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Van Persie celebrates a deserved first league title.
This is one that will still be fresh in the memory of Arsenal fans, many of whom feel that Van Persie was unjustified in leaving the Gunners for top-four rivals Manchester United.
It’s difficult to decide. But first, a quick recap.
Brought into Arsenal in 2004 as a 21-year-old left winger from Feyenoord, Van Persie endured a slow start to his career in England, his progress blighted by mild discipline problems and the presence of Thierry Henry, with the Dutchman scoring only 10 league goals in 50 league game across two seasons.
In 2006 he came into his own, and despite his season coming to a halt in January with injury, he finished as Arsenal’s top scorer for 2006-07. Henry departed the next summer, and Van Persie took the Premier League by storm in the following years (when he wasn’t crocked), scoring 75 goals in 122 appearances before making noise over signing a new contract in summer 2012.
So now onto the controversy.
Claims that he only went for the money, as chanted at some points during last season, are beyond ridiculous, as Manchester City were offering significantly more in wages than United. It is pretty certain that the Dutchman’s motivation was to win the Premier League, which Arsenal were simply not equipped to do.
However, what grates on the Gooners is the loyalty that Arsene Wenger and the club showed Van Persie, sticking with him through year after year of injury and disappointment—they would have appreciated seeing some of that back. You could argue that Arsenal nurtured RVP into the player he is today, after which he took off, practically saying “thanks for the training."
But on the other hand, the Dutch international was 29 years old, and knew that he didn’t have the majority of his career ahead anymore. A player of his quality deserves to win titles, and he obviously decided that particular dream wasn’t going to be achieved in north London.