Five German players who were a success in the Premier League

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Manchester City have already begun preparing for a new era under new manager Pep Guardiola by signing one of the world's top midfielders.

Ilkay Gundogan has signed from Borussia Dortmund, and the 25-year old will be hoping to become a key figure in Manchester for many years to come.

There has been a long history of German players in the Premier League, meaning more expectation on Gundogan to follow in the footsteps of his star compatriots.


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Here we look at five Germans who have been former successes in the Premier League, analysing where applicable: games played, trophies won, clean sheets and goals scored.

Jens Lehmann - Arsenal (2003-2008, 2010-2011)

We start off with the fiery former Arsenal shot-stopper Jens Lehmann.

Lehmann occupied the first choice keeper's spot at the Gunners for five seasons, one of which was the infamous 'Invincibles' Premier League title-winning campaign.

He made 148 appearances in his first spell at the club, along the way breaking former Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar's record for the most Champions League clean sheets in a row (10 games).

Despite retiring in the summer of 2010, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger managed to persuade the Gunners legend to reverse his decision and rejoin the club following an injury crisis which left Manuel Almunia as the only fit goalkeeper.

Lehmann made a single appearance against Blackpool in the Premier League, where he became Arsenal's oldest player in the competition, before retiring again.

Michael Ballack - Chelsea (2006-2010)

Arguably the greatest German to play in England's top flight, Ballack joined Jose Mourinho's Chelsea squad in 2006, on a free transfer from German giants Bayern Munich.

He would spend four seasons at Stamford Bridge, playing a key part in their successful FA Cup campaigns which saw them win the trophy three times in four years. He also won the Premier League in his last season at the club.

He played over 100 times for the Blues, scoring 16 goals.

Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool (1999-2006); Manchester City (2006-2009)

Another high-profile German midfielder to play in the Premier League was Dietmar Hamann.

The no-nonsense central midfielder originally came to England when he joined Newcastle - he played 32 games before joining Liverpool, where he stayed for seven seasons and enjoyed a hugely successful spell.

He was an integral part of the squad that pulled off one of the greatest comebacks of all time to overcome AC Milan to win the 2004-2005 Champions League final.

He defended superbly to take the match to penalties and then converted the first penalty of the shootout to set the Kop on their way.

He made almost 200 appearances for the Merseyside club, becoming a firm fan favourite, before a move to Manchester City in 2006.

Hamann made over 50 appearances in Manchester, where he again proved a popular figure.

Moritz Volz - Fulham (2004-2009); Ipswich Town (loan) (2008-2009)

Perhaps not a name that is instantly familiar to all Premier League fans, Volz was a regular starter in the Fulham side for four of his five seasons at Craven Cottage.

He started his career in England over at rivals Arsenal, playing a few League Cup games before making the switch to Fulham.

From there, he made the right back spot his own, making 125 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.

He made history when he scored the 15,000th Premier League goal, against Chelsea in 2006.

When he lost his place in the team in the summer of 2008, Volz completed a move to Ipswich Town on a season-long loan where he made 22 appearances.

Thomas Hitzlsperger - Aston Villa (2001-2005); West Ham (2010-2011); Everton (2012-2013)

Hitzlsperger had spells with three Premier League clubs, but without doubt, his most successful spell came at Aston Villa.

Over the course of four seasons, the central midfielder made 99 appearances for the Midlands side, gaining the nickname 'Der Hammer' in recognition of his ferocious long shots.

Never a prolific goalscorer, he did score three goals in each of his last two years at Villa.

Following a successful spell back home at Stuttgart and a short stint at Lazio, Hitzlsperger came back to England and joined West Ham, playing just 11 games but scoring twice.

After another return home to play for Wolfsburg, he came back to the Premier League once again when Everton persuaded him to return to England.

He would only make seven appearances before retiring in 2013.

Some big boots for Gundogan to fill, only time will tell if he will be the midfield dynamo that Pep Guardiola and Manchester City need to lead them forward into a new era of success.

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Jens Lehmann
Premier League
Manchester City
Michael Ballack

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