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Ranking the 11 players to play for Chelsea and Arsenal in the Premier League


Chelsea against Arsenal is one of the Premier League’s most iconic fixtures, between two clubs who have often battled for the same titles and always for local pride.

The two have long been vying for supremacy in the capital – even if Tottenham have attempted to enter that battle in recent years and a total of six clubs from London in the top flight.

For successive seasons, the Gunners have taken two Brazilian players who had enjoyed great longevity and success in the west of the city with Chelsea.

Indeed, that has continued a trend of players representing the two clubs in the Premier League, with a total of 11 pulling on both the blue of Chelsea and the red-and-white of Arsenal.

We rank those players based on their spells at each club alongside their overall career.

11) Lassana Diarra



Lassana Diarra in action for Arsenal
Lassana Diarra in action for Arsenal

The French midfielder’s nomadic career included 10 clubs including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, along with spells at Porsmouth, Marseille and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Perhaps tellingly, he only made more than 100 appearances for one club and his career was derailed by injuries and fitness issues.

He only played 20 times in the Premier League for Chelsea and Arsenal, but he did win the Young Player of the Year award at the Blues in the 2005-06 season.

Diarra switched Stamford Bridge for North London but lasted just half a season at the Gunners before moving on.

Chelsea career: 3/10

Arsenal career: 1/10

Entire career: 6/10

Overall: 9/30

10) Yossi Benayoun



Yossi Benayoun spent the 2011-12 season on loan at Arsenal from Chelsea
Yossi Benayoun spent the 2011-12 season on loan at Arsenal from Chelsea

Known more for his stints at West Ham and Liverpool, the versatile Israeli made a combined 49 appearances for Chelsea and Arsenal.

He was one of a host of arrivals late in the summer of 2011 for the Gunners and despite spending just one season at the club on loan, he did score a respectable six times in 25 outings.

His spell at Stamford Bridge was disrupted by injuries and he never really found his home at either.

Chelsea career: 2/10

Arsenal career: 4/10

Entire career: 6.5/10

Overall: 12.5/30

9) David Luiz



David Luiz joined Arsenal from Chelsea in 2019
David Luiz joined Arsenal from Chelsea in 2019

The flamboyant Brazilian won six trophies at Chelsea including the Premier League and Champions League titles.

In a career that also encompassed stints at Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain, the defender was an important figure for the Blues but had drifted to the peripheries by the time of his move to Arsenal in 2019.

He has struggled to replicate that success in North London – despite being a part of the FA Cup winning squad – and may be moved on this summer.

Chelsea career: 7/10

Arsenal career: 4/10

Entire career: 7/10

Overall: 18/30

8) Willian



Willian has failed to replicate his Chelsea form at Arsenal since his 2020 switch
Willian has failed to replicate his Chelsea form at Arsenal since his 2020 switch

Just as with David Luiz the previous year, Brazil international Willian switched the Blues for Arsenal in the capital.

A key member of the first-team across seven seasons at Chelsea – scoring 63 goals in 339 appearances – he has not been able to transfer that form to his new club, whom he joined as a free agent.

He netted his first goal for the club in the recent win over West Brom and will celebrate his 33 rd birthday this summer, having two more years on his Gunners deal remaining.

Chelsea career: 8.5/10

Arsenal career: 2/10

Entire career: 8/10

Overall: 18.5/30

7) Olivier Giroud



Olivier Giroud has been a consistent performer at both Chelsea and Arsenal
Olivier Giroud has been a consistent performer at both Chelsea and Arsenal

Giroud posted an impressive goal return of 105 in five-and-a-half seasons at The Emirates before switching to Chelsea in January 2018.

He had fallen down the pecking order in North London following the signings of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while he has since been a prominent squad member at the Bridge.

Winning an FA Cup and Europa League with the Blues, he is another candidate to be moved on this summer amid constant squad overhauls at Chelsea.

