Five of the best players to play for both Everton and Man City

Everton meet Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this weekend, the two sides now just two victories away from a Wembley final and potential silverware.

Carlo Ancelotti faces a difficult task against a Manchester City side in pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple this season, as he looks to win Everton’s first major trophy in more than two decades.

Ahead of the meeting on Merseyside, we’ve decided to look at some of the best players to have played their football at both ends of the East Lancs Road.

Here are five of the best players to play for both Everton and Manchester City in the Premier League era:

Richard Dunne

Richard Dunne signed for Everton as a teenager and formed part of the club’s 1998 FA Youth Cup-winning side, eventually making the step into the first-team alongside fellow academy members Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert.

Despite being handed his opportunity as a 17-years-old, Dunne struggled to establish himself under a succession of managers and was often played out of position at full-back before being allowed to join Manchester City in a £3.5m deal – where he would rejoin former Everton manager Joe Royle at Maine Road.

Relegated during his debut season, he helped the side bounce back at the first attempt under Kevin Keegan and became one of the club’s most influential players of the 2000s.

Dunne is the only player in Manchester City’s history to win the club’s Player of the Season accolade on four occasions, having won the award in four consecutive campaigns between 2004 and 2008.

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The Republic of Ireland international – capped on 80 occasions for the national side – made 352 appearances over a nine-year spell with City before moving on to Aston Villa as a firm fans’ favourite.

Sylvain Distin

Dunne’s centre-back partner for much of his time at Manchester City, Sylvain Distin signed for the club from Paris Saint-Germain after a brief loan spell at Newcastle and would become a fine defender over a Premier League career that spanned 15 years.

Distin spent five of those seasons with Manchester City and won admirers for his commanding displays, the Frenchman once described as the ‘perfect defender’ by former manager Kevin Keegan.

He won the club’s Player of the Season accolade in 2002/03 and was named as captain the following season, making 207 appearances across all competitions before signing for Portsmouth.

The centre-back spent two seasons at Fratton Park – winning the FA Cup – before signing for Everton, the Toffees looking towards the then 31-year-old as experienced cover following the sale of Joleon Lescott.

Distin featured regularly over the next five seasons and formed a strong partnership with Phil Jagielka, being named as Everton’s Player of the Season for his performances during the 2011/12 campaign.

Joleon Lescott

The third of four centre-backs to feature in this list, former Everton manager David Moyes’ success in delving into the Championship continued with the signing of Joleon Lescott from Wolves in 2006.

The fee for the defender was an initial £2m, an investment that proved a bargain as Lescott developed into a leading top-flight player at Goodison Park.

His debut season saw him win the club’s Players’ Player of the Season accolade after helping Everton to a sixth-placed finish, before retaining the award after scoring a huge 10 goals in all competitions the following year as the Toffees improved that placing to finish fifth.

Lescott’s performances saw him break into the England side and he soon attracted attention from elsewhere, big-spending Manchester City – subjected to their billionaire takeover – signing the defender in a £22m deal in 2009.

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The centre-back spent five seasons with the club and made 160 appearances in all competitions, forming part of the side that ended a 35-year wait for major silverware with FA Cup success in 2011 and winning two Premier League titles during his time at the Etihad.

Gareth Barry

Underrated and perhaps under-appreciated by those outside of the clubs he represented, Gareth Barry was no doubt a firm favourite during spells at both Manchester City and Everton.

Barry signed for Aston Villa as a teenager and spent more than a decade with the Midlands club, attracting interest from Liverpool before making the move to Manchester City in a £12m deal, a shrewd investment as he played a key role in the club’s first triumphs of the Sheik Mansour era.

The midfielder was an unassuming ever present as he made the side tick in a deep central role, working tirelessly and producing performances of unerring consistency.

He won the FA Cup and Premier League during a five-year spell at the Etihad, before being allowed to leave for Everton on an initial loan deal.

The then 32-year-old added class and composure to the Toffees’ engine room and made 155 appearances over five seasons on Merseyside, scooping the club’s Player of the Season accolades during the 2015/16 season.

Barry finished his career with a short spell at West Brom and retired having made 653 Premier League appearances, the most of any player in the division’s history.

John Stones

John Stones has followed a similar career path to that of the aforementioned Lescott, impressing as a youngster in the Championship, before flourishing at Everton and earning a big-money move to Manchester City.

Stones signed for Everton as a teenager from Barnsley and quickly handled the step-up in quality, the defender’s confidence in possession marking him out as a player to watch as he progressed on Merseyside.

The centre-back made 95 appearances in all competitions and broke into the England side during his time with the Toffees, before becoming one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings as Manchester City manager.

The Spaniard had been impressed by Stones’ ball-playing abilities from deep and secured his signing in a £47.5m deal, becoming an instant fixture in the side and winning back-to-back Premier League titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

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That second title came as part of a historic and unprecedented domestic treble, as Guardiola’s side shattered all forms of records and played some of the finest football the English game has seen.

Stones’ fortunes suffered a huge downturn, however, as he struggled for confidence and minutes at the Etihad in 2019/20, though he has bounced back in some style to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the division this season.

The ‘Barnsley Beckenbauer’ is currently playing the best football of his career and looks on course to win a third Premier League title in the past four seasons, and has regained his place back in the England squad.

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See also – Ranking Man City’s incredible goalscoring record in every season under Pep Guardiola

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