NEWS

Manchester United ready to welcome back Robin van Persie

October 20, 2016

Manchester United fans booking corporate hospitality packages at Old Trafford will have many exciting reasons to come to the Theatre of Dreams this season, but tonight (October 20th) sees an old hero being welcomed back.

Robin van Persie spent only three seasons at Old Trafford after ending his lengthy stay at Arsenal, but the Dutchman hit 58 goals in that time and was a key figure in the Premier League triumph of 2012-13, when he scored 31 goals in all competitions, 26 of them in a league campaign that saw the Reds wrest the title back from Manchester City in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season as manager.

He will be back tonight in the Europa League with Turkish side Fenerbahce, and can expect a warm reception from fans, many of whom will wish he was still at the club.

Great memories of the Dutchman include a superb finish on his home debut against Fulham, goals in three matches against former club Arsenal, a last-minute winner in the Manchester derby and a hat-trick in the title-clinching victory over Aston Villa, including his sensational second when he ran on to a 50-yard pass from Wayne Rooney to smash a first-time volley from 25 yards into the net.

Of course, the game will not be all about van Persie. After losing 1-0 to Feyenoord and then beating Zorya Luhansk by the same scoreline, Jose Mourinho's men will be seeking a victory to ease their path towards qualification for the knock-out stages and boost confidence before the visit to Chelsea at the weekend and the Manchester derby in the EFL Cup next week.

Fenerbahce have been to Old Trafford before in two matches that were memorable for different reasons.

In the 1996-97 Champions League they became the first visiting side to win at Old Trafford in European competition when they prevailed 1-0, but in 2004-05 they were swept aside 6-2 in a game when Wayne Rooney made his debut and scored a sensational hat-trick.

By Alex Brundell 

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