This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Plenty of footballers have retracted their steps for second stints at clubs that they served much earlier in their career – Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Kaka (Sao Paulo) and Paul Pogba (Manchester United) are three such examples. Another man who can be added to that list is Burnley marksman Jay Rodriguez.
A product of the Clarets’ academy, the striker came to prominence when he scored against Tottenham in a dramatic League Cup semi-final in January 2009 when the Lancashire club were in the Championship. He also chipped in with a couple of goals in the league that year as they won a first promotion to the Premier League. However, a lengthy ankle injury meant that he was unable to make an impact in the top flight as Burnley went straight back down.
When they returned to the Championship, though, Rodriguez’s career truly took flight, with returns of 15 and 21 goals in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 campaigns respectively. His form earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Year in the latter season and sparked the interest of Cardiff and Southampton. Burnley eventually sold him to the latter, who were preparing for their return to the Premier League, in a deal worth £7.79m (as per TransferMarkt).
He earned England recognition during five years at St Mary’s and was in line for the Three Lions’ World Cup squad in 2014, only for a cruciate ligament injury to ruin that well-earned dream. In 2017 he moved on to West Brom for £12m (as per BBC) but couldn’t spare them from relegation from the top flight. He had yet another prolific Championship season in 2018/19, though, hitting 22 goals as the Baggies made the play-offs.
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Seven years after leaving Turf Moor, Rodriguez went back to his alma mater last July in a £5m deal (as per TransferMarkt). He turned 30 shortly before the current season began but, having missed out on top-flight action with Burnley a decade previously, he has since made up for lost time, with eight goals in the Premier League prior to today’s season-ending clash against Brighton. The pick of those was surely his tremendous volley in the Clarets’ 2-0 win at Manchester United in January.
Rodriguez has struck 52 goals across his two spells at Burnley, 11 of which have come in his second stint. Considering that they bought him back for £5m after selling him at a much younger age for £7.79m, effectively getting 55.8% off for him, and considering how well he has performed since rejoining the club, the Clarets can feel that they have come out on top in terms of both deals involving the striker who turns 31 on Wednesday.
Burnley fans, did the club make the right decision in bringing back Rodriguez last year? Comment below with your views!
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