Is there any feeling worse than having to watch one of your sides most beloved stars pack up their bags and jump ship to one of your rivals? Well, some players weren’t finished there, some players just had to come back and add insult to injury.
Here’s a look at some stars who have returned to haunt their former employers and help their new side leave with three valuable points:
After establishing himself as a fan favourite during his time in North London, Adebayor quickly set the blueprint on just how to fully burn all bridges with your former employers. After making a £25million move to Premier League rivals Manchester City in 2009, the Togo international hit the ground running, scoring in his first four appearances for City.
But, it will be his memorable header against Arsenal that will live long in the memory. After netting against a former side, most players keep it simple, just an apologetic hand in the air, not Adebayor though. After putting City 3-2 up, he would run the full length of the pitch in order to celebrate in front of the traveling Arsenal fans.
On this day in 2009, Emmanuel Adebayor scored in a 4-2 win over Arsenal and responded to abuse with a famous celebration. pic.twitter.com/kZEjGsUTOm
— City Watch (@City_Watch) September 12, 2017
Unbelievably, before Mohamed Salah signed for Liverpool this summer, Andy Carroll’s £35million move to Merseyside in 2011 was still Liverpool’s club record signing. As we all quickly found out tho, Carroll didn’t exactly fit in at Liverpool and after only 6 goals in two years, the 6ft3Inch Geordie was on his way to West Ham who opted to sign him after an ‘impressive’ season on loan.
It might have taken him three seasons to do so, but, in 2016 Carroll was back to haunt his former side. In typical Carroll style, he headed home a Mark Noble cross and West Ham came away with all three points in a 2-0.
Robin van Persie
Still Arsenal’s third Premier League top scorer of all time, much like Adebayor, the Dutchman was another free-scoring fan favourite who decided to take his goals to Manchester, probably more upsetting for the Gunners’ fans, Van Persie joined the red side of Manchester.
Van Persie managed to turn himself into Arsenal’s ultimate bogeyman, scoring three league goals against his former employers, the ex-Arsenal captain only took three minutes to grab his first, before returning to the Emirates the following season and scoring a penalty.
His last goal was arguably his most devastating, scoring the only goal in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Arsenal, like Adebayor, the Dutch star didn’t hold his emotions back, knee sliding away in celebration.
On this day in 2013, Robin van Persie scored against his former club Arsenal and celebrated the goal like no other pic.twitter.com/5MRUkU9CZk
— Read Man Utd (@ReadManUtd) November 10, 2016
Arsenal and Liverpool fans might be starting to notice a pattern emerging here. That’s right, Andy Carroll isn’t the only Merseyside flop who has come back to upset Liverpool. Four years on from their failed Carroll experiment, Liverpool were back splashing the cash on another big man, this time Liverpool spent £32.5million on the services of Christain Benteke.
Unsurprising to anyone that wasn’t part of Liverpool’s hierarchy, much like Carroll, Benteke couldn’t hold down a regular spot and after scoring nine goals in 29 appearances, Jurgen Klopp deemed the Belgium international surplus to requirements.
In April tho, Benteke was back at Anfield proving a point, at the back end of last season the former Liverpool man scored both goals in Crystal Palace’s 2-1 victory at Anfield
Sorry Arsenal fans, this is the last time, I promise. The third former Arsenal talisman to make the list is non-other than their former captain Cesc Fabregas. After making a £30million switch from the Nou Camp to Stamford Bridge in 2014, many were surprised due to the fact that Arsenal had a buy-back clause on the Spanish international.
I bet they wish they had activated it now, the World Cup winner has been an instrumental part every time the two sides have clashed. Although he might not have got himself on the scoresheet at the first attempt, he did leave with an assist and the Man of the Match award. Last season tho, he did manage to stick the knife in his former side as he managed to lob Petr Cech on Chelsea’s way to a 3-1 win.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner is still regarded to be one of Manchester United’s greatest number 7’s, Ronaldo enjoyed six successful years at Old Trafford that saw him lift the Premier League and the Champions League.
In 2009 tho, Ronaldo got his dream move to the Spanish capital after signing for a then world record fee of £80million and Portugal’s captain continued to blossom for Los Blancos.
In an all-star Champions League last 16, United and Madrid were pitted against each other. After a cagey 1-1 draw in Madrid, Ronaldo was ready to make his return to Manchester for the first time since his departure. Scoring in the 69th minute, Ronaldo led Madrid to a 2-1 win and simultaneously knocked United out the tournament.
Scoring 237 goals in 11 seasons, Denis Law is still seen as one of United’s most iconic and beloved stars, in fact, he even has his own statue outside Old Trafford. Sadly for United tho, Law also has the label as the man who relegated Manchester United in 1974.
After new United boss Tommy Docherty decided Law’s time had come to an end, ‘The King’ decided to make the short journey across town to Maine Road. In his single year wearing Sky Blue, Law’s final stint is most commonly remembered for his backheel goal that not only cost United three points, it also relegated his former side.
When the discussion of the greatest strikers of their generation arises, it always seems that Fernando Morientes’s name is somewhat overlooked, despite having a habit of scoring important goals throughout his career.
None caused more outrage than when the then 28-year-old scored not one, but two goals for Monaco against European heavyweights Real Madrid, the thing is, Morientes was actually on loan from the Bernabeu for a year. His two goals turned out to be vital ones as he pushed Monaco to a 5-5 draw on aggregate, seeing Monaco go through on away goals and simultaneously knocking his parent club out of the Champions League.