November 16, 2019, 17:07

Best Barcelona Premier League XI: Alexis Sanchez, Luis Garcia and Juliano Belletti make team

Best Barcelona Premier League XI: Alexis Sanchez, Luis Garcia and Juliano Belletti make team

When Everton face Arsenal on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, there could be several former Barcelona players involved. Andre Gomes and Lucas Digne are both likely to start for Everton while Denis Suarez could feature for Arsenal, although two other former Barca players, Yerry Mina and Hector Bellerin, will miss out with injury.

But who are the best former Barcelona players to play in the Premier League?

We’ve compiled an all-time XI of players who have moved from Barcelona to the Premier League…

NB: Team only includes players who have moved from Barcelona to the Premier League, not vice versa, so doesn’t include Luis Suarez, Thierry Henry, Javier Mascherano, etc.

Pepe Reina

A safe pair of hands between the sticks. Having started his career with Barcelona, Reina joined Liverpool in 2005 and went on to make 394 appearances for the club. He won the Premier League Golden Glove award in his first three seasons at the club, was named the club’s Player of the Season in 2009/10 and is one of Liverpool’s most reliable goalkeepers in recent memory.

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It’s a close call between Belletti and Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, but the Brazilian gets the nod. He helped Chelsea win the Premier League title in 2009/10 and reach the final of the Champions League in 2007/08. He also scored a few spectacular goals during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Gerard Pique

The centre-back joined Manchester United from Barcelona in 2004. He made 23 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson before sealing a return to Barca, having been unable to break up the regular defensive partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Yaya Toure

One of the best-ever Premier League midfielders, Toure was used at times as a centre-back by Pep Guardiola during his time at Barcelona. He joined City from Barca in 2010 and was instrumental in the club’s success over the next few years. Toure made 316 appearances for City, scoring 82 goals, and was twice included in the PFA Team of the Year.

Lucas Digne

There’s not much competition at left-back, so Digne gets the spot, even though he’s only played in the Premier League for less than a season. He has impressed in his debut campaign for Everton, chipping in with three goals and four assists in the Premier League.

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Oriol Romeu would provide some defensive cover, but Deco gets the nod for his creativity and vision. Although he didn’t show his best form during his debut season with Chelsea in 2008/09, he was brighter in the following season and played an important in helping the club win the Premier League and FA Cup.

Cesc Fabregas

Another sure-fire selection. Fabregas left Barca as a youngster to join Arsenal in 2003. He returned to Barcelona in 2011 before heading back to the Premier League to join Chelsea in 2014. Earlier this year he racked up his 500th appearance in English football.

Mikel Arteta

Although he never made a first-team appearance for Barca, Arteta started out with the club as a youngster before joining Rangers in 2002. However, he is best remembered for his time at Everton, where he made 199 appearances, and then Arsenal, where he made 150 appearances and was named captain.

Alexis Sanchez

Forget about his recent form with Manchester United and remember when Sanchez was arguably the most exciting player in the Premier League during his spell at Arsenal. He joined the Gunners from Barcelona in 2014 and was at times unplayable, winning the club’s Player of the Season award twice. He scored 80 goals in 166 appearances for Arsenal.

Luis Garcia

The signing of Garcia for £6m from Barcelona in 2004 proved to be a shrewd one by Liverpool. He played a key part in the club’s Champions League victory in 2004/05, scoring the decisive goal against Juventus in the quarter-finals and then netting the “ghost goal” against Chelsea that decided the semi-final tie.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

All eyes were on Ibrahimovic when he joined Manchester United as a 34-year-old in 2016 to see if he could cut it in the Premier League. A tally of 28 in 46 appearances in his first season suggested he could. He also lifted his first major European title as he helped United win the Europa League.

Even though his form tailed off and his stint was cut short due to injury, Ibrahimovic was a memorable signing.

Source: skysports.com

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