The final Premier League table if clubs could only play their British players


The amount of British footballers in the Premier League have been dwindling for years now.

When English football's flagship competition was unveiled in 1992, there were very few foreign imports at top clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Notable early examples include Eric Cantona and Andrei Kanchelski but most players were born and raised in the British Isles.

The statistics do all the talking and in the 26 years since English football changed forever, the shift has been dramatic. Only 13 non-British or Irish players took the field back in 1992, whereas no less than 65 nationalities were represented across the 2017-18 campaign.

Of course, football fans have the increased influx of foreign players to thank for a number of the league's greatest stars. There have been few goalscorers like Thierry Henry; Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in England and goalkeepers don't get much better than Peter Schmeichel.

That hasn't stopped questions being raised about the percentage of foreign players in the Premier League, though, and especially when it comes to the English national team. It's becoming harder and harder for young, English prospects to make the breakthrough in their own country's top division.

All-British Premier League

Starlets are wading their way through endless loan spells and are now even fleeing abroad with Jadon Sancho proving a major case study out in Borussia Dortmund. However, just how much of a difference does the quantity of foreign players actually make?

It's certainly an intriguing question and a sudden bout of sanctioning upon the inclusion of non-British players would have major ramifications. A number of clubs would have the spine of their team ripped out from behind them and others would be left fielding half their youth team.

So, in the hypothetical scenario that anybody not from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were expelled from the competition, the table would look very different. As a result, GiveMeSport have sought to simulate exactly what would happen if only British players could compete.

Chelsea v Arsenal - FA Community Shield

It has to be imagined that every club would field the same starting XI every week and given the strain it would put on certain teams, loan players are allowed to be recalled. In turn, clubs are allowed to use their Premier League 2 team and Academy system as much as they please.

For some clubs it spells disaster, for others it drives them on and there's joyful chaos in between. Check out the final, all-British Premier League standings below:

20. Huddersfield Town

Starting XI: Ben Hamer, Demeaco Duhaney, Tommy Smith, Jack Barrett, Harry Spratt, Jonathan Hogg, Alex Pritchard, Jack Payne, Lewis O’Brien and Ben Mills.

Regardless of whether Huddersfield have foreign players at their disposable or not, they're in serious trouble in the Premier League and simply have to finish rock bottom. With just five Brits in their first-team squad, they would need swaths of players from the youth ranks to even field a team.

And when you consider two of the five British players are goalkeepers, the Terriers find themselves in dire straits. Their lack of experience would prove disastrous, as much as players like Dubaney and O'Brien would give it everything they've got.

Watford FC v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

19. Cardiff City

Starting XI: Alex Smithies, Lee Peltier, Sean Morrison, Jazz Richards, Joe Bennett, Joe Ralls, Josh Murphy, Kadeem Harris, Gary Madine, Bobby Reid and Callum Paterson.

Another team that isn't helped by the removal of British players, even if huge chunks of Neil Warnock's squad come from the Home Nations. The Blue Birds look set for relegation this season and losing major components of their midfield would simply accelerate the process.

The only saving grace is that their defence and front two remain largely in tact, but they are questionably capable at a Premier League level regardless. 

Cardiff City v Fulham FC - Premier League

18. Wolverhampton Wanders

Starting XI: John Ruddy, Dominic Iorfa, Conor Coady, Ryan Bennett, Kortney Hause, Morgan Gibbs-White, Jordan Graham, Ryan Giles, Elliott Watt, Benny Ashley-Seal and Niall Ennis.

The first example of the new Premier League rules causing a major change from reality. Wolves have made a flying return to the top level of English football, yet would seriously struggle if it wasn't for foreign imports like Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio.

The British rules would completely undermine the contacts of Jorge Mendes and leaves Wolves with a distinctly Championship looking side. Their blushes are only saved by the fact Huddersfield and Cardiff had less quality to begin with, but relegation still gets the better of them.

Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

17. Fulham

Starting XI: Marcus Betinelli, Callum Chambers, Joe Bryan, Alfie Mawson, Steven Sessegnon, Kevin McDonald, Tom Cairney, Matt O’Riley, Harvey Elliott, Jayden Harris and Ryan Sessegnon.

The third consecutive promoted team to fall so low in the Premier League ranks, but the Cottagers hang on by the skin of their teeth. The absence of foreign players would be a huge detriment to their attack which has saved them so often this season.

Andre Schurrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jean Michael Seri are all given the axe as fringe players and academy starlets are frantically promoted. Fulham fans would desperately need Sessegnon to deliver the goods and he does just enough for them to survive.


16. Brighton & Hove Albion

Starting XI: Jason Steele, Lewis Dunk, Ben Barclay, Dan Burn, Dale Stephens, Ben White, Solly March, Will Collar, Oliver Norwood, James Tilley and Glenn Murray.

