Poland has provided a steady stream of international players into the Premier League since the division began in 1992. This is a competitive nation on the world stage, and English clubs will constantly be monitoring Poland’s top stars.
So, who are the best Polish players in the history of the Premier League?
Polish Players to win the Premier League
By the end of the 2022/23 English football season, there was one Polish player who could proudly claim a Premier League winner’s medal. That player was none other than Tomasz Kuszczak, who served as a backup goalkeeper for Manchester United.
Despite only playing in 32 EPL games for United, Kuszczak is the most successful Polish player in the division with three Premier League titles. He served as the reserve to the main keeper, but played enough games to claim those three medals between the 2006/07 and 2010/11 seasons.
Marcin Wasilewski, signed from Anderlecht in 2013, played a significant role in Leicester City’s journey to the Premier League. The centre back was a regular first team player as they secured promotion.
During the 2014/15 season, their first back in the top flight, Wasilewski featured in 25 league matches. However, in the historic 2015/16 season when Leicester City won the Premier League, the Polish defender only managed to play in two league games before the team’s trophy presentation on 7 May 2016. Unfortunately, this meant he did not meet the minimum requirement of five league games to be eligible for a winner’s medal.
Greatest Polish Players in the Premier League
Polish international goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek may not have won the Premier League, but he played a full part as his Liverpool side won the Champions League in 2005. The stopper was signed from Feyenoord in 2001 and he would remain at Anfield for the next six years.
Dudek proved to be a reliable presence between the posts, and success came early with a League Cup win in 2003. Liverpool won the FA Cup three years later, but Jerzy Dudek will always be remembered for his saves in the penalty shootout that won the Champions League in 2005.
In the Premier League, he made 127 appearances for Liverpool before joining Real Madrid in 2007.
Another respected Polish international goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, was the first choice stopper at Arsenal for most of his time in England. The Gunners spotted the player when he was with Legia Warsaw’s youth team, and Arsenal was his first professional club.
Szczesny is a tall keeper with excellent reflexes and he’s quick off his line to claim corners and crosses. He was calm under pressure and rarely made an obvious error. He was also successful during his time in England, and Wojciech Szczesny lifted two FA Cup trophies before being transferred to Juventus in 2017.
Former Legia Warsaw goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has played for three English clubs in his professional career. He first featured in the Premier League when he was signed by Arsenal in 2007 and, while he stayed with the Gunners for seven seasons, he was mainly used as a back up to the first choice stoppers.
Fabianski became more of a first team regular when he signed for Swansea City. He was comfortable in all areas of the goalkeeper’s art and has an exceptionally good record when it comes to keeping clean sheets. Lukasz Fabianski has moved on again and is still on the books of West Ham. He’s a reserve once again, but there will hopefully be more to come from one of Poland’s finest Premier League players.
A centre half who has won more than 50 caps for the Polish national team, Jan Bednarek first appeared in the Premier League when he was signed by Southampton in 2017. He was initially used as a substitute and was sometimes played out of position, but his fortunes changed when Virgil Van Dijk left the club.
Bednarek now became a first choice starter in the heart of defence and he became a leader along the back line. He was reliable, a strong tackler and comfortable on the ball. He helped Southampton maintain their status as a Premier League club, so it was surprising when the Saints sent him out on loan to Aston Villa in 2022/23.
Southampton were relegated at the end of that term, but Jan Bednarek has returned to the club and will be an important player if his team are to get back into the EPL.
A veteran midfielder who has now played for ten clubs across his professional career, Mateusz Klich spent six years in England with Leeds United. The team were in the Championship when Klich joined from FC Twente in 2017, but he was at the heart of an improving side.
The Polish international was an influential figure as Leeds eventually won promotion back to the Premier League at the end of the 2019/20 season. As well as linking defence and attack, he also scored crucial goals and he enjoyed a respectable scoring record in English football.
Mateusz Klich remained an outstanding player during his time at Elland Road but he couldn’t prevent Leeds United from dropping down to the second tier at the end of the 2022/23 campaign. He now plays for DC United in Major League Soccer, but Klich is a worthy addition to our list of best Polish players in the English Premier League.
He may not sound Polish, but Aston Villa’s Matty Cash had played 14 senior internationals for Poland by the end of 2023. While he was born in England, he qualifies for his adopted country due to Polish grandparents on his mother’s side.
A tough tackling full back, Cash made his name with Nottingham Forest before Aston Villa acquired his services in 2020. That strength in the tackle has endeared the player to Villa fans, and he was voted the club’s Player of the Season at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
Midfielder Jakub Moder is one of the players who has helped to make Brighton and Hove Albion a force in the Premier League. He began his professional career with Lech Poznan before the Seagulls signed him for a £6 million fee in 2020.
A defensive midfielder, Moder’s role is to link the back line to the attacking players, and he impressed in that role during his first season with Brighton. Unfortunately, a serious injury caused him to miss the whole of the 2022/23 season, and Jakub Moder continues to fight his way back to fitness in 2023/24.
A new Polish player for English fans to enjoy, Jakub Kiwior transferred to Arsenal from Italian side Spezia in January 2023. He’s primarily a centre half, but can also play as a left sided full back.
Arsenal are treating the youngster carefully and he’s yet to become a first team regular at the Emirates. It’s hoped that the club, and Gunners fans, remain patient as Kiwior has huge potential. As 2023 came to a close, Jakub Kiwior had already won 19 senior caps for his country, so it’s clear he’s a promising young player held in high regard.
Artur Boruc is another Polish goalkeeper to have played in the English Premier League. While his professional career started with local domestic side Pogon Siedice, the player made his name during a long spell with Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.
Boruc travelled south of the border in 2012 when Southampton first gave him a chance to perform in the EPL. He was a competitive and feisty character and that edge to his play made him a fans favourite at St Mary’s.
Artur Boruc was transferred to Bournemouth in 2015 and was a reliable stopper for the Cherries until 2020, when he returned to Poland to finish his playing days with Legia Warsaw.
Winger Robert Warzycha was already in England when the Premier League began in 1992. He has transferred to Everton a year earlier and his skillful play out on the right flank means that he will be fondly remembered at Goodison Park.
Warzycha claimed a notable honour when he became the first player from mainland Europe to score in the Premier League. He found the net in Everton’s second EPL game against Manchester United. He wasn’t the quickest winger or the most prolific goalscorer, but Robert Warzycha’s commitment and skills made him a favourite among the Everton faithful.
Of all the notable points to come out of this round-up, it was interesting to see how many Polish goalkeepers had made a mark on the Premier League. Maybe this country provides the type of stopper who is less flamboyant and not prone to making so many errors between the posts.
Whichever position they play in, everyone on this list has made a contribution to the Premier League since they came to England. Poland is a strong national team with a competitive squad, and EPL scouts will already be assessing the next generation of talent.