Serbia has produced just a few Premier League players across the history of the division, but there have been some high quality individuals in the English top flight. Of those that have played here, this is a list of the best Serbians to have featured in the EPL.
Top 10 Serbian Players in the EPL History
Nemanja Vidic was an influential player for Manchester United over eight years. The centre half joined the club from Spartak Moscow in 2006 and quickly adapted to the faster pace of the English game.
Vidic was a commanding figure in the heart of the United defence and he proved to be a natural leader. He was made captain of the team by Sir Alex Ferguson and the Serbian international was present for many successful campaigns. Nemanja Vidic won 15 major trophies at Manchester United including the Champions League and five Premier League medals, He’s also one of just four players to have won the EPL Player of the Year Award twice.
Serbian International striker Aleksandar Mitrovic first played in the Premier League with Newcastle United, but he’ll mostly be remembered for his time at Fulham. He joined Newcastle from Anderlecht in 2015, and featured in 65 EPL games for the Magpies.
Mitrovic wasn’t always a first team regular at St James’s Park, and he eventually joined Fulham after an initial loan deal. The striker was more productive at Craven Cottage, and he was especially prolific when the club were in the Championship.
Aleksandar Mitrovic proved that he could be a force in the top tier when he scored 14 goals in just 24 games in the 2022/23 Premier League season. In total, he scored 128 goals in English football for his two clubs.
Savo Milosevic was one of the first Serbians to make an impact on the Premier League. The striker joined Aston Villa from Partizan Belgrade in 1995, and he spent three years at the Midlands club.
A big target man, Milosevic could suffer goal droughts at times, but he made some important scoring contributions. He was on target when Villa beat Leeds United in the 1996 League Cup Final, and that was his only major honour in England. Savo Milosevic scored 29 goals in 90 League games before joining Real Zaragoza in 1998.
An important figure for Southampton over four years, attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic’s goals and assists help the Saints to survive in the Premier League. He joined the South Coast club from Dutch side FC Twente in 2014 and featured in 31 league games in his first full season.
Tadic played as a second forward, so he wasn’t the main target man at the club, but he did contribute useful goals. Some spectacular strikes and clever link up play make him one of the best Serbians to play in the Premier League. When the time came to leave Southampton, there were rumours of a switch to another English side, but Dusan Tadic returned to the Netherlands in 2018 with Ajax.
English fans didn’t get to see the best of Mateja Kezman during his time in the Premier League. The Serbian international came with a big reputation when he joined Chelsea from PSV Eindhoven in 2004.
Kezman had averaged almost a goal per game in the Netherlands, but he couldn’t replicate those numbers in the EPL. Chelsea saw flashes of his brilliance, but his return of seven goals in 41 games across all competitions was a huge disappointment. He did pick up a Premier League winner’s medal in his solitary season in England before leaving for Atletico Madrid in 2005.
His overall career record means that Mateja Kezman was one of the best Serbian players to feature in the EPL, even though he couldn’t show his best form in England.
Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic played for two Premier League clubs. He first joined Chelsea from FC Kosice in 2009, but made only three appearances before being sold on to Benfica two years later. After proving himself in Portugal, Chelsea decided to give Matic another chance, and he returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014.
By this time, he was more of a complete player and would instantly become a first choice in his left sided midfield position. Matic was strong, composed on the ball and returned excellent statistics in terms of passing and tackling. During his second spell with Chelsea, Nemanja Matic won two Premier League titles. He made a surprise switch to Manchester United in 2017 and, while his good form continued, he didn’t win another trophy in England.
A left back who spent seven years with Manchester City, Aleksandar Kolarov became one of the most reliable defenders in the Premier League from any nation. He arrived at The Etihad after impressing in Serie A with Lazio and he instantly became a hit with the City faithful.
Kolarov was mainly deployed on the left side of defence, but he could also play across the back four. He wasn’t the fastest in his position, but his strong tackling and accurate passing compensated for any lack of speed.
The Serbian international also enjoyed plenty of success in England. While with Manchester City, Aleksandar Kolarov won six major trophies, including two Premier League titles.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic is one of the longest serving Serbian players in the Premier League. He joined Chelsea from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2007, and he would stay with the West London club until 2016. In a team with a high turnover of players, that’s quite an achievement.
Ivanovic was a hugely reliable defender during his nine years at Chelsea, and he rarely missed games through injury. He was also highly successful, winning ten major trophies, including three Premier League titles, and the Champions League in 2012.
He left for Zenit St Petersburg but, before he retired, Branislav Ivanovic had a brief spell back in the Premier League with West Brom in 2020/21.
A midfielder who was also a reliable penalty taker, Luka Milivojevic became a fans favourite at Crystal Palace between 2017 and 2023. He had been something of a journeyman when he arrived at Selhurst Park from Olimpiacos, having previously played for five professional teams.
A man who could link defence into attack impressively, Milivojevic’s accuracy and skill from the penalty spot contributed to a total of 29 goals in his seven seasons with Palace. He wasn’t playing for one of the most fashionable clubs in the division, but his efforts kept Crystal Palace out of trouble and maintained their status as a Premier League outfit.
The only Serbian player on this list who is still active in the EPL at the time of writing, Sasa Lukic has already done enough to make an impression. A defensive midfielder, he signed for Fulham from Torino in 2023, and has quickly established himself as an important part of the Cottagers’ squad.
Lukic is contracted to Fulham until 2027, and there is much more to come from this talented Serbian international.
All players on this list made a serious impression on the Premier League. Some were highly successful and earned the rewards that their talent deserved, while others left English football without a trophy.
Each one made their mark, but which Serbs will follow and become exceptional players in the EPL?