Football transfers can often be dirty affairs, with clubs wanting to keep hold of their star players, while the players want to play at a higher level. There are time though when a player commits a football crime even more treacherous than simply being ambitious, they leave for the local rival.
Some of the transfers on the list below would have affected the English premier league predictions and in doing so, the players were never forgiven for their betrayal, on the other hand, some of the departures to local rivals were surprisingly amicable. We’ve chosen our top 7 Premier League players who have been transferred between city rivals.
Kevin Phillips: Aston Villa to West Brom to Birmingham City
Kevin Phillips didn’t just move from one team in Birmingham to another, he’s actually done it twice meaning he has played for three of the big teams in Birmingham.
Kevin Phillips joined Aston Villa in 2005 from Southampton and only stayed at Villa Park for one season before moving to rivals West Brom, who at the time were plying their trade in the Championship.
In his first season with West Brom the club narrowly missed out on a place back in the Premier League, losing 1-0 to Derby County in the play-off final. He was injured early on in the 2007/08 season however he would make his return a month and a half later to help West Brom win the Championship and with it, a place back in the Premier League.
With his contract expiring at the end of the Championship winning season, he moved to newly relegated Birmingham City and would once again play in the Championship. He helped Birmingham win an instant return to the Premier League.
Nick Barmby: Everton to Liverpool
Nick Barmby originally joined Everton from Middlesbrough back in 1996 after only spending a season at the Riverside. His first season at Goodison Park saw Everton involved in a relegation battle where the club finished in 15th, 2 points above the relegation zone.
The following season Everton once again found themselves struggling for survival in the Premier League, this time finishing in 17th place and surviving on goal difference.
His final two seasons with the club saw them finish more comfortably and it was in the summer of 2000 that both Manchester United and Everton’s arch rival Liverpool were interested in signing the midfielder.
He would opt to move to Liverpool making him the first player since 1959 to directly move from Everton to Liverpool. During his time at Anfield he would win five trophies, but he only spent two seasons at Liverpool before leaving for Leeds United.
Carlos Tevez: Manchester United to Manchester City
Carlos Tevez moved to Manchester United from his third party owners, MSI on a two year loan deal back in 2007 and became a favourite at the club.During his two year loan spell at the club he helped United win two Premier League titles and a Champions League title. As he was a key member of the squad, Sir Alex Ferguson, the then manager of United suggested that the club would look to sign Tevez on a permanent deal.
A permanent deal to Old Trafford never materialised and Tevez stated that he would never join their North-West rivals Liverpool, a team he was linked to as had signed former Corinthians and West Ham teammate Javier Mascherano back in January 2007.
In July 2009 Tevez joined Manchester United’s cross town rivals Manchester City in a deal said to be around £47 million, although this figure has been denied by all parties.
In his four seasons at Manchester City he won one Premier League and on FA Cup before leaving for Italian giants Juventus in the summer of 2013.
Jermain Defoe: West Ham to Tottenham
The current Bournemouth striker joined West Ham back in 1999 and endeared himself to Hammers’ fans over his four and a half years but it would all turn sour at the end of the 2002/03 season.
That season West Ham were relegated from the Premier League and, on the advice of his representation at the time, he handed in a formal written transfer request. Although handing in a transfer request doesn’t always result in hatred and bitterness towards the player, when that request is made the day after the club is relegated, it hurts the fans.
The timing of the request was criticised heavily by the fans and even his teammate, goalkeeper David James at the time and West Ham rejected the request. Defoe would start the season playing for West Ham, but in February 2004, the club accepted an offer of around £7million for Defoe from Tottenham.
He has since admitted that he regrets the manner in which he left West Ham and still loves the club, even if the fans feel the opposite.
Petr Cech: Chelsea to Arsenal
During his 11 year career at Chelsea he practically won it all with multiple Premier League and FA Cups titles, a Champions League and Europa League cup win. However in the summer of 2015, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich allowed his transfer to city rivals Arsenal to go ahead.
Many jokes were made about his move to Arsenal, with Chelsea fans suggesting that he would never win a league title ever again and after two seasons with Arsenal, he has yet to win another league title. He has however won the FA Cup once in his time at the Emirates stadium so far.
Out of all of the transfers on this list, this one is arguably the friendliest, with only a minimal amount of distasteful comments from Chelsea fans. Most comments paid respect to their former keeper and wished him well for the future, but no too well.
Ashley Cole: Arsenal to Chelsea
In stark contrast to Cech’s move, Ashley Cole’s transfer from Arsenal to Chelsea back in the summer 2006 was full of bitterness and ill-feeling.
During his Arsenal career he had won two Premier Leagues and three FA Cups, with his final trophy coming in the 2004/05 season after a penalty shoot-out win against Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
In January 2005, months before the FA Cup final win, Cole had a meeting with then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s chief executive Peter Kenyon and two football agents, Pini Zahavi and Jonathan Barnett. The meeting took place in a London restaurant and this meeting led to them all being found guilty for breaching Premier League rules following the league’s tapping-up probe.
Cole’s reason for wanting to leave Arsenal was that he felt the club didn’t offer him enough of a pay rise, despite his importance to the team, while Chelsea were reportedly prepare to offer him more than he had asked for.
As part of the transfer, William Gallas, Chelsea’s French international defender moved in the opposite direction. Ashley Cole has never been forgiven over the whole debacle and given how it all played out, that’s hardly surprising.
Sol Campbell: Tottenham to Arsenal
Sol Campbell caused one of the most infamous transfers in English football history when he moved from Tottenham to Arsenal on a free transfer, in the process being forever known by Spurs’ fans as “Judas”.
In 2001 Sol Campbell’s contract with Tottenham had expired and despite there being a number of clubs interested in signing the defender, he reiterated in the press that he would be staying at White Hart Lane.
It was an Arsenal press conference at the training ground that made this transfer so infamous. The press conference was expected to be for the unveiling of goalkeeper Richard Wright from Ipswich Town. Instead it was a press conference to unveil Sol Campbell, who had previously stated he would never join Arsenal and from that moment onwards his reputation amongst Spurs’ fans was tarnished.