On-loan players who came back to haunt their parent club

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There are a myriad of reasons why a club might let a player leave on loan – whether it is to aid their development, financial reasons or simply because they just don't want them anymore.

However, it can be a little awkward when they end up on facing their parent clubs on the pitch. That is a scenario that could have happened today but Chelsea have prevented Conor Gallagher from potentially biting the Blues back at Crystal Palace as the two sides prepare to face off in the FA Cup.

And they might have good reason having been on the receiving end of a loan player coming back to haunt them. But they are not the only ones with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City also feeling the same pain.

James Rodriguez

A stunning World Cup with Colombia saw Real Madrid splash out in 2016 to bring in Rodriguez but he never truly made much of an impact at the club. Eventually, the attacking midfielder demanded a move away and he got his wish when he signed for Bayern Munich on a two-year loan.

The next year, the two European titans met in the Champions League semi-final and Rodriguez managed to score against Zinedine Zidane's men at the Bernabeu – though it was too little too late from the Germans – who had lost the first leg 2-1.

Lomana LuaLua

A fan favourite at Portsmouth, he initially joined the south-coast club on a three-month loan from Newcastle – who even allowed him to play against them in the Premier League in an unusual encounter. They were quickly regretting their generosity when LuaLua netted a late equaliser to lift Pompey out of the relegation zone.

“I apologise to the Newcastle supporters because they’ve been so brilliant to me, but I’m glad I came to a club where someone wants me,” he said afterwards. “The Portsmouth fans are lifting me up. I’m here to impress. I’m fighting to get a contract.”

Philippe Coutinho

After his blockbuster transfer to Barcelona for £142million from Liverpool, Coutinho has failed to impress at the Nou Camp and was even allowed to leave on loan despite his hefty fee to join Bayern Munich in 2019. They would go on to meet in the Champions League that season in what has gone down as one of the worst results the Blaugrana has ever seen.

With the Bundesliga outfit 5-2 up with 15 minutes to go, Bayern sent Coutinho on to really rub salt in the wounds. But the Brazilian showed his parent club what they were missing when he scored twice and assisted one to make it eight for the Bavarians.

Patrick Roberts

Roberts was a serial loanee during his time at City, where he played for the likes of Celtic, Girona, Norwich, Middlesbrough, Derby and Troyes before joining Sunderland in January. But while with the Bhoys, the winger got a chance to show his parent club what he was all about in the Champions League.

And he did not disappoint, scoring a sensational solo strike in a 1-1 at the Etihad to earn the Hoops a precious point. The former Fulham star did not hold back in his celebration while he would not ever play for City again.

Thibaut Courtois

Now established as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Chelsea sent Courtois out on loan within moments of signing him in 2011 to Atletico Madrid. He spent three years in Spain where his stock grew while the Blues would face Atletico in the Champions League back in 2014.

Chelsea had tried to force the Spanish club to pay them £2.5m per game the Belgian would play against them but UEFA intervened to null and void that deal. And it turned out to hit the London club hard as they crashed out to Diego Simeone's men 3-1.

  • Chelsea FC
  • Crystal Palace FC
  • FA Cup

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