When you're only just consolidating your position in the Premier League, this new British rule would be an absolute killer for Brighton. Sixteenth place is no disaster for the Seagulls but it eradicates all the ambition they have with their current foreign stars.

Defensive responsibilities predominately fall on the shoulders of Dunk, and Murray would need to keep the goals flowing to ensure Brighton stay afloat.


15. Newcastle United

Starting XI: Karl Darlow, Jamie Sterry, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie, Jack Colback, Isaac Hayden, Jacob Murphy, Rolando Aarons and Dwight Gayle.

Newcastle fans would probably take a fifteenth place finish right now. The Magpies have maintained enough of a spine to ensure they would steer clear of survival with Darlow, Lascelles and Shelvey providing an all-British column of stability through the centre.

The forward line is where Newcastle really struggle and it costs them in their challenge to push for the top half of the table. Both Aarons and Gayle would need to be recalled from their loans and goals from either of them in the Premier League is no guarantee.

Southampton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League

14. Watford

Starting XI: Watford: Ben Foster, Andrew Eleftheriou, Craig Cathcart, Ben Wilmot, Tom Leighton, Tom Cleverley, Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes, Dion Pereira. Andre Gray and Troy Deeney.

That's right, losing their British players would see Watford hurtle a dramatic seven places down the Premier League table. Their defence would be pillaged by the rule-change and would rid them of some of their star performers in midfield this season.

The trio of Cleverley, Chalobah and Hughes would need to raise their current levels of performance, but Deeney and Gray save the show with impressive credentials up front. Players like Jose Holebas and Roberto Pereyra would be sorely missed, though.

West Bromwich Albion v Watford - Premier League

13. Southampton

Starting XI: Alex McCarthy, Jack Stephens, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Davis, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse, Charlie Austin and Danny Ings.

When it comes to finishing highly in this post-international Premier League, simply having senior British players in your squad is absolutely vital. Southampton execute an unlikely leapfrog of Watford for that very reason, despite sitting nine places below them in real life.

There's plenty of creative talent from the midfield with Redmond and Ward-Prowse as well as Ings and Austin providing plenty of high power up top. Saints fans would just have to hope their makeshift defence held together at the top level.

Southampton v Leicester City - Premier League

12. West Ham United

Starting XI: Nathan Trott, Ryan Fredericks, Reece Oxford, Mason Barrett, Aaron Cresswell, Robert Snodgrass, Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Hugill, Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio.

All that impressive spending during the summer transfer window is essentially laughed at when the British rule is introduced. West Ham fans are instantly given a sense of nostalgia with players like Oxford and Carroll shuffling back into the frame.

Areas of quality are certainly present in the team yet Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic would be needed for the Hammers to force their way into the top ten.

West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

11. Crystal Palace

Starting XI: Wayne Hennessey, Joel Ward, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, James Tomkins, Ryan Inniss, Andros Townsend, James McArthur, Jonny Williams, Jordon Mutch, Jason Puncheon and Conor Wickham.

Flirting with a place in the top half of the table is a pretty good result when Wickham is leading your line. Palace have earned themselves such a lofty finish with the solidarity of their defence and holding midfield areas, something West Ham and Southampton crucially lack.

There's every reason to suggest Roy Hodgson would be able to organise the defence to perfection and it would certainly cause problems for the youthful forwards they faced. It wouldn't be pretty, but the Eagles would fare just fine without foreign players.

Boreham Wood v Crystal Palace - Pre-Season Friendly

10. Leicester City

Starting XI: Danny Ward, Danny Simpson, Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell, Matty James, James Maddison, Andy King, Marc Albrighton, Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy.

There's so much potential in the all-British Leicester team, but not enough to bag them a second Premier League title. Their defence must be considered one of the best in the league with plenty of experience and contemporary form through Maguire and Chilwell.

It's the midfield where things start to go wrong for the Foxes and Vardy wouldn't receive the consistent service that his goalscoring deserves. The only saving grace is that Leicester wouldn't need to rinse their youth ranks in order to compete.

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League

9. Burnley

Starting XI: Joe Hart, Matthew Lowton, Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Phil Bardsley, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Aaron Lennon, Dwight McNeil and Sam Vokes.

The secret to Burnley's success is the lack of changes Sean Dyche would have to make with British players making up the core of his team. Besides, if you disagree with Hart between the sticks, Burnley have two other top goalkeepers in Nick Pope and Tom Heaton.

Burnley's defence has proven itself in the Premier League before and they're a top strike-force away from really climbing the ranks in this format. Some route one football to Vokes could be the solution or plenty of 0-0 draws will load up the fixture list.

Burnley v Crystal Palace - Premier League

8. Bournemouth

Starting XI: Aaron Ramsdale, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Adam Smith, Charlie Daniels, Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook, Ryan Fraser, David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Jermain Defoe.

