Robin van Persie joined Arsenal in late April 2004, but when he had it his means he’d have loved a second debut with the membership 11 years later.
The Dutchman was bought within the eyes of many to be the successor to Dennis Bergkamp’s throne, however he really ended up having an analogous affect to membership record-goal scorer Thierry Henry, though Van Persie’s star shone vivid for a lot much less time than the Frenchman’s.
The ahead’s eventual Arsenal exit to Manchester United and the following fall-out is well-documented. The fad from sure sections of Arsenal followers continues to boil to this present day, notably over Van Persie’s feedback as soon as the transfer had been finalised.
The ex-Feyenoord star insisted he listened to the “little boy within him” who was crying out for the transfer to Previous Trafford. These remarks went some solution to tarnishing what was at occasions a shocking Arsenal profession suffering from particular person genius.
Having spent loads of time on the therapy desk in North London, notably within the first few years – Van Persie hit supernova ranges of type throughout the 2011/12 season. Coming to phrases with the departure of Cesc Fabregas, the Netherlands worldwide took it upon himself to hold the membership’s fortunes on his again.
Named captain after the Spaniard’s departure to Barcelona, Van Persie’s goal-scoring virtually single-handedly fired the Gunners into the Champions League after a season-long battle with native rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
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In 38 Premier League video games, the then-Gunners skipper fired in 30 targets and 13 assists. His tally throughout all competitions is much more spectacular, with an additional seven targets within the FA Cup and Champions League mixed.
Over the course of the season, Van Persie began to make first-time over the shoulder volley’s considerably of a trademark with comparable beautiful targets in opposition to Everton and Liverpool respectively. An enormous clamour for him to be handed the PFA Participant of the Yr award began lengthy earlier than the season’s finish.
“Van Persie is a robust contender, definitely. His focus has at all times been very nice however his constant presence has not been unbelievable,” supervisor Arsene Wenger added. “It’s the first 12 months he has actually been constantly on the soccer and that explains why he deserves utterly to be Participant of the Yr.”
Positive sufficient, he was finally given the award for his phenomenal efforts all through the marketing campaign. Van Persie accounted for round 40% of all of Arsenal’s goal-scoring that season. Due to this fact, affirmation that this marketing campaign could be his final in a Gunners shirt shook the Emirates to its very core.
His type would go on to information United to the 2012/13 title, throughout which period he bagged a aim in opposition to his former facet at Previous Trafford earlier than being given a guard of honour for the return recreation on the Emirates as soon as the Crimson Devils had already wrapped up the league.
Issues had been to go bitter finally for Van Persie in Manchester nonetheless, together with his fellow countryman Louis van Gaal finally offloading him to Turkish giants Fenerbahce after accidents started to rear their head as soon as once more.
It was throughout the technique of that sale that Van Persie really contacted his former Arsenal boss and inquired about the potential of returning to the membership – a request that Wenger swiftly rejected.
The Frenchman mirrored on Van Persie’s exit in his autobiography, admitting that he put Arsenal earlier than his personal needs to sanction the sale. “I had solely the curiosity of the membership in thoughts,” Wenger wrote.
“My relationship with Alex Ferguson and Manchester United had improved by then, however each switch is a well mannered recreation of poker the place you try to offer not something away.
“Van Persie had a unbelievable first six months at Previous Trafford: he put the group on observe for the Premiership title and made it much more tough for us. However after three years of the 4 that he signed for, he was injured and (Louis) Van Gaal offered him to the Turkish membership Fenerbahce.
“He known as me as a result of he needed to come back again, however it was unattainable: he was on the finish of his profession and we had been investing in younger gamers.”