Robin van Persie's not coming back to the Emirates as a member of Arsenal. Ever.
Nor should Arsene Wenger even consider bringing back He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned (sic, -Arsenal fans).
Not surprisingly, as van Persie gets set to make his second return to the Emirates as a member of Manchester United on Wednesday night, bizarre links and rumours, courtesy of ESPN's Kevin Palmer, mentioning a sensational, controversial move back to Arsenal are surfacing.
Arsene Wenger, ever the coy one, tried to steer attention away from the rumoured return.
Per the same ESPN piece:
I don't think that's an ideal subject for us to treat today. I think it is best we don't talk about it at the moment.
Robin van Persie is a great player. We know that. It doesn't mean he has to score [against Arsenal on Wednesday]. It depends how we defend against him.
Even if there is any truth to the rumour, Arsenal shouldn't even so much as entertain bringing their former captain back.
Could he potentially be the missing piece to Arsenal's title aspirations? Maybe. Probably. No doubt, Olivier Giroud has been a revelation this term with his all-around play. But van Persie he's not. Few frontmen in the world possess the oft-otherworldly finishing talents that the enigmatic Dutchman has.
But in spite of all this, even if van Persie is pining for a triumphant return to north London, Arsenal need to dump him the same way he oh-so publicly did to them.
Why? He represents a different era of Arsenal—a time when the team bled their best players every summer.
It's hard to rationalise that only two summers ago would be considered a "different era," but everything's changed this season.
Whether or not Arsenal go on to win the Premier League remains to be seen. But even if they come up short in their endeavor, the entire mentality behind the club and its fanbase has changed dramatically since van Persie scorched the hearts of Gooners worldwide and left for bitter rival Manchester United.
He did what he went to Old Trafford to accomplish. He won his trophy and got a hefty pay increase in the process (via The Daily Mail). Good on him, or whatever.
But things have changed since the summer exoduses of 2011 (Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri) and 2012 (RvP, Alex Song). Arsenal flexed their financial muscle and shelled out a reported £42.5 million, according to the Mirror, for German playmaker Mesut Ozil.
Sure, Ozil's form has waned in recent months from the scintillating form he showed the world upon arrival in north London, but that's hardly the point.
A cloud of cynicism was lifted from the Emirates with his arrival. Arsenal were buying instead of selling. They've also spent the majority of the Premier League season with their biggest rivals chasing them.
By most accounts, this year's team is a harmonious one. With a growing German contingent, a base of young Englishmen and the forever-smiling Santi Cazorla, Arsenal have clearly embodied Wenger's emphasis on team spirit.
With a lucrative Puma deal set to take effect this summer, Arsenal will have no shortage of a cashflow to attract additional talent.
But none of those pounds should be directed toward van Persie, injury concerns notwithstanding.
When a lover deems his or her current love not worthy of them and scorns them for an apparent "better," there's no coming back.
Even if he's realised that the grass isn't as greener as it once was on the other side, Wenger needs to rebuff the advances of his former man for the sake of his "new" era.
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