With Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko moving between Big Six clubs, we ranked the other players who have made similar moves since 2010, which was around the time the Big Six became a thing…
29) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal to Manchester United)
An absolute disaster of a signing. Stank from Old Trafford after United fooled themselves by smashing their pay structure to get him from Arsenal.
28) Joe Cole (Chelsea to Liverpool)
One of Liverpool’s worst signings, despite costing nothing in 2010 apart from £90,000 a week in wages. Cole was sent off on his debut and missed a penalty on his next appearance. Gifted to West Ham for free two and a half years into his four-year deal.
27) Willian (Chelsea to Arsenal)
Admittedly he wanted to leave Arsenal after just three months after his free transfer from Chelsea and Boy, it has been shown! His only positive contribution was the agreement to terminate his contract with two years left and £20million in wages down to his pants.
26) Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United to Manchester City)
We can’t be sure City didn’t sign Hargreaves just to annoy United after the injury-prone midfielder left Old Trafford in 2011, but whatever their motivation, it was a colossal waste of time given the former England star only one single managed Premier League appearance.
Owen Hargreaves to Manchester City (2011) pic.twitter.com/ORCVBeRYhR
— Transfersthapened (@actualtransfers) June 11, 2022
25) Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea)
Signed for a record-breaking £50m UK transfer in 2011 but Torres left his shooting boots at Liverpool. He scored 65 goals in 102 Premier League games at Anfield. For Chelsea it was 20 goals in 110 games. He won the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League but Torres’ spell at Stamford Bridge was still a huge disappointment.
24) Victor Moses (Chelsea to Liverpool)
He joined Anfield on loan from Chelsea in 2013/14 and enjoyed an unforgettable season, scoring twice in 22 games before Antonio Conte rebuilt him at right-back.
23) Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool to Chelsea)
Benayoun was a Chelsea player for three years between 2010 and 2013, during which time he played more frequently for Arsenal.
Sterling next: six others playing for three (or more) Big Six and who loves them now
22) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United to Arsenal)
The Armenian struggled at Arsenal almost as much as he did at United under Jose Mourinho. He left the Emirates after 18 months “to find the joy of playing football again”.
21) David Luiz (Chelsea to Arsenal)
Played 73 games in two seasons at the Emirates after joining from Chelsea for £8million in 2019. Won the FA Cup and rarely a dull moment but was also called ‘liability’ by Jamie Carragher.
20) Willy Caballero (Manchester City to Chelsea)
Signed for free from Manchester City in 2017 and sat on the bench for four seasons, dirtying his gloves 11 times as a backup stopper.
19) Kolo Toure (Manchester City to Liverpool)
Toure joined Liverpool on a free transfer and as a backup centre-back, the Ivorian had almost no moments for three years, finishing runners-up in the Premier League, League Cup and Europa League.
18) Craig Bellamy (Manchester City to Liverpool)
The Welsh striker returned from Manchester City for almost the same stint as his first in 2006/07 when he scored nine goals. He scored the same number again for Kenny Dalglish in 2011/12 but none after the end of January before departing after just a year.
17) Nemanja Matic (Chelsea to Manchester United)
It seemed United had finally filled the hole at the base of their midfield when Mourinho signed Matic from Chelsea in 2017, but after a decent first season the Serb was drawn into Old Trafford’s talent vacuum. Saw his five-year contract and spent most of his time torturing himself through his increasingly infrequent appearances.
16) William Gallas (Arsenal to Tottenham)
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Harry Redknapp in 2010, describing the move as the player who first played for Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs when he joined White Hart Lane on a free transfer. Gallas performed well enough during his one-year contract to earn another for a few seasons of more sporadic play.
15) Danny Welbeck (Manchester United to Arsenal)
Louis van Gaal didn’t like Welbeck – “Because of Falcao we let him go” – and sold him to Arsenal for £16m in 2015, where he completed his four-year contract. Showed insight, just like at United, but injuries deprived him of an opportunity to show consistency.
