24 players who were re-signed by former clubs
When Paul Pogba left Manchester United in 2012 on a free transfer to Juventus, no person in their right mind could have guessed in their wildest imagination that he may be returning on a €110 million transfer deal. The amount of money involved is exorbitant to say the least and many in the football world have called into question the wisdom of this decision, especially since United had let him go in the first place. But they’re not the only ones.
Football clubs, over the decades, have shown a proclivity to let go of their younger and better players only to buy them back later. Call it an error in judgement or short-sightedness, here’s a look at 24 football players who were signed back by their former clubs
#24 Ian Rush
One of Liverpool’s greatest, Ian Rush signed for Liverpool from Chester City for a record fee of £300,000 in April 1980 and finally debuted later that year in Dcember. Even though he signed for Juventus in 1986, he continued playing for Liverpool until finally moving to his new Italian club in 1987.
After just one season with Juventus, Ian Rush moved back to Liverpool in 1988 for a record-breaking fee of £2.7 million and remained there till 1996.
#23 Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes joined Manchester United as a young player straight out of school and quickly broke into the first team. He played for the Red Devils until he was sold to Barcelona for £2 million in 1986.
He proved to be ineffective during his first season and was quickly loaned to Bayern Munich. He returned to Manchester United which was now managed by newly apointed manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, in 1988 for a club record of £1.8 million and spent the most successful portion of his career there.
#22 Graeme Le Saux
Graeme Le Saux signed for Chelsea in 1987 and was a regular in the first team by the 1990-91 season. He started as a left winger but spent the majority of his career as a leftback.
Chelsea let him go to Blackburn Rovers for a deal worth £700,000 in 1993, after he reacted unfavourably to being substituted by then Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield. He returned to the southwest London club in 1997 for £5 million making him the most expensive defender in English football.
#21 Juninho Paulista
Juninho was just 22 when he signed for Middlesbrough in 1995 for £4.75 million and he sealed his place as one of the best in the club’s history. Even though he left for Atletico Madrid in 1997, he was loaned back to his former club during the 1999-00 season. He finally left Atletico in 2002 and headed back to Middlesbrough for a fee of £6 million.
#20 Teddy Sheringham
Teddy Sheringham moved to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £2.1 million from Nottingham Forest in 1992. He moved to Manchester United in 1997 as a replacement for Eric Cantona but moved back to Spurs after he struggled to remain in the first team after the arrival of Dutch forward Ruud van Nistelrooy.
He moved back to Tottenham in 2001 on a free transfer and was later inducted into their Hall of Fame 2008.
#19 Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler signed for Liverpool as a youth team player and was one of the infamous ‘Spice Boys’ during his successful tenure there. He moved to Leeds United for a transfer sum of £12 million in 2001 after feeling redundant upon the arrival of Michael Owen and Emile Heskey.
He moved back to Liverpool on a free transfer in January of 2006 making it a dream return for both fans and Fowler.