Fans will be eager to see these stars return to action for their old teams.
The summer transfer window of 2021 has closed after a frantic final few days. There were countless deals between clubs looking to bolster their squads for the upcoming season. Similar to many other seasons, this term also had several notable transfers that caught the eye. More interestingly, there were a few footballers who went back to the clubs they played for at one point in their careers.
These sort of deals are incredible for the fans who get to cheer for a former player once again. As for the footballer, a move like this is similar to ‘returning home’.
Here is a look at the top five footballers who have returned to their former clubs in the 2021 summer transfer window:
5. Felipe Anderson
Felipe Anderson decided to rejoin Lazio in the Serie A after a lukewarm experience in the Premier League. The Brazilian joined West Ham United in July 2018 for a €38 million fee. However, he could not stamp his authority with the Hammers, and joined FC Porto on loan for the 2020/21 season.
The winger is now back at Lazio after permanently signing for them for a €3 million fee. Anderson has fallen down the pecking order for the Brazil national team and would like to reignite his career playing with his former club, with whom he made a name for himself.
4. Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon moved to Parma in the Serie B in the summer transfer window of 2021. The move had sentimental value over practicality for the legendary Italian custodian. The 43-year-old will hope to help the club regain promotion to the first-tier after signing a two-year contract. Buffon’s return to Parma is an emotional one for the fans.
The custodian was 17 years old when he made his senior football debut at the Italian club. He played for six years at the club before joining Juventus in 2001 in a record transfer fee paid for a goalkeeper. “Hope is to write a few more important pages in the history of this club,” Buffon said after completing the move.
3. Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann returned to his former club Atletico Madrid in the 2021 summer transfer window. The frantic events of the deadline day involved FC Barcelona offloading their third most-expensive signing ever. The Spanish giants lost both Lionel Messi and the Frenchman in the same transfer window. Griezmann joins the reigning La Liga champions on a loan deal with an option to buy.
This will be the second stint for the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner with the club. He spent five years at Atletico Madrid after signing for them from Real Sociedad in 2014. Then he moved to FC Barcelona in 2019 for a fee in the region of €120 million.
2. Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has rejoined Chelsea FC from Inter Milan for a fee in the region of €115 million in the 2021 summer transfer window. The Belgian has become the record signing at the London-based club who have brought him in for a second stint. Lukaku was a Chelsea player when they signed him from RSC Anderlecht in 2011. However, the striker went on several loan spells due to a lack of playing time for the senior team.
Everton signed him on a permanent deal in 2014 for €35 million. Manchester United then snapped up Lukaku for €84.7 million in 2017. His next destination was Inter Milan in the Serie A, where he transitioned into one of the best strikers in the world. Now that he is back in the Premier League for another spell with Chelsea, he will look to replicate his Serie A heroics.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has rejoined Manchester United in one of the most landmark moves in football. The Portuguese was close to joining Manchester City but a last minute swoop from the Red Devils was enough for him to change his decision. Ronaldo burst onto the scene and became a world class player at Manchester United, a story everyone is familiar with.
The attacker won everything there was to win including his first UEFA Champions League and the first Ballon d’Or award in his first stint with the club. The 36-year-old returns to Manchester United after a gap of 12 years, having played for Real Madrid and Juventus during that time. Ronaldo will now look to bring back the lost glory for Manchester United.