Serie A has twenty teams with a total of over 550 registered players. Over three hundred of these are listed as overseas players, around 56%. The English Premier League also has 20 teams with a total of around 515 registered players. No less than 331 of these are listed as overseas players, around 64%. Yet remarkably, there is very little in the way of exchange between the two, with just three Italians active in the Premier League and just four English players working in Serie A.
The Premier League has 32 players from France and 30 from Spain. There are even 23 players from Brazil playing their football in England. Yet just three Italians play regularly in the league, with two more registered but out on loan, one of whom ironically plays for Italian club Juventus. Let’s take a look at the Italians playing in England and their counterparts playing in Italy.
Italians in the Premier League
Jorge Luiz Frello Filho, better known as Jorginho plays midfield for title chasers Chelsea. He has been a regular Premier League player since 2018 and could be collecting silverware this season with Chelsea amongst the favourites for the title according to Unibet odds. He has made over 100 appearances for the London side, following 133 starts for Napoli. He has also played for the Italian national team forty times, scoring five international goals.
Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini is currently on loan from Atalanta to Tottenham Hotspur. He made 89 appearances for Atalanta and has played once for Italy, but he has yet to make his mark at Spurs. Gollini is well travelled for such a young player, having spent his early years at the Manchester United Academy.
Completing the Italian trio is centre-back Angelo Ogbonna, who currently plays for West Ham. A regular in the Hammers’ side, he has made over 170 appearances for the club, as well as 13 for Italy. He began his career at Torino, where he made 150 starts.
Emerson Palmieri dos Santos and Moise Kean are also on the roster at Premier League clubs, but they are currently on loan. Brazilian-born dos Santos played 15 times for Brazil U17s before switching allegiances to Italy, for whom he has played 23 times. He is currently on loan to Ligue 1 club Lyon. Kean played for Juventus before moving to Everton, only to be loaned back to the Italian club.
English players in Serie A
Of the five English players currently registered with Serie A sides, only three of them were born in England. AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori was born in Canada and Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Viera was born in Guinea Bissau. Both are now part of the English national side, with Tomori playing twice and Viera working his way up through the youth structure. Viera is currently on loan at Hellas Verona.
Roma striker Tammy Abraham started his career with 21 goals in 58 games for Chelsea before a number of loan spells. He moved to Roma this year for €49m. He joined fellow Englishman Chris Smalling who spent almost a decade at Manchester United before a loan spell to Roma became a permanent move.
After a long spell in the Spurs youth system, Luis Spinks was unable to break into the senior side, moving to Montreal Impact in 2020. He was signed by Bologna, but loaned back to Canada, where he currently plays for CF Montreal.
There is even less of a cultural exchange between Italy and England when it comes to managers, with no English managers currently working in Serie A and just two working in the Premier League. Watford manager Claudio Ranieri has been a feature at several Italian clubs, including Roma, Sampdoria, Juventus and Napoli, and played for Roma as his first club. New Spurs manager Antonio Conte also has history at home, winning Serie A three times with Juventus and managing the national side from 2014-16.