Bacary Sagna challenges Gael Clichy for the ball during Arsenal’s home fixture V Man City. Sagna later joined City in 2014

Premier League Champions Manchester City host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow at 12:30 pm.

The early kick-off of the matchday could raise some fireworks, with both sides fresh from convincing victories over Norwich and West Brom respectively.

While Man City are the favourite, Arsenal could provide a shock for their own fans and neutrals.

Former Man City Spaniard Pablo Mari is expected to start against City tomorrow – his last appearance vs the Sky Blues in Manchester was in a 3-0 defeat and the defender suffered a cruciate ligament injury and was sidelined for months. Will the defender get better luck and perform better than vs Chelsea? Comment below.

While every media outlet previews the fixture and outline that Arsenal’s last victory at City was in 2015 – A Santi Cazorla masterclass as he scored and assisted Olivier Giroud to a 2-0 victory – my job is to write about three footballers who featured for both clubs and where are they now.

One previous footballer who played for both City and Arsenal is invincible Patrick Vieira, but it’s a boring choice as everyone knows he is the Head coach at South London side Crystal Palace.

Vieira joined Man City in 2010 from Inter Milan and retired as a player at the Eastlands. He featured 28 times and scored three goals before retiring and became a Football Development Executive at the club, and after management roles at New York City FC and Nice, before managing in South London.

Here are three other players who played for both Gunners and Cityzens.

Emmanuel Adebayor

A footballer, who most Arsenal fans look at as a disgrace is in fact Vieira’s former City teammate Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Togo footballer famously left Arsenal for City in a £25 Million transfer in 2009 and has had disputes and arguments with Arsenal fans since. During City’s 4-2 win over in Arsenal in 2009, the striker scored and then ran towards the away end, knee sliding in front of the Gunners as fans threw items at him.

Perhaps the craziest celebration ever?

It’s been so petty that Adebayor even joined Tottenham Hotspur on two separate occasions, a loan deal from City in 2011, and then a permanent transfer in 2012.

The striker scored and then got sent off for Spurs as the Gunners beat their North London rivals 5-2 in 2012.

The former Monaco forward even had a loan spell at Real Madrid in the 2010/11 season.

Following his exit from Spurs, he played for Crystal Palace, Turkish sides Istanbul Basaksehir and Kayserispor and, Paraguayan club Olympia where he finished his playing career.

The Togo striker scored 97 goals, claimed 36 assists in 242 appearances in the Premier League.

He is also his nation’s top goalscorer ever with 32 goals.

Now 37, the former striker is happily retired and is taking a break from the sport.

Will we see him in management or punditry? Let us know.

Gael Clichy

Fellow former City and Arsenal full-back and fellow Basaksehir teammate Gael Clichy is in fact still playing at the age of 36.

The former Gunner started his career at French side Cannes before joining the North Londoners in 2004. Clichy featured 11 times for the Gunners as he became an invincible and became an important player since.

The Frenchman also won an FA Cup in North London and achieved 264 appearances at both Highbury and the Emirates.

He left Arsenal for City on a free transfer in 2011 as City continued their rise as one of the Premier Leagues most prestigious clubs. Clichy had a superb spell in Manchester. He played 203 times for the Sky Blues, and won two Premier Leagues, and two League Cups in six stellar years.

The full-back was released by City in 2017 and signed for Istanbul Basaksehir and helped the side win their first-ever Turkish Super League in 2020.

Clichy left the Blue and Oranges this January and joined Swiss side Servette FC. Clichy even has two appearances at European Level but was knocked out by Norwegian side Molde in the second round of qualifying.

Clichy currently has 30 appearances for Servette and helped them finish 3rd in the Swiss League following his arrival in January 2021. After four games this season, Clichy’s current side sit at 4th at the 10-team league with six points from four games.

Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri celebrates their Premier League win with Gael Clichy following their dramatic 3-2 win over QPR in 2012.

Yet another footballer who enraged Arsenal fans with his transfer to Man City is former Marseille playmaker Samir Nasri. The midfielder, now 34, departed London for Manchester for a fee of £24 Million in 2011. Like Clichy, the Frenchman won City their first title in 2012 and featured 176 times for the Cityzens.

Nasri also has 27 goals and 40 assists at the club. Interestingly, Nasri has the same number of goals during his spell at Arsenal despite playing 50 games less but only notched 16 assists before the multimillion transfer.

The 41 cap international was trophyless at Arsenal and Marseille despite winning the 2010 French Footballer of the year. Nasri began his career at Marseille, in 2004. At Marseille, Nasri wore their jersey 166 times before his £8million transfer to London in 2008. The playmaker left Marseille with 12 goals and 30 assists. Having grabbed six goals and 12 assists in his last season for the Whites.

Nasri had a loan spell at Sevilla in 2016/17 season before departing Manchester for Antalya in 2017.

The playmaker only lasted one season in Turkey with Antalyaspor before leaving as a free agent. The star struggled for fitness and game time and subsequently was a free agent when the 2018 season began.

West Ham offered the Frenchman a six-month contract in January the next year and featured in six appearances for the Hammers. The Hammer managed two goals – one against Arsenal but failed to impress the East London side as he still had fitness concerns.

Following his second departure from London in 2019, Nasri was reunited with Belgian legend Vincent Kompany and signed for Anderlecht but failed to revive his playing career and left in 2020 with only eight appearances as Kompany’s side finished a disappointing 8th that season.

Player/Manager Vincent Kompany made Nasri captain during his short spell at the club.

With only two goals in his short time in Belgium, he departed Brussels in 2020 and is now a free agent. Now 34 years of age, it seems like Nasri is set for retirement, as its his third summer as a free agent.

While Adebayor may not have had a better career following his departure from North London to City, unlike his former French teammates. It seems like the former Ligue 1 stars have a legacy in the Premier League. As both Adebayor’s and Nasri’s playing careers end, Clichy is still running.

While Arsenal fans cannot stand Adebayor and Nasri, do they still look at Clichy as a footballer they admire? Comment below, your thoughts.

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