The demanding and competitive nature in modern football means top teams splash big money on the players they feel can contribute to the team’s domestic as well as continental ambitions. There have been a lot of instances where teams have been able to nurture talents from a very young age but it is not necessary that these players would stay with the same club over the course of their long careers.
Like in most cases, they are either scouted and signed up by big spenders or they simply fall off the radar due to the pressure associated with professional football.
However, there have been cases where players who simply couldn’t make it in their club’s setup in the first place were later re-signed for huge sums of money after making a name for themselves elsewhere. Here we take a look at some of the players who eventually returned to their old club for a higher fee.
#5 Nicolas Anelka to PSG for £20m
Nicolas Anelka played for as many as 12 clubs in his entire career but he started off at Paris Saint-Germain in 1996 as a highly rated youngster who had great potential for scoring goals. He joined newly appointed manager Arsene Wenger at Arsenal a year later as a 17-year-old and made his breakthrough to the first team the following year after a long-term injury to striker Ian Wright.
The Frenchman contributed majorly to the Gunners’ domestic double in the 1997-98 season and also won the PFA Young Player of the Year award next season after he was the club’s top scorer with 17 league goals.
Anelka earned a move to Real Madrid in the summer of 1999 but failed to score a single goal in his first five months at the club. Things never went according to plan after he had a bust-up with manager Vincent Del Bosque and his former club came calling in 2000 for a fee of £20m. The striker enjoyed a hero’s welcome in Paris but failed to live up to the expectations and eventually went on loan to Liverpool in 2001 before signing a permanent deal with Manchester City a year later for a then club record fee.