One of the transfer confirmations I read yesterday filled me with happiness for the player and yet much regret about what could have been had Jose Reyes stayed with us….
Seville announced that their winger has returned to the club from which we bought him from and Atletico Madrid sanctioned the deal so he could nearer to his family, in particular his father who is very ill.
I can remember the day that our club announced he’d been signed….
In fact it was in this transfer window back in 2004, we’d paid just over £10 Million for this winger/striker who was wanted by many clubs, but he chose us and Seville really didn’t want to lose their man.
On the 1st February the same year, he made his debut in a 2-1 victory over Citeh, a couple of days later though it all went wrong for him as he managed to score an own goal against Middlesbrough!
It wasn’t too long though before he found the right net, scoring two goals against Chelsea and with it, dumped them out of the FA Cup!
Towards the end of the same season, he scored a few more too, helping us to go the entire season undefeated.
Sadly he fell victim of the Henry stare and the Neville battering and it didn’t take long for him to realise that England was maybe not for him. He took a lot of stick for going to ground a bit too easy and really struggled. Towards the end of the same season, he bagged a few important goals but it was clear he was far from settled.
So much so, it wasn’t long before the stories broke about him being homesick, a strange thing though bearing in mind his parents and brother had moved to London with him but sadly, some idiot caught him out in a spoof interview in February 2005.
It was suggested that a prankster claimed to be Emilio Butragueño, who at the time was the director of football at Real Madrid, and he pretended to be speaking on behalf of the president of the club and spoke to Reyes about a possible move to Real Madrid! During that little chat, Reyes is supposed to have declared that life in London was far from good and he would love to return to Spain. Our winger was also accused of saying he wanted to leave Arsenal as there were “bad people” at the club!!
In the memorable FA Cup final later that year, he managed to get himself sent off just before the end of the game but it mattered not, we blew the Mancs away in the penalty shootout, having been battered for 120 minutes….
Crazy enough though, only months after all the suggestion about him wanting to return to Spain, he signed a new six-year contract and said he was ‘looking forward to having many more successful years at the club’.
That following season, Reyes played a key part in our side, especially our route to the Champions League Final but as the following season began, Reyes asked to be omitted from our Champions League qualifier and I think most of us then realised he could be on his way out as his inclusion would have left him cup-tied….
Just prior to that summer 2006 transfer window closing, Reyes left us on a loan deal to Real Madrid, a deal which saw us get Julio Baptista – aka ‘The Beast’….……
The Beast left the following summer and we never saw Jose again….
What a great shame, and he’s still only 28 years old………
12:00hrs today is the deadline for us to sort out the loan deal for Thierry Henry, if he is to face Leeds on Monday night in The FA Cup. How long has the intention to sign him on loan been part of Wenger’s plans?
It must be over a month now and yet it’s still not been sorted out!!
Have a good day all…….