By 90Min
February 14, 2019

The importance of scouting players internationally has skyrocketed in recent years and it's allowed teams to build specifically to a certain style, tactic or even just sign a load of players from one particular country - we're all looking at you, Wolves.

Although it might seem like football teams take somewhat of a scattergun approach in the transfer window, there is often method in their madness and much like what we all do with a good shopping centre, clubs can sometimes only stick with tried and trusted markets.

Here's 90min's rundown of where Europe's top five leagues do most of their shopping outside of their own country - English players won't be included in the Premier League, for example - and the most valuable player from each one.


Premier League

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The riches of the Premier League has opened the door for teams even at the wrong end of the table to go continental in the transfer market, but it's a movement which has faced a lot of resistance due to calls that English football is suffering as a result.

Interestingly, Brazilians make up more than 5% of Premier League, which is a bit of a surprising statistic given the extra red tape which needs to be crossed when teams want to sign players outside of Europe.

Spain - 9.6%


Highest Value Player: David de Gea (Manchester United).

France - 8.7%


Highest Value Player: N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea).

Brazil - 5.7%


Highest Value Player: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Ireland - 5.4%


Highest Value Player: Seamus Coleman (Everton).

Netherlands & Belgium - 5.1%


Highest Value Player: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) & Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).


Serie A

Claudio Villa/GettyImages

Gone are the days of Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Cannavaro, when Italian football's biggest names also starred for the Azzurri on the international stage.


These days, the Serie A actually has the second-highest percentage of imported players from one specific country through Europe's top five leagues.


Brazil - 11.3%


Highest Value Player: Allan (S.S.C. Napoli).


Argentina - 8%


Highest Value Player: Paulo Dybala (Juventus).


Serbia & France - 5%

Highest Value Player: Sergej Milinković-Savić (SS Lazio) & Tiémoué Bakayoko (AC Milan).


Poland & Croatia - 4.7%


Highest Value Player: Piotr Zieliński (S.S.C. Napoli) & Marcelo Brozović (Inter).

Spain - 4.3%


Highest Value Player: Suso (AC Milan)


Ligue 1

Xavier Laine/GettyImages

It's not just Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco that can go shopping outside of France, and in fact, a number of Ligue 1 clubs actually make their fortunes by tapping into unknown markets around the world.

Stars from leagues in Africa, for example, often make their first steps in Europe with spells in Ligue 1 as it's a natural step to take from a French-speaking country, before being shipped out for a load of cash, following in the footsteps of players like Didier Drogba and Michael Essien.


Brazil - 10.7% - Neymar


Highest Value Player: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain).

Senegal - 6.7%


Highest Value Player: Ismaïla Sarr (Stade Rennais).

Cote d'Ivoire - 5.6%


Highest Value Player: Nicolas Pépé (LOSC Lille)

Portugal - 5.2%


Highest Value Player: Rony Lopes (AS Monaco).


Morocco, Belgium & Cameroon - 4%

Highest Value Player: Youssef Aït Bennasser (AS Saint-Étienne), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain) & Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Paris Saint-Germain).


Bundesliga

TF-Images/GettyImages

The search for the next Wunderkind is never ending in the Bundesliga, but clubs in Germany's top flight can actually be priced out of signing homegrown players and they're forced into poaching star from neighbouring countries like Switzerland and Austria.

Former Hoffenheim chief Lutz Pfannenstiel explained to 90min how their transfer policy changed after earning a slice of the Champions League prize pool when they qualified for Europe for the first time in their history.


Austria - 11.1%


Highest Value Player: David Alaba (Bayern Munich)

France - 8.1%


Highest Value Player: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)

Switzerland - 6.3%


Highest Value Player: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund)

Netherlands & Brazil - 5.5%


Highest Value Player: Davy Klaassen (SV Werder Bremen) & Wendell (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

The United States - 4.4%


Highest Value Player: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)


La Liga

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Even though being able to tell prospective signings that they can follow in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's footsteps might be seen as a smart negotiating tactic, representation in La Liga from Portugal and Argentina has actually gone down over the last decade.


Argentina - 14%


Highest Value Player: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

France - 10.5%


Highest Value Player: Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid)

Brazil - 9%


Highest Value Player: Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)

Uruguay - 8%


Highest Value Player: Luis Suárez (Barcelona)

Portugal 5.5%


Highest Value Player: Nélson Semedo (Barcelona)

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)