English Premier League

Top 7 Stars Who Played For Both Chelsea & Manchester United

Thursday’s (April 4) Premier League meeting between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge will mark a special occasion for Mason Mount. The England international, who came through Chelsea’s academy to become one of their key players, joined the Red Devils last summer. This week, he will walk out to Stamford Bridge for the first time as a non-Chelsea player, which is bound to stir-up some emotions.

Over the course of history, only a handful of players have had the privilege of playing for Manchester United and Chelsea. Continue reading to check out seven top players who experienced pretty much what Mount will on Premier League Matchday 30:

#7 Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku Played For Both Manchester United & Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku Is Currently On Loan At AS Roma

A formidable center-forward on his day, Romelu Lukaku initially joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in July 2011. However, he did not get a chance to become a first-team regular and was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion the following summer. Chelsea re-signed the Belgian attacker for a club-record €113 million ($122.63 million) fee in August 2021, owing to his blistering performances that helped Inter Milan to the Serie A title in 2020-21. Surprisingly, the move did not work out, with the player openly expressing his desire to return to Inter Milan. Chelsea sanctioned a loan to Inter for 2022-23 but a permanent move did not materialize. He is currently plying his trade at AS Roma and will return to Stamford Bridge in July.

Sandwiched between Lukaku’s chaotic Chelsea spells was a forgettable stint at Manchester United. The club signed him from Everton for €84.7 million ($91.92 million) in 2017 and sold him to Inter for €74 million ($80.31 million) a couple of seasons later. Lukaku played 96 matches for the Mancunians in that period, scoring 42 times and providing 13 assists.

#6 Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic Played FOr Both Manchester United And Chelsea
Nemanja Matic Won 3 Premier League Titles With Chelsea

Olympic Lyon defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic initially joined Chelsea from MFK Kosice in August 2009. However, due to competition for places, he could not cement his place in the starting XI. After a loan spell at Vitesse, he joined Benfica permanently in July 2011. Between 2011 and 2014, the Serbian honed his craft in Portugal and won his transfer back to Stamford Bridge. Between January 2014 and July 2017, Matic was an invaluable part of the team, scoring seven goals in 151 games across competitions and helping them to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and a Carabao Cup.

Concluding his Chelsea spell, Matic joined Manchester United in July 2017 and stayed put for five seasons. The former Serbia international played 189 games  for the club in all competitions, scoring four times and providing 11 assists. He, however, did not win any silverware at Old Trafford.

#5 Juan Mata

Juan Mata Was An Important Part Of Both Manchester United & Chelsea
Juan Mata Won The UEFA Champions League With Chelsea

One of the most underrated players of the 21st century, Juan Mata joined Chelsea from Valencia in August 2011. Capable of playing in all midfield positions, the Spaniard quickly became a fan favorite and proved to be an invaluable cog in Chelsea’s machine. He scored twice and provided three assists in his debut UEFA Champions League campaign for the Blues, helping them to glory. Mata enjoyed his best-ever Premier League season in 2012-13, as he chipped in with 12 goals and 16 assists in 35 matches. The 2010 FIFA World Cup winner played 135 matches for the Blues before joining Manchester United in 2014, scoring 33 goals and claiming 57 assists.

Mata enjoyed a longer, eight-and-a-half-year stay at Old Trafford. Emerging as the heartbeat of the team’s midfield, the attacking midfielder played 285 games for United, recording 55 goals and 47 assists. He won one UEFA Europa League, one FA Cup, one Carabao Cup, and an FA Community Shield prior to his exit in September 2022.

#4 Juan Sebastian Veron

Juan Sebastian Veron Played For Both United & Chelsea
Juan Sebastian Veron Saw His Career Derailed By Injuries

Towering central midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron switched to Manchester United from Italian side Lazio in July 2001. Veron quickly became a familiar face under Sir Alex Ferguson and spent two fine years at Old Trafford. Had it not been for his fitness issues, Veron probably would have enjoyed a longer stay in Manchester. He played 82 games for United between 2001 and 2003, winning the Premier League title in his debut season.

Veron joined Chelsea ahead of the 2003-04 season and kicked off his spell in the best way possible, scoring in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League. Unfortunately, niggling injury issues kept Veron from featuring regularly and eventually paved the way for his departure. He only played 14 games for the Blues before leaving permanently in July 2006.

#3 Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes Is The 7th Oldest Scorer In EPL History
Mark Hughes Won 2 Premier League Titles With Manchester United

Manchester United academy graduate Mark Hughes broke into the first team in July 1983. Known for his pace and sharp shots, Hughes spent three years at Old Trafford before being lured away by La Liga giants Barcelona. Hughes’ time away from England was not as pleasant and he found his way back to his boyhood club in 1988. The Welshman spent the following seven years of his career in Manchester, helping the Red Devils to two consecutive Premier League titles in 1992-93 and 1993-94. Across two spells, Hughes played 439 games for United, scoring 154 times and winning 10 trophies.

The center-forward joined Chelsea in 1995 and enjoyed three fine seasons there. He scored 38 times in 122 games in all competitions, winning the Europapokal der Pokalsieger in 1997-98.

#2 Ray Wilkins

Ray Wilkins Played For Both Manchester United And Chelsea
Ray Wilkins Won Two Trophies At Manchester United

In July 1973, Chelsea promoted reserve-team star Ray Wilkins to the senior team. The talented central midfielder spent the following six years of his life playing for the Pensioners, scoring 13 goals in 106 matches in all competitions. Unfortunately, Chelsea were not competitive at the time and failed to win any trophy during Wilkins’ stay.

Searching for silverware, Wilkins landed in Manchester in July 1979, penning a long-term contract with Manchester United. He could not win the league title at Old Trafford but bagged one FA Cup and one FA Community Shield before leaving for AC Milan in the summer of 1984. Wilkins played 177 games for United in five season, scoring nine times.

#1 Paul Parker

Paul Parker Played For Both Manchester United & Chelsea
Paul Parker Played Just Four Games For Chelsea

Former right-back Paul Parker joined Manchester United from Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in July 1991. He slowly established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet under Sir Alex Ferguson and played an integral role as the Red Devils went on to claim three Premier League titles over the following five years. Parker played 143 games for Manchester United before leaving the club in July 1996, scoring twice.

After brief spells at Derby County, Sheffield United, and Fulham, Parker joined Chelsea as a free agent in March 1997. After spending only three months in west London and playing just four Premier League matches, Parker joined Heybridge Swift for free. He retired from the sport at Farnborough in July 2000.

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