Just 18 months after Jose Mourinho ended Kevin de Bruyne’s Chelsea career by selling him to Wolfsburg for £18m, Manchester City are reportedly ready to spend more than three times that amount on bringing the Belgian back to the Premier League.
After De Bruyne either scored or directly assisted 40 goals for the Bundesliga runners-up during 2014/15, it’s not hard to see why the Citizens want to add him to their armoury. Here are five more footballers who proved their doubters dead wrong.
Having been signed up as a professional by then-Manchester United boss Ron Atkinson during the summer of 1984, the local boy was binned barely six months later, ending up at bottom-tier Crewe Alexandra.
Three fine seasons at Aston Villa in the late 80s/early 90s saw big-spending Serie A side Bari sign Platt, who went on to take in spells at Juventus, Sampdoria and eventually Arsenal, where he won the Premier League/FA Cup double in 1997/98, pipping United to the title by a point.
Platt also made 62 appearances for England, 55 of them starts.
Given the furore over United practically poaching the French midfielder from Le Havre as a teenager, it may have been prudent to play Pogba when he was weighing up a new Old Trafford contract, as opposed to bringing Paul Scholes out of retirement at the age of 37, or moving right-back Rafael into the centre of the park.
Pogab moved to Juve on a free in the summer of 2012 instead, and is now worth somewhere north of £50m. Oh well…
QPR reportedly want £15m for this recent England call-up, having paid Burnley around a third of that fee for Austin’s services two years ago and benefiting to the tune of 38 goals in 73 games since.
The burly 6ft2in striker has experienced quite a turnaround over the past decade or so, having been released by Reading aged 15 for being too small.
Scoring a then-record 185 Arsenal goals was some feat, made more impressive by the fact that Wright was approaching his 28th birthday when he signed for the Gunners in 1991, having become Crystal Palace’s deadliest post-war marksman during six seasons at Selhurst Park.
Prior to signing professional terms for the first time with the Eagles aged 21 in 1985, Wright failed to make the grade at Southend and Brighton, rocking up at non-league Greenwich Borough before Palace snapped him up.
No doubt Southampton were keeping tabs on this England Under-21 regular prior to his switch from Burnley to Liverpool this summer, after the Winchester native managed a promising return of 11 goals in 35 appearances for the Clarets during his first Premier League campaign.
They could have had him all along, as Ings was released from the south-coast club as a schoolboy before finding his feet at nearby Bournemouth en route to Turf Moor, and eventually Anfield.
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