Romelu Lukaku’s loan move to Inter Milan has not only seen him end his Chelsea nightmare but also heralds the 29-year-old Belgian striker returning to one of his former clubs.
It comes just one year after Chelsea signed him for £97.5m, marking a return to Stamford Bridge for Lukaku after an initial spell between 2011 and 2014.
However, a frustrating year for the Belgian at Thomas Tuchel’s Blues has left him seeking his return to Inter, who he initially played for with much greater success between 2019 and 2021.
As Lukaku himself comes off his own poor return to a former club, here are some examples of players unsuccessfully heading back to their former grounds – and those who matched their former glories.
Romelu Lukaku has confirmed a season loan from Chelsea back to his former club Inter Milan
Sportsmail looks back at those who have returned to former club after Lukaku’s loan move
Ronaldo’s second stint at Manchester United, confirmed last summer, came 12 years after he first left the Red Devils in an £80m switch.
However, the Portuguese forward’s return on a two-year deal has not been straightforward, and the club’s poor form, finishing sixth last season, means the team needs a major rebuild.
He still managed to score 18 goals in 30 appearances during the 2021-22 season, but Ronaldo’s high standards and previous achievements with Real Madrid and Juventus mean it has been a below-par experience.
Whilst he could still transform the red side of Manchester in the remaining 12 months of his deal, so far, it has been nowhere near his initial six years at United from 2003 to 2009, a period which saw the club win three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League final among other honours.
Moreover, he may not see out the remaining year after informing the club he wants to leave the club to play in the Champions League next season.
RETURN: 5/10… so far
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 18 goals last season for an underachieving Manchester United
Rooney became an Everton legend when he scored his screamer against Arsenal in 2002 five days before his 17th birthday, marking him as a name Clive Tyldesley wouldn’t let us forget.
The England striker left in 2004 for thirteen successful years at Manchester United, before honouring wide speculation and returning to his boyhood club on a two-year deal.
He was top scorer at Goodison Park in the 2017-18 season, scoring 10 goals across 31 games for the Toffees, before choosing to leave the club to play in the MLS with DC United.
It perhaps wasn’t the finest of returns for England’s all-time leading male goalscorer, but he still managed to nab his 200th Premier League goal back in the team that started it all off many years previously.
Wayne Rooney’s spell at Everton was not the same after returning to Everton in 2017-18
Drogba rose through the Chelsea team from his debut in 2004 to securing his place as a Blues legend, scoring the crucial penalty to secure their debut Champions League trophy win in 2012.
He left that summer to Shanghai Shenhua, and then Galatasary, before coming back to Stamford Bridge in 2014 on a free transfer.
With Chelsea back under Jose Mourinho by this point, they forged allegiances again to help Chelsea to win the league and FA Cup double in 2015, as Drogba also rose to more than 350 appearances for the west London side.
Drogba moved to North America in the summer of 2015, after proving that sometimes a return to a former club can be just as successful as your initial stay.
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba won the league and cup double on his return to Stamford Bridge
Pogba made seven first-team appearances for Manchester United in his first spell for the club between 2009 and 2012, before leaving aged just 19.
While at Juventus, the French ace became one of the world’s best midfielders, which encouraged United to buy him back for a then-world record fee of £89m.
However, on his return, he had a patchy run of form, and was continually linked with moves away from Old Trafford after failing to win over the critics.
In the 2021-22 season, he scored just one goal, in a 1-1 draw with Burnley in February, and in June, the club announced he was leaving with the expiration of his contract.
In his second run at United, he scored 29 goals in 154 appearances, as his time with the Red Devils was disrupted by a bout of depression in 2018 and ankle surgery in 2020.
There is no doubting Pogba’s talent, so hopefully he can find his previous world-leading skills at his next destination.
Paul Pogba’s second stint at Manchester United saw the midfielder struggle to match his time at Juventus
Fowler rose through the youth system at Liverpool, going on to make 236 appearances for the first team, and scoring 120 goals.
Liverpool fans called him ‘God’, so they were undoubtedly heartbroken when he left the red half of Merseyside to go to Leeds United in 2001.
He remained a fan of the club, and was in the crowd in Istanbul to see the Reds lift the 2005 Champions League.
So after becoming a free agent in January 2006, ‘God’ returned to Anfield, where he received a standing ovation upon his return.
Fowler had three goals ruled out for offside, before finally scoring for Liverpool again against Fulham in March 2006.
In total, Fowler scored 12 goals for Liverpool on his second stint for the Reds, overtaking Kenny Dalglish in the club’s list of all-time top scorers.
He wore the captian’s armband for his last Liverpool appearance in May 2007 – and left with a Champions League runners-up medal despite missing out on the team that day.
Robbie Fowler proved why Liverpool fans called him ‘God’ when he made his return to Merseyside
Campbell signed from Tottenham to Arsenal in 2001 – an unsurprisingly controversial move, but he became an icon in the red half of north London, winning two Premier Leagues and three FA Cups.
After five years at the club, he left, but he found his way back to the fold in October 2009 to try and keep his fitness levels up after leaving Notts County.
Arsene Wenger signed Campbell during the January transfer window, and the defender featured 14 times during the remainder of the season due to injuries to William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen.
He even got on the scoresheet with a header against Porto in the Champions League in February 2010.
After the season, he joined Newcastle United for a year before leaving football.
Sol Campbell returned to Arsenal initially to train, but became a part of Arsene Wenger’s side again
Henry was an Arsenal icon in his first spell at the club from 1999 to 2007, winning two Premier League titles including the famous ‘Invincibles’ campaign.
He left to join Barcelona, but came back in 2012 for a two-month loan spell as cover – and was unable to take his former iconic No 14 jersey from Theo Walcott.
However, being a No 12 did not stop Henry from scoring crucial goals, including the winner against Leeds in the FA Cup third round in his second debut for the Gunners.
He scored a stoppage time winner in his last league game on loan, giving the London side a 2-1 win against Sunderland – and nudging his Premier League goal tally to 175 goals.
It may only have been a brief stop, but it made the fans happy, and was also critical in garnering Arsenal’s progression in the FA Cup – a trophy they went on to win that May.
Thierry Henry scored crucial goals for Arsenal in a two month loan spell, to the delight of Gunners fans
Brazilian playmaker Juninho might have the most curious example of returning to a former club – why try twice when you can do it three times?
He joined the club in October 1995 as a 22-year-old for £4.75m from his native Sao Paulo FC, and became a hero at the club.
In two years on Teesside, he scored 17 goals in 74 games as he led Middlesbrough to the League Cup and FA Cup finals in 1997 – although the club lost both.
That summer, the club were relegated from the Premier League, and he chose to leave for the first time.
For the 1999-2000 season, Juninho returned to Middlesbrough on loan from Atletico Madrid, where he scored four times in 24 appearances.
And after being part of Brazil’s winning World Cup squad in 2002, he returned to the Riverside Stadium on a permanent basis.
Juninho had three spells at Middlesbrough, eventually leading the club to victory in the 2004 League Cup
On this return, he was important in helping the club to secure their first major honour, the 2004 League Cup, scoring a vital winner in the semi-final first leg away to Arsenal.
In December 2007, Boro fans voted him the club’s greatest ever player in a PFA fan poll – and in 2010, he even took on the red shirt again in a Riverside testimonial against PSV Eindhoven.
FIRST RETURN: 7/10
SECOND RETURN: 10/10
There is still time for Lukaku to make three stints at the same club, like Juninho did, but he will be eager to make his second time at Inter a success after a frustrating return to Stamford Bridge.
Denial of responsibility! planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.