Blue Eagles

Ruben Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and Victor Moses is another former Eagles player in the Chelsea ranks, but who else has represented the two clubs in the Premier League era?

There has been plenty of crossover when it comes to the South-West London divide over the years, with plenty of footballers plying their trade at both Selhurst Park and Stamford Bridge, including current Crystal Palace full-back Patrick van Aanholt, who began his career here. We’ve picked out five of them, including a pair of Palace play-off heroes and arguably the greatest left-back in our history.

Although first-team goals didn’t flow quite so readily as they had when he was coming through the ranks at Chelsea in the early-Nineties, Neil Shipperley will always have a match-winning strike against Liverpool to his name. He is also fondly remembered by Eagles fans for scoring the goal which helped Crystal Palace back into the Premier League in 2004 – a fitting reward for a selfless hold-up striker.

Indeed, Crystal Palace have won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs on three occasions – and two of them as a result of goals from ex-Chelsea men. Having failed to make his mark as a Blue, Hopkin made the short journey across London to seal a place in Palace folklore, scoring with virtually the last kick of the 1997 play-off final against Sheffield United. He left that summer for Leeds United before returning to Selhurst Park in 2001 and he currently manages another of his former clubs, Bradford City.

One player who only announced his retirement from football earlier this year is Mikael Forssell, the Finn who announced himself to the Stamford Bridge crowd with a stunning brace on his full debut for the club against Oxford United in the FA Cup almost 20 years ago.

However, with first-team football hard to come by, Forssell spent 18 months with Crystal Palace in the old Division One. After impressing at Selhurst Park, he returned to the Blues a more-rounded player and scored nine goals as a substitute in the 2001/02 season.

In 1997, Chelsea’s transfer business was largely restricted to signing superstar players from overseas. The arrival of Danny Granville from Cambridge United was the exception, but he went on to play in the Blues defence which kept out VfB Stuttgart in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. It was a short and sweet stay in west London, but he later moved further south to spend six years with the Eagles and even faced the Blues during our Premier League-winning season in 2004/05, when he claimed Joe Cole gave him perhaps the toughest game of his career.

Which leads us on nicely to a player who shared the same surname as our beloved former winger. Lauded as perhaps the greatest left-back of the Noughties, most football fans will remember Ashley Cole’s trophy-laden spell in west London, but did you know he took his first meaningful steps as a footballer at Selhurst Park? Ash spent the second half of the 1999/00 season on loan to the Eagles from Arsenal and he helped them avoid relegation to the third tier with a vital goal in their penultimate game of the campaign.