10 players who re-signed for old clubs as Rakitic returns to Sevilla

Didier Drogba’s fairytale Premier League success with Chelsea, Claudio Pizarro’s 320 games for Werder Bremen and Mario Gotze’s Dortmund nightmare… as Ivan Rakitic returns to Sevilla, how have stars got on when returning to their old clubs?

  • Ivan Rakitic has returned to Sevilla in a £1.3million move after six years away 
  • In doing so he has joined a raft of players who have re-signed for former clubs
  • Sportsmail looks at other stars who went back to an old club and how they fared

Ivan Rakitic has returned to Sevilla after six years away and in the process has joined a raft of players who have re-signed for former clubs.

The Croatia international has gone back to the Spanish outfit for just £1.3million on a four-year contract after bidding farewell to the club for £18m in 2014.

Here, Sportsmail looks at other stars who made the decision to return to an old club and how they fared.

Ivan Rakitic has returned to Sevilla after six years away as he moved from Barcelona this week

The former Arsenal striker is widely regarded as one of the best strikers to have ever graced the Premier League.

Thierry Henry joined the north London outfit from Juventus back in 1999 and in an eight-year spell he became a club legend. The Frenchman played a pivotal role in the Gunners’ 2002 Premier League and FA Cup Double and in the invincible title-winning side two years later.

He is the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 228 goals to his name, with just three of those coming when he re-joined Arsenal on loan in 2012.

Henry swapped England for Spain in 2007 where he enjoyed a three-year spell at Barcelona. He lifted LaLiga twice as well as the Champions League prior to switching to New York Red Bulls in 2010. 

The forward returned to Arsenal on a two-month temporary deal and he could not have got off to a better start – scoring the winner in a FA Cup third-round clash against Leeds on his re-appearance. 

Thierry Henry returned to Arsenal on a two-month loan deal after an eight-year spell at club

Didier Drogba

Another exceptional forward to have had two separate periods in the English top flight.

He joined Chelsea in 2004 in what was then a club-record £24million deal and in eight seasons he won the Premier League and FA Cup on three occasions and the League Cup twice.

Drogba also lifted the Champions League in the final season of his first spell, after which he joined Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in the summer of 2012.

The striker then spent some time in Turkey at Galatasaray before re-signing for the Blues in 2014. On his return for a year Drogba added another Premier League title, FA Cup and League Cup to his collection. In his two spells he notched 164 goals in 382 matches.

Former forward Didier Drogba had two extremely successful spells in England at Chelsea

Robbie Fowler

The Liverpool-born striker made a huge impression on the Merseyside giants after breaking through from the youth ranks, scoring 120 league goals in 236 matches.

He was deadly in front of goal and was part of the Treble-winning side of 2001 under Gerard Houllier and became a club legend in an eight-year period.

After that success Fowler moved to Leeds and two years later to Manchester City where he managed to keep scoring but it was at Liverpool where he belonged.

The Englishman re-signed for the Reds in 2006 for free and he continued to be a fan-favourite – scoring enough goals to take him past Kenny Dalglish in the club’s list of top goalscorers with 183 goals in all competitions.

Robbie Fowler became a Liverpool legend in eight years and returned a fan-favourite years on

Paul Pogba

The World Cup winner is in his second stint at Manchester United after departing the club as an 18-year-old. Paul Pogba moved to Juventus on a free transfer from the Red Devils in 2012 after just seven senior appearances in all competitions, all from the bench.

During his time in Italy he won four Serie A titles and two Italian Cups while he also helped them reach the 2014-15 Champions League final. 

After impressing at Juventus United brought him back to Old Trafford in a then-record £89m deal in the summer of 2016.

Pogba, who has been linked with a move away during his second spell, has been an inconsistent performer since re-joining United and has been unable to really make his mark but he was part of the League Cup and Europa League-winning sides in 2017. 

Paul Pogba has been inconsistent since re-joining United four years ago from Juventus


The Brazilian playmaker played for Italian giants AC Milan on two separate occasions and what an impact he had at the club, albeit the second spell was only for one season.

Like Henry, Drogba and Fowler, Kaka returned to the San Siro a hero after what he had done for the club between 2003 and 2009.

In those six years he lifted the Champions League, Italian top-flight title, FIFA Club World Cup and Italian Super Cup as he lit up the pitch with his skill and flair. He was so sensational that in 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

His talents meant Real Madrid came calling and he spent four years at the Bernabeu where he added LaLiga, a Spanish Cup and a Spanish Super Cup to his list of honours. Kaka returned to Italy on a free in 2013.

