10 footballers who have played for both Man City and Chelsea

By Sameer Naik16 February 2024

10 footballers who have played for both Man City and Chelsea

Witnessing your favourite footballers join forces with your team’s arch-rivals is a heart-wrenching experience for any fan. 

Just imagine the agony Chelsea FC supporters endured when their beloved Blue, Frank Lampard, made the shocking move to Man City in 2014 during the summer transfer window. 

Now, as the Battle of the Blues looms on 17 February 2024, Showmax delves into the captivating history of players who have donned both the Chelsea and Man City jerseys in the Premier League. Stream every Premier League game live on your mobile with Showmax Premier League.

The ultimate regret: De Bruyne’s rise from Chelsea to Man City

Chelsea FC v Manchester City - Premier League Live on Showmax Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 05: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City runs at Denis Zakaria of Chelsea FC during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on January 05, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

It’s a sentiment that resonates deeply with Chelsea fans – the undeniable truth that Kevin De Bruyne’s departure from Stamford Bridge stands out as the club’s most significant transfer regret. Back in 2012, after showcasing his immense talent at Genk, De Bruyne made the move to Chelsea for a fee of €8m. However, despite his impressive performances in the Bundesliga, De Bruyne struggled to secure regular opportunities at Chelsea. Mourinho’s decision to let him go now stands as a haunting reminder of what could have been for Chelsea, a decision that has undoubtedly fuelled the rise of their fierce rivals.

Lampard’s unforgettable journey: From Chelsea legend to Manchester City marvel

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League live on Showmax Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 24: Frank Lampard of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton held at Etihad Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Frank Lampard’s legacy is forever intertwined with the hallowed grounds of Stamford Bridge, where he etched his name in footballing history like no other. When Lampard bid farewell to The Bridge, he left behind a trail of triumph, having secured an astounding 13 trophies. Yet, perhaps the most awe-inspiring testament to his prowess was his record-breaking feat as Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer, with an astonishing 210 goals in 648 games. However, the pain and heartache felt by Chelsea fans were palpable when Lampard made an unexpected move, joining rivals Manchester City on loan during the 2014/15 season after signing with MLS side New York City.

Palmer’s explosive transfer

Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC - Premier League live on Showmax Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 12: Cole Palmer of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea FC at Selhurst Park on February 12, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In a sensational twist of fate, Cole Palmer became the latest football prodigy to make a jaw-dropping move between two football powerhouses, Manchester City and Chelsea. Since donning the iconic blue jersey, the young phenom has been nothing short of extraordinary, netting an impressive 12 goals and providing nine assists for his new club. Palmer’s journey from Manchester City to Chelsea and back again is a testament to his unwavering determination and unyielding talent.

Sterling switches allegiances

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Raheem Sterling of Chelsea reacts after Matheus Cunha of Wolverhampton Wanderers (not pictured) scored their sides third goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on February 04, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

In a groundbreaking move that sent shockwaves through the footballing world, Raheem Sterling, the highly sought-after England international made his much-anticipated switch to Chelsea in the scorching summer of 2022. Having established himself as a pivotal figure at the illustrious Etihad Stadium over the course of seven remarkable seasons, the talented starlet adorned himself with four Premier League titles, a testament to his unrivaled skill and unwavering commitment. However, his debut season for the Blues has been met with unexpected challenges, as he grapples to find his footing.

Kovacic’s quest for greatness at City

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round. Stream all Premier League games live on Showmax Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Mateo Kovacic of Manchester City in action during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Mateo Kovacic bid farewell to his illustrious tenure at Stamford Bridge after an awe-inspiring five-year spell, embarking on an exhilarating new chapter with Manchester City in 2023. Leaving behind a Chelsea side that endured a challenging campaign, finishing a disappointing 12th in the Premier League, Kovacic set his sights on the Etihad Stadium, where triumph and glory have become synonymous with the sky-blue jersey.

The rise of goal-scoring phenomenon Daniel Sturridge

Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers - Premier League live on Showmax Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 13: Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge on May 13, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Daniel Sturridge, a prodigious talent, burst onto the scene at Manchester City, where his remarkable goal-scoring prowess propelled him to the forefront of footballing consciousness. His scintillating performances in the 2008 FA Youth Cup triumph showcased his immense potential, leaving fans in awe. In the summer of 2009, Sturridge embarked on a new chapter in his career, donning the iconic blue jersey of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The move proved to be a turning point for the talented forward, as he honed his skills and showcased his lethal finishing abilities.

A new dawn for Man City: Wayne Bridge’s blockbuster arrival

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League live on Showmax Premier League
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 05: Wayne Bridge of Manchester City shows his dejection during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 5, 2010 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

As the Sheikh era dawned upon Manchester City, the club wasted no time in flexing their financial muscles, embarking on a thrilling spending spree that captured the imagination of football fans worldwide. Among the marquee signings was the arrival of the talented full-back Wayne Bridge, who made the switch from Chelsea in a sensational £12 million deal. This audacious move marked the end of Bridge’s five-and-a-half-year tenure at Stamford Bridge, as he became the first signing of manager Mark Hughes during the exhilarating January transfer window of 2009.

Anelka: a journey of footballing wanderlust

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League live on Showmax Premier League
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 13: Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea celebrates scoring his teams third goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at The City of Manchester Stadium on September 13, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Nicolas Anelka, a true globetrotter of the footballing world, holds the distinction of having played for an astonishing 13 clubs throughout his illustrious 19-year career. From the hallowed grounds of Arsenal to the iconic stadiums of Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City, Anelka’s presence graced some of the biggest English clubs in the Premier League. His journey in England began at Arsenal, where he experienced early success, winning the coveted Premier League and FA Cup double in the 1997-98 season. Anelka’s talent shone brightly, earning him the prestigious PFA Young Player of the Year Award the following season.

City signs Tal Ben Haim, ending controversial stint in London

Kaiser Chiefs v Manchester City
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 25, Tinashe Negomasha is tackle by Tal Ben Haim and Shaun Wright-Phillips during the final of the 2009 Vodacom Challenge match between Kaizer Chiefs and Manchester City from Loftus Versfeld Stadium on July 25, 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

In 2008, Manchester City signed Tal Ben Haim from Chelsea after his 13-month stay in London. During his time at Chelsea, he made only 10 Premier League starts and was fined for criticising the club’s management. Ben Haim was signed by Jose Mourinho in 2007 after a successful spell with Bolton Wanderers. However, he struggled to secure a regular first-team spot at Stamford Bridge and expressed dissatisfaction with the selection policies of Mourinho’s successor, Avram Grant. He was fined two weeks’ wages for his comments.

Wright-Phillips goes back home

Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Community Shield
CARDIFF, WALES – August 7: Shaun Wright-Phillips of Chelsea FC on the ball during the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium on August 7, 2005 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Mayhew/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)

Shaun Wright-Phillips returned to his native London in 2005 after completing a £21 million move to Chelsea from Man City. He joined the club on a five-year contract. He had previously said he would not leave Man City. His appearances were initially limited, starting only 15 times for Chelsea in 2005–06 and struggling to find scoring form. Despite making few first-team appearances, Wright-Phillips maintained that he was happy at Chelsea and wanted to stay and fight for a first-team place.

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