Luis Figo went from Barcelona to Madrid. So did Luis Enrique. Crazy transfers. Julio Cesar left treble winning Inter for QPR. And West Ham’s fringe player Julian Faubert was loaned out to, wait for it, Real Madrid in 2009.
But, as football stories go, you couldn’t get much more crazy than the idea of RvP going back to Arsenal. After a stellar first campaign at United the striker has, officially at least, started struggling with injuries again this season.
Furthermore, just a few weeks ago, RvP scored the winner for United against Arsenal and celebrated as if he had been at Old Trafford for life.
But, rumours persist that the player is unhappy that Sir Alex Ferguson retired and David Moyes took the helm. Moyes’ training methods are clearly more intense than Fergie’s and this may have contributed to the return of the niggling injuries that have blighted the Dutchman’s career.
He’s out for another month now and his season hasn’t really got started. Manchester United fans will hope that the speculation blows over when RvP returns to fitness. Nevertheless Arsenal are joint favourites at 3/1 with Paddy Power (along with Real Madrid) to be The Dutchman’s next permanent club.
You would imagine that if the highly improbable did happen then it wouldn’t take long for the Arsenal fans to forgive. RvP is exactly what Arsenal are missing – a world class finisher to make a difference in the big games and kill off the minnows. But, for now, it surely remains a very distant prospect.
But if it does happen, we will forever remember the wry smile that Arsene Wenger gave recently when he said of RvP:
“Of course it’s strange for me to see him in a [United] shirt because for me he’s an Arsenal man.