With player transfers becoming a key element of modern-day Premier League football, it is not surprising to see that several players have represented multiple Premier League clubs throughout their careers.
At the time of writing this, the 2022-23 season has seen 224 players join a Premier League club through a transfer, loan move or loan recall with many of them transferring between Premier League outfits.
Admittingly, 25 of these transfers have been to Nottingham Forest this season, but the amount of players moving to a new club and home shows that footballers will most likely look to move if it can develop their careers.
But which players have played for the most Premier League clubs? And who is the highest profiling player amongst them?
Most Premier League Clubs Played For in a Player’s Career
|NUMBER OF EPL CLUBS
|PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS
|Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic & Wolverhampton Wanderers
|Coventry City, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Ham United, Manchester City & Cardiff City
|Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, and Sunderland
|Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth, Fulham, Aston Villa, Newcastle United, and Swansea City
|Tal Ben Haim
|Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sunderland, Portsmouth, West Ham United, and Queens Park Rangers
|Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City and Burnley
Marcus Bent – 8 Clubs
(Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic & Wolverhampton Wanderers).
The player who has represented the most Premier League clubs in history, Marcus Bent made 215 appearances for eight different EPL clubs during his career.
The journeyman striker’s transfers tallied up to just over £10 million, joining established Premier League sides such as Crystal Palace and Everton as well as lower-table clubs like Leicester City, Charlton Athletic, and Ipswich Town.
Bent would make 61 appearances at Ipswich (the most out of his eight EPL clubs) scoring 21 goals before joining Everton for £450,000.
Craig Bellamy – 7 Clubs
(Coventry City, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Ham United, Manchester City & Cardiff City)
With speed, aggression, and a lethal left foot, it is unsurprising to see why seven different Premier League sides chose to sign Craig Bellamy during his career.
The former Welsh winger made 458 appearances during his career, cementing a place within the Premier League 100 goal club with his135 goals while playing for some of EPL’s heavy hitters such as Liverpool, Newcastle, and Manchester City.
Often remembered for his aggressive nature and argumentative attitude off the football pitch, there can be no denying that Bellamy was certainly a player that many clubs would rather have in their team than against them on the pitch.
Andrew Cole – 7 Clubs
(Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, and Sunderland)
Arguably the highest profile player on this list and viewed as a Premier League legend, Andrew Cole played for seven EPL clubs in total, netting 229 goals in 509 appearances during his career.
After being signed for a club-record fee of £1.75 million by Newcastle United, the striker netted 55 goals in 70 games, attracting the eye of Manchester United who broke the British transfer record fee (£7 million) to sign the once-Arsenal academy forward.
Under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, Cole became one of the world’s most prolific finishers in front of goal, helping United win nine trophies in his six-year spell at the club – including the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League in 1999.
Wayne Routledge – 7 Clubs
(Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth, Fulham, Aston Villa, Newcastle United, and Swansea City)
Something of a lower-table journeyman in the Premier League, pacey winger Wayne Routledge struggled to become a regular starter after leaving Crystal Palace in 2005 – playing for 7 EPL clubs throughout his career.
Four transfers and four loan moves later, the Palace academy graduate found his home in Wales, representing Swansea City and their possession-based revolution under manager Brendan Rodgers.
Routledge would make 259 appearances for Swansea, scoring 25 goals and becoming an important figure for the Welsh side as Swansea aimed to become a solidified Premier League team.
Tal Ben Haim – 7 Clubs
(Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sunderland, Portsmouth, West Ham United, and Queens Park Rangers)
A versatile defender and physically imposing opponent, Tal Ben Haim represented seven different Premier League clubs during his 433-game career.
The Israeli centre-back initially found success from a £150,000 move to Bolton Wanderers, becoming a regular in Sam Allardyce’s team and eventually the club captain.
Ben Haim would later make brief spells at Chelsea, Manchester City, and Sunderland before becoming a regular starter in Portsmouth’s iconic squad under the management of Avram Grant.
His last EPL appearance would come in 2013 for Queens Park Rangers after joining QPR on a short-term deal, he would only go on to make three appearances for the London side.
Peter Crouch – 7 Clubs
(Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City & Burnley)
Often known by Premier League viewers as having a “good touch for a big man”, 6ft 7inch Peter Crouch would go on to have a remarkable 599-game career, netting 145 goals, playing for seven EPL clubs.
Strong in the air and skillful on the ball, Crouch saw early success during spells at Portsmouth, Aston Villa, and Southampton before joining Liverpool for £7 million in 2005.
The striker eventually found his way to Stoke City in 2011 where he would stay for eight seasons, scoring 46 goals in 225 games for the Potters. Using his iconic robot celebration and being known for his humour, Crouch became a popular figure in the footballing world and his career is fondly remembered by many fans in England.