Football fans are nostalgic folk.
Although the game is increasingly becoming a results business – with immediate impacts expected across the board – supporters are partial to casting their eyes back to days gone by.
Every club has their own tales of the ‘one who got away’, left too early, thought the grass was greener elsewhere or simply jumped ship. And, with that in mind, we have asked a fan of each Premier League top-six club to choose one player – who is still playing – to bring back to their team.
Will they go for a former hero? Or were too many bridges burned the first time around?
Ed Smith: “Toss up between Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez. I will go with Suarez though. An absolute nightmare, but a superb player and a match winner.”
STAT: Suarez scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for Liverpool.
Manchester United Fan
Stephen Wharton: “It seems obvious but it has to be Cristiano Ronaldo. Even though he’s getting older he would still produce and score a lot of goals. Gerard Pique would probably be second looking at our centre halves.”
STAT: Ronaldo won nine trophies during his spell at Old Trafford.
Harry Edwards: “Chelsea have a (bad) history of letting players go far too easily before reaching their peak and it has come back to bite us on many occasions.
“Mohamed Salah is the big name at the moment, but for me, it has be Kevin De Bruyne. I think he’d fit in really well in the midfield alongside N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, especially given all the tactical work Pep Guardiola has done with him.”
STAT: De Bruyne made just five starts for Chelsea before joining Wolfsburg in 2014.
David Edwards: “Alexis Sanchez has been awful for United, but I’d have him back in a heart beat. Arsenal is his home.”
STAT: Sanchez scored 80 goals and was involved in 121 during his stay in north London.
Dean Smith: “Gareth Bale. He’s got everything needed from a top player and has the ability to win a game on his own with a moment of magic.”
STAT: Bale scored 42 goals in 146 Premier League appearances for Spurs.
Manchester City Fan
Chris McCrae: “James Milner is probably the most underrated player in the Premier League. He can play in many positions and would have sorted the left-back issue last season. Milner would be a perfect fit to play along side Fernandinho – or even replace him. He’s pretty good at pens too.”
STAT: Milner won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the League Cup during his five years at City.