Leonardo Bonucci has returned to Juventus from AC Milan but he would have been better off leaving Italy for a challenge in another major European league.
The 31-year-old left the Bianconeri for the Rossoneri in the summer of 2017 after falling out with Coach Massimiliano Allegri but now has gone back to Turin after just one season in Milan.
Leaving the Diavolo now is an insult to their supporters after he was given the captaincy in his first season at the club and he departs after they failed to qualify for the Champions League.
When AC Milan need leaders, the Italian international has decided to return to his former club, but the idea of him going back to Juventus has not been well-received by the majority of their fans.
Striker Gonzalo Higuain and defender Mattia Caldara might ease the pain if they can perform well but Bonucci departing at this stage means that he is looking to escape the club’s problems far too soon.
Bonucci scored in the Rossoneri’s 3-1 defeat against the Bianconeri in Turin during the 2017-18 Serie A campaign, and unlike most players that score against one of their former clubs, the centre-back celebrated the goal shamelessly.
After one year away from La Vecchia Signora, he is re-joining the club after he had infuriated the fans and unless he performs well on a consistent basis, he will have a mammoth task ahead of him to regain their faith and trust.
Perhaps the 31-year-old would have been better off transferring to a club that is not in Serie A and experienced a different country and league. The main reason for him not moving overseas earlier was due to the health of his youngest son Matteo.
French club Paris Saint-Germain were linked with Bonucci which would have resulted in a reunion with his compatriot and former Juve teammate Gianluigi Buffon and he would have been moving to a club that is playing in the Champions League.
The issue with the Italian defender moving there is that Dani Alves is playing for the Parisian side and the duo reportedly had an argument during half-time of the 2017 Champions League Final.
English Premier League giants Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City were linked with moves for the Italian international as well.
The Blues are set to experience a few changes to the squad with former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri in charge, the Red Devils are still trying to build a team capable of fighting for the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho, and Citizens manager Pep Guardiola has been an avid follower of Bonucci for many years so this would have been a great chance to coach him once and for all.
In this day and age, it seems that the thoughts of the fans and club loyalties are not as meaningful as they once were. Transferring from one arch-rival to another is something that does not bother modern footballers as much as their predecessors but Bonucci has done something out of the ordinary by moving to a rival and then making a return after a season.
If the Juventus squad are content with his presence and there is little animosity, then the veteran centre-back might be able to regain his previous form and still be a significant contributor to the Bianconeri cause.
If he struggles to perform, then the bitterness and the grudges against him will worsen and La Vecchia Signora would have to question if it was worthwhile to accept his request to come back.