In Focus: The best Premier League imports from Portugal's top flight

Khyfer Seahra
LiveScore
10/06/202215:00
Bruno Fernandes set the Premier League alight following his move from Sporting to Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes set the Premier League alight following his move from Sporting to Manchester United

Rising star Darwin Nunez looks set to complete his move from Benfica to Liverpool.

Big things are expected of the lethal finisher after he bagged 34 goals in 41 games last season.

In light of the Uruguayan’s impending Premier League switch, we take a look at the five best players to arrive in England from the Portuguese top flight.

5. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes got off to a superb start to life in the Premier League following his move from Sporting to Manchester United in January 2020 in a deal potentially worth £67.6million.

In his debut season at Old Trafford, he found the back of the net eight times and provided seven assists in just 14 appearances.

He bagged 18 league goals and 12 assists the following campaign to inspire the Red Devils into a second-place finish — hitting the net 28 times in all competitions.

But after setting the bar high, Fernandes managed just 10 strikes last season and produced some underwhelming performances which, combined with the fact he is yet to win the Premier League title, sees him slot into fifth on this list.

4. Ederson

Ederson won the Golden Glove award as well as the Premier League title last season
Ederson won the Golden Glove award as well as the Premier League title last season

Manchester City stopper Ederson has been a consistent performer between the sticks for the champions.

Since joining the Citizens from Benfica for £35m in June 2017 — making him the then second most expensive goalkeeper of all time — he has won 11 titles, including four Premier League trophies and four League Cups.

The Brazilian has become renowned as one of the best keepers in the world and is highly regarded for his distribution and composure on the ball, perfectly suiting Pep Guardiola’s system.

3. Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias has been a consistent performer in defence for Manchester City
Ruben Dias has been a consistent performer in defence for Manchester City

City bagged another gem from Benfica when they secured the signing of centre-back Ruben Dias in the 2020 summer window.

Dias arrived at the Etihad with a lot of pressure on his shoulders having set the club back over £50m but quickly adapted to the Premier League.

His technical ability has enabled him to play on the left side of central defence despite being stronger on his right foot, while his physicality and exceptional passing range have made him one of the first players on the team sheet for Guardiola.

After helping the Citizens to the Premier League title in 2020-21, he was named the City and FWA Footballer of the Year due to his dominant performances and picked up a second top-flight trophy last term.

2. Ricardo Carvalho

Ricardo Carvalho was crucial in Chelsea's defence after joining the club from Porto in 2004
Ricardo Carvalho was crucial in Chelsea's defence after joining the club from Porto in 2004

Portuguese ace Ricardo Carvalho joined Chelsea from Porto in the summer of 2004 alongside manager Jose Mourinho and team-mate Paulo Ferreira.

Carvalho formed a formidable partnership with John Terry and won the league in his debut season, as the West Londoners earned 95 points and conceded only 15 goals in the process — the fewest shipped by a team in Premier League history.

In 2010, he spoke about how he was able to adapt to life in England.

He said: "The players are physically strong, and if they don't play well they kick. It wasn't my game. 

"My body is not as strong as a normal centre-back in England, but I like to play hard and tackle. I love to make crazy tackles, I like to slide on the ground."

Carvalho went on to win back-to-back league titles and secured a third in the 2009-10 season, while also picking up two League Cups and two Community Shields during his time with the Blues.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured during his debut season at Manchester United in 2003
Cristiano Ronaldo pictured during his debut season at Manchester United in 2003

Cristiano Ronaldo made his move from Sporting to Manchester United in the summer of 2003 — and the rest is history.

After his first game at Old Trafford as an 18-year-old, the great George Best hailed his performance off the bench as "undoubtedly the most exciting debut" he had ever seen.

Ronaldo won nine trophies during his initial spell at United, including the Champions League and three Premier League titles.

He bagged 118 goals in 291 games, including 42 in 49 during his penultimate season, before heading to Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of £80m in 2009.

Returning to the English top flight last season as a 36-year-old, he proved that age is just a number by racking up an impressive 24 goals in 39 outings.

Tags

Manchester UnitedCristiano RonaldoBruno FernandesRuben DiasEderson MoraesFC PortoSporting CPBenficaManchester CityChelseaPremier League
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