Tottenham re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm on Monday, but how much success do players really have if they return to their former clubs.
There might not be anything particularly high-profile about former Dutch international Vorm’s return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a matter of months after being released, as he might not even play a single minute of football while he provides cover for Paulo Gazzaniga in the injury absence of Hugo Lloris.
However, his return to north London does raise the debate about whether a player, particularly as successful one, should return to his former employer and it seems it is safe to say it does not always work out.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson opted to allow then teenage midfielder Pogba to leave Old Trafford during the summer of 2012, with the Frenchman joining Juventus on a free transfer.
No one thought too much of Pogba’s departure at the time, but he quickly established himself as one of the best midfielder’s in the world at Juve, helping the Old Lady to win four successive Serie A titles and reach the final of the Champions League in 2015.
That prompted Jose Mourinho to bring Pogba back to United for a then world-record fee of £89.3million, just four years after he was allowed to leave on a free transfer.
Since returning to Old Trafford, Pogba has shown glimpses of his talent and he was even named in the PFA Team of the Year last season, but it is safe to say supporters are still not convinced by the merits of the 26-year-old, whose cause is not helped as he seems to be linked with a move away from the club during every transfer window.
Thierry Henry – Arsenal
Former France international Henry will undoubtedly go down as an Arsenal legend, as he is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer with 228 strikes to his name, while he was also part of the infamous ‘Invincibles’ team that won the Premier League without losing a match during the 2003-04 season.
The vast majority of Henry’s goals came during his first spell at the club between 1999-2007, before he left to join Barcelona and then New York Red Bulls.
It was during his time stateside that Henry returned to Arsenal for a brief and frankly forgettable loan spell in 2012.
Henry was past his best by the time he returned to the Emirates Stadium, but he still netted a couple of crucial goals, including a last-minute winner against Sunderland on what proved to be his final appearance for the club.
Robbie Fowler – Liverpool
Fowler was the darling of the Liverpool team dubbed the ‘Spice Boys’ by the media during the 1990s and it was easy to see why, as he netted 30+ goals in three successive seasons and was also named PFA Young Player of the Year twice.
However, Fowler’s stock started to fall following the emergence of Michael Owen, as well as the arrival of Gerard Houllier as manager and he departed the club for Leeds United in 2001.
A spell at Manchester City followed for Fowler before he returned to Liverpool in 2006, although, by that stage, he was no where near the player that graced Anfield during the 90s.
Fowler was very much a squad player during his second stint on Merseyside, although he did manage a respectable 12 goals in 39 appearances and helped the club reach the 2007 Champions League final, all be it he was not included in the matchday squad for the showpiece game.
Sol Campbell – Arsenal
Like Henry, former England defender Campbell was an integral part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ team and he won over the club’s supporters after originally joining from bitter rivals Tottenham in 2001.
Campbell’s first spell with the Gunners yielded four major honours, including two Premier League titles, while he also made nearly 200 appearances across all competitions.
The centre-back’s second spell was not so memorable and it came off the back of him leaving League Two Notts County after just one game.
The now 45-year-old was certainly coming to the end of his career when he returned to Arsenal, but he did manage 14 appearances during his rather brief second spell and he even got on the scoresheet in a Champions League clash with Porto.
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