Arsenal's Bergkamp & Henry & The 8 Best Serie A Imports

Spending big on players from Serie A can be a minefield. Shevchenko, Aquilani and Veron- names Daniel Levy wont want to hear this week. With that in mind here are the 10 best imports to the Premier League from the Italian top-flight.
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Spending big on players from Serie A can be a minefield. Shevchenko, Aquilani and Veron- names Daniel Levy wont want to hear this week. With that in mind here are the 10 best imports to the Premier League from the Italian top-flight.

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Arsenal's Bergkamp & Henry & The 8 Best Serie A Imports...

1.Erik Lamela (Roma To Spurs): Okay, so he’s yet to kick a ball for Tottenham, however there’s every chance the Argentine international could go on to join the pantheon of Premier League greats who made the move to England from Serie A. The 21-year-old, touted at Roma as the ‘heir to Totti’, has fantastic dribbling and counter-attacking ability and with 11 assists in the last two seasons Lamela has become one of the brightest attacking prospects in Europe. While Spurs missed out to Chelsea on winger Willian, the failed move may play to Tottenham's advantage as Lamela has a greater eye for goal than his Brazilian alternative. Scoring 15 times last term, Lamela's goal input should help Spurs come to terms with the loss of Gareth Bale's name on the score sheet; speaking of whom, Erik may want to reconsider that goal celebration...

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2.Thierry Henry (Juventus To Arsenal): Possibly the best Premier League player of all time? Debateable; what is not debateable is that Arsenal got every penny’s worth of the £11 million they forked out to Juventus when they brought the Frenchman in at the beginning of the 1999-2000 campaign. While Henry failed out on the wing for Juve, he excelled in the more central role given to him by Arsene Wenger, scoring 26 goals in his first season. Henry became the fulcrum of an Arsenal side which beat Man United to the title in 2001-02 and again in 2003-04 as part of Arsenal's famous 'Invincibles'. To look at Henry's stats and his record breaking 228 goals,doesn't do the man justice. He looked, at times, to be playing a different game to everyone else. Note Dennis Irwin's face as he hits this...


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3: Gianfranco Zola (Parma To Chelsea): Though, not unlike the English, most Italian footballers choose to spend their careers at home, Gianfranco Zola chose to move to Chelsea from Parma in 1996… and thank God. The diminutive forward scored some of the Premier League’s most memorable goals (including *that* backheel), won the Football Writer’s Award for player of the year in 1997 and was voted Chelsea’s best player of all time in the process.

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4. Dennis Bergkamp (Inter To Arsenal): Along with Cantona, Bergkamp is probably the most influential foreign signing English football has known.  After a disappointing two years at Inter, Bergkamp moved to Highbury and helped kick-start a progressive football revolution at Arsenal returning the club to the pinnacle of English football. While his 22 goals helped fire the Gunners to a domestic double in '98, it was the influence of Bergkamp's technical ability and style of play on those around him rather than his goal tally which would define Arsenal for years to come.

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5. Edwin Van Der Sar (Juventus To Fulham): As a surging Fulham returned to the top-flight in 2001, Al-Fayed’s millions brought in a whole host of names, however it would be Edwin Van Der Sar arriving from Juventus for £7 million who would prove the key man for The Cottagers over the coming seasons. The big Dutchman helped Fulham maintain their Premier League status for the following 4 years before earning himself a move to perennial champions Man United, eventually capturing himself 4 Premier League winners medals and lifting the Champions League Trophy.

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6. Fabrizio Ravenelli (Juventus To Middlesbrough): Whilst he only remained at Middlesborough for a season, the white-haired Italian had a profound impact on the Premier League following a £7 million pound move from Juventus.  Ravanelli helped fire Boro to League and FA Cup finals in 1997 with 17 goals along the way. Quite how Boro were relegated that year remains a mystery, but the shocking white hair and that howitzer of a left foot will remain engrained in the memory of English football fans for years to come...

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7. Marcel Desailly (Milan To Chelsea): After winning pretty much everything with AC Milan in the 90’s, Desailly moved to Chelsea in 1998, where he spent a happy six years captaining the Blues, appearing 222 times and thwarting Premier League strikers alongside partner-in-crime Frank Lebeouf. Surely one of the greatest defenders ever to grace the Premier League, Desailly won an impressive 74 caps for his country whilst at Chelsea- a record only surpassed by Frank Lampard. Along with winning an F.A cup with the Blues during more humble financial times, Desailly  surely deserves credit in part for the early development of John Terry, the pair playing together until Desailly left in 2004.

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8. Gianluca Vialli (Juventus To Chelsea): Vialli’s makes this list on merit, but also because there needs to be more player-managers in the world. Joining Ruud Gullit’s Chelsea in 1996, Vialli bagged 40 times for the Blues in three seasons, however it was the striker's determination, willingness to track back and commitment to the cause which won hearts at Stamford Bridge. Despite his playing achievements it would be his managerial exploits that would send him down in Chelsea folklore. Without the billions of Abramovic the bald-headed Italian won the Cup Winners Cup and Coca Cola cup in his first season in charge at The Bridge; and all whilst wearing his shin pads.

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9. Benito Carbone (Inter To Sheffield Wednesday): Carbone’s 3 year spell at Sheffield Wednesday following a £3 million move from Inter must’ve felt like a lifetime for the forward. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable- the forward found his best form at Hillsborough, scoring 25 times- but playing for a total of 16 other clubs throughout his career, it’s safe to say it was the closest he got to a testimonial. Carbone, alongside Di Canio provided the Wednesday faithful with tricks, flicks and extra bit of flair that have seen him remembered as a true great for the club.

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10. Stefano Eranio (Milan To Derby County): After winning 3 league titles and reaching two Champions League finals with Milan, there really is only one place to go… Derby, obviously. In all seriousness though, Derby’s capture of Eranio, on a free transfer no less, must be considered one of the greatest bits of business the Premier League has ever seen. Known for his ball control and incredible passing range Eranio, like Carboni managed to make an impact on the club in such a short space of time, the midfielder going on to appear in Derby's all-time greatest XI despite only 4 seasons with the club.