How Jack Wilshere reacted to Arsenal selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League
Robin van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United in 2013 (Picture; Getty)

Former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere admits he was ‘devastated’ with the club’s decision to sell Robin van Persie to Manchester United.

The Dutchman completed a controversial £22million switch to Old Trafford in 2012 after he was named PFA Player of the Year the previous season at the Emirates.

Van Persie guided United to the the title in his debut campaign at the Theatre of Dreams, which added salt to the wounds of Arsenal supporters who were both livid with the Dutchman for joining United and with Arsene Wenger for sanctioning the deal.

Wilshere took Van Persie’s no.10 shirt when the forward left and the Englishman says the striker’s decision to join United was ‘difficult to take’.

Robin Van Persie Signs For Manchester United FC
Van Persie joined United in 2012 (Picture: Getty)

When Robin van Persie left, yeah, I was devastated,’ said Wilshere.

‘I think he had just scored 30 goals the season before and he was our captain, he was massive.

‘Especially when he went to United. It was like, ‘argh’. We’d challenged the year before, then we had a little bit of a blip, then it felt like RVP was firing, he was the captain, we were just about to challenge again.

‘Then all of a sudden he left and went to one of our biggest rivals. It was difficult to take.

‘I’d experienced that before so I knew we’d bounce back. I was there when Fabregas left, Nasri left, big players for us who would have helped us challenge and almost feels like if we kept that team together for a few more years I think we would have went on to win the Premier League, then who knows where you go from there.’

Van Persie scored 26 goals in his debut season at United to inspire the Red Devils to the league title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season.

However, he was crushed by the Scot’s resulting retirement and left the club two years later after spells under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

Van Persie’s one of the few players to have played under both Arsene Wenger and Ferguson but he says the Scot was superior.

Van Persie scored 26 goals in his debut campaign at United (Picture: Getty)

‘Ferguson really was a super manager,’ Van Persie wrote in the book ‘LVG – The Manager and the Total Person’.

‘It was so brilliant how he always kept the entire squad happy and focused.

‘Wenger was a combination of Ferguson and Van Gaal. Arsene always emphasised all the positive things and he looked at what would work for the long term

‘Tactically he [Van Gaal] is a genius. You can’t deny that.

‘I have had managers who had their own strengths but Ferguson really was a super manager.’

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