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Best overseas player in Premier League era poll result: Shearer gives David Ginola honourable mention

5 months ago
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For many Newcastle fans, those first four months of David Ginola at St James Park were potentially the best they’d ever seen from any NUFC player.

The Frenchman was stunning, yet another brilliant Kevin Keegan signing, only £2m from PSG.

Ginola was good after those opening four months, spectacular at times, but that opening half season was something else.

Is he the greatest overseas player Newcastle have ever had? On those first four months probably but overall, the likes of Nobby Solano and Laurent Robert are ahead of him for me.

On a wider scale, BBC Sport have asked: Who has been the best overseas player in the Premier League era?

A shortlist was provided to a panel, this featured overseas players who had made it into any PFA Team of the Year. The panel then selected what it considered the standout candidates in each area of the pitch – three goalkeepers, three defenders, three midfielders and four forwards.

The panel was comprised of NUFC legend Alan Shearer, former¬† Newcastle manager Ruud Gullit, Shearer’s former Blackburn strike partner Chris Sutton and New York Times football writer Rory Smith.

David Ginola didn’t make the final (nor did any other current or former NUFC player) 13 that were put up for public vote but Alan Shearer had this to say about him:

David Ginola was sometimes a frustrating talent because he did not always show his ability but when you gave him the ball with his back to the defender, I have never seen a player able to go either way with his natural ability.”

BBC Sport had over 250,000 voting on the 13 candidates and a very clear winner…

‘There were just 13 foreign players in the Premier League when it began in 1992 – now there are more than 300.

But of the 2,016 non-British and Irish players to grace the top flight since then, which import can be classed as the best?

More than a quarter of a million votes were cast and now we have the result.

45% Thierry Henry

14% Cristiano Ronaldo

12% Eric Cantona

8% Sergio Aguero

6% Didier Drogba

5% Peter Schmeichel

2% Vincent Kompany

2% David Silva

2% Nemanja Vidic

2% Patrick Vieira

1% David De Gea

1% Petr Cech

0% Jaap Stam

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