Robin van Persie has followed Nani by joining Fenerbahce for a fee thought to be in the region of £4m-£5m.
A story that has rumbled on for a few weeks now, the Dutchman’s move to Istanbul is now a done deal, where he will sign a four year deal with the Turkish club.
Arriving for £24m from rivals Arsenal three years ago, Van Persie rejected moves to Manchester City and Juventus in order to obey the cries of the “little boy inside that was calling for United” as he moved to Old Trafford.
Dimitar Berbatov’s departure to Fulham that same summer freed up the iconic number nine shirt, but Van Persie opted for the number 20 shirt so that he could help us win our 20th league title.
After scoring 30 goals within the campaign, that dream became a reality nine months later, as his exquisite first half hat-trick – including ‘that’ volley – secured a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa, and thus confirming United as Champions with four games remaining.
The following game saw him and the rest of the United line-up receive a guard of honour from his former club Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, a club who failed to help him secure the Premier League title in eight years at the club.
That season saw the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, who was a big factor in luring Van Persie to the club, and that shock decision certainly hit the striker hard, with the following campaign under the leadership of David Moyes a difficult one, due to their estranged relationship and also injuries.
Moyes’ sacking in April 2014 paved the way for Van Persie’s national team coach Louis van Gaal to take over, with many tipping Van Persie to find his form again under LvG’s management after a successful World Cup where the Netherlands finished third.
This wasn’t to be, as a combination of injuries and then a switch in formation later in the campaign limiting Van Persie’s game time.
With the European Championships approaching next June, Van Persie has taken this opportunity for regular first team football on board, with Dutch teammate Dirk Kuyt and ex-United teammate Nani already at Fenerbahce, where they can supply Van Persie with the goals that should see him on the plane to France this time next year, should Holland qualify.
RvP will turn 32 next month and had a year remaining on his contract, with this author deeming the transfer the best solution to suit all parties, and we wish him well for the future, and thank him for what he brought to Old Trafford, including that memorable season to win us our 20th title.