Everton vs. Manchester United: All-Time Played for Both Sides XI

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2014

Everton vs. Manchester United: All-Time Played for Both Sides XI

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    With the end of the season upon us, the North West of England is in a time warp.

    Liverpool are on the verge of winning an the league championship and the performances of Manchester United and Everton also allude to form from a bygone era.

    As Everton under Roberto Martinez push to be in Europe's elite club competition for 2014/15, David Moyes' United team have time travelled back to the 1980s, when the last few weeks of the season only meant that your summer holiday was approaching fast.

    Sunday sees the Merseyside club host the current champions of England, with Everton looking to put some distance between themselves and Arsenal.

    Both teams have had a number of players represent both sides over the years.

    Here, we review a combined XI of players who have worn both blue and red in their career. 


    (All stats via ESPNFC and Soccerbase unless stated.)

Tim Howard

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    Tim Howard was plucked from obscurity from the MLS in 2003 by Sir Alex Ferguson to become United's new No. 1 and immediately started to show that he was a fine goalkeeper.

    However, after a very good first season at Old Trafford, things started to slowly decline and culminated in a handful of high-profile errors in big matches.

    Howard played 77 times over three seasons for the Red Devils before being loaned and eventually sold to Everton in 2006 following the arrival of Edwin van der Sar.

    The American international has been first choice for the Toffees since his arrival and is now into his 11th season as a top-flight Premier League goalkeeper.

    He is closing in on 300 league appearances for Everton and has proved himself to be one of the most consistent goalkeepers of the decade.

    Did Sir Alex Ferguson sell him too soon? The evidence says that he released a very good player before he hit his prime. 

John Gidman

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    When reviewing all of the players who have played for both Manchester United and Everton, there is a distinct lack of defenders.

    However, Liverpudlian full-back John Gidman represented both teams and was a part of Ron Atkinson's famous 1985 FA Cup-winning Red Devils team that defeated Everton at Wembley.

    Gidman was Atkinson's first signing for United in 1981, a deal which saw Mickey Thomas move the opposite way to Goodison Park. 

    Despite being one of the most consistent full-backs in English football in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gidman only represented his country just the once. 

    He left United in 1986, signing for local rivals Manchester City

Phil Neville

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    A multi-talented sportsman as a teenager, Phil Neville made his Manchester United debut in 1995 after graduating through the club's famed youth system that also produced his brother Gary. 

    In his 10 years as a United player, Neville won the Premier League six times, the FA Cup three times and the Champions League in 1999. 

    The England international, who won 59 caps for his country, moved to Everton in the summer of 2005 for a fee in excess of £3 million, per BBC Sport.

    BBC Sport reported that Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time:

    This was not a decision we wanted to make, but every time I picked the team and Phil's name was not on the team-sheet, it was very difficult for me. You couldn't meet a better professional and he leaves with the gratitude of everyone at the the club for his service to United.

    Neville went on to play over 300 games for Everton over an eight-year period and captained the club.

    The 2013/14 season saw him return to Old Trafford as first team coach under David Moyes. 

Marouane Fellaini

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    With no top centre-backs having played for both sides, it is left for Belgian international Marouane Fellaini to fill the void in a back three. 

    The tall midfielder started his senior career at Standard Liege, moving to Everton in a £15-million club record for the Toffees in 2008, per the club's website.

    As reported by the club's website at the time, acting Chief Executive Robert Elstone said: “This is fantastic news for everyone connected with the Club. We have signed one of European football’s most exciting prospects who will have a huge part to play at Everton over the next five years.

    And Fellaini did not disappoint, making 177 appearances for the team and scoring an impressive 33 times.

    Fellaini followed David Moyes to Old Trafford in 2013 for £27.5 million, per BBC Sport.

    Since his arrival at United, the player has been widely vilified as the Old Trafford club slips in and out of a post-Fergie coma.

    However, Fellaini's consistency has improved later in the year, and he will have the opportunity to prove his worth to the United faithful after the World Cup. 

Jesper Blomqvist

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    Jesper Blomqvist's injury-ravaged career can easily be off-putting when considering his ability as a footballer.

    But as a teenager, the Swede was considered one of the most exciting attackers in European club football; a young Blomqvist starred for Gothenburg as they eliminated Manchester United from the Champions League. 

    Blomqvist also went on to appear at the 1994 World Cup, helping Sweden to the semi-finals.

    After spells in Serie A with AC Milan and Parma, Blomqvist joined United in 1998/99, appearing 38 times during the historic treble-winning season.

    But injury derailed his United career, with the 1999 Champions League final being his final appearance for the club.

    Two years of injury heartbreak followed before Blomqvist moved to Everton on a short-term deal, playing 18 times for the Goodison Park club.

    As injuries persisted, Blomqvist returned to Swedish domestic football to see out his career. 

    Had he better luck physically, Blomqvist could have been a true star for either of the North-West giants. 

Norman Whiteside

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    Norman Whiteside was a cult hero for Manchester United in the 1980s.

    He was a man-mountain of player for the Reds, despite only being a teenager when he made his initial impact. 