Perhaps one of the more controversial rankings here because there's plenty of potential for Bournemouth to compete for a top four place without foreign players. The core of the team is largely the same with Josh King and Artur Boruc the only noticeable absentees.

Their brilliant form this season suggests that, with a few favourable rule changes, the Cherries could really flex their muscles in the world's most competitive league.

Watford FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

7. Arsenal

Starting XI: Matt Macey, Carl Jenkinson, Callum Chambers, Rob Holding, Aaron Ramsey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Danny Welbeck.

The lowest ranked member of the so-called 'top six' and who would have thought it after all the focus Arsene Wenger invested in British players? However, there are just too few British first-team players in the current Arsenal squad for them to reach the Champions League places.

Large parts of the team are what you'd expect Arsenal to field during a Carabao Cup game, never mind every week in the Premier League. Gooners would certainly have their doubts about a Nketiah and Welbeck strike force, so they'd probably settle for seventh.


6. Chelsea

Starting XI: Rob Green, Jay DaSilva, Gary Cahill, Ethan Ampadu, Reece James, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Drinkwater, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham.

There's certainly potential for this Chelsea team to crash and burn on the Premier League stage, but Maurizio Sarri would have to pray that all his talent came good. Fans have been crying out for Abraham to get his chance and he'd have to provide the goals in this side.

Loftus-Cheek, Mount and Hudson-Odoi would also have to pull their weight and especially considering the defence behind them has the potential to struggle badly. Based on pure talent and ability, though, they have to be up their with the top contenders.


5. Everton

Starting XI: Jordan Pickford, Mason Holgate, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams, Michael Keane, Leighton Baines, Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell, Theo Walcott, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman.

Compared to the Arsenal side just two places below it, Everton have a solid core of British players that would make them formidable over a long season. They wield plenty of pace in their front three - despite its inexperience - and have England's number one guarding the goal.

The Toffees are struggling for numbers in the midfield, though, and would have to deploy a back five in order to avoid using too many youth players. Sadly for their hopes of Europe, it's this deficiency in the centre of the pack which would ultimately be their downfall.

Manchester United v Everton FC - Premier League

4. Manchester City

Starting XI: Daniel Grimshaw, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Tosin Adarabioyo, Edward Francis, Phil Foden, Fabian Delph, Patrick Roberts, Raheem Sterling, Lukas Nmecha and Luke Bolton.

Yeh, that's how unrecognisable the City attack becomes when you completely remove the non-British players from the team. The pressure weighs heavy on the shoulders of Nmecha and Bolton with everyone from Sergio Aguero and David Silva given the boot.

Nevertheless, City make the top four because of the undeniable talent in their youth team and the potential for Pep Guardiola to coach them into real contenders.


3. Manchester United

Starting XI: Lee Grant, Axel Tuanzebe, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Scott McTominay, Ethan Hamilton, Angel Gomes, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.

This United team comes so close to forcing their way into the Premier League top four, but players like Grant and Hamilton raise questions about their chances of going all the way. Mourinho would need to organise what proves a solid defensive line and keep his fingers crossed that Grant can roll back the years.

Young would also have to call upon his Aston Villa days at right midfield, yet a vibrant attacking duo of Lingard and Rashford could cause plenty of trouble. It would also prove a brilliant opportunity to see if all the hype surrounding Gomes is truly justified.


2. Tottenham Hotspur

Starting XI: Brandon Austin, Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker-Peters, Eric Dier, Harry Winks, Josh Onomah, Luke Amos, Dele Alli and Harry Kane.

Tottenham came so close to going all the way, yet the weak spots in their midfield see them forced to settle for a silver medal. Aside from Davies having to slot in at centre-back, Spurs undoubtedly have one of the most formidable all-British defences in the league.

Sadly, the inclusions of youth players Onomah and Amos could see Tottenham exposed in big games and both starlets would quickly become targets. Ultimately, though, it's hard not to fear Spurs when they're boasting arguably the best striker in world football.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

1. Liverpool

Starting XI: Daniel Atherton, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Dominic Solanke and Daniel Sturridge. 

That's right, all Liverpool need to do to win the Premier League is to expel every single non-British player in the competition. Joking aside, Liverpool are in the hunt for league glory this season and City losing their foreign stars would see Jurgen Klopp's men grab the initiative. 

Even with an uncapped goalkeeper between the sticks and Solanke leading the line, there's quality across the board for the Reds and their midfield is simply stacked. Combine that with the potential of a full-firing Sturridge and Liverpool must be seen as the all-British champions.


So there you have it, from Huddersfield to Liverpool there would be plenty of drama and changes if only British players could compete.

Of course, the whole situation is up for debate and nobody truly knows what would happen if the Premier League was changed forever. It's certainly fun to imagine, though.

Who do you think would win an all-British Premier League? Have your say in the comments section below.

News Now - Sport News