His European dreams dashed, Mitch Nichols has been thrown a career lifeline by his former A-League club Perth.
Three weeks after admitting to drug possession, the former Western Sydney playmaker has signed a two-year deal with the Glory side he played for in 2014-15.
Nichols left the Wanderers at the end of last season with a view to continuing his career in Europe, a plan scuppered in the early hours of May 13 when he was arrested at Sydney's Casablanca nightclub in possession of a small amount of cocaine.
Due to his early remorse, Football Federation Australia imposed a four-game ban for breaching its code of conduct, which the governing body confirmed can be served in any of the Glory's potential FFA Cup fixtures.
Perth coach Kenny Lowe, under whom Nichols played on loan from Japanese outfit Cerezo Osaka, cited the 28-year-old's "pedigree to be a game-changer" as the reason behind his "easy football decision".
Chief executive Peter Filopoulos welcomed Nichols back while warning that "no player or individual is bigger than the club".
"Several other A-League clubs bid for Mitch's services and we are glad he has opted to return to nib Stadium and don the purple once again," Filopoulos said.
"Despite some of Mitch's challenges of recent times, everyone deserves a second chance.
"Mitch, just like all players at Perth Glory, are aware of the club's core values as well as FFA's national code of conduct and the strong consequences if they are not adhered to."
The move reunites Nichols with numerous former Perth teammates along with ex-Western Sydney teammate Scott Neville, who has also returned to old turf on a three-year deal.
The Glory and Nichols mutually but prematurely cut ties in April 2015, paving the way for the five-time Socceroos midfielder to embark on a career-best season with the Wanderers.
At the time, Lowe was coy on the reasons, saying "there's discussions between Mitch and myself that will be personal".