Celtic icon Henrik Larsson has revealed that he regrets not staying on at Manchester United for longer than two months.
Larsson was coming to the end of his career when he joined Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in 2007. The Swede had already signed for hometown club Helsingborg, but joined United during the Allsvenskan’s off-season.
The striker made 13 appearances for United — bagging goals against Aston Villa, Watford and Lille during his time in Manchester. Ferguson wanted him to stay and claimed at the time that he would’ve done “anything” to keep him, as per The Guardian.
But speaking on the Sky Sports Transfer Talk podcast, Larsson revealed that he regrets not staying on another couple of months to see out the season. He says Gary Neville was involved in discussions:
“I remember having a talk, some of the players were involved too. I said I really appreciate it but I can’t do it. I promised Helsingborg and they invested a lot of money for a small club from Sweden to bring me home. I felt obligated to do what I put pen to paper. I promised them I would come back home.
“Even though United is so much bigger I felt that I couldn’t break my promise. Afterwards I can appreciate that as well because it’s a world-class player talking with me (Neville), probably one of the best every managers in the game, having a chat about things with me.
“But we understood each other quite quickly. The only regret I have in my playing career was that I didn’t stay on for the rest of the season because I think if I did that I would have been offered a little bit more, maybe an extension on that.”
Larrson scored 242 goals for Celtic during his seven years at Parkhead. He later went on to play for Barcelona as one of the best strikers in the world.
During his time at United, I enjoyed watching Larrson particularly when he didn’t have the ball. He used in-game intelligence to get into the right positions. A great player to have around young lads.
It’s clear Larsson could’ve done so much more in Manchester if he stayed until the end of the season. But you have to respect the promise he made to Helsingborg.