How 6 heroes-turned-villains did in first game at old club as Grealish returns to Villa


Manchester City star Jack Grealish returns to boyhood club Aston Villa on Wednesday evening for the first time since his £100m move north in the summer.

The Englishman was left frustrated in Manchester, but he failed to cement Pep Guardiola’s regular starting line-up XI.

His initial promise was soon lost; the ex-villa hero scored only twice for the Cityzens, and he admitted feeling disappointed at his new club.

The 26-yearold has been ruled out of tonight’s fixture due to an injury he sustained while away on international duty. He will however be given a final fitness test to confirm his eligibility.

Grealish will be keen to return to his roots and prove his abilities after he turned his back upon his boyhood club this summer.

Jack Grealish has struggled for consistency since his record-breaking move from Aston Villa
Jack Grealish has struggled with consistency since his record-breaking move at Aston Villa

His potential is ahead of him now Silver Screen Beats Sport examines how six heroes-turned-villains fared on their return to former clubs…

Sol Campbell

Ray Parlour, Arsenal legend, described Sol Campbell’s match with Tottenham as “the scariest he has ever played in.” Sol Campbell returned to White Hart Lane in November 2001 following his departure from arch-rivals Tottenham.

Spurs international from England, with over 300 appearances, decided to end his deal and take his place for free. This was due to a lack of trophies.

Do you know of any other person who should be included on this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Sol Campbell of Arsenal with the FA Cup Trophy and the Premier League Trophy after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton on May 11, 2002 in London, England.
Sol Campbell was well-known for being unsure of moving from Tottenham to Arsenal

Tottenham fans cheered his return and some even held up placards calling him ‘Judas’.

Even though Arsenal took the lead, Campbell impressed back at the Lane. Spurs managed to score a last-minute equaliser and take a share of all the spoils.

Christian Benteke

Although widely considered a flop on Merseyside the Crystal Palace forward showed the kop just what he could do when he returned to the north west in 2017.

The Belgian forward was able to score a brace in Sam Allardyce’s 2-1 win that ended Liverpool’s Champions League hopes.

Christian Benteke came back to haunt Liverpool on his Anfield return
Liverpool’s Christian Benteke was back at Anfield to haunt it

A £32.5m signing for the Reds in 2015, his nine-goal return works out at a cost of £3.6m for every time he found the net during his one-year stint at Anfield.

Palace was relieved of the relegation zone by Benteke’s two-timer.

Carlos Tevez

Tevez spent two years as a Manchester United loanee, but he decided not to make a permanent move to Old Trafford in 2009. Instead, he signed for Man City, a rival club.

The Argentine was slyly greeted by Manchester’s new club with a banner reading “Welcome To Manchester”, and a sky blue Tevez displayed in his celebratory style.

Carlos Tevez enraged Manchester United fans by signing for bitter rivals City after rejecting a permanent deal at Old Trafford.
After rejecting an offer at Old Trafford, Carlos Tevez signed for bitter rivals City.

Although his return to Old Trafford wasn’t a cause to celebrate, Michael Owen won a late victory with United winning 4-3.

Tevez was wearing heavy knee strapping in order to assist him during his recovery from injury and did manage two assists.

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie, a 2012 summer signing of Sir Alex Ferguson, won his Premier League crown with one season as the legendary manager.

The Dutchman was loved by Arsenal fans because of his goal-scoring prowess. He scored a remarkable 132 goals in 278 games while at the London club.

Arsenal legend Robin van Persie scored against his former side on his return to the Emirates
Robin van Persie, Arsenal legend scored against his former team on his return to Emirates

He continued his tradition of finding the back end of the net upon his return from the Emirates.

Van Persie scored a penalty in the 44th minute as United won 1-1 against their title opponents.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Adebayor, who is most well-known for his famous knee slide in front Arsenal fans while at Man City was a part of the Arsenal’s iconic team, had a much more peaceful evening when he returned to the Emirates late in the season.

The Togolese forward was called off the bench to replace Patrick Vieira, an ex-Arsenal player. With the score tied at 0,

Emmanuel Adebayor was punished for his celebration against Arsenal though his return to the Emirates wasn't quite as dramatic
Emmanuel Adebayor was reprimanded after he celebrated against Arsenal, though his return from the Emirates was not quite as dramatic.

Quickly, the applause for Vieria’s departure turned into a chorus booing Adebayor for not making an impact on the match.

Although the match ended goalless, Gunnar Nielsen became the first Faroe Islander to appear in the Premier League. He replaced Shay Given, an injured City’keeper, with 17 minutes remaining.

Cesc Fabregas

Fabgreas, who claimed he wouldn’t sign for another English club, broke Arsenal hearts in 2014 when he signed with Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger, manager at Stamford Bridge, refuted reports that Gunners didn’t use the buyback clause.

Arsenal hero Cesc Fabregas broke his word that he would never sign for another English club when he joined Chelsea in 2014
Arsenal legend Cesc Fabregas broke his promise that he would not sign for any other English club when he signed for Chelsea in 2014.

Chelsea’s draw with Crystal Palace ensured that the afternoon was stale and they were forced to wait until next week in order to claim the Premier League title.

Fabregas was not the focal point of attention until the end of the first half, when he theatrically fell on the ground.

To the delight of Arsenal’s supporters, the only result was that their former star was given a yellow card for simulation by Michael Oliver.

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