4 times Premier League stars got hostile receptions as White returns to Brighton

Ben White has experienced the rapturous applause from the stands at the Amex Stadium for Brighton on countless occasions. But it is unlikely that Saturday will be a continuation of such pleasantry.

This time, the defender will be lining up in a red shirt after making a £50million switch to Arsenal this summer.

It is the first time he will take on his former team-mates since heading to north London and he could be in for a tough afternoon on his return to the South Coast.

As often seen with high-profile transfers, there is a feeling of resentment from the fans of the selling club and in White’s case, there will be some disgruntled supporters focusing on every move on he makes.

But the table does not lie and there is a feeling Brighton may be slight favourites heading into the clash, having gone unbeaten in their six matches so far this season despite losing one of their key players in White.

The centre-back has found his feet for the Gunners in recent weeks after a difficult start to his Arsenal career, helping his new club record three consecutive wins and his performance against Harry Kane was singled out by Jamie Carragher.

But that was with the Emirates Stadium fully behind him — and it will be interesting to see how he performs under scrutiny from thousands of unhappy Brighton fans.

As seen in previous cases, a hostile reception can often produce some dramatic moments when players go back to their former clubs.

Star Sport takes a look at four other memorable returns…

Will Ben White enjoy a winning return to Brighton with Arsenal? Comment below.

Sol Campbell

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No player has experienced quite the same barrage of insults and that Sol Campbell did when he swapped one side of north London for the other.

It was public knowledge that the centre-back had been stalling over signing a new contract, but Spurs fans were assured by Campbell that he would commit his future to the club.

So one can imagine the ire involved when the England international not only announced he was leaving just weeks later, but for their arch rivals Arsenal. It was a declaration of war as far as the Spurs fans were concerned, and they responded accordingly.

On his return to White Hart Lane, Tottenham supporters waited for the Arsenal team bus to arrive to greet him with an effigy hanging from a lamp post. Inside the ground, banners were held aloft labelling Campbell as “Judas”, as the fans reacted angrily to seeing their former player in a red shirt.

His team-mate Ray Parlour recalled in the north London derby how a fired-up Campbell took out Teddy Sheringham, leading him to fear there would be a pitch invasion. The game went on to finish 1-1.

“In the game itself, Sol absolutely took someone out in the first five minutes with his first tackle. I think it might have been Teddy Sheringham,” he told talkSPORT.

“When he went down and I thought, ‘there’s going to be a riot, everybody’s going to run onto the pitch in a minute’.

Raheem Sterling

In moving to Manchester City for £50m in the summer of 2015, Raheem Sterling became the most expensive Englishman of all-time. He also earned himself some enemies.

The winger was only 20 at the time but had already shown his phenomenal ability after making his Liverpool debut at the age of 16, leaving the club frustrated by his attempts to leave.

However, Man City were regarded as the new Premier League's new superpower after clinching the title in 2011-12 and 2013-14 and Sterling had ambitions to win trophies.

Manuel Pellegrini insisted he would have no qualms in selecting Sterling despite the anticipated hostile reception as he headed back to Anfield.

But perhaps the psychological burden was too much to bear. Every time he touched the ball, a loud chorus of jeers reverberated around the ground.

As it happened, it didn’t happen too often as Sterling struggled to affect the game and was hooked at the break, with Man City going on to lose 3-0 to cap a miserable homecoming.

Carlos Tevez

It was always going to be bitter.

When Manchester City sealed the signing of Carlos Tevez from under the noses of Manchester United, the fallout only increased the tension between the title rivals.

The Argentine had spent two years “on loan” with the Red Devils after leaving West Ham in a deal complicated by his contractual rights were owned by investment group MSI.

City agreed a £25m deal to snatch Tevez away from Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and headed to the Etihad Stadium, with Man City celebrating his signing with a controversial ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard on the city's busiest street.

Having scored 34 goals in 99 games for the club, it was inevitable there would be some anger directed towards him in his first Manchester derby appearance back at Old Trafford. Bizarrely, the Argentine was unaware of how upset the United fans were with him.

“It was incredible because I have never seen something like that happen in the two years I played at Old Trafford,” he said.

One fan allegedly threw a coin at Tevez, who was in fine form as he provided two assists for City. But it was United’s day thanks to Federico Macheda’s famous stoppage-time strike to win it 4-3 for the hosts.

Ross Barkley

When you run down your contract at the club where you came through as a young boy and more importantly, a lifelong supporter, a certain amount of loyalty is expected from the fans.

But Ross Barkley had ambitions for his career and it became clear that, with Everton languishing in mid-table from one season to the next, he would have to search elsewhere for the chance to win silverware.

His plans nearly backfired when he suffered a torn hamstring in the summer of 2017, preventing him from securing a move away. But in January 2018, Chelsea came calling with a £15m bid and that was Barkley’s cue to skip away from Goodison Park.

He would have to wait until March the following year before he could return to Merseyside in Chelsea’s blue shirt.

"I don't think it will be the best," he told Sky Sports when asked about what reception he would get. "There might be a few who might say a few good things.”

In fact, there were some sections of the support who chose to applaud Barkley and the midfielder appreciated that by returning the favour, although some jeers and boos were mixed in.

Barkley was systematically booed every time by the same section when he got a touch of the ball and cut a peripheral figure, as the Toffees claimed a 2-0 win thanks to Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goals.

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