Timo Werner look’s set to take a huge pay cut and move back to old club RB Leipzig. Werner’s time at Chelsea hasn’t been what he would’ve hoped with 10 goals in 56 appearances so it seems he wants to return to the familiar. On the back of this expected move, here are 10 times players returned back to their old club.
10. David Luiz – Chelsea
First Spell: 2011-2014
Second Spell: 2016-2019
David Luiz joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2011. During this time he famously scored a penalty in their 2012 Champions League final shoot-out against Bayern Munich.
After two more years at the club he was signed for £50m by PSG which at the time was a world record fee for a defender. During his time at the French club he won 7 trophies and 2 league titles. After this success he decided he wanted a return to Stamford Bridge to cement his name in their history and made a return in 2016.
Luiz set out a goal on his return to win the Premier League saying, “One of the reasons I decided to come back here is because I know the Premier League well but I never had the opportunity to win it, so it is still one of my goals in my career”. The Brazilian succeeded in his goal and won the Premier League in 2017 and then the Europa League the year after.
All in all David Luiz’ return was a success.
9. Carlos Tevez – Boca Juniors
First Spell: 2002-2005
Second Spell: 2021-Retired
Carlos Tevez began his professional career at Boca Juniors after joining their academy in 1996. In 2003, he lifted the Copa Libertadores with his boyhood club and a couple years later he decided to move on to play for the biggest clubs in Europe.
During his time in Europe, Tevez played for several top clubs including both Manchester United and City. After a successful time in England he moved onto Italy and Juventus. In the 2015/16 season Tevez scored 20 and helped them secure a domestic double and Champions League Final.
It was known that Tevez was going to return to his boyhood club but it was unexpected after that fruitful season with Juventus. However, the Argentine did return but it was short lasting with him joining Shanghai Shenhua. Once again though he couldn’t keep away, rejoining Boca in 2021 where he then retired 11 months later.
8. Gianluigi Buffon – Parma
First Spell: 1996-2001
Second Spell: 2021-Ongoing
Buffon made his professional debut for Parma in 1996. In the five years he was at the club he established himself as one of the best in Italy and made his debut for the International team. Due to this he left his boyhood club and joined Juventus for £54.5m.
Buffon had a spectacular time after leaving Parma. He won 11 league titles and five domestic cups for both Juventus and PSG, alongside his World Cup. However after almost two decades and in his early 40s he decided it was time to take a step down from the top level and rejoin Parma.
The Italian great rejoined Parma in 2021 and is still playing now much to the delight of Italian football fans.
7. Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea
First Spell: 2011-2014
Second Spell: 2021-Ongoing
Lukaku joined Chelsea in 2011 from Anderlecht and from then he was sent out on loan to both West Brom and Everton where he performed great at Premier League level. At the end of his loan with Everton they signed him and he went on to perform again. Due to this Chelsea came running back to re-sign the Belgian who he snubbed for Manchester United.
After a poor time at Manchester United he was moved onto Inter Milan and the Serie A is really where Lukaku thrived with 24 goals in the 2020/21 season. Due to this Chelsea came knocking again and he resigned for a massive £100m fee.
Lukaku’s time at Chelsea was nothing short of dreadful and the forward has since been sent back on loan to Inter Milan where it now looks like they will re-sign him. It seemed Chelsea’s No.9 curse got the better of him.
6. Paul Pogba – Manchester United
First Spell: 2009-2012
Second Spell: 2016-2022
Pogba failed to break into the first team in his first spell at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson and left on a free to Juventus in 2012.
The Frenchman’s time at Juventus left the United fans with their heads in their hands as he went on to become one of the best midfielders in the world. This caused United to swallow their pride and pay almost £90m for Pogba to return to Manchester.
Due to this fee, Pogba’s performances for the Red Devils were often criticized however he was a constant feature in their starting XI and helped them win a Europa League. Pogba wasn’t helped by Manchester United’s general state as a club during the time which led to a lack of success on the pitch.
This ultimately led to Pogba returning to Juventus once again on a free. Let’s hope for United fans that fate doesn’t repeat itself.
5. Wayne Rooney – Everton
First Spell: 2002-2004
Second Spell: 2017-2018
Rooney burst onto the scene with Everton in 2002 announcing himself as one of England’s most exciting youth prospects. His two stunning seasons with Everton earned him a move to Manchester United.
Rooney was a fan favorite at Old Trafford and during his 13 years there he won 5 Premier League titles and 1 Champions League. With United’s decline looking ever more inevitable Rooney decided to return to Goodison Park for one last go at it.
He ended his season back at Everton being the top goal scorer before deciding to move to America and then onto retirement in which he is now having a go at management.
4. Gareth Bale – Tottenham
First Spell: 2007-2013
Second Spell: 2020-2021
Bale had the footballing world on the edge of its seats during his first spell at spurs with his pace and finishing. Bale then went on to push for a move to Real Madrid as there wasn’t much success in terms of trophies at White Hart Lane.
The Welshman got his move for just over £90m and he had a great first few seasons at Los Blancos. When Zidane came in Bale’s playing time and subsequently good performances dropped and it led to him pushing for a move elsewhere with Spanish media hunting him down.
He moved back to Spurs on loan in 2021 to their fans’ delight and in his time he scored 16 goals under Jose Mourinho before returning back to Madrid.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United
First Spell: 2003-2009
Second Spell: 2021-Present
Ronaldo joined back in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon after catching Sir Alex’s eye during a fixture vs Man United. During CR7s first stint at the club he won everything there was to win and picked up a Ballon d’Or along the way.
After 6 years at the club Ronaldo chose a new challenge and joined Real Madrid for 80m. The forward spent 9 fruitful years at the club winning 15 trophies all together. In a surprising move Ronaldo moved onto Juventus for £90m and to no surprise he performed at the highest level in another league once again.
Three years at the Italian giants proved enough for CR7 and he decided he wanted to move on. In his search for a new club it looked likely Man City were going to be his next club until United swooped and stopped the deal happening. Despite the buzz of Ronaldo’s return United struggled to find form and it looks like the forward is forcing a move away from the club.
2. Didier Drogba – Chelsea
First Spell: 2004-2012
Second Spell: 2014-2015
Drogba is considered one of Chelsea’s best ever strikers and it’s no surprise by helping the club win ten trophies in his first eight years at the club. In this time he became a club legend and fans were devastated to see him leave in 2012 to go to Shanghai Shenhua.
During his two years away he also played for Fenerbache and at 36-years-old it looked like his career was coming to an end. However when the opportunity arose to return to Chelsea and Jose Mourinho he couldn’t stay away.
In his one season back at the Club he helped them win the Premier League and also the League cup, cementing himself in history at Stamford Bridge.
1. Thierry Henry – Arsenal
First Spell: 1999-2007
Second Spell: 2012 Loan
Thierry Henry is another forward who is quite possibly the best to have played for his club. In the striker’s first spell at the club he won 2 Premier Leagues and 2 FA cups but no one will forget the achievement of being part of The “Invincibles” season.
In 2007 Barcelona showed interest in the forward and he moved for £21m. After three seasons he moved on to New York RB where he began to end his career. However Arsenal offered him the chance to come back to London on loan and he could not refuse.
In Henry’s two month long loan spell he only made a few appearances to cover for injured players but he definitely brought back a much needed feel-good factor for Gooners fans.