Arsene Wenger has admitted he knew the impact that Robin van Persie would have at Manchester United when he handed his Premier League rivals his most valuable asset last summer for £24 million.
The Dutchman has been labelled as a player that can ‘decide the title’ this season after again topping the goalscorer charts with sixteen strikes in the league so far, and the striker has been a major force leading Manchester United to the top of the Premier League.
Despite his importance for Arsenal last season he was sold after failing to agree a new contract even though the Gunners could have had another year with the prolific striker. If they managed to keep Van Persie it would have resulted in a far greater chance of winning the League.
Wenger said when asked about Van Persie’s impact at United:
I don’t need anyone to tell me how good he is. We knew when we sold him to United that that would be the case. He is one of the best strikers in the world, so you know he will score goals for them. He scored 30 for us last year.
At almost 30 he is at the peak of his game. Now he uses all his qualities in a calm and intelligent. He has a high level of confidence in his qualities. He is more patient than he was five or six years ago. He stays up front, and you won’t see him for maybe 20 minutes. Before he used to come back into midfield, but he uses his killer instinct much better now.
What is painful is to see Manchester United so far in front of us.
It still pains me to see our former talisman playing for FAnchester United, especially as Van Persie was literally the difference for Champions League qualification last season, essentially earning Arsenal £30m – which is more than they received for selling him.
This season he would have helped secure crucial points when they failed to play convincingly, he would have struck up a stunning partnership with Cazorla and Arsenal would have been genuine title contenders.
But as it is all in the past, the important thing is for it not to happen again. Players should not be leaving in their prime especially to a title rival. Theo Walcott’s negotiations are perhaps the decider as to whether Arsenal have the knack to hold onto their top players or if indeed they are a selling club. One thing is for sure – a star striker should never be sold to a rival Premier League club for an average fee, especially when there is still a chance to hold onto them for one more campaign. It would’ve been worth loosing him for free but winning silverware this season.