Celtic icon Henrik Larsson has revealed that he regrets not staying on at Manchester United for longer than the two months he was there.

Larsson was at the tail-end of his career when he joined Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in 2007. He had already signed for hometown club Helsingborg, but joined United during the Allsvenskan’s off-season.

Henrik only bagged goals against Aston Villa, Watford, and Lille during his time in Manchester after featuring in only 13 matches. Ferguson claimed at the time that he would’ve done “anything” to keep him (The Guardian).


Sir Alex Ferguson and Henrik Larsson

Sir Alex Ferguson and Henrik Larsson (Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

But speaking on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast, the Celtic legend revealed that he regrets not staying on another couple of months to see out the season. Revealing that Gary Neville was also involved in the discussions, Larsson went on to say the following:

“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 ever managers in the game, having a chat about things with me.

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“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.”

Larsson would’ve done major damage over a longer period in England

The more you think about Larsson and his incredible 242 Celtic goals, the more thankful you get that he stayed at Parkhead for seven years.

The days of our club managing to hold onto talents like that for such a period of time are long gone. It also made it more incredible considering Henrik was Swedish. He wasn’t brought up in Glasgow draped in Celtic gear. His loyalty to the club was just as important as the goals he scored.

However, there’s no denying he could’ve done damage in England. In his prime, Larsson impressed against the likes of high-flying Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool in Europe to name just two. Goodness knows the damage he could’ve done in that division over a season.

Henrik Larsson at Manchester United

Henrik Larsson at Manchester United (Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images)

His period at United, however, was a tad unusual. Staying in Manchester for two months saw him make an impact. But it’s clear he could’ve done so much more there if he had stayed until the end of the campaign.

You have to respect the promise he made to Helsingborg of course. When a club, particularly from Sweden, invests highly in a player, it’s only right that they get their return on it.

What do you think about Larsson’s time in England? Did it prove he could’ve done serious damage had he stayed longer? How fortunate were we to keep him for so long? Send in your thoughts to the discussion forum below.

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