Salah, Kane, Van Dijk: Every country's best Premier League player - no Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Kobe Tong

The Premier League attracts world-class footballers from all around the globe.

England’s top-flight might well showcase many of the Three Lions’ finest homegrown stars, but what makes the division such an international marvel is all the global players that also get in on the action.

You only have to look at what the stunning success of Heung-min Son at Tottenham Hotspur has done for the Premier League‘s appeal in South Korea to see how much value there is in the division’s worldwide composition.

The Premier League’s international appeal

From Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane flying the flag for African football to Christian Pulisic making history for the North American game, the joy of the Premier League is very much an international affair.

In fact, that got us thinking here at GIVEMESPORT: who is the finest Premier League player from each of these nations with a representative in the competition?

While certain countries might only have a single Premier League star who plays for them, there are plenty of major states that have a whole host of citizens slugging it out to be the best in the English game.

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Let’s start easy: who’s this iconic character?

Every country’s best Premier League player

So, using the official player database on the Premier League’s website and the competition’s own definition of a sovereign state, we’ve cast our opinion on the division’s best player from each country right now.

Only players who are still in the competition at the time of writing with at least one appearance in the 2021/22 season are eligible, while nations without a single player will – obviously – be skipped over.

Got it? Right then, well, be sure to join us in our globe-trotting journey around the Premier League with our pick for the best player from every country in the division right now – check it out:

Albania: Armando Broja (Southampton)

Not only was our first selection a straightforward one with Broja proving the Premier League’s sole Albanian representative, but the Chelsea loanee just happens to be a darn exciting and talented player anyway.

Soccer Football – FA Cup Fifth Round – Southampton v West Ham United – St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, Britain – March 2, 2022 West Ham United’s Craig Dawson in action with Southampton’s Armando Broja REUTERS/Tony Obrien

Algeria: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

No shocks here. Mahrez is enjoying his most prolific season at City so far.

Argentina: Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur)

Manuel Lanzini and Emiliano Buendia bring plenty in the way of entertainment, but Emiliano Martinez’s recent struggles have opened the door for Romero to become the league’s finest Argentine player.

Austria: Daniel Bachmann (Watford)

It’s fair to say at this point that Bachmann should probably be playing as Watford’s number one goalkeeper over Ben Foster again.

Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

While the likes of Youri Tielemans and Romelu Lukaku might be top-class in their own right, there’s good reason to think that De Bruyne may be the Premier League’s best player of any nationality.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Asmir Begovic (Everton)

Sead Kolasinac’s departure means that Begovic takes the ‘W’ by default.

Brazil: Fabinho (Liverpool)

One of the first tough decisions of the list with Alisson Becker and Thiago Silva only missing out by a nose hair, but Fabinho is probably only a Rodri and Joshua Kimmich away from being the world’s finest defensive midfielder.

Burkina Faso: Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa)

Another default victory.

Cameroon: Joel Matip (Liverpool)

Matip might only be one of two Cameroonians in the Premier League, but he’d win across most nationalities anyway having elevated himself amongst the division’s finest centre-backs this season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 08: Joel Matip of Liverpool in action during the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool and Athletic Club at Anfield on August 08, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images,)

Chile: Francisco Sierralta (Watford)

Sierralta is the only Chilean currently playing in the Premier League.

Colombia: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)

It’s only taken a handful of Premier League appearances for Kopites to get a pretty clear impression that Diaz is going to fit into Liverpool‘s iconic front three hand in glove.

Congo, the Democratic Republic of the: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United)

The struggles of Watford’s Edo Kayembe and Brentford’s Yoane Wissa made this something of a procession for one of the more divisive players in the West Ham fold.

Croatia: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)

With all due respect to Nikola Vlasic, there was only going to be one result here.

Czech Republic: Tomas Soucek (West Ham United)

Shoutout to Vladimir Coufal as arguably the Premier League’s best right-back this season, but even he would probably agree that his Hammers teammate is the top Czech in England right now.

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Denmark: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)

No easy decision, this, because Kasper Schmeichel may well have taken the ‘W’ during his 2021 purple patch and Christian Eriksen could well reassert himself as the division’s finest Dane with Brentford.

Nevertheless, Christensen has proven himself to be one of the Premier League’s most underrated centre-halves during the Thomas Tuchel era and Chelsea should do all they can to hold on to him.

