8 footballers that clubs would like to bring back
There’s always that one player football clubs wish they had never sold. It hurts when such players perform exceptionally well for their new clubs, especially when they never had a real chance at the selling club. Most of them, however, earn their moves simply because they play at a high level.If given a chance, several clubs would definitely hit the rewind button and snatch their athletes back from whatever team they’ve joined. But unfortunately, the like hardly ever happens, unless the player decides to re-join during the latter stages of his career; Didier Drogba and Thierry Henry being chief examples.There are many star performers out there, whom teams deeply regret selling, albeit on occasion not having much of a say in the matter.Let’s take a look at eight of them.
#1 Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku was brought to England by Premier League champions Chelsea in 2011. He was expected to burst into the first team and was touted as the heir to Didier Drogba’s throne at Stamford Bridge.
Things took a different turn, however. The player was loaned to West Bromwich Albion after spending a year on the fringes, mostly playing for the reserves. He would have a monster campaign, scoring 17 league goals and finishing as the sixth highest scorer.
Lukaku’s feat did little to convince Chelsea of his worth, and he was again loaned out the following season, this time to Everton where he would score 15 goals.
The move was later made permanent, after a fee of £28 million was agreed, to keep the player at the Merseyside. He has since developed into one of the most dangerous forwards in the league, having already scored 19 goals in all competitions for the Toffees, while Chelsea are struggling to break into the top 10.
You can be sure that they would snap him back up without a moment’s hesitation if presented with the opportunity.
#2 Kevin de Bruyne (Chelsea)
Another Belgian Chelsea would absolutely love to have back; without the injury, of course. Kevin de Bruyne made the switch from Wolfsburg to Manchester City during the summer, becoming the club’s most expensive signing, having commanded a transfer fee of £55 million.
De Bruyne had signed for Chelsea from Belgian side Genk during the 2011/12 winter transfer window, but they would keep him till the end of the season. He would be loaned out to Werder Bremen the following term, where he enjoyed a successful spell.
The midfielder finally joined up with Chelsea in July of 2013, and would have an impressive debut on opening day, but found himself a peripheral figure at the club shortly thereafter.
He was sold to Wolfsburg the following January, becoming an instant hit in Germany. His next season would see his star rise to the very top as he recorded an impressive 16 goals and 27 assists.
Several suitors were attracted, but City won in the end, bringing the player to back to England where he continued to impress. He is now sidelined with a long-term knee injury but has already notched 12 goals along with 12 assists from 21 starts this season.
#3 Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
The Uruguayan striker is having the time of his life at Barcelona, having left Liverpool to join the Spanish Giants before the start of last season. To date, Suarez has registered a whopping 35 goals for the La Liga champions in all competitions and is well on his way to scoring 50.
Liverpool could certainly use the prolific frontman right now, and supporters are surely missing the controversial forward who made them believe.
The player joined the Reds from Ajax in January of 2010, becoming their most expensive signing, but only for a few hours, as Andy Carrol’s fee of £35 million would trump his £22.8 million. Suarez, however, would have a much greater impact, scoring a total of 82 goals in 133 appearances for the club before making the switch to Spain.
The South American also took Liverpool within a sniff of the title during his last season, but they would ultimately lose out to Manchester City.
#4 Chicharito (Manchester United)
Manchester United outcast Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez is currently lighting it up in Germany with new club Bayer Leverkusen. The Mexican forward was sold after being told that there was no place for him at United by manager Louis van Gaal.
"I spoke with Van Gaal and he said that I only had a one percent chance of playing in my position, so I headed to Bayer," Hernandez told Spanish TV show "Fiebre Maldini.”
Since making the move to the Bundesliga, he has scored a total of 21 goals in 23 outings, outshining all of the Red Devils’ current forwards.
Hernandez, who signed for United from Mexican club C.D. Guadalajara in 2010, had an impressive first season at Old Trafford, gaining a reputation as a dependable scorer. He scored 20 goals for the English side that season, and would go on to have a decent stint, although he was used sparingly.
He would spend last season on loan at Real Madrid, finally ending his misery at the beginning of this campaign, making a permanent switch to Germany.
#5 Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
It took Mesut Ozil a little over two seasons to finally get his act together at Arsenal.
The German is in the form of his life, emerging as the Gunners’ top performer this term. He’s also poised set to break Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single season, having already assisted 16 goals and chipping in with six of his own as well.
Ozil, who left Real Madrid to join Arsenal in 2013, became the most expensive German footballer ever, wearing a price tag of £42 million. He was a very important player for Los Blancos, and they must surely miss his assuring presence in the midfield, given the rocky season they’ve been having.
Madrid are now in third place in La Liga, trailing leaders Barcelona by four points.
What they wouldn’t give to have the World Cup winner back.
#6 Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Juventus’ star midfielder Paul Pogba is one of the most wanted men in football right now, and surely deserves all the attention he’s been getting these last few seasons.
The 22-year-old Frenchman joined Manchester United at 16, back in 2010, and was promoted to the first team by Sir. Alex Ferguson the following year. Keen to make his name in the Premier League, the youngster showed talent way beyond his years, but was never given a real opportunity at the club.
Sadly, he got frustrated over lack of playing time and quit United to join Juventus on a free transfer. Since then, Pogba has further blossomed into one of the world’s best midfielders, attracting interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City.
United are unsurprisingly in the hunt as well, willing to break the bank and pay £60 million for the very player whom they let leave for free a few years ago.
#7 Robert Lewandoski (Borussia Dortmund)
Polish centre-forward Robert Lewandoski could soon be on his way to Real Madrid, having hinted that his tenure at Bayern Munich mightn’t extend past the coming summer.
Lewandoski – who is the fastest non-German player to reach 100 goals in the Bundesliga - left Borussia Dortmund for Munich in 2014, after agreeing the move in November of the previous year. He helped fire BVB to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final, against his present club, which they lost 2-1 in 2013.
A clinical and prolific scorer, the 27-year-old hit 97 goals over four seasons for the club. His exploits saw him become Bayern’s top priority, leaving Dortmund powerless to stop him from leaving.
They made a significant profit, though, selling the striker for €37 million; a sum which dwarfed their initial outlay of €4.5 million.
Lewandoski maintains his goal machine status and has scored 26 goals in 23 appearances this season. He also accomplished a feat which won’t be forgotten anytime soon, having scored five goals in just nine minutes after coming on as a halftime substitute against Wolfsburg back in September – the fastest ever by any player in the Bundesliga.
There’s no doubting that everyone involved with Dortmund wants him back.
#8 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Manchester United – who feature heavily in this list – have made no secret of their desire to bring three-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.
The Portuguese forward, who rose to stardom at United under Sir Alex Ferguson’s regime, established himself as the Premier League’s greatest attacking threat between 2005 and 2009. After winning three league titles and the UEFA Champions League trophy, Ronaldo would move to Real Madrid, ending all speculation.
He continues to score goals at a rapid rate and has shown no signs of slowing down, despite having turned 31 this month. He has also reiterated his desire to remain with Madrid until his contract expires in 2018.
At an event during which he collected his Pichichi trophy for being La Liga’s top scorer last season with 48 goals, Ronaldo said “I want to stay here two more years. And the future, we'll see. The two years I'm talking about take me to the end of my contract."
Well good luck with that, United.