Chelsea pick most foreign players in top five European leagues

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The Blues have come out top, with Arsenal, Napoli, Eintracht Frankfurt & Lazio making up the top five from Europe's top divisions

Chelsea have been named as the the club in the top five European leagues to hand the most minutes to foreign players. 

Conte's men 14/1 for CL glory

A study by Football Observatory Weekly Post has published data on top-tier teams from 31 European associations, ranking them according to the percentage of domestic league minutes played by expatriates since the start of the season.

Chelsea, with 90.4 per cent, top the major European leagues. 

Three Cypriot clubs lead the overall table, however, with Apollon Limassol (99.8%), Anorthosis Famagusta (95.3%) et AEK Larnaca (91.5%) slightly above Turkish Super Lig outfit Galatasaray (90.6%).

Arsenal also rank highly, with 84.1% of their league minutes being played by foreign players, putting them second behind Chelsea in the top-division standings, and 16th in all.

Serie A side Napoli come close behind the north London side with 82.1%, while Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt make up the overall top 20 on 80.4%.

Manchester City (78.4%), Manchester United (77.6%), Liverpool (73.5%), Stoke (72%), and Watford (71.6%) all rank in the top 50 spots across Europe, with Brighton & Hove Albion (67.5%), Tottenham (64.6%), Southampton (64.3%), and West Ham (64%) all make the top 100.

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Only three teams out of the 466 included in the study did not yet field foreign players in domestic league games this season - Oleksandriya and Veres of Ukraine, and HIFK of Finland.

Foreign players are defined by those who grew up in a different association from that of their current club and who went abroad for football-related reasons.


Club Country Minutes played by foreign players (%)
Chelsea ENG 90.4
Arsenal ENG 84.1
Napoli ITA 82.1
Eintracht Frankfurt  GER 80.4
Lazio ITA 80.1
Inter ITA 79.8
Man City ENG 78.4
Roma ITA 78.3
Man Utd ENG 77.6
Huddersfield ENG 77.1
Udinese ITA 75.3
Monaco FRA 74.1
Liverpool ENG 73.5
Juventus ITA 73.3
Stoke ENG 72
Watford ENG 71.6
Atalanta ITA 69.9
Augsburg GER 69
Sevilla ESP 67.8
Brighton & HA ENG 67.5

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