Seven of the best Swiss players to grace the Premier League - Henchoz, Shaqiri, Senderos...

England meet Switzerland on Saturday in their first match of 2022 as they build towards Qatar. In celebration, Planet Sport picks out seven of the best Swiss players to play in England’s top flight.

Soccer isn't the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the landlocked European nation, but there has been a reasonable amount of talent to emerge from within its borders.

In fact, down the years, no fewer than 32 Swiss men have turned out in the Premier League, placing the country 20th in the list of foreign nations to supply players to the English top flight.

In celebration of that upcoming friendly between the two nations, Planet Sport brings you seven of the best Swiss players to ply their trade in the Premier League.

Granit Xhaka

Midfielder Xhaka may be renowned as something of a liability when it comes to his discipline, but he can also lay claim to being the best Swiss player the Premier League has ever seen.

He joined Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach for £30million in 2016 and has since gone on to make over 175 league appearances for the Gunners, netting nine goals.

While success in the league has been lean for Arsenal during his time in England, Xhaka has won the FA Cup twice, in addition to two Community Shield trophies.

He was also part of the Gunners side that reached the finals of the League Cup in 2018 and the Europa League in 2019.

Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri Liverpool Jan21

Rivalling Xhaka is Shaqiri, who has a CV littered with silverware after spells with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, in addition to the six years he spent in England. That time is evenly divided into two spells of three years, first with Stoke City and then with Liverpool, arriving in the Potteries from Bayern for a fee of £12million, before moving on to Merseyside for £13.5million.

Shaqiri made 129 league appearances over six years, 84 of them for Stoke and 45 for Liverpool, scoring 22 goals. With the Reds, he became only the second Swiss player to win the Premier League title. He was also crowned as a Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup winner in 2019, before moving on to Ligue 1 outfit Lyon in summer 2021 for €6million.

Philippe Senderos

Philippe Senderos Aston Villa Sep14

In the same fashion as Xhaka, Senderos arrived in the Premier League with Arsenal, moving from Servette to north London in 2003.

The Gunners went on to win the league that season in their 'Invincibles' campaign, but a pair of injuries ensured Senderos played no part in it.

Instead, he made his debut in October 2004, serving as a back-up to Sol Campbell and over the next six years he would make 64 league appearances for Arsenal.

As he found himself pushed out of the Gunners team around 2008, he joined AC Milan on loan, before returning to the Premier League with another temporary spell at Everton, though he played just two games. He departed Arsenal permanently in 2010, moving across the capital to Fulham, where he remained for four seasons.

His final Premier League team was Aston Villa, whom he joined in summer 2014 after six months with Valencia in La Liga.

In all, Senderos made 131 top-flight appearances, before returning to his homeland with Grasshoppers.

Stephane Henchoz

Stephane Henchoz Liverpool Feb03

Henchoz is another Swiss centre-back who had a solid career in England, playing for Blackburn over two spells, and Wigan, though it is Liverpool with whom he is most associated.

He first moved to England in 1997 from Hamburg in the Bundesliga, bravely rejecting Manchester United to join Blackburn for £3million.

After two seasons and 70 league appearances at Ewood Park, Henchoz moved on to Anfield, where he remained for six years, forming an effective central defensive partnership with Sami Hyypia.

While with Liverpool, he won no fewer than six pieces of silverware, including the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup and the League Cup in 2001.

After his departure from the Reds, he had a short spell north of the border with Celtic before seeing out his playing days with Wigan and a second spell with Blackburn.

All in all, he made 243 Premier League appearances over the 11 seasons he spent on English shores.

Johan Djourou

Johan Djourou Arsenal Dec11

Arsenal seem to have made a habit out of signing Swiss players, with Djourou being the third entry on this list to have turned out for the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger signed him a year after Senderos and he remained with the team for nine years, proving a reliable option throughout his time in north London.

He made his league debut in 2005 and went on to represent Arsenal in 86 Premier League games, with his most productive season coming in 2010/11, when he scored the only goal of his Gunners career, against Newcastle, and formed part of a backline that went a month without conceding.

Djourou also spent time on loan at Birmingham City in the Championship as he rotated in and out of the Arsenal starting line-up in 2007/08.

His almost-decade with the Gunners came to a close in 2013, when he signed for German side Hamburg, initially on loan, before the deal became permanent a year later.

Gokhan Inler

Gokhan Inler Leicester City Aug15

Defensive midfielder Inler's inclusion on this list may appear a little odd, given he only made five appearances in hsi one season in the English top flight; that being Leicester City in 2015/16. However, as the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed, there was something rather special about that particular Foxes campaign.

Yes, that was the year Claudio Ranieri led the East Midlands outfit to the Premier League title in one of the dizziest odds-defying sporting stories ever seen.

Inler may have only played a grand total of 195 minutes, but he scraped past the minimum number of appearances required to claim a winner's medal, thus officially recording him as one of only two Swiss players to have ever won the trophy, alongside Shaqiri.

Reto Ziegler

Reto Ziegler Alexei Smertin Tottenham Chelsea Jan05

Die-hard Tottenham Hotspur fans may well remember Ziegler, who represented the White Hart Lane side between 2004 and 2007, but the casual supporter might have more trouble recalling him.

He is, however, on this list on account of the colossal promise he showed, and the impressive first season he enjoyed with Spurs while still only 18 years of age.

He enjoyed a breakout season in 2004/05, making 23 league appearances for Tottenham and being named Young Player of the Year, before moving on loan to Hamburg and then to Wigan the following season.

He made a total of 34 Premier League appearances between 2004 and 2007, but never quite recovered his sparkling first-season form, with Tottenham very much left wondering what might have been.

READ MORE: Six England players for whom Euro '96 doesn’t evoke such happy memories

Latest news