9 Players who have featured for both Manchester City & Aston Villa in the Premier League

Grealish and Walker have been on the same side this season
Grealish and Walker have been on the same side this season
Debjyoti Samanta

Manchester City take on an ever-improving Aston Villa side under Steven Gerrard on Wednesday evening. The Cityzens will look to maintain their hot pursuit of league leaders Chelsea.

City boast an impressive record versus Villa in recent times, having been unbeaten against them in the league since 2013. However, with a new manager at the helm, Villa’s results already seem to have turned a corner. They have had back-to-back wins against Crystal Palace & Brighton & Hove Albion.

289 - Man City have scored more goals against Aston Villa in all competitions (289) than against any other opponent that they have faced. Bonanza.@ManCity | #ManCity | #AVLMCI

Manchester City and Aston Villa have witnessed contrasting fortunes in the past few years. City are a footballing superpower, both at domestic level as well as in Europe. Meanwhile Villa remain focused on re-establishing themselves as a top-half Premier League club.

A similar pattern has emerged in the club’s transfer activities over the past few years, especially since Sheikh Mansour took over Manchester City. Villa have more often than not tended to be a feeder club, selling their prized assets for astronomical fees. One example is the recent sale of Jack Grealish to City for around £100 million.

HE'S HERE! We are delighted to announce the signing of @JackGrealish on a six-year deal. Welcome to City, Jack! 💙🔷 #ManCity |

Manchester City, on the other hand, tend to sign some of the most talented players in the world.

In this article, we take a look at some of the players who have represented both clubs in the Premier League era:

#1 Jack Grealish

Grealish became the most expensive signing ever in the Premier League
Grealish became the most expensive signing ever in the Premier League

Aston Villa – 2013-2021

Manchester City – 2021-Present

Jack Grealish is the latest and by far the most expensive entrant on this list to have played for both Manchester City & Aston Villa. Grealish came through the youth academy at Villa Park, having joined the club at the age of six.

Having been earmarked for success at an early age, Grealish’s Premier League experience got off to a horrific start. In the 2015-16 season, the young Irishman held the ignominy of being a part of a record 16 successive Premier League defeats. It was a campaign which ultimately ended with relegation for Aston Villa.

The Championship proved to be a blessing in disguise for him. Grealish matured and turned into a leader, leading the club back to the Premier League in 2019. The England international adapted to the rigors of the Premier League like a duck to water. He scored 14 times and set up another 15 goals for his teammates in just two seasons.

His impressive showing certainly caught the attention of Pep Guardiola, who was convinced to spend £100 million on the Villa winger. He has so far scored one goal and made two assists in the league. Despite an underwhelming start to his City career, Grealish's influence is expected to grow within this current Man City side.

#2 Kyle Walker

Walker spent half a season on loan at Villa in 2011
Walker spent half a season on loan at Villa in 2011

Aston Villa – 2011

Manchester City – 2017- Present

Manchester City’s current right-back spent six months of his formative professional career on loan at Villa Park. Back in the 2010-11 campaign, Kyle Walker joined the club on loan from Tottenham Hotspur with a view to establishing himself in the league.

The right-back played 15 times, scoring once and assisting another three. His impressive showing at Villa Park made him a regular starter for Tottenham since the 2011-12 season.

Six years on, Walker’s explosive pace and power convinced Manchester City to shell out £50 million for the right-back in 2017. The Englishman has been a consistent performer for the Blues, racking up close to 200 appearances in a little over four years.

He has played crucial roles in three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups and two Community Shields. He has certainly vindicated the Cityzens' faith in the right back.

#3 Fabian Delph

Delph was a 2-time league winner at Manchester City
Delph was a 2-time league winner at Manchester City

Aston Villa – 2009-2015

Manchester City – 2015-2019

A versatile player, Fabian Delph came to prominence during his time at Villa Park. A combative midfielder and ball carrier, Delph played 134 games, scoring eight goals in front in six seasons at Aston Villa.

Solid performances in the middle of the park earned him an England call-up as well as caught Manchester City’s attentions. He was subjected to an £8 million transfer to the Etihad Stadium at the start of the 2015-16 campaign.

Regular injuries and City’s riches in the middle of the park meant little playing time for Delph in his first two seasons. However, during the 2017-18 season, his versatility came to the fore. He established himself as the first-choice left-back following an injury to Benjamin Mendy. He played an important role in Manchester City’s 100-point Premier League-winning campaign. He played 22 times in the league.

The midfield currently plies his trade for Everton after leaving the Cityzens in 2019 in search of regular game time.

#4 James Milner

Milner spent 5 successful seasons in Manchester
Milner spent 5 successful seasons in Manchester

Aston Villa – 2008-2010

Manchester City – 2010-2015

One of the greats & ever-presents of the Premier League era, James Milner continues to go strong at Liverpool, his 5th Premier League club overall.

He first established himself at Leeds United & Newcastle United. Then a 22-year old Milner made his way to Villa Park for £12 million in the summer of 2008. He played a crucial role in Villa's back-to-back 6th places finishes under Martin O’Neill. He capped the 2009-10 season with the PFA Young Player of the Year Award as well as a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

Such performances certainly made the Manchester City board take notice. At the start of the 2010-11 season, Milner completed a £26 million move to the Etihad. He joined the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure & Edin Dzeko in a bid to mount a Premier League title challenge.

