Returning players to have haunted former clubs – can Rooney add his name to the list?

Manchester United

There have been several occasions when former players have come back to haunt their ex-employers, but can Wayne Rooney do the same to Manchester United?

Rooney spent 13 successful years at Old Trafford, winning five Premier League titles and one Champions League among numerous other trophies, but he now plies his trade for Championship outfit Derby County.

The 34-year-old Englishman joined the Rams in January and has been in impressive form, scoring three goals and registering two assists from 11 league appearances.

United make the trip to Pride Park on Thursday evening for FA Cup fifth-round action and Rooney, who scored 559 goals in all competitions for United, has the chance to get one over on the 20-time English champions.

In terms of recent form, Derby have struggled, with just one win from their last five matches. However, in regard to home results, they are unbeaten in their last seven and have lost just one of the previous 17 encounters in Derbyshire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are in good form as they arrive on a seven-game unbeaten run across all competitions, but United did lose the last meeting between the two clubs on penalties in 2018.

With the possibility of Rooney derailing his former employers’ season, we have looked at some of the biggest moments when a player came back to haunt his old team.

1) Emmanuel Adebayor – Manchester City vs Arsenal 2009

This is arguably one of the most iconic and controversial moments in Premier League history, which came over a decade ago.

After leaving Arsenal for Manchester City in July 2009, Adebayor came up against the Gunners for the first time in September that year following his acrimonious departure.

The Togo international was eager to make a point and, when heading home the third goal in the 4-2 victory, he proceeded to run the entire length of the pitch and celebrate in front of the travelling Gunners supporters.

Cue some ugly scenes as the Arsenal faithful berated the striker, who was handed a suspended two-match ban and a £25,000 fine.

2) Frank Lampard – Manchester City vs Chelsea 2014

Another big moment came in 2014 when Lampard, who looked like he was on the way to New York that summer, left Chelsea and signed for title rivals Manchester City instead.

In what must have felt like fate, the former England international came off the bench to score a late equaliser when the Citizens met the Blues a month into the new Premier League season.

However, unlike Adebayor, Lampard celebrated with an almost apologetic reaction, the midfielder obviously still holding deep affection for Chelsea.

3) Lomana Lua Lua – Portsmouth v Newcastle 2004

Newcastle and Portsmouth played out a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park on February 29, 2004 and it was the goalscorer for Pompey, Lua Lua, who grabbed all the headlines on the day.

The former DR Congo international was loaned to the south-coast outfit from the Magpies and he scored an 89th-minute equaliser for the hosts, who moved out of the bottom three thanks to that point.

Lua Lua produced his trademark acrobatic finish in front of a raucous crowd, while it also led to a change in legislation, with the FA introducing standard rules meaning a player on loan could not play against their parent club.