Liverpool vs Arsenal: 5 Players to Play for Both Sides

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Despite no direct rivalry between the two sides, Liverpool and Arsenal rarely sell players to each-other. Before Oxlade-Chamberlain in the summer, the last player to sign for Liverpool from Arsenal was Michael Thomas back in December 1991 for a fee of £1.5 million. Since then, there have been a couple of players to wear the red of both sides but none of them have went directly from one club to the other. With the big crunch match coming up on Friday, here are five players ex-Liverpool players who have also played for Arsenal:

Nicolas Anelka

Arsenal 1997 1999

Liverpool 2001 2002

Anelka started his career at PSG but after just one season in France he was snatched up by Arsenal for just £500,000. He struggled for first team football during his first season but a long-term injury to Ian Wright meant that plenty of opportunities presented themselves to the French striker in the 1997/98 season. His first goal came in a 3-2 home win against Manchester United he and would play a big part in the team’s Premier League and FA Cup double, scoring in the 2-0 victory in the final. The season after, Anelka would score go on to be the team’s top scorer with 17 goals and be crowned PFA Young Player of the Year before making the £22.3 million switch to Real Madrid.

Anelka struggled at Real Madrid and after one season scoring only two goals he moved back to his first club PSG where he would once again spend a season there before making a loan move to Liverpool. Signed on a short-term deal, Anelka would contribute towards Liverpool’s second place finish with goals against Everton, Fulham, Blackburn and Ipswich. Despite his efforts, Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier decided to permanently sign EL Hadji Diouf as opposed to the French striker and he joined fellow Premier League team Manchester City in 2002.

Yossi Benayoun

Liverpool 2007 2010

Arsenal 2011-2012

Signed in the summer of 2007, he controversially backed out of a verbal agreement with West Ham to extend his contract so that he could join the reds. He made his debut against Toulouse in the Champions League qualifier 1st leg and scored his first goal against Reading in the League Cup that September. Most remembered for his 94th minute winner off the bench against Fulham, Benayoun scored 18 goals in 92 appearances for the club.

Liverpool would sell Benayoun to Premier League rivals Chelsea where game time would be hard to come by for the Israeli midfielder. After one season Benayoun would move to Arsenal on loan in pursuit of more game time, he would make 19 appearances at the club and find the net four times.

Jermaine Pennant

Arsenal 1999 2005

Liverpool 2006 2009

Pennant spent his youth career at Notts County but was signed up by Arsenal before he could even make an appearance for his local team. He spent six years at the club but failed to make an impact and from 2002 he would play on loan for Watford, Leeds United and Birmingham before signing for the last club permanently in 2005.

Pennant impressed in the 2005/06 season for the club and it was his performances that got him his move to Liverpool the summer after for £6.7 million. Pennant made his Liverpool debut against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League qualifiers and scored a memorable first goal in a red shirt in the 2-0 home victory against Chelsea. Loaned out for the second half of the 2008/09 season, Pennant was not offered a new contract upon his return and eventually moved to Real Zaragoza as a free agent.

Kolo Toure

Arsenal 2002 2009

Liverpool 2013 2016

Kolo Toure will go down in the history books as part of the only team that has went a whole Premier League season unbeaten, a figurehead during a part of the teams most successful years Kolo Toure was junior vice-captain behind Thierry Henry and Gilberto Silva. He first captained the team against Liverpool in a 6-3 league cup victory and he would subsequently lead the team out for the final of that competition too. During his time at Arsenal Kolo Toure won a Premier League title, two FA Cups and was runner up in the 2006/07 Champions League final.

After Toure’s controversial bust up with Gallas and move to City, his contract expired after four years with the Manchester club. Seeing the opportunity to bring in an experienced defender on a free Liverpool snatched him up and he would start in the 3-1 Europa League loss to Sevilla. Toure played 46 times in three years at the club before following ex-Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to Celtic where he would eventually retire and take up a coaching role.

Ray Kennedy

Arsenal 1968 1974

Liverpool 1974 1981

Kennedy spent his youth career at Port Vale and New Hartley Juniors before he impressed Arsenal scouts and moved to London, making his first team debut in September 1969 Kennedy played as a striker for the Gunners; scoring 53 goals in 158 club appearances. During his time with Arsenal, Kennedy won the First Division in 1970/71 and the FA Cup in 1971.

During his time with Liverpool he would go on to win every other domestic honour there was to win in a successful seven-year stint at the club, predominantly playing on the left wing now; Kennedy had a goal return of 72 goals in 393 appearances in all competitions for the reds. He would add to the one division title he won at Arsenal by winning it five more times at Liverpool as well as one league cup, three European Cups and a UEFA Cup before moving on to Swansea City in 1982.

Article by Louis Connor

Twitter: @Loui_Connor

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