Players leave clubs very often in the search for better opportunities, the chance to win more trophies or for higher wages. There have been many instances of footballers returning to their former clubs and enjoying great success.
However, there are also many players who returned to a former club hoping to rekindle their old form but that failed to materialise.
Here are five players who performed poorly after returning to a former club:
5. Diego Costa
Diego Costa was fabulous in his first spell with Atletico Madrid, scoring 64 goals in all competitions in his first spell of three seasons at the club and helped them win La Liga in the 2013/14 season. The Spaniard then moved on to Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles with the English club.
When manager Antonio Conte told Costa he would not be needed at the club anymore, he went back to Atletico. However, his second stint has not gone well, as he has scored only 11 goals in all competitions in 18 months.
4. Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler is a Liverpool legend, having scored 171 goals for them during his first spell with his hometown club in nine seasons. He won the FA Cup as well as the UEFA Cup with the Reds.
Fowler returned to the club after playing for Leeds United and Manchester City, but his second stint was not all that great, as he managed to score only 12 goals in all competitions in his two years there.
3. Fabio Cannavaro
Fabio Cannavaro had a fantastic time during his first spell with Juventus, winning two Serie A titles with the team as well as the World Cup with Italy.
He moved to Real Madrid but returned to the Italian team after three years. His comeback lasted only a season, however, with injuries contributing to his performances dropping drastically in quality.
2. Joe Cole
Joe Cole had a storied career in the Premier League, starting off at West Ham United before moving on to Chelsea where he won a bunch of trophies. During the latter stages of his career, however, the player suffered due to injuries.
Due to that, his return to West Ham did not work out all that well for the English international, as he managed to make just over 30 appearances in two seasons.
Kaka was easily the world's best player when he was at AC Milan, even winning the Ballon d'Or in 2007 after helping his team win the Champions League. Real Madrid's huge bid was too good to refuse for Milan, with Kaka becoming the world's most expensive player for a short duration.
He did not have the same effect in Spain and eventually moved back to Milan. However, the return did not go as planned, and the Brazilian only lasted a season before moving to the United States to play in Major League Soccer.
Five players who performed poorly after returning to a former club