If a manager signs players he has previously worked with, it's not anything unusual. Suffice it to say, it's pretty logical.
However, having said that, we have to bear in mind it happens not only in football. Let's take a random industry. If an officer or even a manager – a higly-placed person anyway – is head of a certain department, which consists of a few people, sometimes it's over a dozen and more, this person changing a job it's not the end. In other words, it's not the only person who quits. Providing that the cooperation within the department was successful and results were decent, you'd rather not start all over again but reunite with people you trust, value and count on. It's why the transfer is often followed by succesive moves.
Let's get back to football. The bottom line is that by manager signing his former players risk of transfer flops is significantly reduced. That's because you know player joining a club really well not only in terms of pure football skills, but also character, personality, influence on his teammates and locker room, adaptability etc. Additionally, these players can help new teammates understand a new man in charge, his football philosophy and work methodology. As a result it's beneficial to all the parties apart from a selling club(s), though.
Oh yes, some managers like signing their former players so much.
Harry Redknapp. A manager who makes his own show on every Transfer Deadline Day. Until the midnight it can't be excluded that he makes a big deal or at least a highly surprising one (in other words, signed player is not “top quality”). And his classical interviews given through car window. It's never boring with “Arry”.
Oh yes, Harry Redknapp likes signing his former players so much.
Last Monday, very late on the last day of summer transfer window, Redknapp signed Niko Krancjar for the fourth time (sic!) and Sandro for the second time. I thought then it would be quite fair to verify the above thesis and check who and how many times he had signed. So, here we go.
For the record: players signed by Redknapp on permanent basis or loan count; neither players returning from loan to “Arry's” clubs nor players signed following a successful loan spell count (the latters of course do in respect of loan, so not twice but once); it doesn't matter if a player is signed directly from Redknapp's previous club, the only important condition is thay have worked before with each other.
WEST HAM UNITED
Redknapp worked in West Ham between August 1994 and May 2001. Previously he had been manager of Bournemouth (1983-1994).
Redknapp signed only one player he had met therein. In November1996 Scott Mean joined West Ham for £100k.
Overall: one former player
In summer 2001 Redknapp was hired as Portsmouth director of football and nine months later he replaced manager Graham Rix. He eventually quit in November 2004.
In March 2002, as a director of football, Redknapp signed Svetoslav Todorov for £750k from West Ham. For a first time, as West Ham manager, “Arry” had brought the Bulgarian striker in January 2001 for £500k from Litex.
Shaka Hislop moved to Portsmouth in July 2002 on a free transfer from West Ham. It had been Redknapp of course who signed the goalkeeper in 1998 also without a fee.
Another goalkeeper, Sasa Ilic was loaned to West Ham from Charlton for 99/00 season. In February 2003 Redknapp signed him again, this time from Hungarian side Zalaegerszeg. A fee wasn't disclosed.
Eyel Berkovic joined Portsmouth in January 2004 for £500k. Previously, in summer 1997, Redknapp had brought him to West Ham for £1.75m from Southampton.
Sebastien Schemmel is another one. In summer 2000 he moved from FC Metz to West Ham for £ 450k and then in July 2003 from The Hammers to Portsmouth on a free transfer.
Strong defender David Unsworth changed Everton for West Ham in summer 1997. A fee was of million pounds. In July 2004 Redknapp signed him again, this time on a free transfer from Everton.
Overall: six former players
Redknapp was Southampton manager between December 2004 and December 2005.
In January 2005 he signed Nigel Quashie for £2.1m from Portmouth. Both men had worked together in The Pompey.
Jamie Redknapp, Harry's beloved son and now Jack Wilshere's favourite pundit, joined struggling against relegation Southampton also in January 2005. He left Tottenham on a free transfer. Redknapp junior had started his career in Bournemouth under tuition of the father.
After the relegation from the Premier League, Redknapp signed Ricardo Fuller for just £90k from Portmouth. A year before “Arry” had paid... one million pounds for the Jamaica international.
Overall: three former players
Redknapp returned to Portsmouth in December 2005. In October 2008 he quit them again, to replace Juande Ramos in Tottenham.
In July 2007 Portsmouth signed Martin Cranie on a free transfer from Southampton. Redknapp and his new addition had worked together at St. Mary's.
In January 2008 Jermain Defoe moved from Tottenham to Portsmouth for £6m. What's important, Defoe as a 16-year-old had left Charlton and signed a deal with West Ham managed by Redknapp at the time. As a result, it was a second time.
As a director of fottball in Portsmouth, Redknapp signed Peter Crouch for £1.5m from Queens Park Rangers. Then both men worked together in Southampton, however it was Steve Wigley who bought Crouch. “Arry” signed him for a second time in July of 2008 for £11m from Liverpool.
Overall: three former players
Redknapp worked in Tottenham between October 2008 and July 2012. First of his former player s who joined Spurs, in January 2009, was Jermain Defoe, for £15.75m from, of course, Portsmouth. Hat-trick completed.
Next one to complete a hat-trick was Peter Crouch. During summer transfer window Tottenham paid Portsmouth £10m for the England international. Two more Pompye's players joined Spurs at the time: Younes Kaboul for £9.75, who had been signed by Redknapp in August 2008 for £6m from... Spurs; Niko Kranjcar for £2.5m, who had been brought by Redknapp to Fratton Park in summer 2006 from Hajduk Split for £3.5m.
Photo Alan Walter
Overall: four former players
QUEENS PARK RANGERS
In November 2012 Redknapp replaced Mark Hughes in Queens Park Rangers.
During January transfer window Redknapp signed two former Tottenham players: Jermaine Jenas on a free transfer and Andros Townsend on loan until the end of the season.
After relegation from the Premier League and before Championship campaign, “Arry” – once again – signed familiar faces.
Garry O'Neill was an important figure for Portsmouth when Redknapp was appointed their manager for a first time. In summer 2013 the player moved from West Ham to QPR on a free transfer.
Hat-trick was also completed by Niko Kranjcar who was loaned from Dynamo Kiev until the end of the season. Apart from the Croatian, QPR signed former Redknapps' Spurs players Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tom Carroll, both on season-long loans.
And there's just closed summer transfer window.
Redknapp signed: Sandro, for £10m from Tottenham, whereas in 2010 Spurs had paid Internacional around £8m for him; Steven Caulker for around £10m from Cardiff City (the defender started his career in Spurs' first team under Redknapp); Niko Kranjcar for a fourth time, again on loan until the end of the season from Dynamo Kiev; Rio Ferdinand on a free transfer from Manchester United (both met at West Ham).
Overall: ten former players
* Redknapp signed his former players 27 times in total;
* Harry's TOP 3 consists of: Niko Krancjar (4), Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch (3);
* Harry and Friends team
* Niko Kranjcar is a top lad
Redknapp likes his former players so much, no doubt about that. And he likes Niko Krancjar probably more than his son Jamie. Maybe Jermian Defoe as well, because on TDD QPR were very keen on signing the striker. Lass Diarra, another former Harry's man, was also linked with a move to the club. Next transfer window opens in almost four months and if QPR sign a forward, you can bet on it would be either Defoe or Crouch. QPR's supporters must be delighted with such news...