THE Vieira, a species of footballer not seen on these shores for many years, is coming back to its former ground to die.
Experts say that after trekking to North London from its feeding ground in Milan, it will roam the centre circle until early 2010, when it will finally succumb and the Fabregas will take over Arsenal's herd as the dominant male.
Eventually its remains will be picked over by vultures in the 'Midfielder's Graveyard', alongside the bleached bones of the Gilberto and the Ray Parlour.
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said: "The return of the Vieira to the ground of its youth is one of nature's greatest and most mysterious spectacles.
"No-one really knows how they find their way back. Is it smell? Is it sonar? Is it money?"
Vieiras typically play into their thirties unless poached by Italian clubs or viciously attacked by Bartons. Although placid by nature, they can become easily enraged when confronted by Roy Keanes, only to suffer potentially fatal injuries.
Wenger added: "I want to give this magnificent Vieira a dignified last resting place. He can teach the younger players important lessons, like going fucking ballistic in the tunnel before a game.
"Besides, I need somebody I can talk to properly. I can't understand half of what the boys talk about. How can you spitroast somebody with a phone? It would melt."
The Vieira said: "Mon dieu, I remember when all this was industrial estate. I'm 33, you know. Of course, back in my day we used to win big metal cups. Everything's different now."