At City, Milner found himself playing mostly on the wings, but his versatility & reliability made him a cult hero in Manchester.

The five-year stint saw him pick up a fair few trophies. He won the Premier League twice alongside a League Cup & a Community Shield.

#5 Gareth Barry

Like Milner, Barry was a reliable pick for City
Like Milner, Barry was a reliable pick for City

Aston Villa – 1998-2009

Manchester City – 2009-2014

Gareth Barry is another Villa player whose impressive form in the middle of the park earned him a move to Manchester City. A defensive midfielder by trait, Gareth Barry spent 12 seasons at Villa Park. He accumulated 441 appearances and scored 52 goals in the process.

After a failed move to Liverpool in 2008, Barry joined the Manchester City revolution the following season for a fee of £12 million. The Englishman was a regular presence at the heart of Man City’s midfield. He clocked more than 30 Premier League appearances in all four seasons at the club.

Barry won his first major piece of silverware at the Etihad – the 2011 FA Cup which was followed by the 2011-12 Premier League triumph.

The midfielder made further appearances for Everton & West Brom before hanging up his boots in 2020. He thereby finished top of the all-time Premier League appearance maker’s list (653).

#6 Joleon Lescott

Lescott formed a solid partnership with Vincent Kompany at City
Lescott formed a solid partnership with Vincent Kompany at City

Manchester City – 2009-2014

Aston Villa – 2015-2016

Joleon Lescott started his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the lower divisions of English football. He then gained prominence with Everton in the Premier League.

As a result, the defender completed a £22 million move to Manchester City in 2009. His no-nonsense style of defending & knack for scoring goals suited City’s ambition as they looked to challenge for silverware.

He formed a rock-solid partnership at the back with club captain Vincent Kompany. Together they helped Manchester City to their first league title in 44 years, conceding the least number of goals along the way.

The England international won the FA Cup in 2011 as well as a domestic League & Cup double in 2013-14. That season was also Lescott’s last at the Etihad, falling behind in the pecking order to the likes of Martin Demichelis & Matija Nastasic.

Lescott spent one season at West Bromwich Albion before moving to Aston Villa in 2015, the club he supported as a boy. His tenure in the West Midlands turned sour as Villa were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in their history. He played in a side that won just two out of 30 games, conceding 61 goals in the process.

#7 Micah Richards

Injuries cut Richards' career short
Injuries cut Richards' career short

Manchester City – 2005-2015

Aston Villa – 2015-2019

Micah Richards was a hugely promising player whose career got cut short by serious injuries. He came through the Manchester City academy and continued to thrive even after the 2009 takeover.

Richards won the Premier League title with his boyhood club in 2011-12. By then he had already clocked 226 appearances at just 23 years of age. To put this into perspective, the right-back was able to play only 69 more matches in the following seven seasons.

Richards was an integral part of the 2011-12 Premier League-winning campaign. He played 29 times and kept the experienced Pablo Zabaleta out of the team.

After spending the 2014-15 season on loan at Fiorentina, the right-back returned to the Premier League, joining a struggling Aston Villa side in 2015. Like compatriot Joleon Lescott, Richards suffered the ignominy of relegation that season.

Knee injuries and a lack of fitness meant Richards could only feature three more times for the West Midlands club. He announced his retirement in 2019, aged just 31. Richards currently features as a pundit for Sky Sports.

#8 Richard Dunne

Dunne got voted into the PFA Team of the year in the 2009-10 season
Dunne got voted into the PFA Team of the year in the 2009-10 season

Manchester City – 2000-2009

Aston Villa – 2009-2013

Richard Dunne was a key figure & a sturdy centre-back who captained Manchester City in the pre-takeover era. The Irishman joined the Cityzens back in 2000 from Everton for £3.5 million.

Dunne’s tenure in Manchester got off to a rocky start as the club were relegated in his first season. Fitness issues & disciplinary problems plagued Dunne’s early career in Manchester. However, putting all of that aside, the Irishman became a reliable figure at the back. This was evident as he won Manchester City’s player of the Year for four consecutive seasons from 2005 to 2008.

After the arrivals of Kolo Toure & Joleon Lescott in the summer of 2009 following the takeover, Dunne switched to Aston Villa for £5 million. 2009-10 was Dunne’s best season, both from an individual & club standpoint. Villa finished 6th in the league, just three points behind his former club. He kept 15 clean sheets (4th in the league) which led to his selection for the PFA Team of the Year.

After three seasons at Aston Villa, Dunne retired in 2015 following a couple of years with QPR.

#9 Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel ended his glorious career at Man City
Peter Schmeichel ended his glorious career at Man City

Aston Villa – 2001-2002

Manchester City – 2002-2003

Manchester United legend & perhaps their greatest goalkeeper ever, Peter Schmeichel made a swift return to the Premier League in 2001 with Aston Villa.

Despite his advancing years, the 37-year old was the first-choice keeper at Villa. He played 29 times and kept seven clean sheets in the process. In what turned out to be a rare occurrence, the Danish legend scored from a corner against Everton, the 1st Premier League keeper to do so.

After a solitary season in the West Midlands, Schmeichel made the switch to the blue half of Manchester. It was his last season of playing professional football.

The United legend played 29 games for City, keeping another nine clean sheets. Amazingly, he maintained his record of not losing a Manchester derby. The Cityzens beat their bitter rivals 3-1 at Maine Road, followed by a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in February.

Edited by Aditya Singh
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