9 players who re-signed for their former clubs in the Premier League

Cristiano Ronaldo is preparing for his long awaited return to Old Trafford this weekend.

Cristiano Ronaldo joins Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku re-signing for their former clubs this summer.

Manchester United were key to Ronaldo’s journey to becoming one of best footballers in the world, spending six years at Old Trafford before he joined Real Madrid in 2009.

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The Portugal international went on to win five Ballon d’Ors before moving to Juventus and is now preparing to make his second debut for the Red Devils following his return to the club during the international break.

There have been a number of high profile players that have returned to their former clubs over the years, with Lukaku and Ronaldo being the latest this summer.

Here are nine current and former Premier League players that have previously rejoined their former teams.

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba was arguably Chelsea’s best ever striker in the Premier League era, winning ten trophies during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, including three Premier League trophies and the Champions League.

The forward spent eight years in London before joining Shanghai Shenhua in 2012.

After a year in China, Drogba signed for Galatasaray before returning to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team in 2014.

The former Ivory Coast international only stayed in England for a year during his second spell but helped Chelsea to another Premier League title and the Football League Cup before moving to Canada.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry was an Arsenal legend when he left the club after eight years in London, winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cups in the process.

The Frenchman joined Barcelona in 2007 for around £16 million and spent three years in Spain before joining New York Red Bulls.

Henry then returned to the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal on a short loan spell in 2012.

The former striker only made a handful of appearances for the Gunners but brought the feel-good factor to the capital.

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe enjoyed three spells with Tottenham Hotspur - initially joining the club in 2004.

The striker stayed with Spurs for four years before signing for Portsmouth, however returned to White Hart Lane a year later.

Defoe spent another three years at Spurs before heading to Toronto in January 2014, though was briefly loaned back to the Premier League side until the MLS kicked off in March.

During his time in London, Defoe won the League Cup and was also named Spurs’ Player of the Year in his first year with the club.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney is most well known for his glittering career at Old Trafford where he won five league titles, seven domestic trophies, the Champions League and the Europa League - however it was Everton where it all began.

Rooney joined the Toffees as an eleven-year-old and made his senior debut in 2002 as a 16-year-old.

The forward won the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2002 and was eventually rewarded for his talent with a move to Manchester United in a deal worth just less than £30 million.

Rooney spent thirteen years at Old Trafford before returning to Goodison Park in 2017 on a free transfer.

The 31-year-old only spent a season with Everton, scoring ten league goals for the Merseyside club.

Nemanja Matic

Unlike the other players mentioned, Nemanja Matic’s more memorable spell with Chelsea was his second.

The midfielder spent two years with the Blues early in his career but only made a handful of appearances before joining Benfica in 2011.

Matic helped the Portuguese side to the league title and was a runner-up in the 2012-2013 Europa League.

In January 2014 the Serbian returned to Chelsea and helped them to two Premier League titles during his three year stint at Stamford Bridge.

David Luiz

David Luiz joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2011 and helped them to the famous Champions League victory in 2012, where he scored one of the penalties in the shoot-out win against Bayern Munich.

The Brazilian signed for PSG in 2014 for a world-record transfer fee for a defender (£50 million) and spent two years with the French club before returning to Stamford Bridge.

The centre-back then won the Premier League and his second Europa League trophy with the club.

Paul Pogba

Perhaps one of the most memorable is Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United.

The midfielder spent two years in United’s academy before making a few appearances for the senior team.

Pogba joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2012 and the Red Devils were left looking a little silly when he became one of the best midfielders in the world - winning four league titles and four domestic cups with the Italian club.

Manchester United then splashed out the cash in 2016 to ensure the Frenchman would return to Old Trafford, paying Juventus almost £90 million for their former youth player.

Pogba’s performances since returning to England have often been criticised, however he has been a permanent fixture in their starting XI and helped them to win the 2016-17 Europa League, as well as being named in the PFA Team fo the Year in 2018/19.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale was one of the best players in the Premier League during his six year stint with Tottenham Hotspur and was rewarded with a huge move to Real Madrid for over £75 million.

The Welshmen became one of the best in the world during his time in Spain - winning two league titles and four Champions League medals.

Bale fell out of favour under Zinedene Zidane and Spurs fans were left jumping for joy when it was confirmed that the winger would return to London on loan for the 2020/21 season.

Bale’s return to the Premier League was rather underwhelming, though he did show some sparks of his former self - ending the season with 11 league goals.