The Strangest Third Kits in Premier League History - Ranked

Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal - Capital One Cup Fourth Round
Arsenal's interesting away kit in 2015/16 | Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Third kits are one of the grey areas of the football world.

On one hand, they go against everything beautiful and pure about the game and are a direct consequence of money dictating the sport; nobody needs three kits for one season, but this is now a convention.

On the other hand third kits can be great fun, with manufacturers producing some memorable efforts in recent years - most notably Nike's efforts last season for the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter. It gives clubs the chance to try on something a little left-field, be it harking back to an older design, or trying something completely new.

Lautaro Martinez
SPAL v FC Internazionale - Serie A | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Sometimes, however, it goes a bit too left-field.

Here's a list of some of the weirdest third kits that have cropped up in the history of the Premier League...

1. Manchester City 2016/17

There was clearly something in the air during the 2016/17 season.

City went bold with their third kit colours, opting for a strange fade between orange and purple. It's by no means a bad shirt, but choosing to put those two colours together is an interesting decision.

2. Arsenal 2015/16

Monochrome badges are almost always a no go, but that's just one of many issues with this Arsenal third kit.

The Gunners went for an entirely new approach in the 2015/16 season, but ending up looking like a Newcastle junior team for their efforts.

There's just nothing particularly 'Arsenal' about it, and it feels like they couldn't decide on which specific design to go for.

3. Manchester City 2020/21

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Football ? Music ? Fashion #mancity

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Manchester as a whole hasn't been blessed with the greatest third kits in recent times.

Much like rivals United, Manchester City will take to the pitch in a heavily patterned third kit for the 2020/21 season.

The paisley pattern pays homage to the Manchester's music and fashion culture, but perhaps it honours it a bit too much with the all-over graphic. Your dad loves it, though...

4. Tottenham 2016/17

Heung-Min Son
Spurs stood out in this shirt, but didn't look the best... | Ian Walton/Getty Images

Gold is always a risky colour to use on kits. If implemented well, it can make a club feel truly elite. If not, the complete opposite happens.

Spurs took on the gold in an attempt to perhaps win some silverware in 2016/17, but it didn't quite work, and nor did the kit. It looks more of a tea-stained brown, and the pin stripes don't help either.

There's about three kits crammed into one, here.

5. West Ham 2016/17

Collars on football shirts are Marmite; some will love it, others will hate it.

West Ham's third kit for the 2016/17 campaign was an attempt to go classic, and while they definitely achieved it, it looked a bit odd. It's an effort your dad would love, but also looks like it could be found on the sale rack in Topman.

6. Manchester United 2017/18

How can you stop fans of a club endlessly harassing your social media team because of a bad kit design? Let them design it instead.

For the 2017/18 campaign, adidas allowed Manchester United fans to submit designs on their website and the one with most votes would end up as the club's third kit.

After removing shenanigans in the form of Chris Smalling's face taking up the entire shirt, the Red Devils were left with a grey kit that had Old Trafford at the bottom of it.

It wasn't a bad idea, but it looked unfinished in the bland grey colourway, as though adidas had banned fans from using the colouring in pens for being naughty when submitting designs.

7. Liverpool 2016/17

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL
Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino celebrate for Liverpool | GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Liverpool aren't out of the woods yet with weird kits, and nor is the 2016/17 season.

New Balance decked the Reds out in a Chelsea-inspired neon green third kit that season. The grey accents along the top definitely break up the highlighter feel, but also made it look like the squad was on call to resurface the M1 if needed.

8. Chelsea 2020/21

Next season, Chelsea line up in what looks like a bootleg Crystal Palace shirt. It's genuinely worse than the highlighter strip of 2010/11.

This one isn't going to get used more than three times all season, is it?

9. Manchester City 2019/20

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Job done #semis ?

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City's cocktail-inspired third strip from the 2019/20 campaign gives them a hat-trick of strange third kits.

The club seem to have a thing for combining weird colours purely for the sake of it, and while the purple and orange from a few seasons prior wasn't too bad, this one was pushing it.

The neon green and orange blend looks inspired by some weird blend of drinks you'd have on a lads' holiday in Greece, and the gradient looks like it's been nabbed straight from Microsoft PowerPoint.

10. Liverpool 2013/14

It hasn't always been plain sailing on the kit front for Liverpool in recent times.

Their third kit for the 2013/14 campaign better resembled the upholstery on an old bus seat from the 70s rather than a football kit.

11. Manchester United 2020/21

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A ????? look for Paul #Pogba ? #MUFC

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Let's address the elephant in the room. Or zebra, actually...

adidas' efforts with the Red Devils third kit for the 20/21 season is an interesting one, to put it nicely.

It's supposedly meant to commemorate 110 years at Old Trafford, but we'll let you figure out exactly how, because we don't have a clue...

12. Chelsea 2010/11

Marseille's Brazilian forward Brandao (R
Marseille's Brazilian forward Brandao (R | GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images

Chelsea have a strange obsession with neon green; nowadays it pops up on training wear, but they've managed to squeeze two questionable kits out of it, too.

Everyone remembers that jarring 2007/08 away strip, but this one from 2010/11 goes under the radar. It takes home the prize of ugliest third kit in the list.