Cult Corner

10 forgotten Premier League players you’ll see feature at Euro 2016

10 forgotten Premier League players you’ll see feature at Euro 2016

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the global appeal of the Premier League, English football clubs have comfortably provided the highest number of footballers at Euro 2016. 

No fewer than 134 of the 552 players at the continent’s showpiece international tournament ply their trade in England, ranging from Premier League winners Leicester City all the way down to Notts County in League Two.

That number could have been even greater too with a number of former Premier League stars also set to play starring roles for their country’s at the finals.

But for every Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo who excelled while in England, there are others whose impact was substantially less… so much so that we’d forgotten some of them had even played on these shores.

Here are ten players who certainly fall into that category.

Răzvan Rat (Romania)

International Apps: 111

Premier League club: West Ham

Premier League apps: 15

Current club: Rayo Vallecano

Obscurity rating: 4/10

Rat

After consolidating their place in the Premier League in their first season back, West Ham sought to add some experience to their squad in the summer of 2013, bringing in the veteran left-back Razvan Rat on a free transfer.

Rat was a player of some repute having won honours galore during a decade-long stint at Shakhtar Donetsk, however, he made just 15 top-flight appearances before his contract was mutually terminated after six months.

Lorik Cana (Albania)

International Apps: 92

Premier League club: Sunderland

Premier League apps: 31

Current club: Nantes

Obscurity rating: 3/10

Cana

Unless you happen to be the ultimate football hipster, very little is known of the Albanian football team, for whom Euro 2016 represents a first ever international tournament appearance.

Of their 23-man squad, though, their captain Lorik Cana is the most recognizable name. The defender has represented the likes of PSG, Marseille, Lazio, and Galatasaray in his career but it is easy to forget that he once had a fairly successful season with Sunderland back in 2009-10.

Gelson Fernandes (Switzerland)

International Apps: 55

Premier League club: Manchester City

Premier League apps: 43

Current club: Rennes

Obscurity rating: 6/10

Gelson Fernandes

Now a seasoned 29-year-old international, nearly a decade ago in 2007 Gelson Fernandes was lauded as one of the finest young central midfielder’s in Europe when Sven Goran-Eriksson signed him for Manchester City.

Initially, Fernandes was a big success in Manchester, but when the money from Sheikh Mansour’s takeover began to roll in, Fernandes struggled for game time and he was sold to Saint-Etienne in France in 2009.

Ján Mucha (Slovakia)

International Apps: 46

Premier League club: Everton

Premier League apps: 2

Current club: Slovan Bratislava

Obscurity rating: 9/10

Mucha

Although his performances dipped last season, Tim Howard (now of the Colorado Rapids) had seen off the challenge of a number of goalkeepers during a decade-long stay at Everton to remain the undisputed No.1.

Ján Mucha was one of those who tried to dislodge the American but it would be fair to say he struggled in that regard making just two Premier League appearances in three seasons at Goodison Park.

Nikola Kalinic (Croatia)

International Apps: 29

Premier League club: Blackburn Rovers

Premier League apps: 44

Current club: Fiorentina

Obscurity rating: 7/10

Kalinic

Battling it out with Mario Mandzukic for a starting role with Croatia this summer will be Fiorentina’s towering frontman Nikola Kalinic, who managed 12 goals in 33 Serie A appearances in 2015-16.

Kalinic has enjoyed a couple of stellar seasons at club level initially with Dnipro and now in Florence, but not too long ago he was struggling to find the net with any regularity at Blackburn Rovers, scoring just seven goals in 44 Premier League outings.

Andreas Isaksson (Sweden)

International Apps: 130

Premier League club: Manchester City

Premier League apps: 19

Current club: Kasımpaşa

Obscurity rating: 5/10

Isaksson

Only two Swedish players can better Andreas Isaksson’s 130 (and counting) international caps for the national team but despite his success at international level, the shot-stopper endured a difficult spell in England with Manchester City.

Isaksson had been signed to be the Citizens no.1 in 2006 but a succession of injury problems coupled with Joe Hart’s emergence meant that he was restricted to 19 league matches and he was sold two years later to PSV Eindhoven.

Andreas Granqvist (Sweden)

International Apps: 52

Premier League club: Wigan Athletic

Premier League apps: 14

Current club: Krasnodar

Obscurity rating: 8/10

Granqvist

After excelling for Helsingborgs for three seasons, Andreas Granqvist was snapped up by Wigan Athletic in January 2007, initially on loan before the move was made permanent the following summer.

Granqvist started the 2007-08 campaign as a first choice in central defence but as the Latics began to slide down the table he found playing time increasingly hard to come by and he left for Groningen at the end of the season.

Gábor Király (Hungary)

International Apps: 103

Premier League club: Crystal Palace

Premier League apps: 32 (104 in total for the club)

Current club: Haladás

Obscurity rating: 6/10

The pyjama-bottomed one is very much still going for Hungary at the grand old age of 40, over ten years since he last played in the Premier League with Crystal Palace.

Supporters of the Eagles will no doubt have forgotten about Gábor Király, whose eccentricities in goal (including his extravagant repertoire of mid-game warm ups) turned him into a cult hero on the terraces. We can’t wait to see how he performs this summer.

Tamas Priskin (Hungary)

International Apps: 56

Premier League club: Watford

Premier League apps: 16 (42 in total for the club)

Current club: Slovan Bratislava

Obscurity rating: 9/10

Priskin

Following their improbable promotion under Aidy Boothroyd in 2006, Watford set about supplementing their squad by signing the young Hungarian forward, Tamas Priskin to partner Marlon King up front.

Despite showing flashes of ability at Vicarage Road, Priskin struggled to score the goals to keep the Hornets up, netting just twice in the Premier League as they slumped to relegation.

Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia)

International Apps: 52

Premier League club: Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers (loan)

Premier League apps: 14

Current club: Al-Gharafa

Obscurity rating: 5/10

Weiss

During his younger days, Vladimir Weiss was regarded as one of, if not the, most exciting talent in Manchester City’s youth squad, however, like so many others the influx of cash at the Etihad forced him to go elsewhere.

The electric winger enjoyed a fairly productive loan spell with Bolton Wanderers in 2010-11 followed by a similarly successful stint at Rangers the following year, but he was unable to force his way into City plans and left in 2013 for Pescara.

andreas granqvist

Andreas Isaksson

Gabor Kiraly

Gelson Fernandes

jan mucha

lorik cana

Nikola Kalinic

Razvan Rat

Tamas Priskin

Vladimir Weiss

English Premier League