It was reported earlier this week that Manchester United was considering bringing Robin van Persie back to Old Trafford to work with Erik ten Hag. In order to reconcile their shattered dressing room, the Red Devils are reportedly interested in bringing in a Dutch coach who formerly played for the club. And previous statements from the retiring striker indicate he’d jump at the chance to return.
Manchester United recruited Robin van Persie in the summer of 2012 after the Dutchman left Arsenal and turned down Manchester City’s attempts to join Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
And he had an immediate impact, pushing United to Premier League victory with 30 goals in all competitions.
No United player has scored more goals in a single season since Robin van Persie left in 2015, after losing his mojo under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
And a stunning comeback could be on the way.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Van Persie was a possible target to become United’s deputy manager if Ten Hag was to be appointed manager.
The Ajax manager is the frontrunner to take over at Old Trafford, ahead of Mauricio Pochettino of PSG and Julen Lopetegui of Sevilla.
And Van Persie’s recent comments imply he’d leap at the chance to play for his old team again.
In 2016, United was drawn to play Fenerbahce in the Europa League, which meant that their former No. 20 would be returning to his old haunts.
And Van Persie couldn’t contain his excitement ahead of the game, which the Red Devils would go on to win, referring to Old Trafford as his “home.”
“It will be a memorable moment and a special game for me,” Van Persie said, according to MUTV.
“I know Manchester United wants to be in the Champions League, but this is how it is today, and for me, the Europa League is a really special group.”
“My last game was against one of my first teams, Feyenoord, and the next game is versus United.” It’s something I’m looking forward to.
“I am now playing for Fenerbahce and I want to do well for my side, but it will be amazing to play ‘at home’ [Old Trafford] against a great team in a fantastic stadium with great fans.”
On a night when Van Persie returned, United won 4-1 at Old Trafford.
Paul Pogba was the show’s headliner, scoring twice, with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard also on target.
Van Persie demonstrated exactly what United means to him by referring to the legendary stadium as his “home.”
And if there is a prospect of bringing back an assistant, the Red Devils could be onto a winner.
Meanwhile, Van Persie talked out about his departure from Manchester United five years ago in 2020.
And he confessed it was a ‘ruthless’ split, with Van Gaal making it obvious the veteran was no longer needed.
“I had this conversation with Van Gaal, and he said to me, ‘OK Robin, our paths will split.'”
“I’m the coach, you’re the player – you must leave, your time is over.”
“Yes, but don’t I still have a contract?” ‘I don’t care,’ he said. Ruthless.
“At the end, I saw something coming, but not this cruel.” And the manner in which he said it.
“When you get a message like that, a lot of things go through your head.”
“I still had a contract, my family was content, and it was my eleventh year in England.” We like our time in England. What comes next?
“My kids go to school, they have friends and everything.” So all of these thoughts flash through your mind in a mere second. “How do you respond to that?”
“On the drive home, I was thinking, ‘OK, this is tough,'” he continued. ‘How do you respond to such a message?’
“That ruthlessness, that hardness, that directness.” Then a slew of thoughts raced through my mind, and we began pre-season.
“I wasn’t allowed to play in the 11-on-11 game, and I was given a ball and told to do my own thing.”
“So you try to keep calm and collected, but there’s a lot going on.” You’re playing the tough guy card. ‘It has no effect on me,’ but it does. It has an impact on myself, my family, and my career. Significantly.
“Although I tried to keep my cool, maybe it would have been better for me to talk to someone outside of my inner circle at that point, but I was too obstinate to do so.”
“Now that I think about it, there were a handful of times in my career when I should have done it.”