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Arsenal and Manchester City, two Premier League heavyweights are set to face each other not once, but twice in the upcoming week. The first meeting between the two will be the League Cup final on Sunday which will be followed by an important Premier League clash on Thursday night at the Emirates Stadium. Here, we list down five players who went on to play for both Arsenal and Manchester City during their respective Premier League careers.
While Arsenal dominated the top tiers of English Premier League in the first decade of this century, it is the ultra rich Manchester City who have overtaken the Gunners in recent years and have emerged as the team to beat in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s City team has been in impeccable domestic form this season and Arsenal will have their task cut out if they are to win the League Cup and push the runaway leaders in the Premier League later.
This modern-day rivalry has also been spiced up by the fact that Manchester City have poached plenty of players from Arsene Wenger’s side in the last few years with Arsenal making a bad habbit of selling some of their best players to the both halves of Manchester.
5 Players who played for both Arsenal and Manchester City in their Premier League careers:
1. Samir Nasri
After joining Arsenal from Marseille in the summer of 2008, Nasri was quick to establish himself as one of the stars for Arsene Wenger’s side and made a name for himself as a proven Premier League performer. Having spent three full seasons at the Emirates Stadium, the French winger admitted that he had become frustrated at the lack of silverware on offer at Arsenal and stated his desire to leave the club.
As a result, when the newly-rich Manchester City came in for him, Nasri jumped at the chance to make a move to the blue half of Manchester and joined Roberto Mancini’s side on the deadline day in August 2011. After being compared to Zinedine Zidane in his early years, the midfielder weaved between awesome and AWOL at the Emirates and – for all his wild talent – Nasri was also frustratingly inconsistent for City. Having won two Premier League titles at the club, the Frenchman was shipped out on loan to Sevilla in 2016 before being permanently offloaded to Turkish club Antalyaspor in the 2017 summer window.
2. Gael Clichy
Like compatriot Nasri, left-back Clichy was one of the many French players who were signed by Arsene Wenger in the first decade of the 21st century. Signed in 2003 from Cannes for a meager fee, Clichy was a part of the Gunners’ ‘Invincibles’ season and quickly established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League during his eight years at the club.
With Kieran Gibbs coming in through the ranks and Manchester City making a move for him, Arsenal were quick to cash in on Clichy and sold him to the Citizens in July 2011. The full back left Arsenal with a brazen dig at the Gunners’ failure to compete for silverware – ‘I wanted to play for a club that would win (titles)’ – after eight years in north London. And his decision certainly paid dividends. He claimed two Premier League titles in his six years City and was eventually moved on to Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir when his contract expired last summer.
3. Kolo Toure
Kolo Toure is a man who has held cult hero status at all three of his Premier League clubs and was part an integral part of the Arsenal Invincibles, forming a solid central defensive partnership with Sol Campbell at Highbury. Having been a loyal servant for seven years, it was particularly tough and painful for Arsenal fans when Toure announced that he had become disillusioned at the club and handed in a transfer request in January 2009.
Eventually, the then Ivory Coast international moved to City in the summer of 2009. During his time at the Etihad, the Ivorian flitted between the good, the bad and the ugly. He won a Premier League title and the FA Cup as well as being named club captain but also served a six-month ban ban for failing a drugs test. Toure also spent some time at Liverpool and Celtic before announcing his retirement and taking up a coaching role with the latter last summer.
4. Bacary Sagna
Yet another French player who features on this list is Bacary Sagna. Starting his senior professional career at Auxerre, Sagna established himself as one of the best full backs of the French top tier and thus became dubbed “Mr. Reliable” by the club’s fans. He was soon spotted and signed by Arsene Wenger in July 2007. As was expected, the right-back was his usual consistent self during his seven years at the Emirates stadium and was widely regarded as the best right-back in the country during this period.
After his contract expired in June 2014, the Frenchman quit the Gunners and sealed a free transfer to the Etihad. Sagna marked his final game for the Gunners with an FA Cup winners’ medal and left the club on good terms where there were no hard feelings between him and the club’s supporters. The right-back failed to make the same impact at City as he managed at Arsenal and is now playing for Benevento Calcio in the Italian Serie A.
5. Emmanuel Adebayor
Having been impressed by his time at Monaco, Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor was brought in by Arsenal in the 2006 winter transfer window for a reported £3 million and was given the nickname “Baby Kanu” due to his resemblance to former Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu, whom Adebayor had idolised as a youth. During his three and a half years at the club, Adebayor became a fan favourite and was a consistent goal-scorer for the club.
In the summer of 2009, Adebayor signed a five-year contract with Manchester City for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of £25 million. His departure from Arsenal was an acrimonious one and he certainly fanned the flames when he infamously ran the length on the pitch to taunt his former fans, after he marked his first appearance against his old side with a vital goal for City. However, this now infamous episode apart, the Togo international actually struggled to live up to his hefty transfer fee at the Etihad, and ended up leaving after a series of controversial incidents.