As Robin van Persie blasted in goal after goal last season and picked up every player of the year award going, he was seen as someone that every side in the world would welcome with open arms and a starring role. With each ball that hit the back of the net, all at Arsenal must have simultaneously checked on the countdown clock agonizingly ticking away on the Dutchman's contract.
While they hoped for the best, few Arsenal fans could honestly claim to be surprised when Van Persie dropped the grenade with a sharply worded statement revealing his plans not to sign a new deal.
Suddenly speculation became reality and the question of who would stump up the cash for Van Persie had to be answered. But, with some time passed since the end of his spectacular season and having endured a difficult Euro 2012, there were a number of reasons why there was not the expected stampeded of clubs wailing on Arsenal's door.
For all his heroics last season, Van Persie has often been a frustrating presence in North London; his talent unquestioned, but injuries had left Arsenal short-handed at crucial times of numerous seasons. Indeed, before his stunning year last term, Van Persie had appeared in more than half of Arsenal's Premier League games just once in seven seasons.
Is a soon-to-be 29-year-old with that injury record really worth Arsenal's believed £25 million asking price, as well as an astronomical multi-year commitment to his salary?
Certainly Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two best sides in Europe and considered strong admirers last season, do not seem to think so.
There is interest from the Premier League's big guns, with Manchester United known to have made an offer. But, given their bid is said to have been a lowly £10 million, which the club will have realized had no chance of even being considered, let alone accepted, it's still difficult to see United as serious contenders for Van Persie's signature.
His signing would represent a dramatic departure from their transfer strategy since the massive deal for Dimitar Berbatov four years ago. With Sir Alex Ferguson's repeated preaching about value and youth in his recruitment objectives, there is no hint of either of those criteria being fulfilled with a deal for Van Persie.
If all else fails, it has always been believed that at least Manchester City would be obliging in matching any financial demands. But a more fiscally responsible age is beginning to dawn at the Eithad too.
With a strong collection of forwards that led City to the Premier League title last season and several others who remain on their books on huge wages, procuring Van Persie is not the obvious move it maybe once appeared.
The third main contender is Serie A champions Juventus. Given their recent dealings, a massive offer for a superstar player is certainly out of character. It is an attractive proposition for sure, though. The club would get a leading forward to complement their strong defense and technically-gifted midfield.
There must be concerns by some, however, that the signing of Van Perise, likely on wages far in excess of any of his new team mates, would risk upsetting the strong team dynamic built by manager Antonio Conte
While each of Van Persie's suitors will have doubts about going through with a deal, the man himself may also be beginning to consider whether his statement was premature.
Each potential candidate for his signature will represent a difficult environment. At Manchester United, Van Persie may not be a guaranteed starter given the presence of Wayne Rooney and the signing of Shinji Kagawa intimating that Ferguson plans on playing just one man up front.
There would be even more competition for places at Manchester City. Mario Balotelli showed at Euro 2012 that he may finally be coming into his own, while Sergio Aguero had a sensational first season in England. Carlos Tevez is still around, too, and reportedly looking rejuvenated and refocused in pre-season.
A move to either Manchester club would also likely tarnish Van Persie's reputation with Arsenal fans beyond repair. For someone who claims to love the Gunners, that must surely be a consideration.
At Juventus, Van Persie would avoid the harsh judgment of Arsenal fans, but there can be little doubt that he would be moving to a league currently of lesser quality. While Van Persie could foreseeably help the Old Lady dominate Serie A for the foreseeable future, it is also likely to be a couple of seasons before they are ready to serious challenge the very best sides in Europe.
While there are question marks over each of his potential destinations, his once stale-looking home must be beginning to look increasingly attractive with some new coats of paint.
Already arrived this summer are two international forwards in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Both have the capability to aid Van Persie's own game while also taking some of the pressure off him as often the sole supplier of goals.
Perhaps most exciting of all, Santi Cazorla is said to be traveling to London imminently to complete the formalities and become Arsenal's record signing. The Spanish international could provide a vital inventive edge to the Gunners from either a central or wide role.
With Van Persie on board and better luck with injuries a serious title challenge is certainly not out of the question.
Of course, such is football that a club could still decide to lay all their chips on Van Persie. The signs, though, are increasingly pointing toward the benefits for all concerned of Van Perise staying right where he is and cementing his place as a Gunners legend.