Ecuador: Jeremy Sarmiento (Brighton & Hove Albion)

The only Ecuadorian in England’s top-flight right now. Moving on…

Egypt: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Like, duh…

England: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

While picking Kane as the Premier League’s finest Englishman might have felt like a no-brainer in the summer, Trent Alexander-Arnold gave the Three Lions skipper a run for his money in our current rankings.

However, we just about think that Kane has turned things around enough recently – lest we forget that he’s still scored 20 goals this season – to edge out the world’s best right-back and his stunning 17 assists.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – February 19, 2022 Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Finland: Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)

The stronger of the two Finnish options in Dean Smith’s squad.

France: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Paul Pogba is the most talented Frenchman in the league, Raphael Varane is the most decorated Frenchman in the league, but Kane is the most complete Frenchman in the league. Oh, and he’s fresh from a Ballon d’Or campaign.

Germany: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)

Ilkay Gundogan only missed out by the finest of margins and Kai Havertz might well go on to make this spot his own, but the simple fact of the matter is that Rudiger has become one of the world’s best defenders under Tuchel.

Ghana: Thomas Partey (Arsenal)

We’re finally starting to see Partey show some of the form that saw Arsenal shell out £45 million for his services from Atletico Madrid back in 2020.

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Greece: Konstantinos Tsimikas (Liverpool)

We’ve not seen enough from Norwich’s Dimitris Giannoulis and Christo Tzolis to think that Liverpool’s secondary full-back is anything short of the Premier League’s greatest Greek.

Grenada: Shandon Baptiste (Brentford)

By default.

Guinea: Naby Keita (Liverpool)

Same again.

Iceland: Johann Gudmundsson (Burnley)

And again.

Iran: Saman Ghoddos (Brentford)

And one more time.

Ireland: Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion)

This might not be the most fashionable of choices, but underrate Duffy’s form at your peril because his return to Brighton has been more than strong enough to oust the inconsistent Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion – Selhurst Park, London, Britain – September 27, 2021 Brighton & Hove Albion’s Shane Duffy celebrates after Neal Maupay scores their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Italy: Jorginho (Chelsea)

Remarkably, the summer exits of Moise Kean and Emerson Palmieri mean that there are currently only two Italians in the Premier League and it’s fair to say that Jorginho has the upper hand on Angelo Ogbonna.

Ivory Coast: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Despite Maxwel Cornet’s strong start at Burnley, Nicolas Pepe’s flurries of brilliance and Eric Bailly looking top-class every other game, Zaha still produces enough moments of genius to remain the top-flight’s finest Ivorian.

Jamaica: Michail Antonio (West Ham United)

Lest we forget that Leon Bailey is now a Premier League player, so calling Antonio the division’s best Jamaican isn’t as straightforward as you might first think. He damn right deserves it, though.

Japan: Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal)

Takumi Minamino is too often downplayed and dismissed as a mere squad player at Anfield and while we don’t subscribe to that hypothesis, we’d still give Tomiyasu the edge over his international teammate.

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Mali: Yves Bissouma (Brighton & Hove Albion)

A special mention to Moussa Djenepo, sure, but Bissouma is destined for a move to one of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ clubs at the rate he’s going for Brighton.

Mexico: Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

There’s only one Mexican in the Premier League and he’s a top, top player.

Morocco: Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)

This won’t raise too many eyebrows, but Ziyech needs to keep looking over his shoulder because the longer he goes without truly catching fire at Chelsea, the more that Romain Saïss will make up ground on him.

Netherlands: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

It doesn’t matter if there were 200 Dutch players in the Premier League, it would have taken a Ballon d’Or-contending genius to stop Van Dijk from standing head and shoulders the rest.

New Zealand: Chris Wood (Newcastle United)

The division’s sole Kiwi opened his goalscoring account for the Toon this week.

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Nigeria: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)

While it would take a pretty spectacular drop in form for Ndidi to slip behind Alexander Iwobi or Kelechi Iheanacho, we’re still keen to see him producing top-class performances for Leicester once again.

Northern Ireland: Jonny Evans (Leicester City)

Still a very sound defender… and better than Stuart Dallas, Craig Cathcart and Jamal Lewis.

Norway: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

There were plenty of wagging fingers when Arsenal decided to sign Odegaard on a permanent basis, but boy were they wrong with the land’s premier Norwegian having dropped a number of stellar displays.

Paraguay: Miguel Almiron (Newcastle United)

A default win for Miguel.