    Some 25 years on, Whiteside is still a record-holder: he is the youngest player to ever play at a World Cup, the youngest player to score in an FA Cup final, the youngest player to score in a League Cup final and the youngest-ever scorer for Manchester United. 

    Whiteside famously scored the extra-time winner in the 1985 FA Cup final that stopped Everton from winning the double.

    Injury plagued Whiteside throughout his playing days, and in 1989 the Northern Irishman left Old Trafford for Goodison Park after playing 278 times for United, still only at the age of 24. 

    Whiteside spent two years on Merseyside before injury ended his career.

    It was a sorry end to the days of one of Manchester United's 1980s legends. 

Peter Beardsley

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    Peter Beardsley played for 12 clubs over his 20-year career, and his release by Manchester United was one of Ron Atkinson's most spectacular failures at the club.

    Beardsley joined United from Vancouver Whitecaps in 1982 for a £300,000 fee but only featured in one match for the Red Devils before returning to Vancouver on a free transfer.

    From that moment on, Beardsley's career exploded.

    Eight highly successful seasons followed, as Beardsley's reputation as a top-class attacker was cemented at Newcastle and Liverpool and by partnering Gary Lineker in attack for the England national team.

    Beardsley signed for Everton as a 30-year-old, playing two seasons at the Goodison Park club.

    As one of the most intelligent English attackers of his generation, who knows what United could have achieved in the 1980s, had they not given up on his talents so prematurely. 


Wayne Rooney

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    He needs no introduction to either Everton or United fans or to neutrals across the globe.

    Wayne Rooney is one of the most-lauded players of his generation, winning a multitude of trophies at Old Trafford.

    However, Rooney first hit the headlines as an Everton starlet, making his debut for the Toffeemen as a 16-year-old in 2002.

    After two years in the first team, Rooney was on his way to United in a deal worth in excess of £20 million, per the Mail Online.

    Rooney is now United's third-highest goalscorer of all time. In his 441 games for United, he has scored 214 times and provided 113 assists, per Wayne Rooney's official website.

    Rooney's contract antics of the past have not made him universally as popular as his statistics should dictate, but he is still one of the finest players of his type in the Premier League.

    How he will ultimately be remembered by both the United faithful and Evertonians is still unclear. 

Louis Saha

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    Like many in this combined team, French international striker Louis Saha's career was severely hampered by injury and frustration. 

    After spending four impressive seasons in London with Fulham, Sir Alex Ferguson signed Saha for £12.8 million in 2004, per Adam Marshall of Sky Sports.

    After impressing in his early months at the club, Saha's United career never truly got going as injury after injury occurred. 

    Saha still managed 124 appearances for United over a four-year period, scoring 42 times.

    In 2008, the 30-year-old Saha signed a two-year deal for Everton for an undisclosed fee, per BBC Sport.

    Saha stayed with Everton for four years, making just shy of 115 appearances for the club and scoring 35 times—very much on par with his United scoring ratio.

    Saha left Everton in 2011, appearing for Tottenham, Sunderland and Lazio, before announcing his retirement last year.

Mark Hughes

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    Like Norman Whiteside before, Mark Hughes was one of United's 1980s legends, but he also played a hugely significant part in the club's return to trophy success in the 1990s.

    Welshman Hughes was the typical combative forward of his generation. He signed for United after leaving school in 1980. 

    Hughes did not make his full debut for the Reds for three years, finally making his mark in 1983 when fellow youth talent Whiteside was moved from forward to midfield to accommodate him. 

    Hughes scored 47 times in 121 appearances before a shock transfer in 1986 saw him move to Barcelona, to be paired up with fellow new recruit Gary Lineker.

    However, Hughes never settled in Spain and was quickly loaned out to Bayern Munich the following year.

    In 1988, Sir Alex Ferguson saw the opportunity to bring Hughes back to Manchester and signed the player for a then-club record fee of £1.8 million, per The Independent.  

    The player then spent seven glorious seasons under Ferguson, partnering first Brian McClair and then Eric Cantona up front for United and winning trophies galore. 

    He also scored twice against former club Barca as United beat the Catalan giants in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

    Hughes left United for his boyhood favourites Chelsea in 1995, and after a spell at Southampton he joined Everton in 1999, where he spent two seasons. 

Andrei Kanchelskis

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    Flying Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis signed for Manchester United in 1991 and soon established himself as one of the team's attacking mavericks. 

    Kanchelskis had an outstanding midfield goals-to-games ratio during his four seasons at United, scoring 48 times in 145 games. 

    However, in 1995 he was promptly placed on the transfer list by Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Toffees broke their transfer record to sign the player for £5 million, per Everton's website.

    Kanchelskis was replaced on United's right-hand side by a young player called David Beckham

    The Russian international's goalscoring exploits continued on Merseyside, though he never fully settled and within two years he was on his way to Serie A, signing for Fiorentina

    Kanchelskis went on to play for Rangers, Manchester City and Southampton but never regained the form he found at United. 

    Despite the circumstances that surrounded his exit, he is fondly remembered by Red Devils fans as one of the players who finally delivered the club's first league title after a 26-year wait.