Above anything else, footballers want to be loved and remembered – just ask Cristiano Ronaldo – but of course there’s a desire to win trophies.
And there comes a time in any footballers’ career where they have to weigh up what’s more important: adulation or a full cabinet.
Some, but not many, have taken the Mark Noble path at West Ham; years of mediocrity to remain a fan favourite rather than push on. So many, though, jumped ship, left in acrimonious circumstances and, with hindsight, perhaps regret it.
Robin van Persie – Arsenal
Could've become the club's all-time record goalscorer.
Tevez could've become a legend just about anywhere.
One of the game's best ever strikers that won't be remembered.
Luis Figo – Barcelona
Saw the pound signs and went running.
Not actually good enough to be classed as a Galactico. But could've become a hero to that Catalan fans during that era.
Arjen Robben – Chelsea
Shame the Premier League didn't get the Dutchman's best years.
Best winger of the last decade?
Craig Bellamy – Newcastle
Bit of a loose cannon. But the Magpies love a nutter.
Joe Cole – West Ham
Had a wonderful time at Chelsea. But footballers want to be remembered, and Cole would've been the greatest Hammers player of all-time. A joy.
Kaka – AC Milan
World at your feet, in an AC Milan side that had it all and Ballon d'Or winner. Why leave?
Nicolas Anelka – Arsenal
Have to wonder what Nicolas Anelka could've achieved, if he just remained at one club for more than 5 minutes. Especially Arsenal.
Juan Mata – Chelsea
Adored by the masses. But no one has taken the Spaniard to their hearts quite like the Blues.
Back-to-back Player of the Year for Chelsea, so of course Mourinho went full-Jose and sold him.
Cesc Fabregas – Arsenal
There's no place like home, Cesc. And your home certainly isn't Barcelona.
Andy Carroll – Newcastle
Do you think Andy Carroll actually thinks he was ever a) worth £35million and b) good enough for Liverpool?
Dimitar Berbatov – Tottenham Hotspur
Never truly appreciated by the Red Devils faithful.
Fernando Torres – Liverpool
Not sure much needs to be said here.
Ashley Cole – Arsenal
If you want to become a club legend, don't let yourself be tapped up by your current club's title rivals?.
Paul Pogba – Juventus
Already flopped at the Red Devils.
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Sure, the likes of Robin van Persie is now able to polish his Premier League winners’ medal. However, the Dutchman has very quickly become a washed up has been out in Turkey with no real legacy.
Only the former Arsenal man knows if it was worth it all…