Brazilian playmaker Kaka played for Italian giants AC Milan on two separate occasions

Carlos Tevez

Tevez progressed from the youth set-up at Boca Juniors before making the breakthrough into the first team in 2001. He won the 2003 Copa Libertadores prior to moving to Brazilian side Corinthians in 2005.

The striker scored 25 goals in 38 matches before joining West Ham and then made big moves to Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus. 

He returned to Boca in 2015 after a trophy-laden spell in Europe, including three Premier League trophies, two Serie A titles and the 2008 Champions League.

Tevez switched to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in 2017 before returning to Boca for a third time in 2018. In the last five years Tevez and Boca have won the Argentinian top flight four times. A fruitful return for the 36-year-old, who signed a new deal at the club last month.

Carlos Tevez is currently in his third spell at Argentinian side Boca Juniors and is thriving

Joe Cole 

After joining the West Ham academy in 1990, Joe Cole made his first-team debut at the age of just 17 nine years later and quickly became a fans’ favourite, becoming a regular in the starting XI.

Following the Hammers’ relegation in 2003 Cole made a £6.6m move across London to Chelsea where he enjoyed success in seven years at the club. He won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, a League Cup and reached the final of the Champions League in 2006. 

Cole moved to Liverpool after leaving Stamford Bridge on a free transfer in 2010. However he failed to make an impact, playing just 26 Premier League matches and departed three years later. He went on loan to French club Lille during his time at Anfield before making an emotional return to West Ham for the 2013-14 campaign.

He notched just three goals in 27 appearances in his one season back at the club towards the end of his career.

Joe Cole returned to West Ham for one season towards end of career after time at Liverpool

Claudio Pizarro

The forward did not join Werder Bremen once, nor twice but four times and it’s five altogether if you take into account his season-long loan during his 24-year career.

The former Chelsea and Bayern Munich striker hung up his boots this summer aged 41 following his fourth permanent spell at the Bundesliga side. He made an impressive 320 appearances in a decade at the club, scoring 153 goals in the process. 

Claudio Pizarro first joined Werder Bremen in 1999 after beginning his career at Deportivo Pesquero and Alianza Lima in his native Peru. He attracted the attention of Bayern Munich two years later and at the German giants he won three Bundesliga titles. A barren spell at Chelsea followed, notching just two goals in 32 games and he was even sent back out on loan to Werder Bremen before re-joining for a second time in 2009. 

Pizarro then re-joined Bayern for another three seasons, adding three more German titles as well as the Champions League in 2013 to his collection before going back to Werder Bremen. In the 2017-18 season he plied his trade at Cologne before lining up in green for the final time. Last season he scored just two goals in 19 matches as Werder Bremen avoided the drop.

Claudio Pizarro did not join Werder Bremen once, nor twice, but four times in 24-year career

Mario Gotze 

After working his way up the youth ranks at Borussia Dortmund he made the breakthrough in 2009 and showcased his talents in an exciting Jurgen Klopp side until 2013. He scored seven goals and supplied eight assists in the Double-winning side of 2012.

Bayern Munich snapped him up a year later but in three seasons at the club he started less than 60 times in the league under Pep Guardiola in a spell that was hindered by injuries.

After failing to have the desired impact in Munich, Gotze, who scored Germany’s World Cup-winning goal in 2014, made the surprise move back to Dortmund in 2016.

However he was unable to rediscover the form and performances from earlier in his career. Gotze struggled with a metabolic disorder which affected his fitness and weight and in recent years was rotated in and out of the starting XI. 

The attacking midfielder is now a free agent after leaving Dortmund this year aged 28.

Mario Gotze failed to rediscover the form from his first stint at Borussia Dortmund

David Luiz 

The Brazilian centre back spent six years at Chelsea across two different spells in west London.

He was first signed by the Blues back in 2011 in a £21m deal from Portuguese outfit Benfica and won the Champions League and FA Cup in 2012 as well as the Europa League a year later.

David Luiz made the transfer to French giants Paris Saint-Germain in a £50m move in 2014, where he won nine trophies, including two Ligue 1 titles. He became unsettled in France and Chelsea swooped in to re-sign him two years later for £18m less than they sold him.

He became a key performer for Antonio Conte on his return and he lifted the Premier League title in 2017. In total he made 248 appearances for the Blues but his form significantly dropped off as his second spell came to an end under Frank Lampard. And now he’s at their rivals Arsenal. 

Brazilian centre back David Luiz spent six years at Chelsea across two different spells

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