Why a Robin van Persie Arsenal return would be a bad move for everybody

Should Robin van Persie swap Manchester United for Arsenal? No, he really shouldn't.

Bubbling under the surface of Manchester United's disastrous season, is the rumoured discontent surrounding star striker Robin van Persie.

Signed by Sir Alex Ferguson one year ago, convinced to uproot from Arsenal where he had spent almost his entire career, he could only watch on as the Scotsman announced his retirement this summer.

With his renowned brittleness surfacing once again in the form of his injuries, blamed on new manager David Moyes' training methods by Dutch fitness specialist Raymond Verheijen - the form of his former side Arsenal has accentuated his struggles.

A report in the Daily Mail earlier on Sunday claimed Van Persie would welcome a return to the Gunners, claiming he is unsettled in the North-West of England.

On paper, with Arsenal needing a striker, bringing back their former top goalscorer, if he wants the move, would be a good move right? Well think again.

Here is a look at how a return would be a bad move for everybody concerned:

Manchester United

For Manchester United it's excruciatingly simple. Selling Van Persie to Arsenal would be even worse a move for the club than it seemed for the Gunners when they let the Dutchman depart for Old Trafford in the first place. Then Arsenal were caught in a tricky position owing to his expiring contract, this time for United it would plainly be bad business. 15 points behind Arsenal, selling Van Persie back to the Gunners in the summer only increases the risk of a growing chasm between the two sides.


For Arsenal there is too much to risk. Firstly Van Persie is now an unpopular figure among the support, and his return would be instantly divisive. Considering his injury record, it would too be a gamble to make their top striker signing one who is over 30 with a history of needing medical treatment. With his injury problems resurfacing, there is a risk Van Persie peaked over the past two-and-a-half seasons, and they would be buying a dud. For a striker who walked out on them citing a lack of ambition, why should they welcome him back into the club for his own personal desires? Arsenal would be far better to invest their money in a striker without such concerns who is healthier and comes with no baggage attached, like Jackson Martinez for instance.

Robin van Persie

They say 'never go back', and that should be true for Van Persie regarding Arsenal. He will never be as popular as he was originally at the club, with many supporters unlikely to forgive him for leaving for a rival, and his overt celebration when scoring the winner against the Gunners earlier this season. Would he enjoy the same success? Not necessarily, despite chances of winning the title with the club better than they were before, if he cannot stay fit then he risks being a shadow of his former self at the club and a bit-part player.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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