As we have entered the January transfer window as expect rumours are all over the place regarding this player joining that club and that player joining this club.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already said he does not plan on splashing out during the window so instead of paying as much attention to the stories linking us with big money signings, I have had time to look at the players other clubs have been linked with and one player has really stood out to me.
In 2001 I would have been 13, an age when you are realising football is not just about winning and it was at that age that Van Nistelrooy came along and showed me there was more to being a striker than just scoring goals.
To this day the Dutch striker is the best finisher (I said finisher not striker!) I have seen. Always in the right place and if he the ball dropped to him in front of goal 9 times out of 10 I would be celebrating.
I personally didn’t want to see him leave and when Real Madrid snapped him up for £13m in 2006, despite him being 30, I still felt it was a bargain as he would go on to prove by scoring 33 in his debut season, winning the Pichichi with 25 league goals.
Regardless of what people say, Van Nistelrooy never left the club under bad terms with the fans unlike lets say Gabriel Heinze and in listening to a Man Utd podcast that featured a chat with Andy Mitten, Mitten revealed that in an interview with Ruud Van Nistelrooy he wanted to get the point across that he was still very fond of the club, he still came to the city once a year on holiday and that he loved the city, loved its people and loved United.
Mitten told Van Nistelrooy he was going to get in trouble as Real Madrid’s press officer was standing within ear shot of them as he was making these comment but Van Nistelrooy replied that he didn’t care as he was just being honest.
So you can only imagine my shock/disgust to see Van Nistelrooy so heavily linked with a move to Liverpool. The Arsenal connection was bad but I could accept it but the Liverpool I can’t. And it’s a growing trend.
At the start of the season we saw Michael Owen erase any kind of fondness Liverpool fans may have had for him when he signed for United and Patrick Vieira has been heavily linked with a move to former rivals Tottenham.
But what compels them to even consider playing for fans that used to jeer and abuse them? Michael Owen is still not fully accepted by all of United’s fans and chants from United fans about him being Scouse and having no father are often heard when he plays.
But one thing links all three of the mentioned players. They are all no longer at the peak of their powers. Owen had to resort to creating a brochure to advertise himself in order to get a club (there is no confirmation Ferguson read this before signing him though), Vieira needs playing time to get into France’s world cup squad and Van Nistelrooy has too outlined his plans to get into Holland’s squad for South Africa too.
It would be selfish for us as fans to deny these players a livelihood regardless of what club they choose but at the same time it appears the past counts for nothing. So as much as I love Van Nistelrooy (especially after hearing Mitten’s interview) I think it is fair to say the relationship will be over once I see him turnout for the Anfield club.