Without any doubt, Manchester City and Arsenal are the best sides ever in the Premier League this season. While Arsenal might have been seen as the favorite to go home with the trophy but slipperily let the trophy go to Manchester City. It is no more news that they have always been going head-to-head against Manchester City.
However, over the Premier League era, many players have moved from one of these clubs to the other at different stages in their careers.
Well, if we could look closely, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are two of Manchester City’s Premier League winners in recent years who are now playing for Arsenal.
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So, in this article, I will be looking back at all the players who played for Arsenal before moving to Manchester City, hence, consider this article a full guide to “Players that went from Arsenal to Manchester City.
1. Niall Quinn (Arsenal 1983 – 1990, Manchester City 1990 – 1996)
Niall Quinn is undoubtedly the first player to join Manchester City from Arsenal. The Irish striker, Quinn joined Arsenal while still progressing in the youth stage and began his professional career in the 1985/86 season with Arsenal.
However, after netting 14 goals in 67 appearances for the Gunners, he left for Maine Road, where he scored 22 goals in his debut season for Manchester City and scored 77 goals in 244 appearances across his stay at the club.
Quinn moreover earned cult hero status in Manchester City against Derby County in 1991, where he wore the gloves to save a penalty after Tony Coton had been sent off.
2. David Rocastle (Arsenal 1985 – 1992, Manchester City 1993 – 1994)
Still, on the list of players that joined Manchester City from Arsenal, David Rocastle is considered an Arsenal legend amongst Arsenal fans but featured for the Blue Manchester in the 1993/94 season.
Between 1985 and 1992, he was spotted 218 times on an Arsenal shirt, representing his club, where he twice won the First Division and featured in the PFA Team of the Year twice too.
Well, despite making 21 appearances for the Blue Manchester, the fans still tagged him as their favorite due to His connection with them just as he did with the Arsenal fans.
Unfortunately, Rocastle passed away in March 2001 after announcing suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2001.
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3. Paul Dickov (Arsenal 1990 – 1996, Manchester City 1996 – 2002, 2006-2008)
Paul Dickov is one of the players that kicked off their professional career at Arsenal. The Scottish striker joined Arsenal’s youth ranks in 1989 before making his debut in the senior team in 1990.
He was loaned twice at Arsenal which impacted his leave for Manchester City in 1996.
At the Blue Manchester side, his performances were tireless and his energy on the pitch created impacts on every game he featured in. Despite the Scottish striker not being prolific, his goal in the 1999 play-off final to take City to penalties against Gillingham is one of the most special moments in the Club’s history.
In 2002, he left City and played for Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers before returning to the club in 2006.
4. David Seaman (Arsenal 1990 – 2003, Manchester City 2003 – 2004)
David Seaman joined Arsenal in 1990, after kicking off his professional debut. He managed an excellent and incredible 13 years at the Gunners’ side. He played 405 times as Arsenal were crowned Champions of England on three occasions and five-time FA Cup winner. He left Arsenal to join City at Etihad Stadium, a few months before his 40th birthday.
Sadly, he played 19 times before injury forced him to retire from professional football.
5. Patrick Vieira (Arsenal 1996 – 2005, Manchester City 2010 – 2011)
If you are not aware of any Arsenal player that later joined City, you should be aware of Patrick Vieira, the captain, and force behind Arsene Wenger’s invincibles and one of the best Premier League teams in the League’s history.
Patrick Vieira played 279 times for Arsenal. After several seasons of playing in Italy after Arsenal, he joined City for a season in which he lifted the FA Cup. At the end of that season, he retired before moving into coaching.
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6. Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal 1997 – 1999, Manchester City 2002 – 2005)
In 1997, Nicolas Anelka joined Arsenal where he stayed till 1999. After two seasons with Arsenal, he moved to Real Madrid, moved to Paris Saint-Germain, and had a loan to Liverpool.
In 2002, the player signed for City where he appeared 103 times for the Blue Manchester and scored 45 times which includes 24 strikes in 43 games in the 2003/24 season.
In 2005, he signed for Fenerbahce in Turkey before coming back to England to play for Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea.
7. Kolo Toure (Arsenal 2001 – 2009, Manchester City 2009 – 2013)
Having belonged to Arsenal’s invincible season and for some years, Kolo Toure joined City in 2009. As of then, he was one of the several high-profile signings for the Blue Manchester that summer and was immediately appointed club captain by Mark Hughes.
He was a key figure in his first two seasons before becoming more of a squad player in 2011/12 as Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott formed a title-winning partnership in the central defense.
8. Gael Clichy (Arsenal 2003 – 2011, Manchester City 2011 – 2017)
During Arsenal’s Invincible season, Gael Clichy became first choice left-back in 2006/07 and remained that way until moving to City in 2011.
His first season at the Etihad Stadium had him lift the Premier League with Roberto Mancini’s side and he did so again just two years later with the Blue Manchester.
He played 138 times for Manchester City before leaving at the end of the 2016/17 season.
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9. Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal 2006 – 2009, Manchester City 2009 – 2012)
Having established himself as a notable player at Monaco, Emmanuel Adebayor secured a move to Arsenal in 2006 when he was 22 years old.
He appeared 104 times and bagged 46 goals for the Gunners before moving to Etihad in 2009. With his body language and professionalism, he was able to relate with a fellow summer signing, Carlos Tevez, and scored 14 goals in 26 Premier League appearances in his debut season for the Blue Manchester.
Unfortunately, his form faded away, and was loaned to Real Madrid midway through a season before moving to Tottenham for a season.
10. Bacary Sagna (Arsenal 2007 – 2014, City 2014 – 2017)
Between 2007 and 2014 playing for Arsenal, Bacary Sagna established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world while he was still in his prime.
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In 2014, he joined the reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, and struggled for game time in his first season due to the magnificent form of Pablo Zabaleta. Moreover, the pair shared duties for the next two years before he left Etihad in 2017.
11. Samir Nasri (Arsenal 2008 – 2011, Manchester City 2011 – 2017)
Samir Nasri for Arsenal will always be remembered for his footballing skills after joining Arsenal in 2008 as a promising French player. He was a key part of Arsene Wenger’s side for three seasons before he signed for Roberto Mancini’s side in the 2011 summer.
With David Silva and Yaya Toure, Nasri was a key creative force in the Blue’s 2011/12 and 2013/14 title win. Due to a lack of game time, he joined Sevilla on loan in 2016 before leaving City a year later. He played 176 times for the Blue Manchester and scored 27 times.
The aforementioned players played for Arsenal and subsequently left for Manchester City during their careers. It can be recalled that some of them also did well for the Citizens and established themselves as key players.
In recent times, we wait to see the Arsenal player that will possess the quality that will attract Pep Guardiola. Bujayo Saka? William Saliba? We wait to see.