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Vote: Who has been the best British export of Premier League era?

Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick against Aston Villa on Sunday made history – his tally of 177 Premier League goals is the highest number scored by a foreign player.

He has competition to be the greatest import – Henry? Zola? Bergkamp? Hazard? – but how about great British exports?

Who is the British player with the best career abroad since the Premier League began in 1992?

Have a read of our chosen shortlist, listed in alphabetical order, and put it to the vote…

Gareth Bale

Overseas clubs played for: Real Madrid

Major honours won overseas: Champions League (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), La Liga (2016-17), Copa del Rey (2014), Uefa Super Cup (2014, 2016, 2017), Club World Cup (2014, 2017, 2018)

Why him? His future in Madrid remains in the balance and he may even prefer golf – but you simply cannot argue with Gareth Bale’s haul of medals in Spain. Only 11 players have won more than his four Champions League titles and he has scored in two finals.

He has scored 80 league goals in 167 games for the club. Not too shabby.

David Beckham

Overseas clubs played for: Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan, Paris St-Germain

Major honours won overseas: La Liga (2006-07), MLS Cup (2011, 2012), Ligue 1 (2012-13)

Why him? A title winner in four countries and on two continents, David Beckham was part of a team of Galacticos at Real including Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo but only won the title in his final season in Spain. LA Galaxy changed their badge and the colour of their kit when he arrived to fit in with his image and he delivered two titles in his time before short spells with both AC Milan and PSG ended his career.

John Collins

Overseas clubs played for: Monaco

Major honours won overseas: Ligue 1 (1996-97)

Why him? The classy Scottish midfielder won the French title with Monaco and then went all the way to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 1998 alongside the core of that summer’s World Cup-winning French side in Barthez, Sagnol, Trezeguet and Henry.

Paul Gascoigne

Overseas clubs played for: Lazio, Gansu Tianma

Major honours won overseas: None

Why him? OK, so he didn’t win anything at Lazio, but just think of the profile Paul Gascoigne’s move to Serie A gave the game in the UK. James Richardson, coffee shops, La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Was injured for large periods of his time in Rome but scored a crucial goal against rivals Roma and remains popular with fans – “Welcome back Gazza. Lionheart, headstrong, pure talent, real man: still our hero,” read a banner when he attended a Lazio v Spurs game in 2012.

Owen Hargreaves

Overseas clubs played for: Bayern Munich

Major honours won overseas: Champions League (2001), Bundesliga (2001, 2003, 2005, 2006), German Cup (2003, 2005, 2006), Intercontinental Cup (2001).

Why him? Can an export be an export if they play in Europe before the Premier League? A grey area. But in terms of England internationals playing in Europe not many players have won more than Owen Hargreaves.

Spent a dominant decade at Bayern Munich before coming to Manchester United and winning the Champions League for a second time. A key player for England under Sven-Goran Eriksson, and would have won more caps and honours had it not been for injury.

Paul Lambert

Overseas clubs played for: Borussia Dortmund

Major honours won overseas: Champions League (1997)

Why him? A surprise capture from Motherwell in 1996, Lambert was signed by Borussia Dortmund following strong performances against the club previously in the Uefa Cup.

Lambert instantly proved a key figure for Dortmund under Ottmar Hitzfeld, and produced a man-of-the-match display in the biggest game of his club career as the German side stunned Juventus to win the Champions League.

Lambert – the first British player to win the European Cup with a non-British side – set up Karl-Heinz Riedle for the opening goal, but even more impressive was the man marking job he did on Zinedine Zidane.

Steve McManaman

Overseas clubs played for: Real Madrid

Major honours won overseas: Champions League (2000, 2002), La Liga (2001, 2003), Uefa Super Cup (2002)

Why him? Often overlooked, it’s easy to forget just how good a player Steve McManaman was. A key player at Euro 96, he was versatile enough to play right across midfield and was superb with the ball at his feet at times. Liverpool failed to offer him a good enough deal to stay and he became a high-profile free transfer to Real Madrid in 1999.

The first Premier League player to play for Real, McManaman was a huge success despite nearly being sold on after his first 12 months – scoring in a Champions League final and helping Real win the trophy twice.

Michael Owen

Overseas clubs played for: Real Madrid

Major honours won overseas: None

Why him? Another player to go from Liverpool to Real – Michael Owen never reached the same heights as Steve McManaman. Managed a very respectable haul of 16 goals in all competitions in just 26 starts but was never first choice and moved back to England after just a year.

David Platt

Overseas clubs played for: Bari, Juventus, Sampdoria

Major honours won overseas: Uefa Cup (1993), Coppa Italia (1994)

Why him? A pioneer? David Platt joined Bari before the Premier League era began but spent four years in total in Serie A, racking up transfer fees totalling £17.2m – which was enormous in the early 1990s.

Scored goals wherever he went and managed in Italy too – albeit only for six games.

Jadon Sancho

Overseas clubs played for: Borussia Dortmund

Major honours won overseas: None

Why him? It’s early days but Jadon Sancho is also a bit of a pioneer. One of the first young English players to look at a move abroad instead of sitting in Manchester City’s academy, the Bundesliga gamble has certainly paid off.

Still only 19, Sancho has become a regular for England and with 22 goals in 61 league games for Dortmund he is one of the hottest properties in world football at the moment.

Also under consideration…

Paul Ince had two good years at Inter Milan in the mid-1990s without winning a medal, while current Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate was a big-money signing for Real Madrid in 2004 but struggled through injury.

Could Aaron Ramsey join the list of British players to win the Champions League overseas? Playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo can only help, with the Welshman’s Juventus side up against Lyon in the last 16.

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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