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Wenger: ‘Selling Van Persie To Man Utd Caused Unrest In The Team’
Arsene Wenger has admitted selling former captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United caused unrest in the team and was the reason for our poor start to last season.
The boss made a hugely controversial decision to sell van Persie to United for £24m last summer following a personal phone-call from then manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Dutchman was predictably an instant hit at Old Trafford, scoring on his debut and going on to become the league’s top scorer as he helped United win the Premier League title by a huge 11 points from second-placed City.
While our former skipper was tearing it up in Manchester, we made a terrible start in the league and had to rely on a stunning run of form during the second half of the season to snatch fourth spot from Tottenham by a single point.
Arsene believes the loss of van Persie was the reason for our poor start as it destabilised the team, but he rightly praised the lads for showing huge courage to fight back with our win away at Bayern Munich in late February a definite turning point.
Speaking at the clubs AGM today, Wenger is quoted as saying by the Telegraph:
“We lost Van Persie, which created a lot of unrest and destabilised the team. But from November to May team showed fantastic mental strength.”
“From the end of March to today, we have lost just one match, that created a huge emotion,” Wenger said.
It seems obvious to say now, but of course losing a player of Van Persie’s quality was going to hurt the team in the short term. He was our captain, best player and go-to guy for a moment of magic. But there is little doubt we’re a far better TEAM now than we were 18 months ago with him in the side. We have much more depth and have goal-scorers all over the pitch.
However, some will rightly point out, had we managed to keep hold of RVP and still added the likes of Cazorla, Ozil, Podolski and Giroud, we might just have a squad capable of challenging for the Champions League as well as the Premier League.
Do you still rue selling van Persie? Or are we better off without him?