Oh Vienna! Premier League era Austrian XI after recent signings
Christian Fuchs became the third Austria international to join a Premier League club in a week when he penned a three-year deal with Leicester City.
With this influx of talent from that country, following the respective arrivals of Kevin Wimmer to Tottenham and Sebastian Prodl to Watford, Coral football experts got thinking. Can we make a whole team’s worth of Austrian players that have plied their trade in the Premier League?
It turns out we can. So, here’s a look at players past, present and future from that nation that have turned out, or will do, in England.
Former Arsenal stopper Manninger edges out ex-Sunderland counterpart Jurgen Macho for the goalie’s jersey. Whilst at Highbury, he won an FA Cup and Premier League double in 1997/98, but was behind Gunners legend David Seaman.
Defender Prodl has just arrived at Vicarage Road, and will expect to be a starter in central defence. He’s a rare right-footer at the back among Austrians that have played or will play Premier League football, though, so we’ve got him slightly out of position. Prodl is 11/10 to help the Hornets stay up next term.
Many Leeds United fans were convinced Hiden hailed from Australia, but this steady performer made an understated contribution. The first outfield Austrian player and second after keeper Manninger to play Premier League football, he assisted the Elland Road outfit in getting back into the old UEFA Cup under George Graham.
Middlesbrough performer Pogatetz spent five years at the Riverside (2005-10) and later had a brief loan spell with West Ham United (2013). Like Hiden, Manninger and Prodl above, plus others below, he went to Euro 2008 when Austria co-hosted the tournament with Switzerland.
Spurs’ new signing really stepped up at Cologne in the Bundesliga this term, and will have to do so again as Mauricio Pochettino’s team are in the Europa League next term. Tottenham will want to better a top six finish and eye Champions League football for 2016/17, and are 5/1 shots to finish in those places.
Nigel Pearson’s Foxes have recruited Fuchs as an alternative to young Jeff Schlupp and as a replacement for ageing wing back Paul Konchesky. Leicester are likely to find their second successive Premier League season something of a struggle again, however, and are 9/2 chances for relegation.
Aston Villa attacker Weimann looks set to leave the West Midlands outfit for Championship club Derby County, but has over 100 Premier League appearances to his name. He could thus be new coach Paul Clement’s first signing at Pride Park.
Utility man Scharner had seven Premier League seasons with Wigan Athletic and then West Bromwich Albion. Best known for his crazy haircuts, often reflecting his club’s colours, winning the FA Cup upon his Latics loan return was bittersweet as they were subsequently relegated.
Wingman Arnautovic has help Stoke City to steadily evolve and improve under Mark Hughes, contributing 16 assists during his two Premier League seasons so far. This form has seen him, a man infamously criticised by Jose Mourinho for his bad attitude when the pair worked together at Inter Milan in their treble winning 2009/10 campaign, emerge as a key player for club and country.
Former Sheffield Wednesday frontman Mayrleb only made three appearances for the Owls in 1998, but they all count.
Towering target man Maierhofer also kept his outings to a minimum while with Wolves in the Premier League, and endured relegation from the Championship during another brief stint at Millwall this term.