Players who unexpectedly Reunite with their Former Boss

Some players in the Premier League have had an une

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Players who unexpectedly Reunite with their Former Boss

Some players in the Premier League have had an unexpected reunion with their former boss at the previous club.

The transfer window has been opened. It is high time the clubs signed new players or managers. It is bound to be a busy time off the pitch. While the players might be preoccupied with summer tournaments, their agents or representatives will be working behind the scenes to deal with the transfer.

While they seal a move, sometimes things happen in the middle of the season, leading to managerial changes. Some could be reunited with their former boss from the previous team. It could be positive for the team, but it can be a weird one too if players opt to move because of the disagreement between both parties. Here are several footballers who have been reunited unexpectedly with their former boss.

James Tarkowski and Sean Dyche (Everton)

James Tarkowski and Sean Dyche first worked together in Burnley from 2016 to 2022. The centre-back had become Dyche’s main man at the back line. The Kettering-born manager who took the reins of The Clarets was able to guide them to promotion to the top flight twice in 2014 and 2016. He even managed to lead them to finish seventh in the 2017/18 season, which is the club’s highest place in history. Tarkowski was part of such success, playing 219 games with seven goals and five assists.

In 2022, following their relegation, Tarkowski and Dyche both left the club. The defender with two international caps is headed to Everton. He soon became the mainstay of Goodison Park under Frank Lampard. Then, in the middle of the 2022–23 season, the Toffees appointed Dyche to replace Lampard due to his team’s poor campaign. Since then, they have been an integral part of the club. Even Dyche brought Tarkowski’s teammate, Dwight McNeil, to revamp the team. However, they have not been able to reach the same height of success as they had in Burnley. Everton have only been a relegation struggler so far. Last season, Dyche's men had a fairly improved form and could have finished higher than 15th in the final standings, should their points not have been docked. The Toffees had to suffer an eight-point deduction from the Premier League in 2023/24 due to breaching financial management regulations.

Callum Wilson and Eddie Howe (Newcastle)

Callum Wilson was the key figure in Bournemouth from 2014 to 2020. He was the first choice under Eddie Howe, who was at the helm of The Cherries for eight years before he resigned after their relegation in 2020. Both were in positive collaboration and managed to bring them to ninth on the table in the 2016/17 campaign, which was regarded as their best finish during Howe’s stint.

Similar to Tarkowski and Dyche, both Wilson and Howe left in the same year. The Coventry-born striker switched sides to Newcastle United after scoring 67 goals and providing 26 assists in 187 games for Bournemouth, while Howe did not join the Magpies until early 2021 after their takeover by Saudi-owned management.

Their second partnership also came to fruition as Howe and Wilson contributed well when Newcastle finished in the top four in Howe's first full season in the dugout in 2022/23, which meant qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, their first return to the continental top-tier competition. The 32-year-old forward might not always be his first choice in the team, especially after the arrival of Swedish international Alexander Isak. Yet he remains deadly in the six-yard box when needed. He has made 108 appearances for the Magpies, netting 48 times and making 11 assists so far.

Marc Cucurella and Graham Potter (Chelsea)

The former Getafe man joined Brighton in 2021. He became the mainstay immediately under Graham Potter. The English boss has been at the helm of the club since 2019. Cucurella made 39 appearances in all competitions for the Seagulls, contributing one goal and two assists in his only season at Falmer Stadium. Brighton managed to sit ninth, their highest in history, before Roberto De Zerbi broke that record in 2022/23 as Alexis McAllister and Co. finished sixth and qualified for the European competition for the first time.

The left-back signed for Chelsea in 2022/23 and still strives to seal a spot in the line-up under Thomas Tuchel. Then, The Blues’ takeover was completed, and their new owner, Todd Boehly, opted to make changes to the team. The first victim was the German boss, despite his success in delivering the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup titles in 2021. The new manager-in-charge turned out to be Cucurella’s former boss. Potter was named in September 2023 and is expected to lead the team for a long time.

Unfortunately, things only went from bad to worse under the ex-Swansea gaffer. He was unable to optimise the luxury of having top names in the squad. He was even sacked before the end of the season and replaced by the caretaker, Frank Lampard. Overall, the Spaniard only played 26 games under Potter and only made two assists without scoring a single goal.

Emiliano Martinez and Unai Emery (Aston Villa)

The Argentine goalkeeper was part of the Arsenal squad under Unai Emery, who took charge of the Gunners in 2018. However, Dibu Martinez was only a reserve shot-stopper. He only featured in eight matches under the Spanish boss, mainly in the continental games. He was even loaned to Reading, the second-tier team, in the second half of the 2018–19 season.

Unfortunately, Emery's spell was cut short as he was sacked in the early 2019/20 campaign. Emery then went to take up the job at Villareal, while Martinez switched sides to Aston Villa after he did not get any warranty for the first choice between the sticks, despite being instrumental in helping Mikel Arteta's men win the FA Cup and Community Shield 2020.

In late 2022, the Villans surprisingly hired Unai Emery to replace Steven Gerrard after his successful stint at Villareal by guiding them to win their first-ever silverware in major tournaments, the Europa League 2021, and to advance to the Champions League semi-finals in 2022. However, things are different in Villa Park, as Dibu Martinez has been an established goalkeeper ever since his arrival, plus the unconvincing form of the second fiddle, Robin Olsen. So, Emery keeps relying on him despite his odd antics during the World Cup 2022 champion celebration on Martinez’s home soil.

Since then, Emery and Emiliano Martinez have been the key figures in Aston Villa's rise by returning to European competition in 2023 and qualifying for the newly formatted Champions League in 2024/25. Such would give a big boost to Aston Villa ticket sales next season. Overall, the 31-year-old goalie has appeared in 159 games and made 54 clean sheets in all competitions.