The 2017/18 Premier League season has now entered its business end and the upcoming weekend will see Tottenham and Arsenal – two ever-present forces in the league two eternal rivals – face off against each other in the season’s second North London derby, which is the name of the rival football culture between the North London based teams – Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. We take a look at 5 players who have played for both teams in their illustrious careers.
While the rivalry between these two clubs generally used to be a one-sided affair with Arsenal claiming the bragging rights in North London, the tables have certainly turned in the recent years with Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs emerging as a heavyweight Premier League club now.
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners came out on top 2-0 when the sides met earlier in the season at the Emirates Stadium in November last year. Tottenham have beaten Manchester United and drawn at Liverpool in their last two league outings and will be looking to avenge their derby defeat this time around.
Despite the intense rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal, there are a few players who have crossed the North London divide and played for both these clubs over the years. Here, we list down five such names:
1. Emmanuel Adebayor (Striker)
The Togo-international striker started his professional senior career with FC Metz in France and moved to Arsenal in a reported £3 million in January 2006. He was given the nickname “Baby Kanu” due to his resemblance to former Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu, whom Adebayor had idolised as a youth.
Adebayor spent three years with the Gunners and made 104 appearances for the club, scoring 46 goals in the process. The striker was also a constant thorn for Tottenham during his time at the Emirates Stadium. Subsequently, after failed moves to Manchester City and Real Madrid, Adebayor joined Tottenham in August 2011, and successfully played for both the rival teams. He scored 35 goals in 92 appearances during his time at Spurs.
2. William Gallas (Defender)
French defender William Gallas is among those rare players who have played for three London clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Gallas moved from Chelsea to Arsenal in a swap deal involving English left-back Ashley Cole right after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The central defender made over a 100 appearances for the Gunners and was so impressive during his time at the club that Arsene Wenger handed him the captains’ armband after Thierry Henry’s departure from the club in 2007. After being released by Arsenal in the summer of 2010, Gallas decided to join arch-rivals Tottenham with then Spurs manager Harry Redknapp announcing his arrival at the club.
3. Sol Campbell (Defender)
While William Gallas moved from Arsenal to Tottenham, Sol Campbell did the opposite during his career. After coming through the ranks at Spurs, Campbell quickly established himself in their first team and was also appointed as the club captain at the young age of 23. The English centre-back was a defensive rock in the Spurs backline but eventually became frustrated with the lack of ambition and success at the club.
So when the opportunity presented itself, Campbell made the highly controversial move to Arsenal in the summer of 2001 on a free transfer. Despite being criticized and abused by the Tottenham fans who considered him a traitor, Campbell enjoyed huge success at Arsenal. The former England international, who played for both the rival clubs, even won two Premier League titles and scored in one Champions League Final.
4. Pat Jennings (Goalkeeper)
The Norther Ireland goalkeeper joined Tottenham as a teenager at the age of 19 and went on to become a legend at White Hart Lane, raking in more than 500 appearances at the club. Jennings spent nearly 13 years at Spurs between 1964 and 1977, winning the FA Cup in 1967 and the League Cup in 1971.
After being deemed surplus to requirements at Tottenham, Jennings moved to their derby rivals Arsenal in the summer of 1977. The goalkeeper went on to prove his doubters wrong at Arsenal and made 237 further appearances for the Gunners. Post his spell at Highbury, he re-joined Spurs but did not play any more games for the club, however, ending up as a rare player who has played for both the teams.
5. David Bentley (Attacking Midfielder)
David Bentley started his career as a teenager at the Arsenal academy and graduated to the Gunners’ first team but was limited to making only 9 senior appearances for the club, one of which came in the famous ‘Invincibles’ season. Post his time at Arsenal, Bentley spent two seasons on loan with Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers and sealed a permanent transfer to Rovers in January 2006.
Bentley’s performances for Blackburn Rovers were so good that he eventually earned himself a move to the Tottenham Hotspur – the other side of North London. The attacking midfielder spent five years at Spurs after joining them in 2008, but his time there was marred by injuries and other off-field issues. After few more loan spells, Bentley’s career fell apart and announced his retirement in 2014, at the age of just 29, after having played for both the teams.