As the saying goes, there’s no place like home. Many players have found this to be the case over the years and returned to their boyhood clubs or the clubs where they found the most success.
Here are five players that have made a second attempt at success with a former club.
Paul Pogba back to Man United
This summer, Paul Pogba became the world’s most expensive player after he joined Manchester United as an £89m record signing.
He was at Juventus for four years, and won Serie A every season, before coming back to Manchester.
The expensive reunion did not go to plan to start off with, as the French midfielder failed to score or assist in any of his first four Premier League appearances.
He was booked in United’s recent defeat to Watford as frustration mounted during a poor performance, but he got off the mark with his first goal against Leicester in a mightily impressive performance.
Pogba took some time to get going, but if his Leicester performance is anything to go by, the 23-year-old seems worthy of his sizeable transfer fee. He signed a five-year deal so there is plenty of time for him to prove himself in the Premier League.
Wilfried Zaha back to Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha played for Crystal Palace’s academy since the age of 12. In 2013, he signed for Manchester United for £15m and became Sir Alex’s Ferguson’s last signing before he retired.
Manchester United then loaned him back to Crystal Palace for the rest of the 2012/13 season.
Despite signing a five-and-a-half year deal with Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement, David Moyes, didn’t take to Zaha and the Englishman made just two Premier League appearances for the club before returning to Crystal Palace again on a season-long loan.
Alan Pardew was impressed with him and Zaha re-signed for Crystal Palace in 2015 on a five-and-a-half year deal. Since coming back to his boyhood club, Zaha has regained his confidence and he provided an assist for Christian Benteke’s goal before scoring the winner for Crystal Palace in their recent game against newly promoted Middlesbrough.
Alan Pardew recently said of the winger, “If I was to mark him out of ten I would give him a ten, that’s how good his attitude’s been.”
David Luiz back to Chelsea
The world’s most expensive defender, David Luiz, returned to Chelsea in a shock move on Transfer Deadline Day.
He first joined Chelsea in 2011 for £21m before leaving to go to PSG in 2014 for £50m. The Brazilian has now returned to the Blues for around £34m.
Despite some of the negative criticism he has received, the Brazilian centre back should always be remembered for his performance in Chelsea’s Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich in 2012. He played through unbearable pain because he was so determined to help Chelsea win the Champions League.
If he can get back to his best form, David Luiz will validate Conte’s decision to take a risk with him.
Rickie Lambert back to Liverpool
The Liverpool-born forward spent five years at Anfield as a youth player and when the move back to Liverpool was completed, he said “I have always dreamt of playing for Liverpool, but I did kind of think the chance of playing for them had gone. I didn’t think the chance would come.”
Unfortunately for Lambert, things did not work out at Liverpool. He scored just three goals in 36 appearances for the Reds and was sold to West Brom the following year.
Lambert’s spell at West Brom was also unsuccessful and he moved to Championship side Cardiff City last month in a bid to recapture the form he had at Southampton.
Nemanja Matic back to Chelsea
Nemanja Matic returned to Chelsea in 2014 for £21m. The Serbian midfielder was valued at less than £5 million when he left Stamford Bridge as part of the deal that took David Luiz to Chelsea from Benfica.
Ironically, both players are now back at Stamford Bridge, plying their trade under new boss Antonio Conte.
In his first spell with Chelsea, Matic made just two substitute Premier League appearances. Since his return, the former Benfica man has become an integral part of Chelsea’s team, especially during the 14/15 season when they won the Premier League, making 91 more appearances with only eight of those coming from the bench.