Do you know there are some football players that clubs regret selling? There always comes that time when a player has to leave a club. Sometimes it’s the player who expresses the desire to leave, but in most cases, it is the club that forces the player out. And as karma would have it, sometimes those footballers turn around to make those clubs wish they never sold them.
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These are 7 football players that clubs regret selling
1. Cole Palmer & Raheem Sterling
We’ll be starting with Cole Palmer who, along with Raheem Sterling, made Manchester City have some real regrets about selling him. Chelsea and City produced an instant Premier League classic when they clashed on Sunday, and much of it was thanks to the brilliance of the former City boys.
Both Palmer and Sterling left City because they didn’t think they’d get as much game time as they’d wanted, and it has looked like a good decision for them ever since. But when they welcomed City to Stamford Bridge, they made the European champions wish they never sold them.
This was a game everyone expected Chelsea to lose because they’ve been bad this season and, you know, Man City are Man City. But Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer stood up and made sure Chelsea went away with a point against their former employers.
Also, Sterling and Palmer’s goals in that game meant that, apart from Erling Haaland, no Man City player has scored more goals than them in the Premier League this season. Surely, Pep Guardiola is wishing he found a way to keep those guys.
2. Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne was a Chelsea player for two years between 2012 and 2014, but they never really appreciated his abilities and talents until he went and blossomed elsewhere.
Well, safe to say that Chelsea will never stop regretting letting De Bruyne go. He has scored 5 times against Chelsea since joining City, but even more than that, he has since gone on to become one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history.
A couple of Premier League Player of the Season awards, multiple Premier League Playmaker of the Year awards, and even a 3rd place Ballon d’Or finish. Chelsea surely wishes they never let the Belgian leave.
3. Mo Salah
Chelsea also wish they never let Mo Salah leave. He, too, was a Chelsea player for 2 years but he was not given any playing time, so he was forced to leave. Well, Chelsea surely regrets that decision every day now.
Salah has had 8 goal contributions in games against Chelsea since he left the club, but on top of that, he has gone on to become one of the best players in the world. Chelsea have not produced a Premier League Golden Boot winner since Didier Drogba in 2010, but Mo Salah alone has won it 3 times with Liverpool since then.
The Egyptian also helped elevate Liverpool after a long period of lows, and surely Chelsea look at what he has done for the Reds and absolutely regret ever letting him go.
4. Luis Suarez
Barcelona is another team that has had regrets like this. They forced Luis Suarez out in 2020 because, according to them, he was too old and could no longer play at a high level. So, They sold him to Atletico Madrid. But he went ahead and scored 21 goals for Atletico that season, more than every Barcelona player managed bar Messi.
But more importantly, he helped Atletico beat Barcelona to win La Liga that season. If Suarez had scored those 21 goals in a Barcelona shirt, the Blaugranas may just have won the league instead of Atletico, who knows? But what we know for sure is that Barcelona fans lived with a lot of regret that season.
5. Harry Kane
Another striker who his former club regrets letting go is Harry Kane. No, we’re not talking about Spurs, we’re talking about Arsenal.
Yes, Harry Kane was in the Arsenal academy for one year in 2001, but the North London club released him because, according to them, he was too chubby and was not athletic.
Kane punished Arsenal so much for that mistake, scoring 14 goals against them during his time at Spurs. You know, it’s one thing for a former player of yours to score a lot against you, but when he’s scoring those goals for your fiercest rivals, it just makes it hurt 10 times more.
You just get the feeling that if Arsenal had had Kane all these years, they would maybe have won the league in one of those seasons when they came so close.
6. Kingsley Coman
Kingsley Coman has a similar story, too. The Frenchman came up from the PSG academy but they let him go when he was just 18. Well, as fate would have it, it was he who eventually stopped the Parisian club from winning their first-ever Champions League title in 2020.
Coman joined Bayern Munich in 2015 and helped them get to the 2020 Champions League final where they went up against PSG. The Frenchman would eventually score the only goal of the game which was enough to win Bayern the trophy. There’s no way PSG didn’t regret letting him go that night.
7. Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben was a Real Madrid player for 2 years between 2007 and 2009. He was important for the club during this time, but Perez became president again and came with his Galacticos policy, signing Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema all in one window. That immediately made Robben surplus to requirements.
The Dutchman said himself that he didn’t want to leave Real Madrid but he was forced out by the club. And well, Real Madrid would end up regretting it. First of all, they’ve still not had a right winger as good as Robben since he left, but more painfully, it was a Robben goal that sent the game to a penalty shootout when Madrid and Bayern met in the 2012 Champions League semi-final.
Madrid would go on to lose that game and get knocked out on penalties as Robben and his Bayern Munich teammates advanced to the final. Real Madrid felt a lot of things that night, and one of those things was surely regret that they forced Arjen Robben out.
Are there more instances when players made clubs regret selling them? Let us know in the comments.