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Premier League prodigal sons who should return to a former club

Thursday 24th August 2017
In today's free market, players will opt for money over the chance to be a club legend. The flip side is Premier League prodigal sons can go home again.

Obviously, Wayne Rooney's revival at Everton was the stimulus for this article. Watching the Scouser impact his first two games back in blue, he looks like a rejuvenated man buoyed by homecoming glory as he again pulls on the famous Evertonian colours. Two goals in as many games make him a very exciting prospect, arguably the Toffee's best summer signing.

There are other Premier League prodigal sons who could assist their old sides while rekindling their own careers. I've cherry-picked three prime candidates.

Wes Morgan – Nottingham Forest

Despite being a Jamaican international, big Wes was born in Nottingham. He made over 400 appearances for the Tricky Trees before traversing the East Midlands divide to Leicester City in January, 2012. At the time, his move may have appeared a lateral one, therefore rather unproductive. We all know now what the Foxes' future held.

Morgan and Forest both find themselves at crossroads entering the 2017-18 campaign. The centre-back faces greater competition at the back, with Harry Maguire joining Leicester. Nor is he getting any younger. At some point, Premier League football may outpace the veteran defender.

Meanwhile, the club from the red side of the River Trent is prospering. An opportunity exists to return to the English top flight for the first time since 1999 season. What a party that would be.

Mark Warburton's defensive corps could benefit from what Wes offers. At 33, the veteran has seen a lot these up and coming youngsters haven't. That experience that would serve him and his former club well again. Forest are notably short on defenders, especially the long-standing, accomplished type. Surely, a Premier League champion would be a welcome sight patrolling the City Ground again.

Ashley Young – Watford

Young joined Manchester United from Aston Villa in 2011. He's won a fair few honours since. As is inevitable, though, his current standing at the club has been radically reduced. Last year, he made just 12 league appearances. At present, he's not even making the senior squad, instead serving as a rotation option for United's U23s. Whereas his former mates romped over the senior team, the 32-year old turned in a 58-minute shift in a one-goal draw against the Swansea reserves.

He'd be more useful to Watford, the club where he crafted his own youth career. Young played a major part in Watford's successful promotion campaign to the Premier League yet didn't stick around for its debut season. He was sold to Villa that January.

Under Marco Silva, Watford is a creative outlet which seems to be making a decent amount of chances. The Portuguese boss could benefit greatly from another wide player. Jose Holebas can't patrol both flanks simultaneously.
Young may feel he has unfinished business with at Vicarage Road. He gave so much to open the Premier League to the Hornets. It may take some sting out of his regrets to help keep it open longer.

Charlie Adam – Rangers

There was a time, not long ago, when Charlie Adam's services were a sought-after commodity. Impressive seasons in the Championship with Blackpool, then that infamous year in the Premier League earned him a cult hero status. Liverpool's call brought him into the mainstream. Things didn't really work out at Anfield but he's since contributed several good years at Stoke City. Like Morgan at the King Power and Young at Old Trafford, Adam's time at the Bet365 is fading.

North of the border, Rangers are still in the process of restoring their Old Firm form. While Adam didn't earn an SPL winners medal in his time at the Ibrox, he was with the squad for two seasons. In both, they finished second in the league . In 2007-08, they won both the Scottish and Scottish League Cups.

The 31-year old will never have a better opportunity than now to go back to Ibrox to help. Looking down the Rangers ranks, there is youthful talent aplenty. Another experienced voice to add to Bruno Alves, Niko Kranjcar, and Kenny Miller's wouldn't be a bad thing, though.
The club never really replaced Joey Barton after his--spoiler alert!--odd, controversial departure. Adam would offer a similar option with better self-control. He's a steely midfielder who utilises his teammates and tracks back. His addition could bring a welcome reminder of the days they used to compete with Celtic.
Warren Smith

A British and J.League soccer enthusiast, now local to Yokohama, Japan. A keen Arsenal supporter. Has been known to play the game every once in awhile, once likened to Xherdan Shaqiri. 

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