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Monday, 03 February 2014

Arsenal: Would you have RVP back at the Emirates?


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Arsenal fans around the globe will no doubt be having a little chuckle at the fortunes of Robin van Persie and Manchester United this season. As Arsenal start Monday morning on top of the league, the champions are holding yet another inquiry following defeat in the league.

Robin van Persie was the star man at the Emirates before he left in 2012 to finally realise his dream of winning the Premier League at Old Trafford. However, it's now being reported that RVP is less than satisfied with life under David Moyes at Old Trafford and may move on in the summer.

The Mail on Sunday made the extraordinary claim that RVP could even be on his way to Arsenal if Wayne Rooney decides to pledge his future at United.

But is there any way on Earth that Arsenal fans would welcome RVP back to the Emirates?

Rvp v afcNow let's dissect the "facts" made in the article on Sunday. It starts by talking about an uneasy relationship between striker and manager. Apparently RVP has not been happy with the departures of Sir Alex Ferguson and fellow countryman Rene Meulensteen. Well that may be true. It was Fergie who convinced the former Arsenal goal machine to quit North London for Manchester. RVP chose to play for Fergie, he never opted to play for Moyes. Not every player gets on with the manager and maybe Moyes's style isn't to RVP's liking - and vice-versa.

The Mail also reports that RVP is not happy with the new training methods deployed under the Scot and has failed to settle in to his new northern surroundings. Again, these could be true. I have no insider information to prove if this is right or wrong, but it's certainly possible. Swapping the high life in London for the north can be difficult for some players' families.

Finally it states that RVP's future rests with Wayne Rooney. If the England internationl stays, Moyes may allow RVP to leave. If Rooney moves on though they will do all they can to keep the Dutchman at Old Trafford. Now this I can't understand. Regardless of whether Rooney stays or goes, why would Moyes let a player of RVP's calibre leave? Van is most certainly the man. He may not drop back into midfield and help win the ball back like Rooney, but he is deadly in front of goal - as he showed against Stoke. Comfortable with both feet, RVP can make a yard of space for himself with just a shake of his hips.

The report concludes by suggesting that Arsene Wenger could try to re-sign RVP this summer. If true it would be an amazing U-turn by the player who walked out on the club in pursuit of honours. But why would Wenger want him? Well, he's a proven goalscorer, he's known him for years and knows exactly what he brings to the table. Unfortunately RVP also brings a lot to the injury table too.

However, RVP burnt many bridges with his exit from the Emirates, particularly with the fans. He could have gone anywhere in the world, why Manchester United, one of Arsenal's main rivals? Then there was his celebrations last season when he scored against the Gunners. Arsenal fans will never forget, but can they forgive?

At the moment it looks as though RVP will not be playing Champions League football with Manchester United next season. They are seven points behind fourth placed Liverpool and show no sign of clawing that deficit back. RVP is a top class talent and needs to be playing at the highest level. He could quite easily force his way out of Old Trafford, but would a return to the Emirates really be on?

RVP will be back in north London inside the next 10 days. I'm sure he will be given a warm welcome from the majority of the fans that night, but would you let bygones be bygones?

Calling all Arsenal fans: Would you accept RVP back at the Emirates? Do you think Wenger would ever have him back after the way he disrespected him when he left? Can you see David Moyes really letting RVP go? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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