The difference between success and failure is often only separated by small margins. It can also be attributed to confidence, team tactics or personal problems.
However, failure at one club doesn’t necessarily mean a player has reached the end of their career. Sometimes a new challenge or a change of environment is needed to inspire an upturn in form and fortune.
While the challenges faced when playing Premier League football are different to those of other European leagues, sometimes the contrast in a players form is too big to be wholly attributed to the difference in league standards.
In no particular order, RealSport look at three players who are currently resurrecting their careers after sealing a move away from their Premier League clubs this summer.
1 Siem de Jong
Newcastle United to Ajax (£1.8 million)
Siem de Jong was one of the players Rafael Benitez chose to offload this summer as the Newcastle boss wrestled with a suffocating wage bill which was blocking him from investing in his squad. Having cost Newcastle a reported £6 million from Ajax three years ago, de Jong is finally experiencing some luck in his bumpy career path.
Of course, there’s never been any doubting the calibre of the Dutch forward. However, a string of unrelated injuries conspired to prevent him establishing a place in Newcastle’s first team.
Although he missed the first five league games of this campaign, he made his first start of the season last weekend against FC Utrecht following four substitute appearances in the league which were swiftly followed by two further starts in the KNVB Cup.
De Jong has been used by the Amsterdammer’s as both a striker and attacking midfielder already this season as his rehabilitation sees him slowly integrated back into the side. In this role, de Jong has already contributed five goals and three assists from his seven appearances.
2 Lucas Pérez
Arsenal to Deportivo de La Coruña (Loan move)
With a £17.1 million price tag last summer, Arsene Wenger bought a forward who was a technically gifted, if not prolific, goalscorer. Having expected to rival Olivier Giroud for the main striker role, Pérez was left frustrated on the sidelines as Wenger chose Alexis Sánchez to spearhead the team instead. To compound the Spaniard’s frustrations, during the limited minutes Pérez did manage to accumulate, he was often played out of position on the left wing.
A return to Coruña beckoned after Pérez was linked with several clubs this summer and, once again, it’s another story of a player blooming after returning to familiar pastures. Following an uneventful introduction which saw him make two appearances from the bench followed by two more in the starting lineup, Pérez seems to have re-acclimatised back into Spanish football.
With three goals and an assist in the League and a further goal from a single game in the Copa del Rey, the striker has achieved all of this in a five-game run which suggests he may be coming back to Arsenal stronger than when he left the club for his ill-fated Premier League adventure.
3 Bafétimbi Gomis
Swansea City to Galatasaray (Undisclosed fee)
Bafétimbi Gomis spent last season on loan at Marseille where he scored 20 goals and made three assists from his 32 Ligue 1 appearances. Ironically enough, this is exactly the type of form the Swans are in dire need of especially considering Fernando Llorente left the club for Tottenham this summer.
Rather than try to integrate him back into the squad, though, a decision was made to cash in on the 32-year-old following a two-year period previously which saw Gomis net 17 times from 71 matches in all competitions for the Welsh club. It now appears the striker's confidence is at an all-time high.
Whilst a move to the Turkish Süper Lig may be considered many many as a drop in quality from the Premier Leauge, there can be no arguing about his prolificacy this term. 11 goals from 11 games in the league has seen an explosion of form from the French-born forward, pushing his side to the top of the table following last season’s fourth-placed finish.
The biggest difference for Gomis, though, is that Galatasaray and Marseille have both played to the striker's strength, being asked to attack the ball rather than being used as a target-man to hold the ball up as he was instructed to do at Swansea.
Are there any players who have been overlooked? Let us know in the comments section below
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