Arsenal career: 7.5/10

Chelsea career: 6.5/10

Entire career: 8/10

Overall: 22/30

6) William Gallas



William Gallas joined Arsenal from Chelsea as part of the deal for Ashley Cole
William Gallas joined Arsenal from Chelsea as part of the deal for Ashley Cole

Then-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was said to be furious when his club had agreed to sell William Gallas to Arsenal as part of the deal taking Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge in 2006.

He had spent five years in the Blues backline across multiple positions and whilst he spent four years at Arsenal – scoring an impressive 17 goals from the defence – he did not pick up any silverware in North London.

Gallas later joined London rivals Tottenham once his time at Arsenal turned sour, but his performance level across a decade was among the best in the Premier League.

Chelsea career: 8/10

Arsenal career: 6.5/10

Entire career: 8/10

Overall: 22.5/30

5) Emmanuel Petit



Emmanuel Petit joined Chelsea following a stint at Barcelona
Emmanuel Petit joined Chelsea following a stint at Barcelona

An elegant midfielder who scored for Les Bleus in the 1998 World Cup final, just months after helping Arsenal to a Premier League and FA Cup double.

He later moved to Barcelona but he regretted the switch and return to England with Chelsea, but injuries derailed his career and he did not pick up any further silverware with the Blues.

Arsenal career: 9/10

Chelsea career: 5.5/10

Entire career: 8.5/10

Overall: 23/30

4) Nicolas Anelka



Nicolas Anelka enjoyed a prolific goal scoring career
Nicolas Anelka enjoyed a prolific goal scoring career

Another France international who left Arsenal for Spain – this time for Real Madrid – and would ultimately end up playing at Chelsea.

His remarkable career also took in spells at Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Bolton, Fenerbahce and Juventus – but it was at the Blues where he was most successful.

He won a Premier League title at both London clubs and also won three FA Cups – one at the Gunners, two with the Blues – in a career of 224 senior goals.

Arsenal career: 6.5/10

Chelsea career: 8.5/10

Entire career: 8.5/10

Overall: 23.5/30

3) Petr Cech



Petr Cech joined Arsenal from Chelsea in 2015
Petr Cech joined Arsenal from Chelsea in 2015

Petr Cech became an instant hero at Chelsea following his switch from Rennes in 2004 and a cornerstone of multiple club successes.

The Czech won 15 titles at the Blues including four league crowns and the Champions League success in 2012 and later made 139 appearances for Arsenal, winning the 2015 FA Cup.

By that stage, Cech was no longer the elite goalkeeper he had been but it was a continuation of a remarkable career that put him among the league’s all-time greats.

Cech is now back at Stamford Bridge in a non-playing role.

Chelsea career: 9.5/10

Arsenal career: 6/10

Entire career: 8.5/10

Overall: 24/30

2) Cesc Fabregas



Cesc Fabregas made over 300 appearances for Arsenal
Cesc Fabregas made over 300 appearances for Arsenal

The 2005 FA Cup title was the only major honour the Spaniard received a medal for at Arsenal, having just missed the cut for minimum appearances for the Premier League the previous year.

However, his best performances arguably came in North London – over 300 of them, scoring 57 goals, and establishing himself as one of the world’s most gifted players.

After a stint at Barcelona, he returned to England with Chelsea in a more reserved midfield role and was a key member of two Premier League title successes, an FA Cup trophy and a League Cup title.

Arsenal career: 9/10

Chelsea career: 8.5/10

Entire career: 8.5/10

Overall: 26/30

1) Ashley Cole



Ashley Cole joined Chelsea from Arsenal in 2005
Ashley Cole joined Chelsea from Arsenal in 2005

Arguably the finest left-back of the Premier League era and the best in the world for a prolonged period, Ashley Cole was world class for both clubs.

He won a remarkable 15 trophies across both teams including three Premier League titles, a Champions League and a remarkable seven FA Cup successes.

Cole made 228 Arsenal appearances and 338 for Chelsea in a glittering, trophy-laden career.

Arsenal career: 9/10

Chelsea career: 9/5/10

Entire career: 9/10

Overall: 27.5/30

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