Poland: Matthew Cash (Aston Villa)

With the Villa baller having declared his national allegiances to Poland as opposed to England, the runway was clear for him to gain the status of his country’s finest Premier League player.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa – The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain – February 26, 2022 Aston Villa’s Matty Cash celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Portugal: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

This was, without a shadow of a doubt, the hardest nationality to organise in the entire list because leaving out Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias felt like we were committing footballing blasphemy.

However, if we’re talking about right here, right now, there’s not a Portuguese player who’s tearing up the Premier League more than football’s answer to a Swiss Army knife: Cancelo. There’s nothing he can’t do.

Scotland: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

And breathe. It’s nice to have such an uncontroversial pick after snubbing Ronaldo.

Serbia: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)

Matic might be past his best and then some at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, but we’d still pick him in our midfield over his only fellow countryman in the Premier League: Luka Milivojević.

Senegal: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)

Don’t worry, it seems bizarre to us too that Sadio Mane could ever be snubbed as the Premier League’s best Senegalese player, but the simple fact of the matter is that Mendy is the world’s best goalkeeper right now.

Has Mane been a better left-winger than Vinicius Junior this season? It’s debatable, so we had to give Mendy the nod by the finest of margins for a truly astonishing 12 months at Stamford Bridge.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 04: Edouard Mendy of Chelsea during the Pre Season Friendly match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on August 04, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Slovakia: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United)

With all due respect to Juraj Kucka, he doesn’t stand a chance against his compatriot between the sticks at St. James’ Park who endures as one of the most underrated shot-stoppers in the division.

South Korea: Heung-min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)

Simply beyond debate. Hwang Hee-chan is still a top player, mind.

Spain: Rodri (Manchester City)

In a world where Cancelo and Salah didn’t exist, Rodri would be cantering to the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award because he’s been simply unplayable at the heart of Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka engine.

Thiago Alcantara, David de Gea, Cesar Azpilicueta and Aymeric Laporte are all flirting with world-class status, but no Spaniard in the Premier League owns their position better right now than City’s orchestrator in chief.

Sweden: Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham Hotspur)

Mark my words, Kulusevski is going to be a serious player in his prime and he’s already impressed enough at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to get the better of spikes in form from Victor Lindelof and Anthony Elanga.

Soccer Football – FA Cup – Fourth Round – Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain – February 5, 2022 Tottenham Hotspur’s Dejan Kulusevski applauds fans after the match REUTERS/David Klein

Switzerland: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

Love him or hate him, Xhaka can be genuinely top-class on his day and that’s all it takes for him to get the edge on Fabian Schär in our Swiss standings.

Turkey: Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City)

It really is a shame that the increasingly-unreliable Soyuncu hasn’t been able to sustain the form that saw him named in the PFA Team of the Year during just his second season in the Premier League.

Ukraine: Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City)

One of the more underrated ballers in Guardiola’s City side, Zinchenko is never too far away from a stellar performance when he’s given a chance at left-back behind the omnipotent Cancelo.

United States of America: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)

A landslide victory over Joshua Sargent and Zack Steffen.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea – Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain – December 19, 2021 Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic during the warm up before the match Reuters/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Uruguay: Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)

Maybe we’re cutting Cavani too much slack here and Rodrigo Bentancur should automatically usurp him in the standings, but we narrowly think that he’s got enough credit in the bank from his first season at Old Trafford to stay on top.

Venezuela: Salomon Rondon (Everton)

Congratulations, Everton, you have yourselves the best Venezuelan in the Premier League. He also happens to be the only one too.

Wales: Daniel James (Leeds United)

While James might not have been the future world-beater that Manchester United were hoping that they’d signed, the indefatigable winger is the division’s top Welshman on the back of Gareth Bale’s return to Real Madrid.

Zambia: Patson Daka (Leicester City)

We’re yet to see Daka put a consistent run of goalscoring form together at the King Power Stadium, but he’d currently be the number one Zambian regardless of whether he found the net once or 72 times.

Zimbabwe: Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa)

Now three seasons and over 60 appearances into his spell at Villa Park, Nakamba remains the sole representative of the Zimbabwean men’s team in the Premier League.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain – May 19, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli in action with Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba Pool via REUTERS/Paul Childs EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Who would you choose?

So many countries. So many players. So much to debate.

At the end of the day, it’s only a matter of opinion, so if you’d have picked Gundogan over Rudiger, Ronaldo over Cancelo and Thiago over Rodri then power to you because there are no right or wrong answers.

After all, you yourself might be someone who hails from one of these great footballing nations and might have a better handle on things than us, so be sure to let us know your selections across our social channels.

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