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6 best Austrian players in Premier League history

Whilst many Western nations have produced countless stars in world football, Austria has often become a forgotten player in world football. However, that hasn’t stopped some of their best stars leaving the alpine nation and playing in some of the world’s best league – such as the Premier League. So far, 18 Austrian players have competed in the English Premier League to a varying degree of success.

Whilst only a couple of players have won trophies, others have provided key roles in their teams earning them cult status with loyal fanbases. So just who are the greatest Austrian players in Premier League history?

 

6 best Austrian players in Premier League history

 

Alex Manninger (Arsenal, Liverpool)

Alex Manninger was a player who starred as the supporting member for some of the Premier League’s top teams. This was most memorable during his time with Arsenal where he spent 4 seasons as understudy to David Seaman. Manninger was a more than suitable deputy when called upon and this was proven when he won the Premier League Player of the Month Award in March 1998 for his excellent form during the tail end of that season.

It was also the season when Manninger would claim his only league winners medal – just one of two Austrians to do so. He left Arsenal in 2001 for Fiorentina and whilst he joined Liverpool in 2016 for a season, he never appeared for the club. A varied story for a veteran of the game.

 

Paul Scharner (Wigan, West Brom)

For nearly a decade, Paul Scharner proved to be one of the Premier League’s most versatile performers, no matter if he appeared in defence or midfield. An excellent enforcer, Scharner could not only disrupt opponents in attack but had the passing skills to get his team going in the right direction. He also was a threat in the air making him a threat from any type of set-piece – even with his eclectic hairstyles.

It was this dedication that earned him Wigan’s Player of the Year Award in 2008 and also a key part of the Wigan side that won the 2013 FA Cup. Whilst he was generally playing for relegation-threatened teams, he was never in a side that went down from the Premier League proving just how valuable his presence was to whoever he played for. Certainly a player who deserves to rank amongst the finest Austrian players in Premier League history.

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Emanuel Pogatetz (Middlesbrough, West Ham)

There were few players in the Premier League that divided fans like Emanuel Pogatetz. When he was on form, Pogatetz was unbeatable and stopped whoever tried to pass him. His firm tackling and powerful presence ensured that everyone felt his presence in a duel. However, injuries and an overly aggressive nature sometimes led him to missing more games than teammates and fans would’ve liked.

However, that didn’t stop “The Mad Dog” from winning over fans with his dedication to the cause and was even captain for Middlesbrough for several seasons. It’s why Pogatetz remains a fan favourite whenever he makes an appearance to his former clubs as a guest.

 

Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)

Whilst Aston Villa struggled in the mid-2010s to survive in the Premier League, Andreas Weimann proved to be a regular highlight at Villa Park. His tenacity to fight defences and sniff out a goal made him a regular for Villa and help them avoid trouble for several seasons.

Weimann’s best form came in the 2012/13 season scoring 7 goals in 30 games saving Villa in a tough fight against relegation that season. He failed to quite find the same success with The Villains in subsequent seasons and left to join Derby County when Villa were relegated in 2015 but earns a spot on our list of the best Austrian players in Premier League history regardless.

 

Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)

A versatile full-back who can play anywhere on the left-flank, Christian Fuchs provided Leicester with support in both attack and defence. Not only was Fuchs excellent at tackling, he had excellent technical ability too. With scary bend and power when he struck the ball, Fuchs was a regular set-piece taker at both free kicks and corners – leading to some stunning goals.

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He was a key part of the side that shocked the world to win the 2015-16 Premier League title and that shone in Europe the following season. Unfortunately, injuries disrupted Fuchs’ last few seasons with The Foxes and he departed for newly founded MLS side Charlotte FC in 2021. Despite that, Fuchs’ success with Leicester will ensure that his name lives on in English football for decades to come.

 

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke, West Ham)

For most of the 2010s, there were fewer strikers in the Premier League that were quite as charismatic as Marko Arnautovic. Whilst he often sported outrageous haircuts and passionate outbursts, he backed up the bravado with a serious skillset. A player that could hold off defenders easily and beat others with his feet, Arnautovic was a player who could find space and then find the net. The best example of this was during his time with West Ham where he scored 11 goals in 31 games in the 2017-18 season helping them in a bitter relegation battle.

It was this form that helped him not only win The Hammer’s Player of the Year award that season but also see him crowned Austrian Footballer of the Year in 2018. With 44 goals in the Premier League, Arnautovic is by far the top Austrian scorer in the history of the English top flight and a player who won’t be forgotten by English football fans anytime soon. Arguably the best of the Austrian players to grace the English Premier League.

 


 

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