This time last year, Manchester was buzzing with talk of Henrik Larsson joining United. Just a few months previous, Larsson had made all the difference to Barcelona, assisting both their goals in the European Cup final win over Arsenal. When news first broke that he was on his way to Old Trafford, it felt like a bit of a pisstake. Larsson had proven himself time and again, turning United down on a number of occasions in the past, and now in his mid-thirties, was coming to play for us.
However, Ferguson’s decision to sign him paid off, with Larsson scoring for us in the league, Champions League and Europe. His first goal came just fifty five minutes in to his United debut, giving United the lead in our 2-1 win over Villa in the FA Cup. He then went on to score in our 4-0 win over Watford in the Premiership, in a game which saw us keep our six point lead over Chelsea at the top of the table. In the Round of 16 in Europe, Larsson scored our only and winning goal against Lille at Old Trafford.
He rarely played the full ninety minutes but provided us with the extra experience and skill we needed on the field. Not only this, he linked up with the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo as though he’d played with them for years. We tried to keep him with the club when the three month loan period came to an end. United were well on their way to winning the league, just two months away from lifting the trophy, but Larsson stayed true to his word, and returned to local club, Helsingborgs.
A whole year on, with the rumours of signing Anelka and Berbatov failing to come in to fruition, Henke has been linked with a return to United. However, today Ferguson has deemed it unlikely for us to get our hands on him for a second loan period. “Henrik promised his family back then he would go home,” said Ferguson. “He honoured it, and we honoured it. It would be an interesting one, obviously – but I don’t think so. At this time of year, it is always difficult to get the players you would like to get. You look at the criteria of playing in European football. That is not easy. It eliminates a lot of players, so I am still of the same opinion as I was before.”
At 35, would you like to see Larsson return to United?