Players that returned to the club they joined in their youth ranks
Turns out Everton manager Ronald Koeman has expressed interest in possibly bringing Wayne Rooney back to his early days club, which would make him another addition to the list of players that returned to their boyhood club.
Rooney issued a statement last week saying that he would be staying put for now, despite the recent interest from China, but his long-term future still remains unclear. With this emotional return being a possibility, let’s see who else returned to their youth rank club and how it turned out for them.
PAUL POGBA Manchester United (2009 – 2012, 2016 – Present)
First arriving to Old Trafford at 16-years-old from Le Havre surrounded by controversy, Pogba went on to win the 2011 Youth Cup with Man U but became frustrated when he was only given a handful of senior games. Because of this, he moved to Juventus in 2012 for £800,000. He has largely not yet lived up to the hype since completing a world-record £89 million move back to Manchester last summer, but will be looking to kick on further after picking up his first silverware in Sunday’s EFL Cup triump over Southampton.
ROBBIE FOWLER Liverpool (1986 – 2001, 2006 – 2007)
Young Evertonian Fowler was snatched by Liverpool’s youth academy at 11-years-old, and went on to become a fan favourite. He was nicknamed ‘God’ by the Anfield faithful and has won two League Cups, the second coming in 2001 along with the FA Cup and UEFA Cup. The treble-winning season was his last at Merseyside, with his involvement becoming limited by the partnership of Michael Owen and Emile Heskey. 5 years later, Fowler returned on a free transfer. However, fitness problems became an issue and he was cup-tied for the Reds’ FA Cup success.
PETER BEARDSLEY Newcastle (Late 1970s, 1983 – 1987, 1993 – 1997)
After bring released as a teenager by Magpies manager, Bill McGarry, back in the late 70s, Beardsley returned to St James’ Park in 1983 and became an instant hit. This was due to his creativity and exciting strike partnership with Kevin Keegan. Despite leaving for Liverpool in 1987, he made a comeback six years later with the team newly promoted to the Premier League and now under the guidance of Keegan. He helped the Magpies finish runners-up in ’96 and ’97, netting a whopping 56 goals in 157 apperanes in his second spell. However, in 1997 he left to join Bolton.
JOE COLE West Ham (1994 – 2003, 2013 – 2014)
Cole made his first-team debut in 1999 at 17-years-old after progressing through the ranks at Upton Park. He received the title “Hammer of the Year” in 2003, but promptly left for London rivals Chelsea. Following three years at Liverpool and a brief Lillie loan, the England international returned to his roots, scoring 5 goals in 37 appearances after signing an 18-month contract in January 2013.
MARK HUGHES Manchester United (1978 – 1980, 1988 – 1995)
Back in 1978, 14-year-old Mark Hughes joined the United set-up and made himself a key member of the team, before leaving for Barcelona in 1986. However, his time overseas didn’t work out as expected, resulting in his return to Old Trafford in 1988 for £1.5 million. Quickly picking up where he left off, Manager Sir Alex Furguson labelled Hughes as “the best big-game player” he had known. Hughes has won two premier league titles, two FA cups, a League cup and a European Cup Winner’s cup in his seven year second spell. He has twice been named PFA player of the year