Top Tens

Top 10 Blues & Gunners

Rate It:
  • Currently 3.68/5 Stars
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Sky Sports picks out ten players who have been on the books of both Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of Saturday's game between the teams

Arsenal take on Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Saturday in an eagerly-anticipated encounter that will have major ramifications in the battle for UEFA Champions League qualification.

It will be a special occasion for all the players but particularly so for one or two who have plied their trade with both clubs.

It is not always a popular move to link up with such a fierce rival but it does show the quality of a player if they can list both Arsenal and Chelsea on their CV.

Here, Sky Sports counts down ten players to have been on the books of both clubs.

Ashley Cole

The most famous example of recent times, Cole's switch across the capital in 2006 could hardly have been handled worse. The left-back had come through the ranks at Arsenal and enjoyed a successful start to his professional career, winning silverware with his club and breaking into the England team. Caught up in a tapping-up affair and then scathing of the Gunners in his autobiography, a deal was eventually struck for Cole to join Chelsea on transfer deadline day and he has played a key role in a golden era at Stamford Bridge.

William Gallas

The Frenchman moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006 as part of the deal that took Cole in the opposite direction, which many felt left the Gunners better off as they had also received a fee. Gallas had been an influential figure for the Blues in helping them to lift back-to-back Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho, and provided Arsenal with valuable experience. He could not inspire his new club to win any trophies but remained a solid member of the squad until talks over a new contract broke down in 2010 and he left to link up with a third London club, Tottenham.

Yossi Benayoun

The second player, along with Cole, who is currently involved with one club after playing for the other earlier in his career, although Benayoun will play no part in Saturday's Premier League meeting between the sides after joining Arsenal on loan from Chelsea last summer. The Israeli playmaker joined the Blues from Liverpool but failed to make much of an impact and has looked more suited to Arsenal's style, even if he is still not a regular starter.

Nicolas Anelka

The nomadic Anelka has had stints with many clubs during an illustrious career but he has enjoyed some of his greatest moments in London. He made his name in English football with Arsenal in the late 1990s, bursting on to the scene as a lightning-fast teenager with an eye for goal. However, his attitude did not always go down well with fans and 'Le Sulk' later headed off to Real Madrid, before eventually returning to the English capital with Chelsea in 2008. A more mature player but still effective, the Frenchman spent four fruitful years at Stamford Bridge before jetting off for his latest adventure, in China.

Lassana Diarra

A France international who currently plays for Real Madrid, it is perhaps surprising that Diarra did not make more of his spells with Chelsea or Arsenal. He was starved of opportunities at Stamford Bridge early in his career and it looked like a shrewd piece of business when Arsene Wenger snapped him up in 2007, but he lasted just a few months before being sold to Portsmouth.

Emmanuel Petit

A World Cup-winner with France, Petit and compatriot Patrick Vieira were a formidable central midfield pairing for Arsenal during the early days of Wenger's Highbury reign. They complemented each other perfectly to help the Gunners to a domestic Double in 1998, with Petit becoming a club hero in just a few years in North London. He left for Barcelona in 2000 before a year later joining Chelsea, where he would spend three seasons that were blighted by injury. Petit has recently admitted that he regrets turning down the opportunity to go to Manchester United when he decided to link up with the Blues.

George Graham

Graham is most fondly remembered at Arsenal following his success in North London but his association with Chelsea came first, as he netted 35 goals in 72 league games during a two-year period. A move to the Gunners followed in 1966 and he went on to play a starring role over the next few seasons, which included a domestic Double in 1971. The Scot returned to Arsenal when he embarked on a managerial career and enhanced his legendary status by bringing further silverware to the club.

David Rocastle

An England international and integral member of the Arsenal squad under Graham in the late 1980s and early 90s, Rocastle won two league championship medals with the Gunners as well as the League Cup. He also played for Leeds and Manchester City before linking up with Chelsea, where he was affected by injuries.

Graham Rix

Rix spent over a decade at Arsenal and racked up more than 300 appearances, combining impressively with Liam Brady in midfield and later becoming captain. He struggled to hold down a regular place in the team after being hit by Achilles tendon problems and later decided to retire in 1993 to concentrate on coaching. Having taken a job with Chelsea, he was forced back into action for a one-off match due to an injury crisis.

Steve Sidwell

A highly-rated teenager after coming through the youth ranks at Arsenal, Sidwell was expected to enjoy a prosperous career with the Gunners. However, the midfielder had to bide his time as competition for places was so fierce and, after a couple of loan spells in the lower leagues, he left Arsenal for Reading without making a breakthrough into the first team. A series of fine displays for the Royals earned him a move to Chelsea and another shot at establishing himself with a top club, but he again struggled for regular football and lasted just one season.

Related Top Tens

Top ten Arsenal-Spurs

Sky Sports counts down ten of the best North London derbies ahead of Sunday's clash.

Morris Claiborne: Dallas cornerback was the first defensive player chosen

Top 10 NFL rookies

We pick out the star pupils from the 2012 draft class, including a pair of record breaking quarterbacks.

Eric Cantona: Has provided English football with some memorable moments

Top 10 Cantona Moments

Twenty years after joining Manchester United, we look back at Eric Cantona's top 10 memorable moments.

Eden Hazard: One of the summer's most high-profile signings

Top 10 new faces

We count down 10 summer signings who will get their first taste of the Premier League this weekend.

Who will follow in Manchester United¿s footsteps by winning this season¿s Community Shield?

Top Ten Community Shield

Thomas Hill takes a look back at 10 memorable moments from Community Shields gone by.

Luka Modric: At the centre of one of the summer's biggest transfer sagas

Top 10 transfer tales

Sky Sports counts down 10 players who are attracting persistent transfer speculation this summer.

Jack Butland: Hoping to impress with Team GB at the Olympics

Top 10 ones to watch

We look at 10 footballers worth keeping an eye on at this summer's London Olympics.

Joe Cole: Believes he has unfinished business at Liverpool

Top 10 point to prove

Sky Sports takes a look at 10 players who will feel they need to impress in the Premier League.

Top 10 England v Italy

Ahead of England's Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with Italy, we look at 10 previous contests.

Top 10 Euro upsets

With Euro 2012 up and running, we take a look at the top 10 upsets in the history of the event.