14) Raul Meireles (Liverpool to Chelsea)
Chelsea signed the reigning PFA fans’ Player of the Year (really) on deadline day 2011 after they failed to sign Luka Modric. Meireles spent a year at the bridge, winning the FA Cup (as a sub) and the Champions League despite sitting out the final through suspension.
13) Bacary Sagna (Arsenal to Manchester City)
Followed the crowd from Arsenal to City, signed in 2014 and left after his contract expired in 2017 when Kyle Walker arrived. There really isn’t much more to say.
12) Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea to Arsenal)
After playing for Liverpool and Chelsea, Benayoun joined the Emirates on loan in 2011. The Israeli has scored four goals in 19 Premier League games and played a key role in the Gunners’ third-place finish after initially struggling to break into Arsene Wenger’s side.
11) Samir Nasri (Arsenal to Manchester City)
Has turned down United to join City for £25m from Arsenal who were not too pleased to lose one of the game’s rising stars. Nasri played a starring role in City’s first Premier League title win but he peaked early at City, as he has throughout his career.
10) Juan Mata (Chelsea to Manchester United)
Handsome Juan arrived by helicopter to play for David Moyes and the five managers that followed. Never reached his Chelsea peak at Old Trafford but has never let United down, unlike so many of his team-mates over the last six and a half years.
9) Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City to Tottenham)
The Togolese forward was originally loaned out by Manchester City for the 2011/12 season when he scored 17 Premier League goals. That made Spurs sign him permanently, even if City paid a decent chunk of his salary. Adebayor was bombed by Andre Villas-Boas before being brought back into the herd by Tim Sherwood. In three seasons as Spurs’ own forward, he has scored just one more Premier League goal than in one season on loan.
8) Petr Cech (Chelsea to Arsenal)
Signed for £10million from Chelsea in 2015, winning the Golden Glove in his first season and the FA Cup in his second spell. Replaced by Bernd Leno after three years and retired after Chelsea edged him out by four in the 2019 Europa League final.
7) Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool)
Sturridge was brilliant alongside Luis Suarez in 2013/14 as they finished as the Premier League’s second-highest and top scorer respectively. “He has all the tools and all the qualities he needs to be as good as Suarez,” said Brendan Rodgers. except durability. Injuries skewed his career and Jurgen Klopp realized he couldn’t count on the striker, despite describing him as “one of the best finishers I’ve ever seen”.
6) Gael Clichy (Arsenal to Manchester City)
Joined City in the same summer as Nasri for £7million, with both in the similar position of having a year left on their Arsenal contracts. The full-back spent six seasons at City – which also surprised us – during which he won two Premier League titles and two League Cups.
5) Olivier Giroud (Arsenal to Chelsea)
Giroud was pressured at Arsenal by the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the devilishly handsome bastard thrived at Stamford Bridge, winning the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League although he never managed to establish himself as to establish starters.
4) Kyle Walker (Tottenham to Manchester City)
One of City’s most underrated signings of the last decade, Walker arrived from Spurs for a whopping £45million in 2017 but he remains one of Pep Guardiola’s most trusted players. Even if he can still be ‘stupid’.
3) James Milner (Manchester City to Liverpool)
The Reds signed Milner for free from Manchester City as a 29-year-old in what turned out to be one of the best things Brendan Rodgers has done for Liverpool. He recently signed on for another year seven years later, having already won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League under Jurgen Klopp.
2) Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City)
After signing from Liverpool in 2015, Sterling won every available national honor and joined City’s top ten goalscorer of all time before the champions got their money back to transfer him to Chelsea a year before he could go for free. Excellent all round job.
1) Robin van Persie (Arsenal to Manchester United)
Sir Alex Ferguson played a total blinder by taking over Van Persie from Arsenal for his final season in charge. The Dutch striker made an almost Cantona-like impact, winning the Golden Boot as United won their last Premier League title. In that one season alone he achieved enough to make us forget what happened to David Moyes and Louis van Gaal afterwards.
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