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The One That Got Away: 5 Players Whose Star Shined Brighter At Another Club

Loyalty is an impending thing. It exists right on the fence and is subject to quite a few variables. What we love today could be the very thing we hate tomorrow. 

It’s hard for football fans to understand this subject. Footballers are professionals who look out for their best interests. Everything else becomes secondary. They must feel wanted and believe in a project if they’re to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. When it’s no longer the case, or when the club decides that a footballer doesn’t fit well with its plans, a transfer happens.

We’re going to take a look at the five times football players got transferred and took revenge on their old clubs by becoming the best versions of themselves.

5. Ashley Cole – Cash is Coled!

Ashley Cole was a product of Arsenal’s youth academy. He graduated in 1999 and got his first-team start when he was only eighteen. He was a lifelong supporter of the London club until he began flirting with The Blues, also from London.

You need the money to get them fancy suits. – via Instagram

Despite winning the Premier League twice (2002 and 2004) and the FA Cup three times (2002, 2003, and 2005), he was hungry for more. Compounded by the fact that he was represented by Jonathan Barnett, the Englishman didn’t think twice about making contact with Chelsea without informing Arsenal. After some really regretful incidents and a lot of name-callings, the left-back made his move to the other side of London in August 2006. During his stay there, he won the League once and the FA Cup four times. But the real jewel in the crown had to be the Champions League title he won with them in 2011-12. He finished his time in Chelse with a total of ten titles between 2006 and 2014. 

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4. Samuel Eto’o – We will discard you!

Sam Eto’o had high hopes when he made it to Real Madrid’s academy in 1997. Los Blancos didn’t even consider him to be good enough for their second side, and that’s the truth. He was loaned to Leganés, Espanyol, and Mallorca before the Whites sold him permanently to the club based out of Palma.

Understanding talent needs an open mind. – via Instagram

The Cameroonian didn’t give up hope, though. He transferred to FC Barcelona in the summer of 2004. Scoring 108 league goals in 144 games for the Catalan side, this striker won La Liga thrice and the Champions League twice before moving on. He finished his Barça career in 2009 after having played 199 games for them. He had scored 130 goals and won eight major titles with them. 

3. Mohamed Salah – Move on, Mo

Starting his career in Egypt, the King made his move to Europe after he transferred to FC Basel from Al Mokawloon Al Arab (Cairo based) in 2012. As a twenty-year-old Egyptian, Salah tried his best with the Swiss club. He remained with them for two seasons before Chelsea came calling. Buying him for a paltry 11 million Pounds, the impatient Blues didn’t allow him the chance to thrive. He was loaned to Fiorentina and Roma before making his move to Rome permanent in 2016.

Mo feels better about Roma than Chelsea. – via Instagram

This is where his life began to change. The forward’s career took shape, and Liverpool, who had closely been monitoring him since his Basel days, swooped in and bought him from the Serie A side. Salah has helped the Reds to greatness and won the much-awaited Premier League title in 2019-20. Breaking numerous records for the Reds, he got his revenge and looks unstoppable for now.

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2. Arjen Robben – Oui, we were Robbed!

Real Madrid cried foul two years after they had bought Arjen Robben from Chelsea. The winger was one of the best in the business when he made it to Spain’s capital in August 2007. Although he mesmerized the Bernabéu with his dribbling, Madridistas (the most impatient bunch of fans on the planet) grew tired of his constant injury woes.

Messi v Robben in La Liga would have been one interesting battle. – via Instagram

Forced out of the club in 2009 despite not wanting to go, the Dutchman was cashed in for 25 million Euros to Bayern Munich. The German club revived his fortunes, and he remained with them for ten seasons. During the time, he won twenty titles with them. This buy from Bayern had to be one of the greatest steals of last decade. Yes, Real Madrid. You were Robbed. 

1. Paul Pogba – Manchester didn’t like Octopuses

An Arsenal fan, Paul Pogba, joined Manchester United’s academy a few months after his sixteenth birthday. A young and talented Paul completed two seasons with them before being called up to the first team. His opportunities didn’t come at all, which is why he transferred to Juve after just one full season.

Away time is the best for Pog. – via Instagram

Establishing himself as a regular with the Turin-based side, this central midfielder proved his class to the world. Winning 8 titles during his four seasons with them, including four Serie A titles, he made the dangerous decision to come back to Manchester for a second time. It has been a joy ride so far, but he did get his revenge. We think his best days are yet to come, and they’re certainly away from the north-west of England.

** All images in this post are from Instagram/External sources. We do not own these pictures **

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