In the days before freedom of movement, it was not uncommon for players to spend their entire careers with just one club. Those days are long gone, and now it is the norm, not the exception, to find those who have played for different clubs in different leagues during their playing days.
In terms of players who have played for multiple Premier League clubs, here are those who are currently top of the list.
1. Marcus Bent (Eight)
Striker Marcus Bent began his career with Brentford’s academy, and would go on to make his debut for them when they were still a lower league club.
He had his first taste of Premier League football with Crystal Palace, before dropping down the leagues again with Port Vale. However, he was then signed by Blackburn Rovers, and would go on to play for Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Never the most prolific of goalscorers, his most productive spell came with Ipswich, for whom he scored 23 goals in 70 appearances.
2. Craig Bellamy (seven)
Welsh international Craig Bellamy was a highly combative player of whom it was once said he could have an argument with himself in a telephone box.
Although born in Cardiff, he spent his youth career with Bristol Rovers and then Norwich City – then playing second tier football, and it was his goals for the East Anglian club that first persuaded Premier League side Norwich City to sign him.
He then joined Newcastle United, and, after a brief loan spell with Celtic, moved on to Blackburn Rovers. Liverpool then bought him in a big money move, but he lasted just one season at Anfield, falling out with team-mates and manager Rafa Benítez.
He was sold to West Ham United, and then later joined Manchester City. In 2011 Liverpool signed him again, and he won the League Cup with them, before finishing his career with his home town club Cardiff City.
3. Andy Cole (seven)
His 1998/99 side went on to make history that season by becoming the first English club to win the treble. But did you know the squad boasted a jaw-dropping 3 coloured players. Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Wes Brown were the only 3 coloured individuals on that side. pic.twitter.com/rsYlIVvf0t
— 🕊️ (@BRUCEW7YNE) March 12, 2023
Cole was a product of the Arsenal youth system, but only made one senior appearance for them, before he was loaned to first Fulham and then Bristol City, later joining the West Country side in a permanent deal.
His form for the second division side persuaded Premier League Newcastle United to sign him, and he soon became a big hit on Tyneside, scoring 68 goals in 84 appearances for the North-East side.
He was then sold to Manchester United in a highly controversial transfer which involved Keith Gillespie going the other way, and would have the best seasons of his career at Old Trafford.
He won five Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson and was part of the side that completed the treble on 1999 – Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League.
After United, he would enjoy three seasons with Blackburn Rovers, winning the League Cup with them, and then had spells with Fulham, Manchester City and Portsmouth.
After a brief loan to Championship side Birmingham City, he returned to the Premier League with Sunderland, before ending his career in the Championship, first with Burnley and then Nottingham Forest.