Monday 24 July 2017

Never go back? Players who returned to a former club

Wayne Rooney is returning to Goodison Park
Wayne Rooney is returning to Goodison Park

Wayne Rooney has returned to Everton after 13 years at Manchester United.

The 31-year-old's move back to Merseyside has already generated a lot of debate, and here Press Association Sport looks at a number of big names who previously made a return to a former club.

Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth)

The 34-year-old striker signed for the Cherries earlier this summer, marking a return to the club where he spent the 2000-01 season on loan from West Ham. The south coast club gave Defoe his first significant opportunity in senior football and during his time at Dean Court he netted 19 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions. Defoe also had two permanent stints at Tottenham, when he rejoined Spurs from Portsmouth in January 2009, a year after leaving the north London club.

Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)

Downing re-signed for his boyhood club Boro in the summer of 2015, having started his career at the Riverside Stadium in 2003. The fleet-footed left winger spent six years with Middlesbrough between 2003 and 2009 before being snapped up by Aston Villa. The 32-year-old former England star also went on to represent Liverpool and West Ham in the Premier League, and next term he will find himself playing in the Championship for only the second time in his career.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Pogba returned to Old Trafford last summer in an £89million switch from Juventus. The French midfielder joined United's academy in 2009 from Le Havre and spent three years there, until he left for the Italian giants in the summer of 2012. However, Jose Mourinho saw it fit to bring the 24-year-old 'home' last summer, in one of the most expensive transfers of all time.

Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

Chelsea signed Matic from Slovakian outfit FC Kosice in 2009. But after failing to make an impact in his first year at the club, and a season-long loan to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem in his second year, he was offloaded to Benfica for just £4.25million. Mourinho then opted to bring the Serbian back to Stamford Bridge in January 2014 for around five times the price the club sold him for two-and-a-half years earlier, but he was a key performer in the 2015 and 2017 Premier League title successes.

Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors)

Tevez began his professional career in his native Argentina with Boca Juniors, and he spent five years in South America. West Ham brought the prolific goalscorer to England in 2006, and he went on to controversially represent both Manchester clubs. The 33-year-old left City for Juventus in 2013, before rejoining Boca in 2015, 10 years after he originally left the club. Tevez now plays in China with Shanghai Shenhua, but Boca club president Daniel Angelici stated in April that he is keen on bringing the striker back to his country of birth once again.

Press Association

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