In recent years, Switzerland have climbed the FIFA rankings to become one of the most competitive teams in world football. The national side has been a regular feature at major tournaments, and they always travel with a talented squad.
Much of that talent has captured the attention of scouts from top European clubs, and many Swiss players have made their way to the Premier League. Here are some of the best names to have featured in the EPL.
The Best Swiss Players in the EPL history
Former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka holds the record for most senior appearances for the Swiss side. At the end of 2023, the midfielder had 121 caps, and has time to add more.
Xhaka spent seven years in the Premier League, joining Arsenal from Borussia Moenchengladbach in 2016. He was a tough tackling midfielder, linking defence into attack, and his period in England was successful. With Arsenal, Granit Xhaka won the FA Cup twice and the Community Shield on two further occasions.
Winger Xherdan Shaqiri’s move to Stoke City in 2015 came as a surprise. The Potters were an unfashionable side, and the Swiss international had played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. He shone at Stoke, displaying his natural talent in three seasons with the team.
Shaqiri couldn’t prevent the Potters from dropping to the Championship in 2018 and switched to Liverpool. He was a regular starter in his first campaign at Anfield, but injury hampered his progress in the following term. While he played only seven league games in the campaign, Xherdan Shaqiri claimed an EPL winners medal with Liverpool in 2019/20.
Stephane Henchoz is another Swiss player to have earned major honours with Liverpool. He arrived in English football from Blackburn Rovers, who signed the defender from SV Hamburg in 1997.
He spent two years at Ewood Park, where his reliability in the back line persuaded Liverpool to pay £3.5 million for his services. The next six years were the most successful of Stephane Henchoz’s career. He won five major trophies with the Reds, including the FA Cup in 2001, and the UEFA Cup in the same year.
Gokhan Inler is another Swiss player who claimed a Premier League title, but didn’t work too hard to get it. The defensive midfielder was part of the Leicester City side that won the EPL in 2015/16, and Inler has a winner’s medal, despite only playing five games.
The player joined Leicester from Napoli in 2015, and it’s a surprise that he wasn’t used more. He was one of Switzerland’s most influential players at the time but was moved on to Turkish side Besiktas after just one season.
Centre half Philippe Senderos played for four Premier League teams in his career. He was a tall defender, commanding in the air, who earned over 50 caps for the Swiss national team.
Senderos will mostly be remembered for his time with Arsenal. He joined the Gunners in 2003 and stayed at the club for seven years. After a brief loan spell with Everton, the defender crossed London to play for Fulham between 2010 and 2014. His last spell in England saw him play eight EPL games for Aston Villa. Philippe Senderos won the FA Cup and Community Shield while with Arsenal.
Johan Djorou was a teammate of Philippe Senderos at Arsenal for a time. The centre half played in a defensive line alongside his Swiss compatriot, after making his debut in 2004.
Djorou was another tall and physically strong defender. He was an impressive player when on form, but could be inconsistent. He made just 86 appearances for Arsenal in nine seasons, and had a brief loan spell with EPL side Birmingham City.
Defender Fabian Schar flew the flag for Swiss players in the 2023/24 season. The centre half joined Newcastle United from Deportivo La Coruna in 2018, and he remains an important member of the Magpies squad.
Schar is reliable in the back four and has now established himself as one of the first names on the Newcastle teamsheet. He’s also an attacking threat from set-pieces, and Fabian Schar has scored some important goals in his time in the Premier League.
A versatile defender, Manuel Akanji can play at centre half or full back. He became a part of the successful Manchester City squad when he crossed to the Etihad from Borussia Dortmund in 2022.
He possesses speed and skill, but is also tough in the tackle. Akanji won five major trophies, including the Premier League in 2023, and he’ll be aiming for more honours with Manchester City.
Midfielder Valon Behrami played for no fewer than 13 clubs in a long career and featured for two English sides. He joined West Ham United from Lazio in 2008, and stayed at Upton Park for three years.
Later on, Behrami also played for two Premier League seasons at Watford. His experience and quality was appreciated by fans, and he is the only Swiss player to feature in four consecutive World Cups from 2006 to 2018.
Centre half Ramon Vega played for two English clubs, but his only spell in the Premier League came with Tottenham Hotspur. The Swiss international joined Spurs from Cagliari in 1996 and stayed in North London for five years.
While he could be an effective defender when given a run in the side, Vega was primarily used as a backup, and his form was inconsistent. He was a committed player, but was unfortunate to break an ankle in the 1999 EFL Cup final win over Leicester City. He struggled to return to the side and was sold to First Division club Watford in 2001.
The English Premier League has seen a good mix of Swiss talent, and some of the country’s most gifted players have been involved here. Some have won major honours, including the EPL title.
The door is always open for more Swiss internationals to join up, so who will be next to make their mark on England’s top division?