Media pundits all round the world have been debating the £25 million signing of footballer Robin van Persie – but when the BBC wanted an expert view, it turned to Nick Stevens in St Helena.
And at the end of his down-the-line assessment of the deal, presenter Amanda Davies told him: “You can be my honourary Manchester United fan. I don’t bestow that honour on anyone.”
The Sportsworld Have Your Say programme pulls in a mix of views from fans and professionals around the globe – and an audience of 44 million people.
Nick – who’s broadcast on the programme a number of times, and also writes for The St Helena Independent – was asked for his views on the transfer of Robin van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United at the age of 29, close to the end of his playing career.
He said: “I don’t think I have been as excited about the signing of a player since Cantona 1992.
“I know it’s not normal signing somebody at that age. Sheringham signed at 31 and we had four seasons from him.
“I think van Persie is a much more prolific striker so he could fit into the team quite nicely.”
Critics doubted whether van Persie could deliver the high scoring rate such a high transfer fee would suggest, but Nick was unconcerned.
“We don’t need him to score 30 goals,” he said, pointing out that the team already had a number of high scorers. “All we need from him is 15 goals, I think, and that will give us a chance to win the season.”
When the time comes to fill the shoes of 37-year-old Paul Scholes, said Nick, Wayne Rooney could take his place – and van Percie could take over Rooney’s current position.
Nick is evidently well-liked by the team at Sportsworld (even if he hasn’t taught them how to pronounce St Helena’s name yet).
Matt Davies, executive producer, said: “Nick has been a regular contributor with his views on Manchester United.
“Nick was a live guest in the Sportsworld studio when he visited London in June 2010.”
“I am not sure if he is our most isolated pundit but we did note in the office this week that he was the one with the shortest phone number. We guess they don’t need many digits in St Helena.”