Football

Is Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea doomed?

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Mourinho returns to Chelsea for his second stint. (©GettyImages)
Mourinho returns to Chelsea for his second stint. (©GettyImages).

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas both being linked to their former clubs, and the already confirmed homecoming of Jose Mourinho as Chelsea boss, it seems a poignant time to consider the other 'boomerang men' of football. 

Is it always the best idea to return to one's former club, where they were once worshipped and adored, because their time at other club's may have changed them considerably as individuals? 

Robbie Fowler is a case in point. After scoring 120 goals in 236 appearances he then left for at two year stint at Leeds United; then three years at Manchester City. 

However, when he returned to Anfield in the 2006/07 season, he simply wasn't thought to have the same aura as he did in his original glory days at Liverpool. 

He was promptly sold to Cardiff City, where his career officially began to peter out, leaving Wales for Blackburn Rovers, where he suffered an even more miserable season. 

Fowler then went to Australia to ply his trade, and then finally retired in 2012 at Thai club, Muangthong United. He is an excellent example of why players should not return to their once hallowed clubs. 

Further evidence of football's failed boomerang men comes in the shape of Robbie Keane. Whilst a decent goal scorer during his first time at Tottenham, scoring 82 goals in 197 games, this was certainly not repeated in his homecoming. He only managed 11 goals over those next two seasons. He is now successfully resurrecting his career at Los Angeles Galaxy.

A final example for Jose Mourinho to heed before his return to Chelsea should be former Newcastle hero, Kevin Keegan. The Magpie legend was massively successful while in charge, making massive signings such as Andy Cole and helping the team to second place in the Premier League. 

However, upon his return, he failed to win any of his first eight games, diminishing his exceptional record in the eyes of the Toon Army. 

On the other hand, there are a number of examples of players who have come back to their former clubs and enhanced their reputations still further. Mark Hughes, Jurgen Klinsmann and Graeme Le Saux are all perfect instances of how making a return to one's old club can renew former glories. 

Mark Hughes came back to make another 256 appearances at Old Trafford, scoring 83 goals in the process, making this move a massive success. 

Jurgen Klinsmann, while only coming back for one season on loan, was in devastating form, most memorably scoring four goals against Wimbledon to save Spurs from relegation, granting him legendary status at White Hart Lane. 

Graeme Le Saux became the most expensive English defender of his time upon his homecoming to Chelsea, for £5 million, where he spent the next six seasons. He managed to win the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners Cup, proving that, sometimes, being a boomerang player actually does pay off.

It is quite apparent that returning to a former club in the search for old glory is not always wise. This is something that must really be considered by Mourinho, in particular, as he has such a fantastic record at Stamford Bridge, that it would be a shame to diminish it.


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Topics:
Robbie Keane
Chelsea
Football
Kevin Keegan
Premier League
Robbie Fowler
Graeme Le Saux
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