Premier League players often have a point to prove when coming up against their former clubs, an extra sense of motivation when facing ex-teammates and employers.
Throughout the years we’ve seen several stars haunt their old sides in the Premier League and we’ve decided to look at the five players to have scored the most goals against their former teams.
Jermain Defoe – 9
Jermain Defoe represented five clubs during his Premier League career and netted nine goals against his former sides, having first broken into the West Ham side as a teenager.
The forward emerged as part of an exciting group of future England internationals at West Ham before crossing the capital to sign for London rivals Tottenham.
In addition to two spells at Spurs, Defoe also enjoyed Premier League periods with Portsmouth, Sunderland and Bournemouth, netting 162 goals in the division.
That haul makes Defoe the ninth highest-scoring player in Premier League history, whilst no player has ever netted more than his 24 goals as a substitute.
Louis Saha – 12
Louis Saha scored 12 goals against his former sides in the Premier League, having represented a long list of clubs that includes Newcastle, Fulham, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham.
Saha’s fine form in firing Fulham to Premier League promotion persuaded Manchester United to sign the Frenchman in £12.4m deal and he enjoyed the most successful period of his career with the Red Devils, winning two Premier League titles and the Champions League among his honours.
Some of these strikes are just 😍
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 1, 2020
He moved on to a productive spell at Everton before less successful stints at Spurs and Sunderland, departing English football having scored 85 goals in the Premier League.
Only Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Olivier Giroud have scored more Premier League goals among French players.
Andy Cole – 12
Andy Cole’s goalscoring record in the Premier League remains criminally underrated, with the former Manchester United forward the third highest goalscorer in the division’s history with 187 goals.
Cole burst onto the scene to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot with Newcastle in 1993/94, before moving to Manchester United in a British transfer record deal and enjoying a trophy-laden spell at Old Trafford.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 4, 2018
He won five league titles and the Champions League among his honours, before spells with Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Sunderland.
He scored 12 goals against his former teams, including a four-goal haul against Newcastle during a 5-0 win for Manchester United in August 1999.
Peter Crouch – 12
Peter Crouch ranks joint-second for goals scored against former clubs, having also netted 12 times against his former employers in the Premier League.
Crouch was a well travelled forward during a long career in the division, his towering frame and link-up play appreciated at clubs including Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Stoke.
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 12, 2019
Crouch scored 108 goals in the Premier League, with a huge 53 coming from headers. No player has ever scored more headed goals in the Premier League with the former England international only player in the competition’s history to score more than 50.
Nicolas Anelka – 18
Nicolas Anelka regularly haunted his former sides in the Premier League, scoring a record 18 goals against sides he formerly represented.
Anelka’s career proved nomadic as he represented a number of clubs across Europe, though his greatest successes came in England during spells at Arsenal and Chelsea.
He won two league titles and three FA Cups during his time with the London rivals, whilst also representing Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton and West Brom in the Premier League.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 28, 2017
Anelka memorably scored a last-minute winner for Manchester City against Liverpool at Anfield, just months after the Reds had turned down the chance to sign the on-loan forward on a permanent basis.