• Football

Premier League anything but English

ESPN staff
August 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Only four English players were selected in the ESPNFC Team of the Weekend

Just a third of players that featured on the opening weekend of the 2013-14 Premier League season were English, a study in the Guardian has reported.

The Premier League is considered one of the most diverse in the world, with a growing number of foreign players heading for England to ply their trade in the top flight.

The Guardian study states that 66.4% of those playing in the "first-day first XIs" were from abroad, while just 12 of the 61 signings made this summer have involved English players.

On the first weekend of the inaugural Premier League season in 1992, 177 players - 73.1% - held English nationality but this year that figure fell to 74, or 33.6%. This has left the Premier League some way behind Spain's La Liga, Germany Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue One in the number of home players on show.

Such statistics will likely be cause for concern for the Football Association and England manager Roy Hodgson, amid criticism over a decreasing pool of home-grown talent of which to choose from.

England's Under-21 and Under-20 sides endured poor showings at the European Championship and World Cup respectively this summer, with neither team winning a game.

Hodgson's senior side face a battle to qualify for next year's World Cup, as they trail Montenegro by two points in Group H, although they do hold a game in hand.

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