Former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has confirmed why he left Arsenal in the summer of 2012. The player signed for United and led them to a twentieth league title during the same season that Sir Alex Ferguson retired, which was a shock to many including the Dutchman. United signed Van Persie for £24 million.
Van Persie played for United for three seasons, leaving in the summer of 2015 for Fenerbahce for just £3.84 million, which seemed a pittance for the player at that time. The Dutchman, who was entering the twilight of his career at the time he signed for United, scored 30 goals in 48 appearances for the club in the 2012/13 season.
At the time he left Arsenal, the Dutchman penned a letter to the Arsenal faithful, refusing to go into any details as to why he had left the club. After retiring from football, Van Persie is now employed as a pundit for BT Sport and is in a position to give more details as to why he left the North London club, saying:
“You can compare [me being at Arsenal] to being married. Me and my wife – Arsenal – were married for eight years. After eight years, my wife, possibly got a bit tired of me. Those are the facts.
“If Arsenal are not offering you a new deal… you can have different views on things but the fact is Arsenal never offered me a new deal. Then you have a look around. I was ambitious. I still wanted to win the league. That is life.
“I ended up having three options. One option abroad disappeared quickly. Then it was City or Manchester United. What people don’t know, during the transfer, loads of things are happening behind the scenes.
“You have to take a lot on and make a choice based on what your targets are but also deal with the facts. One of the main facts was that Arsenal got tired of me.
“That was the starting point – they didn’t offer me a new deal. We had loads of chats with Wenger, with [Ivan] Gazidis. They gave me no decision to make.”
At the time of his move to United, Van Persie stated that he had “no hard feeling” with the club. At the time, it was reported that former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger was to make Van Persie the highest paid player at the club, but that clearly did not materialise with the fact the player left the club and headed off to Manchester.
It is something that irks Arsenal supporters, even today with Van Persie literally being the main ingredient in United’s 20th league title, winning the Premier League Golden Boot that season, which is what he had won in his last season (2011/12) at Arsenal, only not winning the title, which is effectively what he thought he could win, and did, at United.
It seems astonishing that Arsenal did not offer Van Persie a new contract at the club the summer he left and perhaps the Arsenal supporters who turned against the Dutchman at the time he left, should probably look a little closer to home as to why the player left the club. Will that happen though? That remains to be seen.
Van Persie was a cracking addition for Ferguson in the summer of 2012. Granted, he worked well at the club for one season, the last season United won the Premier League title. During the 2013/14 season, Van Persie scored 18 goals in 28 appearances, then in his final season, the 2014/15 season, he scored 10 goals in 29 appearances.
Since leaving United, the Dutchman played for three seasons in Turkey, for Fenerbahce, playing a total of 87 times, scoring 36 goals for the club, which was still a good rate of goals based on appearances, especially at his age. On leaving Turkey, Van Persie signed for Feyenoord, his former club (before Arsenal) scoring 25 goals in 45 appearances before retiring.