Jose Mourinho led Manchester United will welcome defending Premier League champions Chelsea to the Old Trafford Stadium hoping to move 6 points clear of the Blues and strengthening their position in the top 4. Antonio Conte‘s team, on the other hand, has come under a lot of criticism off late, however, a win in their next match could move them 2nd in the points table with their opposition of the day. Prior to big kick-off on 25 February (Sunday) we take a look at the top 5 players who have played for both Chelsea and Manchester United.
5 Players who have played for both Chelsea and Manchester United in their Premier League career:
1. Nemanja Matic
Serbian international Nemanja Matic has had a quite unsettling professional career. He was signed by Chelsea first in 2009 before he was sold in 2011 in a swap deal with Benfica that included David Luiz. He was hugely impressive for the Portuguese side, hence Chelsea decided to bring in him back to Stamford Bridge for £21m in 2014.
After 3 very successful seasons with the London club, last summer the 29-year-old decided to join his former boss Jose Mourinho at Manchester United in a deal worth £40m. In his first season with the Red Devils, Matic has already chalked up 33 appearances.
2. Juan Mata
Juan Mata was just one of the players who was not preferred by Jose Mourinho during his second spell at Chelsea. The 29-year-old was a crowd favourite at Stamford Bridge but differences with the Portuguese manager led to him being sold to Manchester United for £37.1m in January 2014.
Naturally many feared the worst for the Mata once Jose Mourinho announced that he was joining Manchester United. However, in his second full season with United and Mourinho, Mata has turned into a very crucial player for the side, who not only contributes from the starting XI but has also become a very impactful sub.
3. Juan Sebastian Veron
Former Argentine international Sebastian Veron arrived in England for the sum £28.1m, a price which the great Alex Ferguson felt was justified given his exploits in Italy where he had won several titles with Lazio and Parma. However, things soon took a turn towards the worst, as Veron struggled hugely to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League. After defending him for months, the Red Devils decided to stop the bleeding and sold him to Chelsea for £15m.
Veron was one of the first players to be bought in the Roman era at Chelsea, however, even in London, things didn’t go according to the plan as the 42-year-old struggled in a Chelsea team which was otherwise flourishing in the Premier League. He was quickly loaned out to Inter Milan before eventually being sold in 2007 to Estudiantes in Argentina.
4. Romelu Lukaku
Just like Matic, Lukaku was also one of the players who wasn’t fancied at Chelsea after being signed by them as an 18-year-old in 2011. His three-years at Chelsea were spent mostly on loan before the then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho decided to sell the forward in order to bring in Diego Costa. The Belgian international showed the world his talent during his time with Everton where he scored 87 goals in 166 appearances.
Lukaku’s performance at Everton prompted both Manchester United who are now being managed by Mourinho, and Chelsea to go for the striker in Premier League summer of 2017. However, the 24-year-old decided to join the Manchester club in a record deal worth £75m. The striker has already notched up 21 goals for the season in all competition and have filled the void left by Ibrahimovic brilliantly.
5. Radamel Falcao
When Falcao joined Monaco in 2013, he was widely considered as the most lethal striker in the world. However, after he suffered a freak injury during his stay in the French city, the 32-year-old missed the World Cup and suffered a huge mental set-back. Even though he was going through a dip, Manchester United decided to spend a huge loan fee to get the Colombian international in the Premier League to the Old Trafford.
But a move that was to resurrect Falcao’s career soon turned into a nightmare, as the striker only scored 4 goals in 26 appearances. A shocking stat for a player who was considered amongst the best in the world. A knee injury, later on, ended his season prematurely. However, Falcao wasn’t done in England as he returned in the following season to join Chelsea, who were going through a striker-crisis themselves but the new move couldn’t have gone much worse as the former Atletico Madrid striker just scored 1 goal in 10 appearances. Currently he is back at Monaco, where he is not surprisingly scoring goals for fun.