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5 Players who were successful playing for both - Manchester United and Chelsea

Matic is the last player to move directly from Chelsea to Manchester United.
Matic is the last player to move directly from Chelsea to Manchester United.
Varun Nair
ANALYST
Modified 24 Oct 2020, 01:34 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Chelsea and Manchester United are all set to lock horns for the first time this season. The Red Devils had the better of the Blues last season, winning three of four meetings. But, Solskjaer and his men lost 3-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals, the last time both teams faced other.

Despite early stages, the result of the match is already poised to have a huge impact on what could be one of the toughest Premier League seasons in history.

Over the years, we have seen several players playing for both Manchester United and Chelsea. On that note, here is a look at five players who were successful playing for both the teams.


A look at 5 Players who were successful with both Manchester United and Chelsea

#5 Mal Donaghy

Mal Donaghy played for Manchester United and Chelsea only after reaching his 30s.
Mal Donaghy played for Manchester United and Chelsea only after reaching his 30s.

A Manchester United fan, Mal Donaghy, joined the Red Devils in 1988, at the age of 31.

The Irish player had an impressive debut season. In his first season, Donaghy played almost every match for Manchester United. But, from the second season onwards, the defender struggled to get into the starting line-up.

Donaghy spent four seasons under Sir Alex, making 119 appearances, but failed to score a single goal. He was part of the Manchester United team that won the European Super Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup.

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Donaghy left the club in 1992, joining Chelsea after United accepted a £100,000 transfer fee. The versatile defender arrived at Stamford Bridge just a month short of his 35th birthday. Despite being in his mid-30s, Donaghy was one of the best players for the Blues.

Donaghy spent two seasons at the Bridge. During this period, he made 68 appearances and helped the Blues reach their first FA Cup final in 24 years.

Donaghy did not win any silverware for the Blues, but he helped Chelsea establish themselves as a Premier League team.

The defender retired at the end of 1993-94 at the age of 36.

#4 Ray Wilkins

Ray Wilkins made his Chelsea debut at the age of 17
Ray Wilkins made his Chelsea debut at the age of 17

One of the greatest English footballers of his generation, Ray Wilkins had a 24-year professional career and had him playing in Italy, France, Scotland, and England.

Wilkins started his professional career with his boyhood club, Chelsea, in 1973. The midfielder spent six seasons at Stamford Bridge and was arguably their best player during that period.

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Wilkins made his Chelsea debut at the age of 17 and a year later was handed the captaincy. He led the Blues back into the Premier League two seasons after suffering relegation.

The midfielder played 198 games and scored 34 goals in six seasons with the Blues.

Manchester United had recently re-established themselves as a top division club and Ray Wilkins's arrival in 1979 almost immediately affected the Red Devils squad.

The midfielder helped Manchester United finish runners-up in the league in 1980, their best finish in ten years.

He went on to win the FA Cup in 1983 and finished the season as Manchester United's Player of the season. After making 194 appearances in five seasons at Old Trafford, Wilkins left the club to join AC Milan. in 1984.

#3 Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes was one of the players that helped Manchester United re-establish themselves at the top of English football.
Mark Hughes was one of the players that helped Manchester United re-establish themselves at the top of English football.

Hughes made his Manchester United debut in 1983 after graduating from the youth academy.

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The Welsh legend had three impressive seasons at Old Trafford before Terry Venables lured him to Barcelona.

Hughes, struggled at Barcelona, and later at Bayern Munich before returning to Manchester United, just two years after leaving the club.

On his return, Hughes bloomed into becoming one of the best strikers in the United Kingdom.

In his second stint, Hughes's goalscoring exploits helped the Red Devils win seven major trophies in seven seasons. The Manchester United legend left the club in 1995 after making 352 appearances and scoring 116 goals.

Mark Huges moved to Chelsea in 1995 following Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to promote players from the youth academy.

The striker formed an impressive partnership with Gianfranco Zola as Chelsea ended a 26-year drought, winning the 1997 FA Cup.

The Welshman enjoyed domestic and continental success with the Blues. He made 123 appearances and scored 39 goals before moving to Southampton in 1998.

#2 Nemanja Matic

Matic was surprisingly sold to Manchester United after winning their last Premier League title.
Matic was surprisingly sold to Manchester United after winning their last Premier League title.

Matic is one of the newest players to play for both the Premier League clubs. The Serbian initially signed for the Blues in 2009. But, after failing to break into the first-team, Nemanja Matic moved to Benfica as part of an exchange deal to sign David Luiz.

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Chelsea re-signed the midfielder three years later, following three impressive seasons at Benfica.

On his return, Matic established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League. He was the spine of the Chelsea midfield under Jose Mourinho when the Blues won the 2014-15 Premier League title.

Two seasons later, it was his partnership with N'Golo Kante that helped Chelsea win their last Premier League title.

Matic made 151 appearances across six seasons at the club. Chelsea surprisingly sold the Serbian to Manchester United in 2017.

Matic quickly adjusted to his new surroundings. He had an impressive debut season but fell short of winning the League title.

The Serbian has been decent throughout his career at Manchester United but is yet to win any silverware with them. Despite his age, Matic is still the best defensive midfielder at Manchester United today.

#1 Juan Mata

Juan Mata is a fan favorite at both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Juan Mata is a fan favorite at both Chelsea and Manchester United.
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Juan Mata is, without a doubt, the best player ever to play for both Manchester United and Chelsea.

The Spaniard first arrived in England in 2011 to join Chelsea. At that time, El Mago had earned a reputation as one of the best young midfielders in the world.

The Spaniard was impressive at Valencia and was part of the talented Spanish team that won the 2010 World Cup.

Mata had a smooth transition from Valencia to Chelsea. The Spaniard had an instant impact on the Blues as they won their first Champions League title in his debut season.

Chelsea followed it up the next season by winning the Europa League. But, the appointment of Jose Mourinho in 2013 saw Mata struggling.

The Portuguese manager's preference for Oscar saw Mata having limited appearances. Finally, Mata left the club in 2014 to join Manchester United.

The Spaniard arrived during one of the most troubled periods in the history of Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson had retired and his successor, David Moyes, was struggling to adjust to life in Manchester.

Despite all the odds, Mata has been one of the better performers for Manchester United in the last seven years.

Now, into his seventh season with Manchester United, the Spaniard has made 258 appearances and scored 50 goals. During this period, the Spaniard has won the Europa League, FA Cup, and the League Cup.

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At 32, Mata is still one of the most creative players in the young Manchester United squad.

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Published 24 Oct 2020, 01:34 IST
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