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Top 5 footballers to have played for Chelsea & Manchester City

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Ahead of the upcoming showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City, we give you the top 5 footballers to play for both Premier League giants.

Manchester City and Chelsea meet at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday for another Premier League match.

So ahead of the latest showdown between these two English giants, Ace Football gives you the top 5 footballers to have played for both clubs.

5. Daniel Sturridge

A graduate of Manchester City’s youth academy making this list is Sturridge, who made 32 appearances for the first team.

A lack of regular football at the Etihad Stadium, however, prompted Sturridge to join Chelsea in 2009 for €7.25m. A Premier League title, two FA Cups, and the Champions League all came his way.

But while trophies weren’t amiss for the Englishman in London, he never truly established himself as a starter. Therefore, he left for Liverpool in 2013 and became arguably one of the best strikers in the league.

A series of unfortunate injuries, however, ruined Sturridge’s career. He’s currently a free agent after leaving Australian club Perth Glory in July 2022.

4. Mateo Kovacic

Mateo Kovacic has practically been everywhere and done it all.

The Croatian midfielder has a remarkable CV. He has played in five countries and for some of the biggest clubs in history, including Inter Milan and Real Madrid. So, it’s no surprise that both Chelsea and Manchester City have snapped up this talent.

Kovacic first played for Chelsea in England, joining the Blues from Real Madrid in 2018. He made 221 appearances for the club and six trophies. Among these titles were the Champions League and Europa League. He left the London side to join City in a €29.10 million deal in 2023 and become a regular in Pep Guardiola’s team.

3. Nicolas Anelka

The French striker’s longest spells in football were with both Manchester City and Chelsea during his nomadic career, which saw him play for 12 different clubs across the world.

After rising to prominence at Arsenal, Anelka’s career crashed at Real Madrid. Further spells with PSG and Liverpool failed to reboot his career, leaving him to join the newly-promoted Man City in 2002.

Anelka had a decent two-and-a-half-year stay in Manchester, scoring 46 goals in 102 games. He later played for Fenerbahce and Bolton before securing an €18m transfer to Chelsea in 2008.

The Frenchman became a Premier League, FA Cup, and Golden Boot winner at Stamford Bridge. Although fans will probably best remember him for missing the decisive penalty in the 2008 Champions League final.

Anelka retired in January 2016 following further spells with Shanghai Shenhua, Juventus, West Brom, and Mumbai City.

2. Kevin De Bruyne

Upon establishing himself as a star for the future at Genk, De Bruyne joined Chelsea in 2012 for €8m. He then spent the following season on loan at Werder Bremen before officially linking up with the Blues.

Despite his impressive exploits in the Bundesliga, however, De Bruyne struggled for chances at Chelsea. Just nine appearances came his way, including five as a starter. Therefore, Jose Mourinho allowed him to join Wolfsburg in January 2014 for €22m.

A €14m profit didn’t sound like a bad deal for Chelsea at the time. But in hindsight, this was a terrible decision on Mourinho’s behalf.

De Bruyne has not only become one of the world’s best midfielders but he’s helped rivals Manchester City win numerous Premier League titles since returning to England a year later.

1. Frank Lampard

The former Chelsea manager enjoyed a prestigious playing career of his own, scoring many long-range screamers and being voted Premier League Player of the Year in 2004/05. He even finished top of the assists charts three times.

Lampard’s legacy will forever be tied to Stamford Bridge, where he established himself like none other before him. The midfielder not only became one of the world’s best footballers but was pivotal in Chelsea’s rise to greatness in the 21st century.

By the time Lampard finally left The Bridge, he had won 13 trophies including three Premier League titles, the Champions League, and the Europa League.

Finishing as the Blues’ record scorer of 210 goals in 648 games was perhaps the ultimate tribute to his ability as a player.

Despite immediately signing for MLS side New York City, Lampard spent the 2014/15 season on loan at sister club Manchester City. He even memorably scored against Chelsea but refused to celebrate.

The Englishman returned to New York afterward to see out the final two years of his career.