Robin Van Persie, the superstar Dutch striker who signed a four-year contract with Manchester United in 2012 then proceeded to propel the Red Devils to the Premier League championship in the final season for legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, may now be on his way back to his original Barclays Premier League club, Arsenal.
That’s the talk of the English football world after the January transfer window closed on Friday and The Daily Mail reported the rumor of Robin Van Persie’s potential reunion with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
Van Persie scored 26 Premier League goals in 2012/13 to lead Manchester United to its 20th English top flight title, and 13th since the highest level of English football (aka soccer) reorganized into the Premier League in 1992. In fact, under Fergsuon, Manchester United won that inaugural Premier League championship and never looked back.
But in its first Premier League season since Ferguson’s retirement, new manager David Moyes has found it rough going for his Old Trafford side. Manchester United currently sit in seventh place on the Barclays Premier League table after 24 matches complete.
The team’s stunning 2-1 defeat to 11th-place Stoke City on Saturday was Manchester United’s eighth loss of the season, with 14 games left on the fixture list. Last season, the team dropped just five games all season. Van Persie has netted only nine goals so far in a season marred by injury, missing 11 of the club’s Premier League matches already.
Now first-year boss Moyes is said to be determined to reshape the club in his own image, and that means shipping out a number of the team’s star players. Though Robin Van Persie was named Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year last season by Manchester United fans, his second season could be his last in Manchester.
In addition to his reported discontent with the departure of Ferguson, The Mail also speculates that Robin Van Persie and his family have not taken well to life in England’s north. The 30-year-old Dutch international was said to feel much more comfortable amidst the bright lights of London, where he spent the first eight seasons of his English career, after three with Netherlands side Feyenoord.
Other than Robin Van Persie, The Mail also reports that Moyes wants to ship out such veteran stars as Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia.
Whether Robin Van Persie stays or goes may depend on Manchester United’s other star striker, Wayne Rooney, who was recently reported to be on the verge of signing a contract that would make him the highest paid player in the league.
If Rooney does ink that deal, the Dutch star may leave Manchester United and end up back in the arms of previous mentor Wenger. If Rooney, however, decides that it’s time to move on, Moyes will likely have no choice but to keep Robin Van Persie on his squad.