klinsmann
#Claude Makelele
#Football
#Dennis Bergkamp
#Premier League