Argentina is a country known for producing world class footballers. Many of which have plied their trade in the Premier League. In fact, since 1992, there’s been well over 70 Argentines play in England’s top tier. Below we look at some of the best, and there are some serious club legends.
The only survivor from Tottenham’s infamous mass spending spree following the sale of Gareth Bale in 2013, Erik Lamela was ultimately bought as a like for like replacement for the Welshman. Unfortunately, the Argentine failed to reach the same consistent heights, but he has produced a number of world class goals, which Spurs fans will remember fondly. Who can forget the rabona finish against Arsenal, filth.
Unfortunately for Hammers fans, Manuel Lanzini has spent more time in the West Ham physio room than he has on the pitch. The Argentine’s six years at the London club have been plagued with injuries. But on the occasions he has been fully fit, the 5 ft 6 inch attacking midfielder has produced some moments of magic, including a number of screamers from range. It’s a shame we haven’t seen more of Lanzini in the Premier League.
Juan Sebastian Veron
It’s fair to say the Premier League never really saw the best of Juan Sebastian Veron. The midfielder struggled to hit the same heights he’d reached at Parma and Lazio which earned him a big money move to Manchester United in 2001. He did, however, win the Premier League title in 2002/03 before leaving Old Trafford for Chelsea, where he once again failed to live up to expectations. Make no mistake, though, the Argentine was a very good player.
Gabriel Heinze. Where to start eh? A Premier League winner in 06/07. Spent the majority of his United career sidelined through injury. Made just 52 appearances in three seasons. Apparently told Roy Keane to ‘fuck off’ in a dressing room bust-up, resulting in the Argentine being knocked out. Tried forcing a move to arch-rivals Liverpool, but Fergie refused to sell. Then hired a Liverpool FC solicitor to represent him in a tribunal before eventually leaving for Real Madrid. Drama. It’s easy to forget, then, that the full back was actually an excellent footballer. He wore the captain’s armband on numerous occasions and later admitted to regretting the way he left the club.
A product of the Argentinos Juniors academy, the same club which produced a certain Diego Maradona, Julio Arca joined Sunderland in 2000 before joining Middlesbrough six years later. Capable of playing in many positions, including central midfield and left wing back, Arca was known for his delivery from dead-ball positions, especially direct free kicks. The Argentine spent 13 years in the North East, where he became a cult hero with both sets of supporters. Arca, too grew fond of the locals, so much so he still lives in the area today.
Signed from Deportivo La Coruna, Fabricio Coloccini enjoyed eight years at Newcastle where he featured 211 times in the Premier League, putting him third on the list of most appearances made by Argentines in England’s top flight. In his first season in the North East, Coloccini suffered relegation with the Magpies, but instead of jumping ship, he stayed and helped the club return to the promised land at the first time of asking. Two years later, he helped the club achieve their highest league finish since 2004, just missing out on a top four spot in 5th.
Another Newcastle legend, midfielder Jonas Gutierrez was a fan favourite throughout his time at St James’ Park. Despite suffering relegation with the Magpies, Gutierrez played a pivotal role in helping the club rebuild on and off the pitch. Back in the Premier League, and after a traumatic battle with testicular cancer, the Argentine scored one of the most famous goals of the club’s recent history. A winner on the final day of the 2014/15 season to keep the Toon up. Carnage ensued.
If there’s one player that doesn’t get the credit he deserves, then it’s Nicolas Otamendi. The Argentine centre back was key to Manchester City’s early success of the Pep Guardiola era making 34 league appearances during the 2017/18 campaign when the Citizens became the first team in Premier League history to achieve over 100 points. Otamendi spent five years at the Etihad making over 200 appearances for the club, eventually ending his stint with two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four League Cup wins.
No Argentine footballer has made more Premier League appearances than Pablo Zabaleta. The former Manchester City and West Ham full back made 303 league appearances over 12 years and played an integral part of Roberto Mancini’s title winning City side in 2011/12. Zabaleta fast became a fan favourite at the Etihad following his move from Spanish side Espanyol in 2008.
Despite operating as a centre back in the latter years of his career, Javier Mascherano was, in fact, one of the best defensive midfielders to play in the Premier League. Deployed just in front of a back four, the Argentine was tasked with breaking up play and picking up the scraps allowing Steven Gerrard the freedom to bomb forward. Whilst Mascherano failed to win a title during his four year spell in England, he was a Champions League runner-up with Liverpool in 2006/07 and ran Manchester United close to the league title in 2008/09.
Seven years, three clubs, 202 appearances and 86 goals. Carlos Tevez’s time in the Premier League was eventful from the moment he arrived to the day he left. First, he helped West Ham avoid relegation by scoring in the final game of the 2006/07 season. He then signed for Manchester United, where he won back-to-back Premier League titles before doing the unthinkable. Tevez went from hero to zero overnight by signing for United’s noisy neighbours, Man City, where he eventually won a third Premier League title in 2011/12.
Absolutely no debate, Sergio Aguero is the greatest Argentine to play in the Premier League, ever. And, unless Messi rocks up at his pals’ old stomping ground this summer, that will never change. Over a period of ten years, Aguero helped City to four Premier League titles, scoring that famous last-minute winner against QPR. “AGUEROOOO.” Yeah, you know the one. He didn’t stop there, though. With 180 Premier League goals to his name, Aguero surpassed Thierry Henry in 2021 to become the league’s top scoring foreign player. Sublime.