Football stars tend to move from one team to another for different reasons. Some players move for a fatter paycheck, some move in search of more game time while others move in search of silverware. Whatever the reason for movement is, transfer from one football club to another is one of the ever-constant occurrences in football.
Many football clubs sell players without the foresight of what the coming days may bring. A team can be happy it sold a player if he flops in his new team. On the other hand, some teams end up biting their fingers in regret wishing they never sold the player for one reason or the other.
In this exciting piece, we have gathered ten football stars that their teams wished they never sold. Enjoy the ride!
#1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Only a few people know that Aubameyang actually played for A.C. Milan at a time in his career. He began his senior career with the San Siro club in 2008 but he made no single league appearance for them. They instead loaned him to Dijon, Lille, and Monaco before he finally signed for Saint Etienne in 2011. He has since played for Borussia Dortmund for whom he scored 98 league goals in 144 appearances. Currently, with Arsenal, he won the Premier League Golden Boot in his first full season with 22 goals. The Rossoneri probably should have been patient with this one.
#2. Thiago Alcantara
Thiago could not have stayed at Barcelona when most of their senior football stars were at the peak of their powers. He emerged from La Masia and broke into the senior set-up as a teenager in 2009. The only problem was that he could not displace anyone from a starting eleven that had Xavi, Iniesta, and David Villa. Thiago was eventually sold to Bayern Munich in 2013 due to a lack of playing time. However, the midfielder has become so good that Barca must have wished they never sold him in the first place.
#3. Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne was signed by Chelsea from Genk in 2012 a year before Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea for his second spell. Aged 21 then, he was not trusted to make any impact when Mourinho took over and was loaned to Werder Bremen. He left Chelsea in 2014 having made just three league appearances. He spent a season at Wolfsburg before joining Manchester City where he has developed into one of the best playmakers in the world. Chelsea’s loss was Manchester City’s gain.
#4. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah was among a host of football stars that joined Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. The Egyptian was signed after shinning for Basel in the Champions League but there was no place for him in the starting eleven. He was on Chelsea’s books from 2014 to 2016 but spent the bulk of that time on loan with Fiorentina and Roma before signing for the capital club permanently. After a season, he returned to England with Liverpool where he is showing Chelsea what they could have had if they had not sold him.
#5. Serge Gnabry
Arsenal are renowned for producing talented youngsters so it was no surprise when Serge Gnabry broke into the senior team in 2012. The Gunners had a host of football stars in Walcott, Rosicky, and Cazorla but the German did manage to impress when given the chance. Four years after his breakthrough, Gnabry had made just 10 league appearances with one goal to his name. He even had an underwhelming loan spell with West Brom. However, Bayern Munich signed him after Arsenal sold him to Werder Bremen. Gnabry is currently 24 years old and far from his peak years but has already established himself as one of the best wingers in Europe. Arsenal definitely should have retained him.
#6. Victor Osimhen
Osimhen was a star at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian won the golden boot and silver ball awards and was signed by Wolfsburg after. He played for Wolfsburg between 2017 and 2019 before moving to Sporting Charleroi. After 19 goals in 34 league appearances, Lille signed him as a replacement for Nicolas Pepe who was moving to Arsenal. Osimhen has been a revelation in France with a consistent goalscoring form. Wolfsburg probably should have given him more time.
#7. Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku joined Chelsea as an 18-year old in 2011. He could not break into the starting eleven because of the more accomplished football stars ahead of him in the starting line-up. He moved to Everton in 2014 after loan spells with West Bromwich Albion and the Toffees. He became an accomplished goalscorer at Everton and a move to Manchester United soon emerged. Lukaku scored 113 Premier League goals before leaving for Inter Milan last summer where he has continued his goalscoring business. The Blues sold the Belgian too soon.
#8. Gerard Pique
There are many football stars who failed to make the cut at Manchester United. One of them was Gerard Pique. The Spaniard moved from La Masia to Manchester United’s youth set-up in 2004. He was soon promoted to the senior team where he made just 12 league appearances in four years. The four-year period also included a one-year loan spell at Real Zaragoza. He returned to his boyhood club in 2008 where he has been named in the FIFPro World Eleven four times. He proved United let him a little too early.
#9. Philipe Coutinho
Coutinho may be experiencing troubles in his career currently but make no mistake, the Brazilian is one of the best midfielders you will ever see in this generation. Many remember him for his time at Liverpool before he moved to Barcelona but he once played for an Italian team. Inter Milan had Coutinho with them from 2008 to 2013. He could not really nail down and a place in the starting eleven and he was sold to Liverpool aged only 21. Inter Milan are having a renaissance with a new set of football stars but a Coutinho in that team would have made them more formidable.
#10. Jadon Sancho
Manchester City is a place where young football stars find it difficult to break into the first team not to mention making the starting eleven. City have one of the best academy facilities in Europe but they have had to allow some players to leave because of the abundance of talent in the senior squad. One of them is Jadon Sancho who joined Borussia Dortmund in 2017 aged 17. Sancho’s numbers have only got better since his move. He already amassed 13 goals and 16 assists before the leagues were shut down. If City were to resign him now, he’d cost them millions.