Returning heroes - 12 players who came back

France's Paul Pogba celebrates at the end of the match

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Tottenham have all re-signed star players who once left their clubs.

Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United, four years after leaving the club. 

Manchester United announced that Pogba will wear the number six shirt, after completing his world record £87m transfer back from Juventus on Tuesday morning. He left Old Trafford four years ago.

Let's now take a look at some other eye-catching player homecomings:

Manchester United's Paul Pogba

VV Noordwijk: Edwin van der Sar 

The Netherlands keeper came through the youth ranks at Dutch club VV Noordwijk, before moving on to Ajax. Van der Sar then had a spell at Juventus before playing in the Premier League with Fulham and Manchester United, retiring after he left Old Trafford in 2011. Since his distinguished playing career ended he has begun his first steps into coaching, but was incredibly forced out of retirement after he answered an SOS from VV Noordwijk. At 45, van der Sar pulled on the gloves one last time in March, and saved a penalty for Noordwijk in a 1–1 draw against Jodan Boys.

Barcelona: Gerard Piqué 

Gerard Pique Signed to BarcelonaGerard Pique Re-signed for Barcelona

At the age of 17, Piqué swapped Barcelona's academy to make a move to Manchester United. He spent four years with the Red Devils, before returning to Barca for a fee of £5 million. He has since gone onto win multiple La Liga titles, 3 Champions Leagues, the Euros and a World Cup. 

Arsenal: Martin Keown 

Martin KeownMartin Keown 

When George Graham joined Arsenal as manager in 1986, he decided that a young Martin Keown was not part of his plans, and sold the centre-back to Aston Villa for £200,000. But 7 years later Graham brought Keown back to the Gunners, and Keown went on to make over 300 appearances for Arsenal, playing a pivotal role in the 'invincibles' season in 2003/04. 

Chelsea: Graeme Le Saux

Le Saux left Chelsea in controversy in 1993, angry at continually being substituted, and infamously throwing his shirt on the ground after again being brought off by manager Ian Porterfield. Le Saux soon left for Blackburn, and won the Premier League there in 1995. Immediately after, Chelsea brought him back to Stamford Bridge, and in doing so made him the most expensive defender ever at the time, for a fee of £5 million. Le Saux went on to win another 5 trophies with Chelsea.

Chelsea: Nemanja Matić

Chelsea's Nemanja Matic in actionChelsea's Nemanja Matic in action

Chelsea signed a 21 year old Matić from FC Kosice in 2009, but the Serbian only made two first team appearances before leaving for SL Benfica. In 2014, however, then Chelsea José Mourinho re-signed the player from his Lisbon club, and Matić went on to win the Premier League title with the blues that next season. 

Manchester United: Paul Scholes 

A one club man, Paul Scholes retired from footballin 2011 after 19 years with Manchester United. But, after an injury crisis in Manchester United's central midfield, Scholes reversed his retirement to come back and play for then manager Sir Alex Ferguson. His legs may have been fading, but his vision and passing ability were not, and Scholes won another Premier League title in 2013 before retiring permanently. 

Barcelona: Cesc Fàbregas 

Barcelona's new player Cesc Fabregas kisses the Barcelona emblem on his jerseyCesc Fàbregas kisses the Barcelona emblem on his jersey

Fàbregas left Barcelona at the tender age of 16, to play for Arsenal. Having become club captain at the Gunners, Fàbregas decided to return to Barcelona for £29 million in 2011, much to the dismay of most Arsenal fans. In 2014 it looked as though Fàbregas might make a return to Arsenal, but instead opted to join London rivals Chelsea, and also won the Premier League with the Blues later that year. 

Middlesbrough: Juninho 

Juninho Paulista - Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough icon Juninho returned to the club more than once, having spent three separate spells on Teesside. The signing of 'The Little Fella' was considered a real coup from Sao Paulo for £4.75 million in 1995, from under the noses of other European clubs. He left for Atletico Madrid 2 years later for £13 million, but during his stay in Madrid was loaned back to Middlesbrough for a season in 1999. Finally, he made one more return to the Riverside in 2002, after Atletico sold him back to Middlesbrough for £6 million. Juninho's three spells at Middlesbrough etched his name into the club's history. 

Portsmouth and Tottenham: Peter Crouch 

Stoke City's Peter Crouch reactsPeter Crouch

Crouchy can justifiably challenge Juninho for the title of comeback king, making returns to two different clubs over the course of his career. Crouch began his playing career at Tottenham, but after a spell at QPR joined Portsmouth in 2001. He moved on to play for Aston Villa, Southampton and Liverpool, but in 2008 returned to Pompey. Not satisfied with just one return to a former club, Crouch then returned to Tottenham a year later for a fee of £10 million. His is currently playing Premier League football with Stoke City.

Chelsea: Didier Drogba 

Didier Drogba after Chelsea won the Champions LeagueDidier Drogba with the Champions League trophy

Chelsea legend Drogba signed off his 8 year stint at the club by scoring the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. He then moved to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, and subsequently had a spell at Turkish club Galatasaray.

In 2014, 35 year old Drogba moved back to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer, signing a one year contract. Although he only scored four league goals that year, before leaving again to join Montreal Impact, Drogba remains a firm favourite of Chelsea fans.

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