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5 players who returned to their old clubs

Could Cristiano Ronaldo be on his way back to Old Trafford?

FOOTBALL 19/06/17 16:20
5 players who returned to their old clubs

Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Manchester United this summer.

The Portugal star left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2009 but could be heading back after eight goal-laden years in Spain.

Here, we take a look at some other regular goalscorers who left English clubs before returning.

Didier Drogba

Drogba first left Chelsea after his last touch of the ball won the Blues the Champions League. He headed in a dramatic late equaliser against Bayern Munich before scoring the winner in the penalty shoot-out in the 2012 final. It brought an end to an eight-year spell that included nine other trophies and 157 goals. But two years later – after spells in China and Turkey – the Ivory Coast striker was back. He added seven more goals in 40 appearances and helped Chelsea win the Premier League and League Cup.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry celebrates scoring against Leeds on his return to the Arsenal team
Thierry Henry made a goalscoring return to Arsenal (Tony Marshall/Empics)

The France striker scored a club-record 226 goals, won two league titles and three FA Cups during an eight-year spell in north London during which he finished in the top three for Ballon d’Or on two occasions. His move to Barcelona in 2007 saw him add the Champions League trophy his career was missing. He then headed to the United States and played for New York Red Bulls but in 2012 he returned to the Gunners for a two-month loan spell. He managed seven substitute appearances, scoring late winners on his debut against Leeds and his farewell league appearance at Sunderland.

Robbie Fowler

Rafael Benitez and Robbie Fowler hold a Liverpool scarf
Rafael Benitez, right, brought Robbie Fowler back to Anfield (Martin Rickett/PA)

Liverpool lad Fowler was a revelation during his first spell at Anfield, scoring 30 goals for three successive seasons up until 1997 and ending with 172 strikes in total. But he exited early in the 2001-02 campaign after falling out of favour with boss Gerard Houllier and his last appearance saw him subbed off at half-time at Anfield. Following moves to Leeds and Manchester City, Fowler was given a chance to return by Rafael Benitez in 2006. It was a popular move among the fans and during his 18-month return he added 12 further goals in 39 appearances.

Ian Rush

Ian Rush applauds the crowd at Anfield
Ian Rush had two spells at Anfield (John Giles/PA)

Another Liverpool striker who returned to Anfield. The club’s record scorer, bagging 346 goals for the Reds, scored plenty of times in both spells but had more silverware to show from his first stint. Rush won four league titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups and a European Cup before leaving for Italian giants Juventus in 1987. A short-lived time in Turin quickly came to an end and the Welshman was back with the Reds the following campaign. He added one more league title, two FA Cups and one League Cup before leaving for good in 1996.

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes scores against Barcelona in the Cup Winners' Cup final
Mark Hughes came back to haunt Barcelona (Neal Simpson/Empics)

Another Welsh forward headed abroad before quickly returning to his former club but unlike Rush, Hughes’ second spell was more successful. Hughes made his debut in 1983 and, after one FA Cup and 47 goals, he departed for Barcelona. Two years later, via a loan stop at Bayern Munich, Hughes was back with United, who were now under Alex Ferguson’s management. Hughes scored a brace in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, with a win in the replay giving Ferguson his first trophy. Hughes won another FA Cup, two league titles, one League Cup, a Super Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup, which saw Hughes score both goals in a 2-1 win against Barcelona.

Highlights: West Ham 0-0 Arsenal

Highlights: West Ham 0-0 Arsenal

Highlights: West Ham 0-0 Arsenal

Highlights: West Ham 0-0 Arsenal

Highlights: West Ham 0-0 Arsenal

Highlights: West Ham 0-0 Arsenal

Arsenal are held to a goalless draw by an improving West Ham United in their Premier League ...

Arsenal are held to a goalless draw by an improving West Ham United in their Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

Arsenal are held to a goalless draw by an improving West Ham United in their Premier League cl...

Arsenal are held to a goalless draw by an improving West Ham United in their Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

Arsenal are held to a goalless draw by an improving West Ham United in their Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

Arsenal are held to a goalless draw by an improving West Ham United in their Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

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