Amongst the most represented nations in the history of the Premier League, there has certainly been some talent imported into English football’s top tier from Spain.
The Spanish have proven one of the most successful superpowers in football over the last decade or so, and many of their finest footballers have showcased their talents and made notable contributions to the world’s most watched league.
We’ve decided to look at some of the very best Spaniards to have played in the Premier League, here are the five leading Spanish scorers in the division’s history:
Cesc Fabregas – 50 goals
Fifth amongst the highest-scoring Spaniards in Premier League history is Cesc Fabregas, a player who made a huge impact on either side of a fierce London rivalry.
Fabregas signed for Arsenal as a teenager from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy system with the promise of a clear pathway to first-team football, and the precociously talented playmaker did not have to wait long for an opportunity, becoming the youngest ever player and goalscorer in the Gunners’ history.
The midfielder swiftly established himself as one of the brightest young talents in English football and was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2008, taking on increased responsibility and status in the post-Invincibles era and eventually being named as club captain.
The lure of Barcelona ultimately proved too strong and he returned to Catalonia for a three-year spell, only to return to the Premier League in the colours of Chelsea.
Fabregas starred during a four-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and the League Cup before signing for Monaco in January 2019. He racked up half a century of goals during his time in English football and registered a phenomenal 111 assists – the second most of any player in Premier League history.
Juan Mata – 51 goals
Amongst the most popular players to have arrived from Spanish football, Juan Mata became an instant fans’ favourite at Chelsea following his big-money arrival from Valencia in 2011.
The diminutive star’s touch and technique quickly established himself as the creative heartbeat of the west London side and helped Chelsea to a Champions League and FA Cup double during his debut season, being named as the club’s Player of the Season in each of his first two seasons in English football.
That second season saw Mata score a career-high of 12 Premier League goals and 20 in all competitions, but the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge saw the star surprisingly phased out.
Manchester United secured his signing in a £37m deal during the 2014 January transfer window and the playmaker scored regularly during his initial seasons at Old Trafford, hitting double figures in all competitions in each of his first three full seasons.
Mata’s recent years have seen him become an increasingly peripheral figure in Manchester as the zip to his game has dwindled amid ageing legs, but for brief and brilliant period at Chelsea he was amongst the division’s finest talents.
Diego Costa – 52 goals
Jose Mourinho’s second stint as Chelsea manager saw the ‘Special One’ seek a talismanic presence to lead the club’s attack, with his search landing at a player who thrived amid the ‘us against the world’ mentality the Portuguese often instils in his best sides.
Costa made an instant impact upon his arrival in the Premier League from Atletico Madrid and finished amongst the division’s leading scorers as Chelsea secured the title, the Spain international a brutish presence who relished on-pitch battles and butting heads with the league’s best defenders.
The forward was singlehandedly capable of occupying and fighting entire defences, winning two league titles and scoring 52 league goals in just 89 appearances for the west London before returning to Atletico.
Amongst Chelsea’s leading forwards of the Premier League era, Costa was menacing at his finest and remains the third-highest scoring Spaniard in the division’s history.
David Silva – 57 goals
Arguably the finest of his compatriots to have played in the Premier League and among the best midfielders of his generation, there is a strong case for David Silva being the best player to have worn the colours of Manchester City.
The Spanish star has been City’s creator in chief through the most successful period in their history, flitting between defensive lines and acting as the conductor to one of the finest sides English football has seen.
Silva made a mockery of suggestions his slender frame would be ill-fitted to the demands of the Premier League, operating in implausibly tight spaces with a touch and technique that rarely surrenders possession.
His list of honours includes four Premier League titles amongst his 11 major honours won at the Etihad and he has been pivotal in each success, one of the finest foreign talents to have played out their best years on these shores.
The Premier League will be a poorer place for his departure, Silva having now called time on a majestic career of understated brilliance in Manchester, with his final City appearance coming against Norwich last weekend.
Fernando Torres – 85 goals
The highest-scoring Spaniard in Premier League history and a player who enjoyed the best spell of their career in English football, Fernando Torres – for a short spell – was arguably the most feared frontman on the continent.
Torres arrived as Liverpool’s club-record signing in 2007 and wasted little time in making himself a hero amongst the Kop, scoring prolifically during his debut campaign – setting a new landmark for most league goals by an overseas player in their first season in English football.
The forward possessed electric pace and was capable of scoring all manner of goals, a scintillating striker who reached levels of superstardom alongside Steven Gerrard for a wonderful if brief period.
El Nino terrorised Premier League defences during a brilliant three-and-a-half year spell on Merseyside, scoring 65 goals in just 102 appearances before a controversial British transfer-record move to Chelsea.
Torres, however, struggled to replicate his previous form despite winning a host of major silverware in west London, scoring just 20 goals in 110 appearances and looking a shadow of his former self in blue.