Chelsea and Crystal Palace have shared a rather symbiotic relationship over the years, with several high profile players trading the leafy enclave of West London for the sweeping city views south of the city.
Palace’s promotion to the Premier League in 2013 has provided Chelsea with an abundance of opportunities to test raw talent in a highly competitive environment without the issues attached to adapting to new surroundings. Palace manager Roy Hodgson lives in West London, hence Chelsea’s Surrey-based players don’t tend to worry about finding temporary accommodation once a move is agreed. Some players have also made the move permanent in recent years, adapting well and enhancing the mutually beneficial relationship between the two clubs.
Here we are five players who have plied their trade at both clubs:
5) Bobby Tambling:
Famously Chelsea’s record goalscorer before a certain Frank Lampard came along, Tambling also managed to make his mark in a Crystal Palace shirt. The English hitman scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Inter Milan in 1971, as Palace ended the Italians 23-game unbeaten run. This all despite the fact that The Eagles had narrowly survived relegation from the top flight, whilst Milan were celebrating yet another league title.
4) Ashley Cole:
Before he had made his name at Arsenal a young Ashley Cole helped Palace survive relegation from Division One during the 1999/2000 season. Buoyed by his experience on loan Cole forged his way into Arsene Wenger’s backline, winning two Premier League titles before making his much-publicised switch to Chelsea in 2006. Cole didn’t look back after joining The Blues, going on to win the Premier League and the Champions League as well as breaking the record for the single most FA Cup titles. His reputation as perhaps the world’s most complete left-back is never given the respect it deserves.
3) Ruben Loftus-Cheek:
This entry ranks higher than many would expect purely based on Loftus-Cheek’s impact in the seasons following his loan spell at Selhurst Park. A peripheral figure for much of his Chelsea career, Palace offered the midfielder invaluable playing time in the Premier League. Having impressed for the South London outfit, earning a spot in England’s 2018 World Cup squad, Maurizio Sarri offered the then 22-year-old a run of first-team opportunities in a Chelsea shirt. Injury curtailed a hugely promising breakthrough campaign at Stamford Bridge, but Loftus-Cheek can thank Palace for resurrecting his career at Chelsea.
2) Gary Cahill:
Cahill’s legacy at Chelsea is still a topic for debate, with the English centre-half having only left the club last season. But with a trophy cabinet that contains two Premier League titles, a Champions League and two Europa League titles among many others there is no question that Cahill ranks amongst some of Chelsea’s greatest ever players. He has also left behind a leadership void which Lampard has struggled to address throughout the season, and will be looking do his former side no favours when they meet tonight.
1) Ray Wilkins:
His selection is more so reflective of his time at Chelsea, with Wilkins having only made a solitary appearance for Palace. But having guided his boyhood team to the first division in 1977, he would go on to play an integral role as assistant manager to Messrs Gianluca Vialli, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti following the turn of the Millennium. Wilkins, a Chelsea captain at 18, also assisted former Blue Dennis Wise during his spell in charge of Millwall as the pair masterminded a fairytale run to the FA Cup final.
Michy Batshuayi, Charlie Cooke, Micky Droy, Victor Moses and Loic Remy.