10 of the Most Expensive Player Returns in the History of Football

With Manchester United thought to be interested in re-signing Paul Pogba for a reported £100m, let's have a look at some of the costliest footballer returns in the game.


10. Graeme Le Saux (Chelsea)

​Sold for - £700,000

Bought back for - £5m


The England left back became the most expensive defender in British history when ​Chelsea brought him back to the club in 1997 after he had won the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers.


Le Saux had started life as a footballer in the Chelsea academy and soon made his way to the first team. However, an angry reaction to being substituted saw him sold by the Blues, before returning four years later. 

9. Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

​Sold for - free

Bought back for - £5m


Gerard Pique opted to try his luck in the Premier League when he was just 17 years of age, signing for ​Manchester United on a free transfer, instead of accepting ​Barcelona's offer of a professional contract.


Yet, with opportunities hard to come by at Old Trafford, the Catalan club brought the centre back back to his home city and he has since developed into one of the most competent defenders on the planet. 

8. Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)

Sold for - £5m

Bought back for - £11m


The first of two Peter Crouch entries in this list, many people forget that the striker's successful stint with Pompey in the late 2000s was actually the second time he was signed by the club.


A cool £5m was spent on the robot-dancing target man in the summer of 2001, after he had impressed for QPR. Crouch went on to score 18 goals for Portsmouth in the old First Division, prompting ​Aston Villa to pay £5m for his services.

7. Jermain Defoe (Spurs)

​Sold for - £6m

Bought back for - £16m


​Tottenham Hotspur's all-time highest goalscorer in European football was not always a first choice starter and after 4 years at the club, the England international opted for a new challenge when he signed for Portsmouth in January 2008.


Defoe got back to his goalscoring best on the south coast and Spurs soon realised their mistake in letting him go, with manager Harry Redknapp urging the club to shell out nearly £10m to bring him back to White Hart Lane. 

6. Peter Crouch (Spurs)

​Sold for - £60,000

Bought back for - £10m


Much like Defoe, whom Crouch followed from Portsmouth to Spurs in 2009, the lanky striker returned to White Hart Lane for a far larger sum than what he was let go for earlier on in his caereer.


The one time England regular left North London to join QPR as a teenager and slowly built up his career through spells with Aston Villa, ​Southampton and ​Liverpool. Crouch spent two years back at Spurs, scoring a number of vital goals.

5. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

​Sold for - free

Bought back for - £14m


Marco Reus is comfortably one of most sought after players in Europe but to think that ​Borussia Dortmund never even needed to spend £14m on him in 2012 had they just given him more of a chance as a youngster.


The exciting winger started in the club's academy but left to join a third division German side. With his stock rising, he arrived at Borussia Monchengladbach where he became the superstar he is today. 

4. Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

​Sold for - part exchange for David Luiz

Bought back for - £21m


After arriving at Chelsea for £1.5m in 2009 from Slovakian side Kosice, Matic's opportunities in west London quickly became rare and he was sold to Benfica just 18 months later as part of the £21m deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge.


The Serbian midfielder found himself in Lisbon though and established a reputation as one of the most powerful midfielders in the league. Ironically, the Blues were forced to pay £21m to bring Matic back to the​ Premier League where he remains to this day. 

3. Nicolas Anelka (PSG)

​Sold for - £500,000

Bought back for - £22m


Arsene Wenger always had a knack of finding talented French youngster and he made bargain in convincing PSG to part ways with a 17-year-old Nicolas Anelka for just half a million pounds in February 1997.


After winning the league with the Gunners and the Champions League with ​Real Madrid, Anelka found himself back in the French capital at his first club but it was an expensive return for the sulky striker. 

2. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)

​Sold for - free

Bought back for - £25m


Pique was not the only Barcelona man to leave La Masia in an attempt to find regular football, yet unlike the defender, Cesc Fabregas' move to ​Arsenal was an immeasurable success, with the Spaniard eventually becoming club captain.


With his stock rising as one of the best central midfielders around, Barcelona looked to bring Fabregas home but only after writing out a very big cheque to the Gunners. Some believe that Hector Bellerin could follow suit. 

1. Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich)

​Sold for - £2m

Bought back for - £28m


The most recent addition to this list went straight to the top after ​Bayern Munich re-signed Mats Hummels, following his successful 8 year spell with Borussia Dortmund. The German centre back made just one appearance for the Bavarians before joining their rivals on loan.


Used sparingly at first at the Walfenstadion, the classy centre back developed into one of the finest defenders in Europe and followed in the footsteps of Mario Gotze and Rpbert Lewandowski in abandoning Dortmund for their biggest rivals. 

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