It was only a matter of time; after the Fenerbahce president, Azil Yildirim, confirmed that they would be willing to listen to offers for Robin van Persie, we all knew that he’d be linked with a return to Arsenal.
The 32-year-old striker is being reported to want a move back to London, where he spent eight years with Arsenal and obviously, this is most likely where the rumours that we could be re-signing him stem from. Not to mention the fact that we’re publicly on the look-out for striker – it makes sense.
While my first instinct was to laugh and roll my eye at the notion that he could re-sign Judas, is it really such a bad idea?
Despite looking at if he’d rather fall off the face of the earth than play for the Turkish team, the Dutchman had a pretty good return for Fenerbahce. In fact, he scored 16 goals in 31 Süper Lig appearances last season.
The season before that, when he was still with Manchester United, he scored 10 goals in 27 Premier League appearances. Not quite as good but he was returning from injury and his time on the pitch was comparatively limited.
The season before that, despite battling two huge injuries, he scored 12 in 21 and the year before that, as we all know, he pretty much won the League for the Red Devils, scoring 26 in 38 and assisting 15.
I don’t think I need to tell you that Van Persie was a fantastic striker and that he is still pretty lethal in front of goal. No matter how bitter you still are about him joining our rivals (and believe me, I’m still bitter), there’s no disputing that he’s a decent striker.
Is he the striker we need? No, I don’t think so but, hypothetically, he could be a fantastic and cheap addition to the squad.
Hear me out.
Fenerbahce bought him for £4m, which, in theory, means we can buy him for less or around the same amount. They’ve made their feelings on the subject known i.e. that they’re happy to let him go, and therefore it doesn’t seem as if they’d be urging anyone to pay more than what they initially signed him for.
Given his age and what’s become of his career, I don’t think he’d be too demanding with his ages, either. On the face of it, we could buy a decent striker for under £4m, who would probably be happier sitting on the bench and getting limited game time with us (in London) than he would in Turkey.
Now, here’s the flip side: pride.
Robin left us when we needed him and did what he could have done for us, for someone else. Not just someone else but our rivals. He released a sorry excuse for an explanation without the club knowing and thought he was bigger and better than Arsenal football club.
He went on the talk about the little boy inside him, big up a side who he’d faced many times during his eight years in north London and systematically trash his former club and manager in a passive-aggressive manner.
Do we want that kind of man, no matter how cheap, back in our club?
By going back and re-signing him, it would seem like we feel sorry for him and still want him which, no matter how true, isn’t what we’re about. It would send a message of deperation, as if we can’t find anyone new so we keep buying our old players back when they’re ‘past it’.
We have a different squad now, with a good balance. We should keep it that way.
Would he be a good signing? Sure. But Crystal Palace and West Ham are welcome to him.
Robin van Persie made his bed, he can lie in it.