Homecomings are a thing in football these days, in which the players are looking not just to rediscover their form, but also the desire to settle down for good once their careers are over.
Since the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United last season, there are already rumors floating on other booters who wished to return to their former clubs after seeing their form dipped for many reasons, as well as their need for playing time as the World Cup is approaching.
In this piece, we look at the players who came home in the summer window of 2022.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United to Juventus
It was 2012 all over again for the Frenchman as he left Old Trafford for the second time, six years after returning to the Premier League on a massive transfer fee. The Europa League and the League Cup were all that he won during his stay there, which saw him link up with Ronaldo in his final season with the Red Devils.
His return to Turin hit a snag when he picked up an injury, casting doubts on his prospects for the World Cup defence with France.
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea to Inter Milan (on loan)
It was a roller-coaster of three years for the Belgian striker since he left Manchster United. He first came to Inter and nearly got him a Europa League title on his debut season, then ended Juve’s Scudetto stranglehold that saw him return to Stamford Bridge.
However, he was left frustrated by life in London, as his form dipped when Thomas Tuchel looked elswhere for options up front.
That made the Blues ship him back to the blue and black side of the San Siro, this time on loan, with Lukaku even made a pay cut to make it happen.
Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal to Lyon
The Frenchman returned to his boyhood club for a free transfer, after he let his contract to the Gunners run out.
It was a horrible end to his career in North London, where he found himself scoring just six goals in all competitions in his final campaign.
With only the 2020 FA Cup the lone meaningful silverware he had won, he found himself back to Les Gones by signing a three-year deal and getting the armband back in the process.
Timo Werner – Chelsea to Leipzig
Right from the start, the Timo Werner experiment at the Bridge was bound to fail. No one can justify the fact that only 23 goals were scored in the 89 matches the striker has played in, despite winning the Champions League in 2021.
With three more years left to his contract, he returned to Leipzig on a £25 million deal. Quite a bargain for the guy who sold for £47 million. But his love for the Blues remain for the German international.
Hector Bellerin – Arsenal to Barcelona
Well, this is weird to say the least. Because the Gunners were the Spaniard’s first club of his professional career, having moved from the fabled La Masia in 2011.
Three FA Cups later, Bellerin went back to Spain in 2021, joining Real Betis on a season-long loan that revived his career. He won the Copa Del Rey in dramatic circumstances before returning to London.
However, after a preseason, he was shipped to the Catalan Giants on a free transfer.
Luis Suarez – Atletico Madrid to Nacional
It’s a long return to Uruguay for the country’s favorite forward, after spending a chunk of his career in Europe.
From Gronigen, to Ajax, then to Liverpool where he was thrusted on the biggest spotlight in the Premier League. However, his career defining moments came in La Liga, where he brought titles to both Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid.
It’s a sensible move to go back to your boyhood club, being at the twilight of his career aged 36.