Five returning club heroes as Downing closes in on Boro comeback
Following the news that 11/4 Championship promotion second-favourites Middlesbrough have agreed a £5m fee to take hometown boy Stewart Downing back to The Riverside, Coral football experts look at five other club heroes that came back for a second spell with sides where they are loved.
Portugal playmaker Costa oozed class in Serie A first with Fiorentina and then at AC Milan but, either side of his Italian adventure, he topped and tailed his career with Benfica (1990-94 and 2006-08). He scored 10 goals across all competitions in the final seasons of his two stints at the Stadium of Light side.
Ivory Coast legend Drogba won Chelsea the Champions League with the last kick of his first spell at Stamford Bridge, which ended in 2012. With Jose Mourinho looking for backup to Diego Costa last summer, he brought old faithful back to the Blues last summer. Drogba helped Chelsea to another Premier League title in 2014/15.
Nicknamed ‘God’ by the Kop, Toxteth-born Fowler lit up Merseyside throughout the 1990s. His 2001 sale to Leeds United left Liverpool fans feeling like they had lost one of their own, though this hole was later filled by Steven Gerrard. Via a stint at Manchester City, Fowler returned to Anfield halfway through the 2005/06 season to rock the Reds once again.
Iceland international Gudjohnsen answered the call of struggling Championship club Bolton Wanderers last season, having played for the club previously in that division between 1998 and 2000. A Trotters cult hero, he turned out extensively in England with spells at Chelsea, Spurs, Stoke City and Fulham.
A man who once crossed the Manchester divide, Tevez always wanted to return to his beloved Boca Juniors, and he finally has this summer. He’s been away from the Buenos Aires outfit side for over a decade, but Juventus let him go back to his native Argentina for a cut-price fee. Tevez will finally be reunited with his family, who never moved with him to Europe.
Downing will be hoping his fairytale return to Boro pans out like Tevez. The Teesside team 8/1 shots to lift the Championship title under Aitor Karanka.