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Footballers who have played in more than two Premier League elites

Footballers who have played in more than two Premier League elites

Several players have had a rare opportunity to play for more than two Premier League elite clubs.

Playing for an elite club in the Premier League is a great chance not to be missed. Let alone playing for more than two of them. It is not always easy to survive and get a nod in the starting XI when you are part of the big clubs. The competition is tougher, and consistency is the key to playing regularly. Not to mention being deployed in a less favourite position at times.

When a player has a chance to join the other big clubs or their previous clubs' rivals, it is surely never easy. Yet, these figures are the true example of how much is still possible.

The most current example is English international Raheem Sterling. He has been part of the squad for three different Premier League elites: Liverpool, Manchester City, and now Chelsea. These three sides are frequently involved in a title race or the race for a top-four finish. Sterling is, of course, no stranger to the fans' criticism, negative chants, or mocks. It is a test of a player's mentality.

However, the 29-year-old attacking midfielder has not truly enjoyed the trophy-laden period in his clubs, except in Manchester City. The former QPR player did win major trophies, four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and five EFL League Cups with the Citizens. Unfortunately, he missed the chance to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy back in 2021 after Pep Guardiola's men lost to Chelsea 1-0 in the summit.

Meanwhile, Sterling did not win a single silverware for the Reds or the Blues. He only managed to help the former finish second when they lost in a title race against Manchester City in the 2013–14 season. It was Liverpool's best finish when Sterling was in the team. On the latter or current side, the Kingston-born forward has not been as successful as expected. The Blues have been mainly stuck in the mid-table. They only finished 12th last season, but in the current campaign, they were able to climb up and finish sixth.

Before Sterling, other footballers played for more than two different Premier League elite teams. Here are those exceptional names:

Emmanuel Adebayor

The former Togolese international was a prolific goalscorer in the mid-2000s and early 2010s. He had a rare opportunity to join not just one but three different Premier League giants: Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham.

His stint with the Gunners from 2006 to 2009 only led them to finish third as their best place while playing under Arsene Wenger, plus reaching the League Cup final in 2007. Adebayor scored 62 goals and provided 19 assists. He then made a bold move to The Citizens, where he only stayed for a year and a half before going on loan to Real Madrid and then Arsenal's local rival, Spurs. He only managed to help both the Citizens and Spurs finish fifth in their best position during his spell there. The former Monaco player registered 19 goals and six assists in 45 games for the Etihad-based club and 42 goals and 17 assists for the North London side, respectively.

William Gallas

The former French international had the same chance to play for three Premier League elites, despite not being on purpose. Gallas was part of Chelsea's winning squad when they clinched league titles two seasons consecutively under Jose Mourinho in 2005 and 2006. The former player, who could be deployed as a right back, was sold to Arsenal as part of the exchange deal with Ashley Cole.

Unfortunately, during his time at Arsenal, Gallas was not able to replicate his form at Chelsea, nor was his spell with Tottenham. He did not win a single trophy for both clubs and played less. In North London, the former Marseille man only made 210 appearances (142 games for the Gunners and 78 games for Spurs) and contributed 18 goals (17 for Arsenal and 1 for Tottenham). This is quite low compared to his number of matches for the Blues. The ex-centreback appeared 225 times, bagged 14 goals, and made eight assists.

Kolo Toure

The former Ivorian international also played for three different Premier League clubs: Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool. He was fortunate enough to lift the league trophy twice, one for the Gunners in 2004 and one for the Citizens in 2012. Kolo Toure also won the FA Cup twice for Arsenal in 2003 and 2005 and appeared in two continental finals: the Champions League 2006 alongside Thierry Henry and Co. and the Europa League ten years later with The Reds.

His performance record with those three elites was fairly positive, too. He played 326 games for Arsenal with 14 goals and 13 assists in his contribution. At Etihad, he appeared in 102 matches, scored three goals, and provided one assist, whereas at Anfield, he was fielded 71 times and registered one goal and two assists.

Youssi Benayoun

The former Israeli midfielder had a chance to play for three elite sides in England: Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal. He spent three seasons at Anfield under the Spanish boss, Rafael Benitez, and only helped them finish second in two campaigns in the late 2000s. He contributed 29 goals and 19 assists in 134 games.

Benayoun then switched sides to Chelsea. Unfortunately, he was not part of the first team. Overall, the former West Ham man only played 24 times, bagged once, and provided two assists. Yet, he had a chance to win the Europa League in 2013 under his former boss at Liverpool, who was named as the interim manager, Rafael Benitez. Meanwhile, his stint at Arsenal was only as a loanee. He made 25 appearances, scoring six goals and setting up three. Such might have been less instrumental compared to his time with The Hammers. He contributed heavily in bringing them to reach the FA Cup final in 2006 as well as saving them from relegation to keep West Ham tickets in high demand.

Nicolas Anelka

The former French forward was known as a controversial figure during his playing years. He did not only have a chance to sign three Premier League elites but also win several major titles. He helped Arsenal clinch the EPL title in 1998 and did the same for Chelsea in 2010. Anelka also won the FA Cup three times for both clubs and appeared in the 2008 Champions League final with Chelsea. The only time he could not deliver a single trophy was during his time at Anfield in 2001/02.

One may argue that he once also played for Manchester City. Yet, his stint at Etihad cannot be included since Manchester City is not yet a contender in the top four. They just returned to the top flight after a few years of competing in the second tier. They were only a midtable team at that time.




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