Robin van Persie faces embarrassing return to Arsenal

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It was all going so well for Robin van Persie and his Manchester United team last year.

Following a controversial move from Arsenal in the summer of 2012, Van Persie found the silverware he had been searching for, taking home a Premier League winners medal to go with his second consecutive golden boot.

He returned to the Emirates for the first time in April 2013, scoring in a 1-1 draw and helping his team to a 14 point lead at the top of the table.

Although clearly still hurting, Arsenal fans couldn't help but begrudgingly accept that Van Persie had been right to move on. A player of his quality deserves silverware and Arsenal, who were struggling to finish fourth at the time, simply couldn't offer it.

But then the bomb dropped, Sir Alex Ferguson retired, leaving Van Persie without the sole reason he chose Manchester United over the likes of Juventus and Manchester City.

We knew Manchester United would suffer without Ferguson but no one predicted that it would be to this extent.

They're currently 15 points behind league leaders Chelsea and have been humbled at home by the likes of West Brom, Newcastle and Tottenham.

There is now almost no chances they'll defend their Premier League crown while a disjointed squad looks unlikely to progress to the latter stages of the Champions League.

Meanwhile a rejuvenated Arsenal squad are challenging for the title for the first time this decade having found a togetherness not seen since the title winning squad of 2004.

Van Persie has his Premier League medal but there is no denying that that wasn't the main reason he departed Arsenal. His dream of winning the Champions League seems to have been the main motivation but under David Moyes, United are struggling to qualify for it.

There is a very real possibility that if Manchester United don't win the Champions League this year, they won't be in it next season. With Moyes looking to rebuild and Van Persie's fitness concerns returning, the Dutchman has one more realistic chance to win it.

Despite a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool, Arsenal are at their highest points total since their title winning season and look certain to at least qualify for the Champions League–something that is looking increasingly unlikely for the Red Devils.

A defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates tomorrow could leave them 12 points away from fourth spot and could also leave Van Persie looking back over the fence he hopped just 18 months ago.

There is no suggestion that Van Persie will return to Arsenal, despite speculation. Van Persie seems to have burned his bridges with the Gunners; highlighted by his celebration when he scored in the 1-0 win over Arsenal earlier in the season.

With United dejected and Arsenal tasting blood, the Gunners have a chance to twist the knife in the side of United. It is a win that will leave Arsenal fans confident that Van Persie is tasting humble pie.

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