There’s something quite deliberate about Robin van Persie’s shirt number this season.
After making the number 10 shirt famous at the Emirates last season by equalling legend Thierry Henry’s goal haul of 30 strikes in a single campaign, the Dutchman has had something of an upgrade after his £24million switch to the Theater of Dreams.
This season, enamored United fans will see him don the number 20.
And if the goal machine gets anywhere close to replicating his tally of 30 league goals this season, an English record title number 20 will be on its way to Old Trafford.
It is a remarkable change in United transfer policy, is the capture of the man simply dubbed ‘RVP’.
The idea of buying a player in his late twenties for over twenty million would have seemed laughable to Sir Alex Ferguson a few years ago. No resale value, no longevity, no point.
So often has he brought in youth, players with years ahead of them, and so often has he managed to get a handsome chunk of change when the player eventually moved on with his career, like Cristiano Ronaldo.
But this, this is different. This is almost a swansong for a player who will be retiring from the game in just a few years. After 7 years of trophy-less misery at Arsenal, this is one last hurrah, one last stab at glory.
And maybe that is true of Sir Alex Ferguson, too, now that an expensively assembled City squad look set to conquer the world of football over the next few years.
The number on the back of the shirt tells us why the player was bought against usual transfer protocol.
Ferguson want’s title number 20, to quieten the noisy neighbours, and he will get it any which way he can.
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